Thursday June 09, 2022

Naming a child shouldn’t be taken very lightly

Naming a child shouldn’t be taken very lightly

Illustrative image.

I wasn’t always called Birjees. When I was born my parents gave me a different name which was changed when I was about a year to eighteen months old. You see, as a baby I wasn’t always in the best of health so the elders in the family decided that it was time to change my name to what it is now. They didn’t just pick another name out of the air. They went to someone in the know whose job it was to pick a name for a new-born. This man would do his research into various names, their meanings and how they could affect a child’s life.

There are parents, though, who are film buffs and music lovers who often name their child after their favourite movie or rock star. But it’s not celebrities with normal everyday names but those whose names are weird and offbeat like Sting or Cher. They don’t realise that, while these celebrities go by these unusual names in public life, most have proper names that were given to them at birth and which they use for legal purposes.

However, some parents go ahead and pick these odd names as names proper for an unsuspecting child that has to live with it for the rest of his life, unless he decides to change it when he’s old enough to make the decision. But don’t forget that the odd name is on his birth certificate and school records and, if he decided to change it later much later in life, it could be on his university degree too.

Naming a child shouldn’t be taken lightly and, frankly, parents who do take it that way are being irresponsible and doing something they have no right to do. But some parents don’t appear to think past what they want. A lot of the odd names sound like the parents were from a hippie culture. Many celebrities would certainly give you a hippie vibe or maybe they were just not sober, considering some of the unusual and quirky names of their children. Their names are so absurd that some appear to be after everyday objects, words, countries and even mathematical equations.  

For example, did you know that the actor Forest Whitaker named his children Autumn and True? And that the singer Alicia Keys’ daughter is named Egypt? Apparently the singer loved the country so much after a visit that she named her daughter after it? I thought Paris Hilton was peculiar enough but Egypt? Now, there are a lot of girls named after flowers and plants. There’s Rose, Daisy, Hyacinth, Petunia and Ivy. But Sting had to pick something brand new. Did you know his daughter is called Fuchsia? It’s not only an odd name but it’s almost like calling a child Yellow or Orange or even Gardenia!

But when Elon Musk gets the chance to name his baby he ends up being Elon Musk. Both his children’s names are not only derived from mathematics and science but they are unpronounceable. His son is named X ÆA-Xi (simplified to X) and his daughter is Exa Darth Sideræ (simplified to Y). When I first heard the name Elon Musk I really thought that his parents must have been eccentric or something but I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Which reminds that Gwyneth Paltrow named her daughter Apple and Scarlett Johansson named her son Cosmo. Cosmo really only reminds me of Cosmo Kramer from Seinfeld. And Nicolas Cage is as bad as, if not worse, than Elon Musk. Whereas Elon Musk appears to have named his son after some mathematical equation, Nicolas Cage has given his son Superman’s Kryptonian name Kal-El! Even Clark Kent would have been better but papa ‘Jor El’ obviously was on something when he did it.  

Celebrities are entertainers so their children’s names are as entertaining to ordinary folks like us. In their desire to be unique they’re not taking into consideration how their child might feel when he or she gets older and what school children might say to them.

Some cultures believe that not only do names influence a child’s behaviour but the behaviour of those around them. A  Britney might actually begin to admire Britney Spears who was a troubled teen and is as troubled today. Some children might even be embarrassed to have a famous actors name especially if his last name also matches a celebrity.

School children can be brutal when it comes to making fun of a classmate especially if he appears to be odd or as a quirky name. If a name can be coupled with another rhyming word, you can be sure they’ll do it. Back in the UK a colleague named her daughter Ellie and joked that the kids in school might end up calling her Smelly Ellie. But she didn’t change the name. It is for these very reasons that France has banned certain names being given to children — because they could have a negative impact on a child’s life. Names being twisted or names with unpleasant add-ons are both possibilities.

 So don’t name your child Elvis, Cher or Sting. And if your family name is, for example, Trump, don’t name your son Donald. If your family name is Cruise then best not to call your son Tom or daughter Penelope. In fact, there is actually someone else called Donald Trump who is often mistaken for President Trump on the telephone. But of course, he does use it for his own amusement…then comes clean.  

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