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.
2. The Dweezil That Almost Wasn’t
Dweezil Zappa may have one of the original crazy celebrity baby names, but when he was born in 1969, the hospital refused to issue a birth certificate in that name. Rather than fight bureaucracy, his parents – rocker Frank Zappa and wife Gail — named him Ian Donald Calvin Euclid and nicknamed him Dweezil. When little Dweezil was five, he learned the history of his highly unusual name and insisted on changing it legally.
3. The Girl Called Girl
In Iceland this year, Blaer Bjarkadottir won the right to use her given name, which had been disallowed by the government which decreed it a “boy’s name.” The 15-year-old had been called Stulka, or Girl, on all her official documents.
The digital age has put its virtual stamp on baby naming practices, with children over the past several years named Like, Facebook, Google, Apple, and late last year via Twitter, Hashtag. Or maybe #.
5. The Kid with the $500,000 Name
Parents have taken to EBay in unsuccessful attempts to auction off the rights to name their babies, including a 2001 couple who set the opening bid at $500,000 and a 2009 mom who received a $15,000 offer to name her seventh child only to have the site shut down the sale. Last year, four couples paid the site Groupon $1000 each for the right to name their children Clembough.
6. The Next Child Will Be Called Rover
Director Robert Rodriguez has four sons named Racer, Rocket, Rebel, and Rogue. The inspiration for their names? You might think it was the letter R. Or you might guess the Spy Kids auteur had a taste for Bad Boy names. But the real source, Rodriguez himself says, was a book of dog names.
7. We Thought Sex Fruit Was Kinda Catchy
New Zealand recently refused to allow parents to name their daughter Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii. Other baby names turned down by Kiwi officials: Fish and Chips, Yeah Detroit, Sex Fruit, Hitler, and Number 16 Bus Stop.
8. But None of Them Are Named Number 16 Bus Stop
Director Ron Howard gave his four children middle names inspired by the places they were conceived. Bryce Dallas was named for the Texas city and twins Page Carlyle and Jocelyn Carlyle got their middle names from New York’s Carlyle Hotel. Son Reed Cross was named for a London street because, Howard has been quoted as saying, “Volvo isn’t a very good middle name.”
A disproportionate number of men with the middle name Wayne are murderers, according to a study – yes, an actual factual study – by News of the Weird. In 2008, site owner Chuck Shepherd listed 225 convicted murderers with the middle name Wayne, led by the infamous John Wayne Gacy, and that’s not even including manslaughterers or other violent criminals named Wayne in the middle. The only explanation that Shepherd posits: “I suspect that aggressive-personality fathers during the 1950s and 1960s did in fact hopefully and disproportionately name their boys after that era’s icon of ruggedness, John Wayne.”
In a story quoted in Freakonomics, two New York brothers named Winner and Loser were, in a word, not. Winner, who reportedly got his name thanks to his father’s love of baseball, fell into a life of crime, while his brother Loser, named to balance out Winner, graduated from college and became a police sergeant.