Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Name Game

I'm no stranger to the fact that people make up names for their kids. Also, I completely understand that this is how all names came into existence. From the dawn of time, when Adam and Eve looked upon their firstborn son and announced, "Doesn't he look just like a Cain?" people have been making up names.

But, this day and age, it seems heightened. Trendy names seem so much more...trendier. Shoving two names together to make a completely different one is also popular. Especially here in Utah where there are so many kids running around that parents have to get really creative just so their daughter doesn't end up being Emily S. number two. In Garrett's class, there happens to be a boy and a girl with the same name. So, his teacher refers to one as Mr. Taylor and the other one as Miss Taylor. Except their names aren't Taylor. But you get the idea.

Substitute teaching is a great way for me to hear a whole bunch of names. Here are just a few I've come across.

Brecklyn (a girl)
Breson (a boy)
Harlee (a girl)
McKinsley (a girl)
Zaden (a boy)

And the list goes on. And on. I saw this video before I started to sub but it's been authenticated by my experience. Although, in total fairness, I've heard different names everywhere so I definitely don't think it's purely a Utah thing...

I said all of this to lead up to the name I encountered yesterday. It was in a high school class. Before I tell you the name, just let me state that most of the names of the high schoolers were fairly normal. Some of them were clearly trends from fifteen years ago but they weren't bizarre spellings. Apparently that party only started recently.

I was once a character in a drama sketch (written by myself and two friends of mine) and the character's name was Steph6anie. The six was silent. If I remember correctly, this resulted in the other characters, who thought she was ridiculous, referring to her as Stephsixie (without the an). Every so often I think about how we're probably not terribly far away from silent numbers infused into names for "creativity" sake.

Anyway, back to the kid I had yesterday. His name was neither trendy nor recently invented. Nope. He was named after a most famous Greek philosopher. When I hear "famous Greek philosopher" I think of Plato, Aristotle and Socrates. And, yes, it was one of those. Care to guess which one?



I also had an Elizajo. My mom later pointed out that this girl was most likely named Eliza Jo but with no space. Unfortunately, my southern-California-everything-is-a-Spanish-name roots came shining through. When I took roll, I pronounced it El-ihz-ah-ho. No one laughed. No one corrected me. But, yeah, the girl was as Caucasian as I am so, chances are, her name wasn't Elihzahho. Whoops. I'm kind of still embarrassed and I'll never even know what her name really is.

I think I'd like to live life as a professional baby namer. I promise I won't confuse any substitute teachers with names like Elizajo and Breson.

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