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Parent's name their baby "Espn" after the all sports network ESPN.
April 5, 2001 3:01 PM   Subscribe

Parent's name their baby "Espn" after the all sports network ESPN. One of my pet peeves is when parents name their babies something "unique" or "cute." I read somewhere that the director Robert Rodruiguez named his kid Rocket. Don't these parents understand how much teasing their children are going to have to endure? Aargh.
posted by JFunk2800 (32 comments total)

 
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posted by Karl at 3:15 PM on April 5, 2001


"Espen" is a very common first name here in Norway, as a matter of fact. According to Statistics Norway, there are indeed 13679 men with that name, and 11875 with that name as their only first name. Not that they're named after a sports network or anything, but I felt it was worth mentioning anyhow ;-)
posted by frednorman at 4:04 PM on April 5, 2001


My first name is Yale, and you can imagine how many googolplexes of times I've had to try and muster some sort of polite laughter when someone asks whether I've got a brother named Harvard. I can only imagine what sorts of lo-grade ribaldry little ESPN is bound to endure.

Parents using their kids' names to express their own skewed individuality is a real dumb idea.
posted by yalestar at 4:12 PM on April 5, 2001


Ahhh. I was thinking "Yet Another Lestar" ;)
posted by sonofsamiam at 4:14 PM on April 5, 2001


Lemme tell you, when you're name is Oliver everyone thinks they're all original with the inevitable cracks about: "Please sir, can I have some more?" (never mind Cromwell, Wendell Holmes, Closeoff)
posted by owillis at 4:33 PM on April 5, 2001


i think rocket rodriguez is just cool.
posted by centrs at 5:13 PM on April 5, 2001


Karl: not only do I not read obscure store, I don't even know where it lives or what it is. How about that, eh? Is there some list of sites we are all expected to read along with metafilter? Seems like half the point of having a "weblog community" is that the same links will show up in many places.

-Mars
posted by Mars Saxman at 6:00 PM on April 5, 2001


Rodriguez named his kids Rocket, Racer, and Rebel. I don't even have a sarcastic comment adequate for that.
posted by wiremommy at 7:20 PM on April 5, 2001


Two words: Frank Zappa. Though in his case his choices of names seem to have worked.
posted by aaron at 7:29 PM on April 5, 2001


Had a conversation about this recently. In the 60's and 70's, names like Elvis and Ford became relatively common in countries that had been duped into envying American culture. More recently, economic pre-occupation has given rise to baby names like Lexus. We throught it should be taken further - "have you met my son, Sony Playstaion?" Now it has. After some turbulent times, television is risen again as the new god.
posted by videodrome at 10:05 PM on April 5, 2001


Not to the mention the whole post-70s thing in black communities of unpronounceable names like: Takisha, Laqwuanda, Shaniqua... argh.
posted by owillis at 10:23 PM on April 5, 2001


Mars: Actually I was just riffing off these comments and others in a preceding radio_mookie post where it appeared he was posting 2-3 links right from obscurestore.com, a pretty popular and well known source of weird news. I honestly was trying to bring the whole thing full circle as an inside joke when I saw that three posts later was.....the top headline from today's Obscure Store. I get the feeling nearly the same number of MeFi folks read Obscure Store as do most AP articles.
posted by Karl at 10:52 PM on April 5, 2001


Karl: Just to let you know, I have visited Obscure Store before, but don't visit it daily. My friend emailed me the link, thinking I'd get a kick out of it, and I posted it here, assuming the same thing. I didn't realize that it was the top story at Obscure Store. That being said, even if an interesting link WAS featured on Obscure Store, isn't it still worthwhile to post that link here just to provoke a discussion between the MeFi community, and to get their take on it?
posted by JFunk2800 at 3:22 AM on April 6, 2001


I rather like unique names! Perhaps because I've always been slightly dissatisfied with my rather ordinary one (Timothy), and because there are currently about 10 different Tims in my life that I regularly get confused with.

I'm definitely put off by naming someone after a corporation, though; for some reason, 'Rocket' strikes me as a cool name, but 'ESPN' strikes me as an awful one.
posted by JimmyTones at 5:58 AM on April 6, 2001


hah... my name virtually screams "I am right-wing psycho!" ... but oh well. I guess it could be worse.

Come to think of it, most people I know hate their names. At least no one has to come up with a way of distinguishing me, unlike the million Mikes I know. (and my name can't be pronounced different in German, unlike Ann, who gets annoyed at being called Anna)
posted by dagnyscott at 6:01 AM on April 6, 2001


I have nothing against unique names. There was a story, a rather tragic one actually, about an abandoned baby in Chicago a few months back and the child's name was Unique. Which I like.

yalestar: Parents using their kids' names to express their own skewed individuality is a real dumb idea.

I disagree. While I'm not about to name my non-existant child Seven or Soda, I think that the individuality and personality of the parents should at least be apparent. Many families have these naming conventions rooted in tradition. I see no reason why people can't try something new, either.

That all said, I am incredibly infuriated and saddened by Espn. Clearly, it's just as lame an idea as naming your kid Iuma. It infuriates me because it shows how incredibly perverse and subversive marketing and advertising in America has gotten. It saddens me because it demonstrates that someone loves a thing (a TV network!) so much that they would go ahead and name their child - something inherently loveable and real - after a commercial object.

I expect the child to suffer with this through life, but when the companies fall in forty years, it might be a tad more acceptable then. Imagine that: rebuilding a society by naming children after long-gone corporations. Perhaps then, it can be seen as a human action and not one born of marketing and advertising budgets.

Apple Microsoft Jones.
Monsanto Brown.
posted by hijinx at 7:24 AM on April 6, 2001


Monsanto Brown kinda has a catchy ring to it.

Didn't Dweezil Zappa decide to go by some far-less-unique name like "Bud" or "Joe"...or was that Zowie Bowie? I don't remember.

My wife used to work with a guy named Yellow Light Breen; he's now the Commissioner of Labor for the State of Maine and just goes by "Yellow Breen" now.

With a baby due in five weeks, we've gone through the "what constitutes a good name" discussion, and yalestar's point is the most salient one -- above and beyond everything else, remember that your kid will be stuck with it for life and don't burden them with something that might seem cute now but will be a major pain in the ass for them in later life.
posted by briank at 8:25 AM on April 6, 2001


I wonder how many people talked and made fun when the first peasants named their son after their king.
posted by cCranium at 8:26 AM on April 6, 2001


cCranium -- are you implying we'll have a lot of Dubyas born in 2002? (insert pregnant chad joke here)
posted by briank at 11:28 AM on April 6, 2001


I'm partial to the idea of giving kids a temporary, generic name when they're born, then letting them pick one that suits their personality when they come of age. It's a nice insulator against fits of nomenclatural exuberance.

One problem with giving a kid a weird name is that you have to match your former level of creativity should you ever come up with a sibling. "Hello, we're the Williamses, and these are our kids John, Jane, Scott, and... Boadicea."

-Mars
posted by Mars Saxman at 11:57 AM on April 6, 2001


briank, not that exactly, no, but new names have to come from somewhere. I don't really know where "Robert" came from, except that according to various websites it means "Bright, shining light" or something like that.

"Hi, my name is Sunbeam, but you can call me 'Rob'"
posted by cCranium at 12:04 PM on April 6, 2001


Then you have my cousin, who's name was Akil (which means something in Swahili I think) but when he was about 9 or so he was adamant that we all call him "Scott". He grew out of that.

I had a guidance counselor in middle school tell me, "I never expected a black kid to be named Oliver" (she was black too, but still...)
posted by owillis at 12:05 PM on April 6, 2001


I never expected a black kid to be named Oliver

Guess she never read Bloom County.
posted by kindall at 12:17 PM on April 6, 2001


new names have to come from somewhere

I suppose they do, but corporations? I'd rather name my kid "Dubya".
posted by briank at 1:50 PM on April 6, 2001


How about if we just install a "wheel-o-acceptable-names" is hospitals.

"Its a boy!! Would you like us to spin the wheel with boy names, or uni-sex names?"
posted by benjh at 3:44 PM on April 6, 2001


I like the wheel idea! Maybe that could be turned into a new tv reality show!

In France, the government has the statutory right to change a child's given name if it is deemed ridiculous.
posted by ParisParamus at 3:54 PM on April 6, 2001


I had a hard time believing this until I actually met the two of them, but some friends from L.A. grew up with these two kids named Orangejello and Lemonjello. They're pronounced O-ron-ja-lo and Le-mon-ja-lo. Nice guys, actually -- they even let me see their driver's licenses cause I didn't believe my smart-ass friends.
posted by OneBallJay at 4:18 PM on April 6, 2001


I agree, briank, I find the concept of naming my child after a corporation fairly reprehensible to be honest, but corporations are an increasingly important part of peoples' world. Influence comes from what's around people. "Sunbeam" is (obvious, I know, but...) from the sun, and "Bright, shining object" itself comes from the world around us.

Think about all the griping that goes on about advertising, it (and the corporations being advertised themselves) are massive influences on many, many people.

No, that's not necessarily a good thing (and some will argue it isn't remotely a good thing, but that's something of an off-topic argument), but it's a pretty reasonable explanation for the phenomina I think.

Either that or people are hoping to get their babies endorsed. <adam sandler voice> "I named my baby ESPN, gimme some can-day" </adam sandler voice>
posted by cCranium at 4:19 PM on April 6, 2001


Hey, accountingboy, I've heard the "Orangejello" and "Lemonjello" story from other people with different details -- in fact, if you go to the snopes urban legends site and search on "lemonjello" you'll get yet another version of this same story -- so I'm gonna call your bluff on this one.
posted by briank at 5:33 PM on April 6, 2001


Or you could look in the baby names database . . . Orangejello, Lemonjello, and Lemonjelo.

Maybe it's an urban legend their folks heard, whatever, but those are these guys names. Scout's honor.
posted by OneBallJay at 7:33 PM on April 6, 2001


OT: Kabalarians.com has an analysis for males named FunkMasterPFlex? Or Fuffy-Kitty, for that matter?
posted by youhas at 8:21 PM on April 6, 2001


I feel sorry for this kid not because he's named after ESPN, but because he has parents who obviously watch too much TV and/or sports. Any native intelligence he may have at birth will surely be sucked out of him by the Tube by the time he's ten.
posted by kindall at 12:24 PM on April 7, 2001


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