What were these parents thinking?!


Kim Kardashian and her husband Kanye West announced their newborn son’s name is “Saint.” He joins older sister “North” as in northwest. But those are still not the strangest names of celebrity couple’s kiddos. Here’s my newspaper column from 2004:

Jim is such a “plain Jane” name, but at least it doesn’t doom one to taunting and tormenting in elementary school. Pity Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin’s brand new, shiny baby girl Apple! I can already hear the playground patter: “Apple’s rotten to the core!” “Apple’s full of worms!” “Apple? That’s a pie-eyed name!”

Other actor’s kids crying in the school psychologist’s office include: Jason Lee and Beth Riesgraf’s son Pilot Inspektor; Rob Morrow and Debbon Ayre’s daughter Tu Morrow (Tomorrow), Shannyn Sossamon and Dallas Clayton’s son Audio Science, and the late Paula Yates’ daughters Heavenly Hiraani, Tiger Lily, Fifi Trixibelle, Peaches Honeyblossom and Pixie.

Musicians also have their children singing the blues. For example: Michael Jackson’s sons Prince Michael, Prince Michael II (AKA Blanket), and Paris Michael, Jermaine Jackson’s son Jermajesty, John Mellencamp and Elaine Irwin’s sons Speck Wildhorse and Hud, Toni Braxton and Keri Lewis son’s Diezel and Denim, and of course Frank Zappa’s kids Moon Unit, Ahmet Emuukha Rodan, Dweezil, and Diva.

Names are important. According to Albert Mehrabin in Selecting Attractive and Beneficial Baby and Adult Names, “Experimental evidence shows that persons with undesirable or unattractive names tend to be handicapped in their personal, social, and work-related activities.” Or as an Italian proverb puts it, “[One] who has a bad name is half hanged”

And if you’re into eastern mysticism, there’s even more parental pressure to pick the perfect moniker. According to the folks at Yantric Yoga, the perfect name will, and I quote, ” balance and harmonize your inner and outer nature with your Atman (true self). In turn, your Atman has unfettered access to the like brain receptor. A perfect union of communication is thus created. This creates even greater health and vitality because there is no need to make choices. Every stimulation of your inner being will now register at the cellular level of the mind, thus allowing greater clarity of thought, eradicating confusion.”

Names that can really mess up your inner and outer nature–besides Apple and Moon Unit–include Judas, Jezebel, Adolph, Saddam, Abu Ghraib, Osama, and after “The Apprentice,” Omarosa.

But you don’t want a whole class of Emily’s and Jacob’s. According to the Social Security Administration’s applications, that’s been the number one girl’s name for the past five years and the number one boy’s name for the past four years.

Other girl’s names in the top ten, in order, are Emily, Emma, Madison, Hannah, Olivia, Abigail, Alexis, Ashley, Elizabeth, and Samantha. After being number one from 1990-1995, Jessica has left the school building.

Next in the lunch line for boys, in order, are Michael (the number one name from 1990-1998), Joshua, Matthew, Andrew, Joseph, Ethan, Daniel, Christopher, and Anthony.

According to www.namestatistics.com, James, however, is the number one adult name in the United States. Over 3 percent (3.318) or 4,064,550 Americans are named James. And this is strange—there are 12,750 U.S. females named James!

Rounding out the top ten adult men names in America: John, Robert, Michael, William, David, Richard, Charles, Joseph, and Thomas.

Mary is the number one adult female name with 3,351,975 women or 2.629 percent of the population. Surprisingly, there are also 11,025 men named Mary! (You can be sure those boys are being beaten up on a regular basis!)

Completing the top ten adult women names: Patricia, Linda, Barbara, Elizabeth, Jennifer, Maria, Susan, Margaret, and Dorothy.

So maybe James isn’t such a bad name after all. There are plenty of us, it doesn’t rhyme with any of the FCC’s seven dirty words, and since middle age no one has called me “Slim Jim”!

Copyright © 2004 James N. Watkins

Photo from MorgueFile