Six months ago, Uma Thurman and her boyfriend, Arpad Busson, named their baby Rosalind Arusha Arkadina Altalune Florence Thurman-Busson. I read this news in a recent “Us Weekly” article titled “Why I Gave My Daughter Luna Five Names.”
After reading the headline, I immediately read the five names that Thurman and Busson had selected for their daughter. I was surprised to discover that Luna wasn’t on the list. So they actually gave their daughter six names!
Most babies are given two names: a first name and a middle name. The middle name functions like a spare tire—it comes in handy if the first name “gets a hole in it.” Thurman and Busson gave their baby girl a first name and four middle names. Unfortunately, the first name had a hole in it, and so did the four “middle names.”
A few questions come to mind:
Did Thurman and Busson give a lot of thought to finding a name their daughter would actually enjoy living with? Probably not.
Will anyone but the family remember all five unused names? Probably not.
Does the probability that this could be Thurman’s last baby provide a good reason for weighing the baby down with five names, including three that read like alphabet soup? No. (No “probably” needed.)
With the benefit of hindsight, here’s a more credible rationale for picking those five names: They couldn’t find a single name they liked well enough to settle on, and once the baby was born, they needed to come up with something.
But to me, the amazing part of this story is that Thurman and Busson didn’t wait until Rosalind Arusha Arkadina Altalune Florence Thurman-Busson came home from school crying because she’d been teased cruelly and wanted a new name. They realized the five names they’d picked for their daughter were working against her—not for her. So they moved on. To a sixth name: Luna.
I’d like to praise Thurman and Busson for their courage. They learned from their (five) mistakes and were smart to come up with a loony-moony nickname of Altalune as the real name they will use for their six-month-old baby daughter. I think Luna will enjoy that name and so will her parents.
I have to give the first five names this verdict: Two thumbs down.
But I’m happy to add this additional verdict for the sixth name, Luna: One thumb up.
© 2013 Bruce Lansky
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