Friday, December 17, 2010

PSA: Give your kid a fighting chance! Don't name him Leather or Bangkok.

Well, Belles and Boys, we're not going to delve too deep today,  It's hard enough for me to think deep thoughts on a "normal" day, let alone a day when I have a nasty head cold.  I will consider it a victory if I see this post lucidly to its conclusion. 

Names.  That's it:  Names.  In my ten years of legal practice, I have come to the conclusion that the name a parent bestows upon their child can pre-determine a lot about that child's future.  Celebrities these days love to generate publicity for themselves by ruining their children's lives and naming them things like Pilot, Apple and Moxie Crimefighter (all 100% real).  I'm sure it would come as a great surprise to the self-centered spotlight hogs that the bizarro name game didn't originate with them, but here in the South.

Just running through some of the names in my own family makes a person wonder what in the world was going on in the heads of my ancestors at the births of their children.  On one side alone, I've got Mutt, Pearly Moot, Sarge, Mort and Doggie.  What's even more nuts is the fact that I grew up thinking that those names were perfectly normal.  It wasn't until I was in high school and talking to a friend who had transferred from parts North about mailing graduation invitations and she snarfed her drink all over the cafeteria table that I realized that something might be amiss.

In the legal arena, I've noticed a trend with in criminal court.  A darned lot of them have these crazy assed names and--maybe I'm just so trained as a criminal defense attorney that I automatically look for explanations and excuses--but I really think that their name as a lot to do with it.  Imagine naming a kid "Fish," "Aquanetta Cleopatra," "Evanescence Rain" or "Fox Chase" and you can imagine their backstory without ever actually knowing them.

A bouncing baby boy was saddled with the name Chevrolet at birth.  School playgrounds and parks can be cruel places for any kid (every last one of us could probably benefit from a therapy session over something that happened in the jungle gym when we were little), but for Chevrolet...yowsa.  More likely than not, Chevrolet's situation plays out one of two ways:  He becomes the bully so that no one would be dumb enough to pick on him or he gets picked on mercilessly and seeks revenge later when he has the ways and means as an adult.  Either way, it nudges a kid a step closer to knocking over a liquor store. 

Now for the politically correct disclaimer:  I am not making categorical statements about the Feathers, Charmins, Hogs and Snakes out there.  I have no doubt that there is a Cashmere or Cougar out in the world who has chosen to become a one name pop star like Cher, Usher or Madonna instead of turning into a one man or woman crime wave and more power to 'em.

P.S.:  I'm not afraid to pick on my own name either.  It's so unoriginal that I went to school with about 16 other Ashley's.  Also, do you know of any old people named Ashley?  Me either.  It's odd.  Seriously odd.


  1. One of my former students is named Atari. I believe he is currently incarcerated for shooting a cop.

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  3. There are also names such as Mary Christmas and the myriad"creative" names blessed upon children that may sound good after giving birth (and epidurals) and are often due to a limited spelling ability.

    P.S. Sorry, I can't comment about one's spelling and/or grammar and have a grammatical error myself!