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...a sweatshop of moxie

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Just Call Me

Princess Anne's predecessor as "Princess Royal" was Princess Mary, daughter of George V and Queen Mary. She was born during a most auspicious moment, 1897 -- Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee year.

When time came to name the royal tot, her otherwise very staid parents were about to astonish the entire world when they revealed the chosen name. She would be called:

Princess "Diamond".

Even today it sounds like a stripper name.

Fortunately, that man with intimate knowledge of all things female, her philandering grandfather Edward VII, intervened and with great wisdom ixnayed the choice.

"Would any woman want to be so marked by a name whose birth year was instantly known?"

In other words, she would never be able to lie about her age, like any respectable woman does when she hits 32. Trust me on this.

It seems the children born since the heady mid-80s and especially the logo-conscious 90s could've done with a grandpa or two like King Edward.

Some of the jaw-droppingly awful and yet so giggle-making names chosen during this time, by parents both in the US and in the UK, include:

  • - Lexus
  • - Chardonnay
  • - Jaguar
  • - Prada
  • - Porsche
  • - Evian

Yeesh...remind me to hug my parents today.

This article, fittingly named "Look Nivea, it's your little sister, Porsche", has some of the tallies:

Among the other popular names in the United States in 2000 -- Chanel (269 girls), Timberland (six boys), Porsche (24 girls) and Armani (273 boys and 298 girls).

Obviously, the first thing that comes to mind is a lot of these kids come from backgrounds where owning a Porsche or Lexus is not just fashion-forward, but lifestyle-forward.

I can't help but thinking that no matter how "forward" these parents might think they are, that they are actually following a trend, and therefore backwards.

Much more impressive are parents who pounce on names which become a part of daily life...but didn't even exist when their baby was born.

I don't know about you, but I sure would like to have met this guy's parents.

Whoa. Nice!

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  • Now that's kinda spooky, Vicks. Tuesday I posted about ... The Princess Mary, Princess Royal and Countess of Harewood. Different direction but the same Lady.

    'Born in 1897 to the Duke and Duchess of York, Victoria Alexandra Alice Mary, her great-grand-mother, Queen Victoria, then celebrating her Diamond Jubilee, called the baby, "My dear little Jubilee baby".'

    By Blogger benning, at Thu Jul 17, 04:37:00 pm GMT-4  

  • Chardonnay Lexus?

    I guess my German equivalent would be
    Gewurtztrammer Gullwing v.Fischer!

    I like it in a builds-a-sentence-like-Hegel sort of way!

    By Blogger Ron, at Thu Jul 17, 05:16:00 pm GMT-4  

  • I read a book called "the Name Game" in high school - way too many years ago. Two of the names that always gave me a giggle were Kiwanis and Vaseline...

    Evian is Naive backwards...

    By Blogger kimsch, at Thu Jul 17, 06:49:00 pm GMT-4  

  • Benning quoted:

    "My dear little Jubilee baby".'

    BENNING! You know, that is VERY FREAKY. I mean, on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being "Watching a Starr Jones' porn film", that is like a 9 and-a-half freaky.

    Your Twilight Zone or mine?


    By Blogger vbspurs, at Fri Jul 18, 12:16:00 am GMT-4  

  • Gewurtztrammer Gullwing v.Fischer!

    Ron, I didn't realise I was in the presence of royalty!


    By Blogger vbspurs, at Fri Jul 18, 12:17:00 am GMT-4  

  • Kimsch wrote:

    Kiwanis and Vaseline...

    OMG...parents have too much to answer for. How can you expect to give a child a crazy ass name like that, and then run for President of the USA?

    Why it's a virtual impossibility!



    By Blogger vbspurs, at Fri Jul 18, 12:18:00 am GMT-4  

  • My husband's great-grandparents were humble country folk. They admired Commodore Vanderbilt. They named my husband's grandfather "Commodore Vanderbilt Adams" completely unaware that "Commodore" was a title and not a name. Nickname: Commie. If you wanted a rise out of the man, ask him about FDR and he came unglued.

    Commodore named his last son after Robert E. Lee. But the damn doctor was drunk when he delivered him [at home, rural NC] and put it on the birth certificate "Bobbie Lee" which made my father-in-law's stint in the Air Force loads of fun [we're talking boy named Sue here.] He changed it to his initials in later years.

    Still funny though.

    By Blogger Ruth Anne Adams, at Fri Jul 18, 06:04:00 pm GMT-4  

  • Traditionally--and I can't remember where I read this--names filter down from the upper class to the middle and lower classes.

    I don't think it's brand names, traditionally, mind you, but then it did once raise eyebrows to name your child "Derrick" (rather than "Derek", presumably because you've only ever seen the former spelling at work.)

    By Blogger blake, at Sat Jul 19, 04:41:00 pm GMT-4  

  • And, obviously, "Email" is a variant of "Emile", since this guy is rather older than the e-mail-as-trend. (I mean, yeah, he's probably not older than e-mail but would technologically advanced parents name their kid that?)

    By Blogger blake, at Sat Jul 19, 04:43:00 pm GMT-4  

  • I knew a girl named "Bush" once.

    Her parents hadn't helped things by christening her "Velvet".

    On the other hand, maybe they did.

    By Blogger blake, at Sat Jul 19, 04:44:00 pm GMT-4  

  • Late to the party, but I came here via your Althouse link of 8/22. The brand-name names are funny, though I really do wonder how much crap the kids will get for names like that when they're in school.

    The funniest name, period, of someone whom I knew personally was the girl I met in college named "Robyn Banks." (Dis)honorable mention goes to the kid whom I didn't know, but heard about while teaching: His parents, named Mayoff, had the lack of foresight to name their son Jack. (He found something else to go by rather quickly.)

    The funniest brand-name corruption I've ever seen was that of a girl, pictured in our local paper, named "Horlexus." I can't imagine putting the "hor" sound in any female name whatsoever...

    By Blogger Kev, at Sat Aug 23, 02:29:00 pm GMT-4  

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