A memo to every parent who’s ever lived: Giving your kid a special name does not make him special. It never has. It never will.
You know what I mean. It’s one thing to give yourself a screwy moniker. Body-modification enthusiasts have changed their names to Swirly Wanx Sinatra, Grenade Bee of Death, and RooRaaah Mew Crumbs, among other things, and there’s a U.S. Army Ohio National Guard firefighter who named himself Optimus Prime. That’s fine, you’re the one who has to live with it.
It’s worse when you inflict a harebrained epithet on a newborn, who will have to drag it through life like a neon hairshirt. Celebrities are notorious experts at this. Sylvester Stallone named his kid named Sage Moonblood. Jason Lee’s son is named Pilot Inspektor. Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin named their daughter Apple. And Welsh TV personality Paula Yates had daughters named Fifi Trixibelle, Peaches Honeyblossom, Pixie, and Heavenly Hirrani Tiger Lily.
This does nothing but embarrass the kid, and it’s not even original. In the late 17th century there was actually a member of the British parliament named Isaac Praise-God Barebone. And that’s nothing — he had brothers and sons named Fear-God Barebone, Jesus-Christ-Came-Into-The-World-To-Save Barebone, and If-Christ-Had-Not-Died-For-Thee-Thou-Hadst-Been-Damned Barebone. The last changed his name — I just love this — to Nicholas.
Of course, the parents see it differently, and a few have even gone to court to defend these monstrosities. In 1996 a Danish woman decided to name her son Christophpher, and she paid more than $45,000 in court fines for not using a government-sanctioned name. In the same year a Swedish family named its child Brfxxccxxmnpcccclllmmnprxvclmnckssqlbb11116 (pronounced “Albin”), claiming it’s “a pregnant, expressionistic development that we see as an artistic creation.” The court still charged them $680.
If you’re going to do this, fine, but at least be practical. Comedian Louis C.K. recommends naming your kid Ladies and Gentlemen. (“Ladies and Gentlemen, please!”) And Bill Cosby says, “Always end the name of your child with a vowel — so that when you yell, the name will carry.”