Saturday, April 10, 2010


Names have this unique ability of stiring up eye-narrowing conversations amongst women, men, boys, girls, educationalists and comedians.

Mothers and fathers, for instance, spend hours prior to the arrival of their child's (or children's) birth scanning through the hippest baby name book, such as Beyond Ava & Aiden. Inevitably, some parents bestow the worst names imaginable for their child who then endures years of name-calling throughout their early education and even more years of therapy well after.

A little later in life, women tend to change their last names once married; or if their spouse's last name is utterly ridiculous (i.e. Butcus), it's thus forgotten or slipped at the end with a hyphen placed before it to clearly separate the two names. Whether it's a feminist who refuses to relinquish her father's name - her name - or the compromiser who agrees to adopt her spouse's name, names are generally a tricky business.

Looking at names culturally, the Bali society uses four names, and four names alone. The first born is Wayan (or Yan, for short); second is Made; third is Nyoman or Komang; and fourth is Ketut (or Tut). If the first born is Wayan, and there is a fifth child, he or she is then called Wayan Balik - that is, Wayan "again." The Balinese naming system stems from its caste system. According to Wikipedia - best, free encyclopedia ever (ha) - it's not the rigid caste system that exists in India, but rather an informal constitution bearing four different social structures. A system developed during the Medieval era, which consists of four distinct groups - the priests are Brahmana, the rulers are Ksatria, army members are Wesya and the rest (farmers and workers) are Sudra. Today, the caste system is merely symbolic.

You see, fascinating stuff!

Why else do people change their names?

Millions of people around the world change names to increase identity protection and security. Or even more popular, people change names for careers- actors, actresses (Meg Ryan - Margaret Mary Emily Anne Hyra), singers and song writers, politicians (Nelson Mandela - Rolihlahla Mandela), and even journalists.

Again, fairly interesting. Moving on...

Legal name-changing aside, through time, names have evolved. Naturally. Parents were either urged to be more creative; they were bored with the same-old, same-old (i.e. John or Jane); or they wished their child to be so unique and original, they picked even the most unlikely of names (Apple, Gwyneth Paltrow's daughter and Moses, her son). Gwyneth - you're great, but come on!

I think George Carlin said it best in one of his comedic performances called Goofy Boys Names. I couldn't articulate it any better, George.
Please click on the link below to watch the clip.

When did Nicky, Vinny and Tony turn into Todd, Kyle and Tucker??? William or Gilbert? Jane or Ocean? Samantha or Hopper (Sean Penn's kid)?

After skimming down the list of '50 craziest celebrity baby names,' I couldn't help but wonder, is there an elite contest for the celebrity baby with the craziest name? Elite? Maybe not. But indeed, there are contests.

I'd like to conclude this post with another prime example of my curious mind. Many people, myself included, have tied past/current relationships with friends, lovers and family members who share similar names. Huh?! Females named Brittney, for instance, rarely work well with me. Of course, there are exceptions (Miss Moody!), but the truth of the matter is, in my 23 years, five Brittneys have turned into some of my greatest enemies. Thus, I try to avoid them by all means necessary. The name Chris (or Christopher) is another. The beholder of this name is labeled the Attractor - always grabs my attention. There have been five of those as well. Jeffs are the fun, crazy adventurers. Katies or Kathrines are the good girls or good friends. Surely there are more, however, I'd like to know yours!!! Please indulge me with your list and I hope you've enjoyed this topic of day.

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The Great Wall

The Great Wall
Beijing, China