And now for something completely different

December 16, 2010

Dear Max

When you were born, we just knew we were a Max. You just felt like it. We loved the names Matthew and Max, but wanted to wait til you were born to see what you looked like. We wanted your name to start with the letter “M” after Dad’s late mom, Merle. It was also significant since I had a grandfather Morris, and Dad had an oupa, Maurice.

Naming a child isn’t as easy as it seems – you have to consider how it goes with the surname, what the initials are, and you have to look at potential areas of teasing (some kids are cruel Max, but I’m prepared to tease them back or pull their hair if they try to mess with you and you’d like me to intervene. I’m sure you’ll be fine though, but the offer stands). So anyway, I came across this book at work called Frou-Frou, Frisby & Brick – The Book of Unfortunate Baby Names. In it, are the most stupid, thoughtless and pitiful names one could name their doomed-for-life kids. And if they seem too absurd to be true, think again – these names and people have been documented (many of them date to the 1800s), and the author of the book is a professional name collector. I thought I’d share some of the gems* with you so that we can a) chuckle and b) be grateful that our parents had high IQs when they named us.

In no particular order:
Dick Swinger, Dick Tater, Dick Stiff, Dick Shaver, Dick Myass, Dick Upright, Fanny Lover, Minnie Mee, Minnie Fart, Bea Hives, Gassy Pope, O. Dear, P. Upward, P. Enis, R Sole, Barb Dwyer, Neale Down, O. Hell, Major Belcher, Major Leak, O. Dear, Artery Smith, Daft Coggins, Popsie Bottom, Annie How, Iva Bump, Will Power, Will Icome, Wan King, Fanny Gash, S Emen, Wendy House.

If Bart Simpson wanted to phone Mo with some more trick-call names, he’d have a field day with these…


* Some of the women were not born with these surnames, but still – surely being able to save face trumps taking your husband’s name?

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