You Don’t Have to Love Jazz to Call Your Kid Kenton

Whenever I speak to one of my most trusted name correspondents from her loft in a hip bastion of lower NYC, I can usually depend on her to give me some unexpected name news.  A while back, Emily was the one who first told me that Oscar was over before most of the country even knew it was in.  Several months ago she gave me the news flash that Sylvia was hot.  Sylvia?  I’m still waiting on that one.  But yesterday she informed me that she knew two Djangos under the age of two, and several Anaises.  Now that was news I could work with.

Django and Anais are part of a new group of musical and literary namesake names that seem to take on a life of their own once they start to catch on.  Sure, parents who name their child Tennyson (as Russell Crowe did) are obviously thinking of the poet, and the same is true of Mingus (Helena Christensen) and Lennon (Liam Gallagher) and Hendrix (Zakk Wylde), but are all those who are calling their kids Django (silent ‘d’) passionate fans of the jazzy rhythms of the seminal French jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt or do they just like the jazzy rhythm of the name?  Are the little Anaises being named for the writer Anais Nin, known as much for her erotica as for her diaries, or are the parents just attracted to  the name’s lovely sound?  And all those little Becketts in the playground–how many degrees of separation between them and the author of “Krapp’s Last Tape”?–not to mention all the boy and now girl baby Jaggers: are their parents really thinking of aging rocker Mick, or do they just like the swagger of Jagger?

That said, here are some more musician and writer names that you might like whether or not you’re aficionados of their work:

MUSICIANS

ABBA

AMADEUS

ARLO

BIX

BOWIE

CALLOWAY

CROSBY

GUTHRIE

JOSS

MORRISON

PLACIDO

RAMONE

ZEVON

WRITERS

ANGELOU

BLY

BRONTE

CARVER

DASHIELL

DIDION

DJUNA (a cousin of Django)

FLANNERY

FROST

JUNOT

LORCA

MILLAY

SVEVO

THURBER

ZADIE

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4 Responses to “You Don’t Have to Love Jazz to Call Your Kid Kenton”

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Elisabeth Says:

December 11th, 2008 at 10:02 am

Add to your tally of real life:

I know a little Arlo, a Coltrane (blond, curly-headed thing), two Dashiells, and a Booker (Booker T. and the MGs in addition to Mr. Washington). This is one of my favorite categories.

I also know two baby Sylvias, for what it’s worth.

Still waiting for Thelonius to catch on.

~Elisabeth at You Can’t Call It “It”!

Elisabeth Says:

December 11th, 2008 at 10:34 am

More aquaintances along these lines:

BOYS:
Cash, Rand, Redding

GIRLS:
Chaplin, Harper

linda Says:

December 11th, 2008 at 11:41 am

Well, that’s a relief about Sylvia–Emily’s record is still unbroken.

Kate Says:

December 14th, 2008 at 5:03 pm

In no particular order (and I don’t necessarily support all of these names):

Pearl (Janis Joplin, or Pearl S. Buck)
Ramona
Holiday
Melvin (the metal-ist band ever, plus it kinda has that 50’s throwback feeling to it)
Joni
Mitchell (also like Mitch Mitchell)
Marshall (the PA company)
Les (Paul or Claypool)
Edie
Langston
Miles
Lemmy
Ida
Ozzy

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