Category: weird baby names
Baby names seem to get stranger every day, but what are the weirdest baby name tales of all time?
Crazy baby name stories come from Hollywood and beyond, stem from misguided parents, illogical bureaucracies, and influences beyond human understanding. They involve money, ego, publicity, lawsuits, and the forces of destiny.
Here, the top ten weirdest baby name stories we know.
1. The Family Named George
George Foreman may be multi-dimensional in his professional life, but the championship boxer/food grilling visionary has a one-track mind when it comes to baby names. Foreman named all five of his sons George after himself – they’re George Jr. and Georges III, IV, V and VI — and also named one of his six daughters Georgetta. How does the family tell all those Georges apart? Georges III through VI are called Monk, Big Wheel, Red, and Little Joey.
Sometimes we feel we’ve heard every name in the book…..until someone introduces us to a new one.
Actually, that happened just now, when our friend the wonderful photographer Fran Liscio, who took the picture of me and Linda on the home page, just wrote to say she’d heard an unusual name in a 1941 movie called Smiling Through — Moonyean. Had we ever heard of the name Moonyean?, she wondered.
Nope, we told her: She’d stumped the masters.
Which made us think it might be fun to challenge YOU to stump the masters, i.e. tell me and Linda and the rest of the Nameberry community about an unusual name you’ve heard that you think we may not have come across.
All names already in the Nameberry database are off limits, naturally. When you suggest a new name, all documentation — movie character lists, newspaper stories, non-U.S. baby name sites — are helpful. Plus tell us as much as you know about the origin, meaning, and background of the name.
There are a lot of names I love and enthusiastically encourage other people to use. But when it came to naming my own kids? No way.
The most common reason for championing a name that you wouldn’t use yourself is, of course, cowardice. I think of all the names I considered for my younger son but chickened out on actually using: Penn, Pike, Otis….sigh. I’d lead the cheer if a parent on the Nameberry forums was thinking of one of those wonderful names. But in the end, we went with the much safer Owen.
My husband would tell you that we never really seriously considered Otis, because he hated it. So there’s another reason you might only be able to envision a beloved name on someone else’s child.
Plus, with a last name that starts with S, the truth is we never would have used a first name that ends with an S sound, for fear of confusion. Similarly, you may love elaborate names like Orianna but wouldn’t pair them with your equally-elaborate last name, or shy away from a short name like Tom if your last name is Smith, or avoid favorite ethnic first names such as Maeve or Massimo if they clash with a last name of a distinctly different ethnicity.
As the authors of, literally, the book on Cool Names, you’d think we’d know everything there is to know about cool baby names.
But the definition of cool is so fluid and so subjective, it’s difficult to point to one name, or one group of names, and proclaim it as universally cool.
Yet sometimes, you know cool when you see it. I was reading about the British actor Damian Lewis the other day — the redheaded hunk on Homeland — and noticed (of course) that the names of his children with fellow actor Helen McCrory are Manon and Gulliver.
Huh, I thought. Now THOSE are cool names. Undeniably quirky, but cool.