If I Have A Son, I Will Call Him… Uhhhh…

Newborn child, seconds after birth. The umbili...

Newborn child, seconds after birth. The umbilical cord has not yet been cut. A name, though, has most likely already been given to him. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are a lot of reasons to be nervous about having children. From their graceless, teetering attempts to walk across the room all the way to their graceless, teetering attempts at become full-grown well-adjusted human beings, there are a lot of dangers that a parent has to watch out for. Suddenly, parents are responsible for a whole separate person, one that doesn’t seem to always be on the same page as them about what is socially acceptable or incredibly hazardous.

These dangers don’t even start at birth. They start the minute that the woman begins vomiting every morning. A quick trip to the bathroom to urinate on a stick and KAPLOW! You are now a parent.

That is when a very important decision in your child’s life comes into play. After the hyperventilating ends, parents say to themselves, “Well, I guess we’ll have to call this kid something.” They buy baby name books, scour their brains for any name they’ve ever heard, all in the hopes of finding the perfect name for a kid. After all, a name is forever.*

A name can shape a kid forever. If you name a kid Sherman, he will have a decidedly different life than a kid named Chet. I think the world would be an entirely different place if the Hitler’s had named their son Irving. No one named Irving would ever commit horrible crimes against humanity.

As happens at this age, my wife and I have begun to think of children’s names on the off-chance that we accidentally procreate. We want to be prepared and so many discussions have centered on that “perfect” name she had heard or her “perfect” naming technique. I have realized one thing through all of these discussions.

Naming a kid is hard.

My wife has a list of approximately 76,000 girl names that she finds acceptable. This is not the issue. Any daughter we have will be adequately covered in the name department. If the magical baby stork were to show up with a boy, though, we would be in deep doo doo.

The first rule for our name search is simple. Unfortunately, it makes this much more difficult. My wife has determined that common names are boring. I have agreed with her because, as a husband, I know my role in the relationship. This knocks out Thomas, Charles, Matthew, et cetera.

The next obvious choice is to scratch off any name that sounds like, rhymes with, or shares a name with a body part or bodily function. Following this, we have to remove names that our friends have used. Nothing is worse than a name thief.

Then we are left with…nothing. There are no good names in the world for a person.

At one point, my wife suggested Holden after one of our favorite literary characters. On the surface this seems like a good idea. Having read Catcher in the Rye a couple of times, though, will change one’s opinion. Teenagers scare me and naming a child after Holden Caulfield is asking for a very unpleasant, angst-filled period. As I do not want to spend a great deal of time having my child call me a “phony” over and over, I think we’ll have to pass.

I keep hoping that I will find myself in some sort of danger. Then, at the last-minute, a stranger will swoop in and save me. In return, I will promise to name my child after him. That is the definition of killing two birds with one stone: I survived a horrible ordeal AND I no longer have to look for any baby names. Knowing my luck, his name will be Fartrum Von Peepeepants, but if it means I never have to discuss baby names again, I’m okay with it.

Fortunately, I have a long time before I have to deal with this. I will not (fingers-crossed) be reproducing anytime soon. Plus, even after the birth, they can’t talk for another year or so.

That buys me a lot of time before they ask why I keep calling them “Hey you.”



*At least until they’re 18 and the kid can finally change their name from that creative, “perfect” name to something they can live with like “Steve.”


24 thoughts on “If I Have A Son, I Will Call Him… Uhhhh…

  1. This post is the reason why people should not be eating sweet pastries in their bed and come upon “Knowing my luck, his name will be Fartrum Von Peepeepant”, I don’t know if I should thank you or hate you for making me spit up over my laptop.


  2. Oh, Nathan, please don’t ever stop writing! I love this particular blog post because it pretty well sums up (well, sums up waaaay better, actually) what I think. I reckon that the most difficult thing in the world, asides from balancing four or five ping pong balls on your nose for two minutes, must be naming a child. Oh, and in Australia, Holden is a REALLY COOL name!!!! Holden Commodore Utes are the most sought after cars for bogans, ever. Unless you are a Ford person… then Holdens can go bite.


  3. Oh my… We had so much trouble picking a name for our son! If we have another boy we’re going to be in big trouble. And even now that my baby is 19 months old, I still feel weird calling him by his name. I have no idea why.


  4. True story, boys’ names are incredibly hard to agree on. In our case we also had the added difficulty of no-rhyming in two languages (since I am German and the husband English-South African). Also, I didn’t want a name that is too popular (in either country), nothing that is pronounced very different in German than in English and husband insisted on nothing that would make a bad acronym (like Philipp – who wants a name that’s abbreviated as P.P.!). No wonder our sons each have no middle name, we just couldn’t agree on more than 2 names altogether.


  5. What about Burford? I’ve always found that amusing, for some reason.

    Also, in some regions of the country, everyone in the family has the same middle name, like Wayne. I’m not sure why, but I suppose it makes it easy to remember.

    This reminds me, I know someone who doesn’t have kids yet but got pulled into these discussions, and his response was classic:

    “Boy or girl I will call it Tiberius. It’s a powerful name!”

    I don’t know his wife’s response to that, but I can guess… 🙂


  6. To be honest the best way to name your child is just to wait until you see it and hope you know then. After all you could have an amazing name in mind but that doesn’t neccessarily mean it will fit or be perfect for your child. A name has to mean something it can’t be a decision rushed into.


  7. I have 8 names (3 of which are part of my surname) and my “first name” – which technically speaking is 2 words – rhymes. You are speaking to a person who, in the real world, is called Christina Marina… Trust me the less names the better!! And rhyming sucks.
    Ps: in case your wondering why I have so many names, here in Portugal everybody has like at least 4. Our last king (*80 years ago*) was actually, and I kid you not, called Manuel Maria Filipe Carlos Amélio Luís Miguel Rafael Gabriel Gonzaga Xavier Francisco de Assis Eugénio de Bragança Orleães Sabóia e Saxe-Coburgo-Gotha


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