America has seen a trend as each era helped to craft a new aesthetic in naming children. We remember the 1960s when it was all about free love, and thus a legion of young girls called Sunflower was born. Even famous folks participated in the madness. Remember Frank Zappa’s children, Moon Unit and Dweezil?
I grew up in the ’70’s and also remember the influence of the historical and groundbreaking mini-series “Roots.” This launched an important trend to research and embrace African history. The cultural impact of Roots launched a battalion of Kuntes and Kizzees in African American schools. Thankfully, the influence stopped before there were any Chicken George Jacksons introduced.
Well, one man in Egypt has taken the name game to a whole new level of madness.
A new young father, Jamal Ibrahim, inspired by the role Facebook played in the recent protests and ultimate overthrow of Egypt's president, decided that he needed to express his thanks, and he did so by naming his newborn girl "Facebook."
Now, that is a bit extreme; I think a simple fan page would have sufficed….lol.
What if folks from the Civil Rights Movement had a similar reaction to honoring the tools that helped them bring about change? You might have an Aunt with the name Lucille Passive Resistance Jackson or an Uncle with the name Cleophus Sit-In Johnson.
I can understand the Egyptian father’s excitement, but when does someone in your circle of family and friends ask, “Are you high? Are you really going to do that to your child?”
As crazy as this sounds, this has been an ongoing trend of branding innocent children with unfortunate names that will only haunt them throughout their lives. Has anyone done research to see what causes this phenomenon?
Could it be a side effect of using an epidural during childbirth, the ever-widening hole in the ozone layer, hormonal imbalances or just bad hospital food?
We have to think beyond the hospital. What will happen to this poor kid when she sits in a classroom and raises her hand when the teacher calls out “Facebook Ibrahim?” You might as well tattoo “Kick Me; I Like It” on her forehead.
I have been an educator for over 16 years and have seen the evolution or decline, depending on your perspective, in the art of naming children.
I was in class at the start of a semester and was doing a roll call. I usually ask the students to respond if my pronunciation sounds phonetically close to their names. I came across this one name and finally had to go to the last name. I asked the young lady could she pronounce her name for me and she said, “It’s Kimberly” with a look of disdain and much attitude. I was not going to be outdone by this young upstart. I said, “My sister’s name is Kimberly. I have been reading this name for two minutes and have not seen one vowel.” This was an acid-induced deconstruction of Kimberly. It went something like Kyyhmmbrrly.
I recently ran across a young lady who pronounced her name Vagenah, but it was spelled like Vagina. It seems her mom may have been hyper-focusing at the time of birth.
People, we have got to get a handle on what we name our children. The right name can set the appropriate tone for your child’s future or socially cripple them for life.
Maybe we should get back to basics. We need less BoomKeishas and more Michelles or Donnas. How many CEOs or just regular successful working folk are named after beverages like Snapple Cooper? I am just saying.
We need to start a crisis hotline of intervention for any new mom or dad who is about to name a child something crazy.
I would like to submit Professor Locs’ Top 5 worst culturally influenced baby names:
5. I Pad William Jackson
4. Reality Teevee Wilson
3. Twilight Wolfgang Rodriquez
2. Snookie Lamborghini Zambonni
1. Alize Peaches Johnson
I challenge you guys to submit your own culturally influenced names in the comments section below.