What’s in a Name?

After 21 years, these past three or four years I have finally begun to encounter names that are so unusual around here that life has become much more difficult, considering that as a teacher, I often have to learn 200 names and more each school year.

It is certainly difficult to complain about the fundamental right of parents to name their children anything they like, but the list below is so far removed from anything we were accustomed to previously (100 years and more) that one wonders how, when thrown into a cultural sphere in which these names were previously unheard of, those children will fare if a) nobody knows how to spell their names, b) most people will make fun of them (and twist their names into something entirely different … school children are cruel that way), and, last but not least, c) most people might consider their parents demented fans of alcoholic beverages, mediocre musicians, more or less demented (U.S.) TV sitcoms, sports events and an altogether Americanized way of life.

We used to have rather strict naming rights, but those seem to have vanished into thin air under the onslaught of the “me, me, me” generation that couldn’t give a hoot about what other people think and/or do. If you want to call my complaint misanthropic, please do, but the parents of the unfortunate children listed below seem to have a collective screw loose.

[Note: The following examples are excerpted from just the most recent posts on http://chantalismus.tumblr.com/, a website dedicated to highlighting the strangest and, if you read the comments, dumbest names around in Germany today.]

Lenya Lorien, Mja Zora, Rocco Jonas, Elvis Jan, Jennifer Jackie, Johnnie Walker, Jack Daniel, Coco Sophie, Kimberly Sue, Tamaya Collien, Lennox, Jaz Jay Dean, Jayvelyn Siegrid, Lee-Sha, Mina Roxane, Tatum Fortuna Ventura, Zazie, Gene-Damian, Penny-Lane, Lenia-Philine Frida, Lilith-Elisa Ingrid, Talischa, Fhil-Henry, Piet-Alexander Maximilian-Fabian, Stella-Summer Shilo-Novel, Valeria Venora Lova Ida Elly, Vyvyan Valeska Silke Gwendolyn Anneliese, Vanadis Viveka Sophia Traudl Ulrike, Anakin Dean, Tyler, Léetice, Luke Etienne, Joulie, Jaylen Finn, Yorrick Mailo, etc., etc., etc.

Posted by Volkher Hofmann

Volkher Hofmann (deus62) has been blogging on and off since the 1990s and deus62.com is all that is left. He loves music, literature, drumming and, most of all, real life. He thinks the open web is much more important than social networks, closed-in ecosystems and other severely commercialized online endeavors.

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