When a name like Talula Does The Hula from Hawaii gets banned, it makes big news. But there are lots of other names that, now and since the beginning of recorded name time, have quietly been relegated to the forbidden list. No judge may have pounded a gavel, no name-sensitive Napoleon decreed a law against outlandish names as he did in France. But these names have nevertheless been shunned by parents in the Western World – and sometimes even by those who’ve been unlucky enough to be born with them.
Dick was long a popular short form for Richard – witness Dick Nixon, Dick Cheney, Dick Clark, Dick Van Dyke, Dick Tracy – but now it’s become the favored slang for everything from penis to jerk. Dick has gone downhill so fast and so far as a name that it’s impossible to imagine anyone giving it to a baby – and in fact, in the last year counted, no one did. Even Adolph was more popular.