As of last Friday, we’re halfway through the pregnancy thing. I think I’m getting though it quite well. I haven’t gained much weight, and my mood swings have been kept to a minimum. My only complaint is that Julie has to pee a lot and she wakes me up at night with all her shuttling back and forth to the bathroom. Other than that, everything is fine.
Except the naming part. We don’t really have names picked out, although both of us are quite partial to Grandmaster Flash for one of the twins. That does leave open the question of what to name a twin whose counterpart is named Grandmaster Flash. That’s a hard one to follow up.
Many people look to their culture when naming a child. In our case, that may not be such a great idea. The Mormons have a long and proud tradition of giving their children some crazy names
. We’re quite partial to putting “La” in front of any female (and more than a few male) names as in LaVonda, LaJenny, LaKelly, etc. We’ll also fuse together two lame names with the hopes of making one less-lame name. It doesn’t actually work, as evidenced by a co-worker I once knew named BoRyan.
But those are old people names, right? What about modern Mormon names? Lucky for us, we’ve just come into possession of a book (more like a pamphlet) called “Modern Mormon Names.” There is no copyright date on it, but I think we can assume it’s pretty current. Modernity is portrayed on the cover by pictures of a diesel locomotive, the atomic energy symbol, and what appears to be a supersonic jet.
The book, as you can imagine, consists of pages upon pages of possible names for our two theoretical bundles of joy. But there are a few tips for picking a baby name that I will share with you all now.
“It will be noted that the majority of our outstanding citizens have names of phonetical balance. It’s not a mere stroke of chance that so called ‘lucky names’ work to the decided advantage of the bearer. They can give authority and dignity. The reverse is just as true, so it is wise to avoid names as custom has labeled ridiculous (sic).”
This is good advice, indeed. So on the very next page, this book suggests “Alcyone” as a desirable name for a baby girl. But we’ve got two boys to name, so I guess we’ll have to put that one in the “save for later” pile.
There are plenty more to choose from. About 3,000, actually. I’ve been Mormon all my life, and that’s a life that stretches back to the Nixon Administration**, but I think I’ve only encountered 6 people with names included in this book: Farrell, Elwood, Norbert, Shane, Zachary, and Trent. I have met people named “Summer” and “Madison,” but they were both girls, and “Modern Mormon Names” lists those as boy’s names.
Looking more closely at some of the names, it appears the authors left off another important rule in naming a child, never pick any name that rhymes with something dirty or otherwise undesirable. You may not make such a rhyme in your house, but those kids on the playground… they will. With that in mind, we can pretty much rule out “Fermin,” “Whit,” “Enis” “Nestor,” “Hinkle” and “Magan” (sounds too much like “maggot”).
It is also wise to exclude names that suggest traits or activities you’d want to discourage. So that rules out “Craven,” “Ransom,” “Wild,” “Wilder,” (there is no “Wildest” in this book, but I’d rule that one out, too) and “Gaylord.”
Now before I get any angry mail, if one of our twins turns out to be gay, I will love him as if he were my own child. But if he turns out to be straight, saddling him with the name “Gaylord” is going to be tough on everyone. And if he turns out to be gay, then people will say, “Well, that’s what you get for naming him ‘Gaylord.’” Either way, it’s a situation you want to avoid.
And then there are the names just too odd to slap onto an innocent child, like “Arkwright,” “Nicanor,” “Tremayne,” “Valdimar,” “Urtan,” “Thorold,” and “Tancred.”
The fact is, there are numerous names I haven’t mentioned because of space (this thing is getting a bit long), and we haven’t even scraped the surface on the girl’s names. So I’ll post more names from the book this week. And, as always, we’re open to suggestions. If we pick the name that you suggested for one of our kids, we may even let you raise it.** I know this is Dave Barry's gag, but "The Nixon Administration" really would be a cool name for a band.