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His name is “Like,” and his parents are idiots.
An Israeli couple previously named young Like’s sisters “Pie” (yes, as in the dessert) and “Dvash” (Hebrew for “honey”). They have stated quite explicitly that the inspiration for Like’s name is Facebook, a social media site where users can affirm their friends’ posts by clicking the “like” button. “Like” doesn’t merely sound like the popular website feature (recently adopted by Microsoft’s Bing in heroic “me-too” fashion). It is every bit the contemporary popular culture reference it seems.
Little Like is not alone in having parents who are morons. Has-been actress Alicia Silverstone recently named her son “Bear Blu,” joining the ranks of such imbecile parents’ children as Rob Morrow’s child “Tu” (“Tu Morrow,” get it?) ponytailed pseudo-Libertarian Penn Jilette’s “Moxie Crimefighter,” comic-book obsessed Nicolas Cage’s “Kal-El” (named for Superman’s Kryptonian identity), Gwyneth Paltrow’s “Apple” (surprisingly quaint in proximity to these others), Sylvester Stallone’s “Sage Moonblood,” Jermaine Jackson’s “Jermajesty” (a name for which Jermaine deserves to be jerbeaten), and Lance Henriksen’s “Alcamy” (for only sorcery could transmute that terrible name into something decent). The bizarre compulsion to turn your child into a freak at birth, however, is not limited to famous people.
Remember Ryan and Jami Hawkins? These residents of Goshen, Ind., put up the naming rights to their child on eBay back in 2004. Young Pete Ryan Hawkins escaped with a name that won’t cause him lifelong psychological trauma or embarrassment, but one gets the impression that was luck as much as it was anything. In 2009, another mother, Lavonne Drummond, did the same thing. She blamed eBay for cheating her of the money she might have gained from auctions the site shut down. Apparently, it did not occur to her that she was cheating her unborn child of a fair chance at a decent life, should that child be saddled with a bizarre or incongruous name. Fortunately, she failed to score a winning bid, but not for lack of trying on her part.
Propagandist Morgan Spurlock convinced an entire Pennsylvania town to change its name for 60 days, all for only $25,000. Given that the change is temporary and the entity affected is really a legal fiction (a “town” no more exists than does a corporation – it exists on paper, not physically), we need not vent our spleens in Spurlock’s direction this time out. But last month’s report on the newly minted town of “POM Wonderful Presents The Greatest Movie Ever Sold” included disturbing news about yet more unfit parents, including the couple who named their child “GoldenPlaceDotCom Silverman” after the online gambling site paid them just $15,000. Another child born in New York is today named “Zane,” which is probably an improvement over whatever corporation name he might have held had his parents received the minimum $500,000 bid they wanted back in 2001.
In 2007, a New Zealand judge blocked a couple from naming their child “4Real.” According to ABC News, there are two boys in the United States who bear the name “ESPN.” In Germany it is illegal to name your son (or your daughter) “Adolf Hitler” or “Osama bin Laden,” and in France parents must choose from a list of pre-approved names. But again in Australia, in 2009, a judge ordered a legal name change for poor young “Talula Does the Hula from Hawaii,” whose name seems almost palatable compared to such real Australian baby names as “Fish and Chips,” “Sex Fruit,” “Yeah Detroit” and “Number 16 Bus.” Malaysia (not a country known for its dedication to individual rights and democracy) issued a list of names expressly forbidden in 2006, including such gems as “007” and “Woti” (the latter translating to, in Malaysia, “sexual intercourse”).
Even parents who, ostensibly, aren’t trying to be clever sometimes inflict terrible names on their children nonetheless. In 2004, a British couple named their child “Drew Peacock.” (Say it all as one word and you’ll understand why that’s not a good idea.) Most of the time, however, parents who name their children horribly know exactly what they are doing – and don’t care. The blog “Baby’s Named a Bad, Bad Thing” calls itself “A Primer on Parent Cruelty.” It underscores such wretched and even willfully malicious name choices as “Tierrainney Mackanzie,” “Dakota Bear” (a boy’s name), “Bubba,” “December Lynn” (who’ll no doubt go on to a career in stripping or porn), “Thazel” (a deliberate mash-up of “Thelma” and “Hazel”), “Keanu,” “Griffon,” “D’Artagnan” and “Bow Hunter.”
In 2009, a New Jersey couple (undoubtedly known for their tolerance and neighborly good humor among the locals) actually lost custody of their son “Adolf Hitler.” They also lost custody of little “JoyceLynn Aryan Nation” and “Honszlynn Hinler Jeannie.” Apparently there is a history of domestic violence in that otherwise happy home. Who knew?
Among “Today’s” list of the worst baby names of all time are examples of bad parenting that go back more than a hundred years. “Mumps Sykes” was born in 1891, while “Kathryn E. Coli” was born three years later. “Cholera Priest” was born during the second cholera pandemic in 1830, but got off easy compared to “Al Coholic,” “Oliver Clothesoff,” “Hugh Jass” and “Maya Buttreeks” (all of whom are listed in the Ancenstry.com database, according to MSNBC).
It does not take a genius to understand why bestowing a strange, humiliating, unwieldy, or vulgar name on a child will (not may, but will) have harmful psychological consequences for the son or daughter so named. Yet parents who are insane, unfit, recklessly casual, or simply and undeniably stupid continue to hang monikers on their offspring that ought to earn those parents savage beatings. In a perfect world, the hospital staff would slap you unconscious for telling them you want to name your daughter “Adrenalynn” or your son “Prince-Charles.”
Give your child a horrible name, no matter how clever or trendy you think you are, and you are not merely an unfit parent. You are a bad person and you deserve your children’s hatred.