How Do People Dream Up Strange or Awful Names? The Stories Behind the Names

Did you ever wonder how ordinary people come up with names that seem so strange or awful to you? I’ve been writing about strange and awful celebrity baby names for years. I just read an article from the San Jose Mercury News by Jessica Yadegaran that provides the stories behind a number of names–some of which strike me as strange or awful, and some are OK.  What amazes me is the “logic” parents use that results in names with a high probability of creating difficulties for the child.

For example one story tells of a mother who turned over the task of naming a brand-new baby to her three children. Although the kids thought of naming the baby girl Trigger, the name of cowboy Roy Roger’s horse,they settled on Nancy, from a popular comic strip carried in their local newspaper. The three kids picked an OK name, but the result could have been awful. Below are three sample stories from the article. Decide for yourself if the names are OK, strange or go all the way to awful. (To read the entire article, click on the link below.)

I was born in 1960 right after an epic hurricane hit central Florida. Nope, I was not named Donna after the storm. But apparently the low pressure system got to my parents, and they did the Southern thing: Let’s just smash names together. Thus, their names, Lorraine plus Ray, became Loray.

The questions came. Not a nickname? Your dad wanted a boy, huh? I’m not Lori or Leroy or Larry. The first-day-of-school role call? Nightmare. Plus, the disappointment of never finding my name on a personalized souvenir rack. As a child, I wished I’d been named after the dang storm.

But, as an adult, I’ve grown into and now celebrate my unique brand. It’s a perfect ice breaker when I meet someone new. I can tell them the story of how I got my name. My children’s names? The first gift I gave them was a mainstream, impossible-to-mispronounce label: Shane, Drew, Grant and Kelly. And I can find them all personalized souvenirs at Fisherman’s Wharf.

— Loray Hibbard Hawkins, 52, Danville

It actually took quite a bit of work to come up with my son’s name. I had to get “joint approval” from his mother, older brother and sister. To clarify, he is my first child. I remember that I finally received approval from them at La Victoria Taqueria in downtown San Jose.

It is kind of molded from the name DeAngelo, which I really liked, but I still wanted it to be different. Since he is my mom’s first grandson, he is in a sense hers, so from that comes De Rosario, her name.

Since he is a boy, I then took off what I thought was the “feminine” part of my mom’s name “Ros” and added a “Z.” The Z is capitalized and stands for one of Mexico’s greatest leaders, Emiliano Zapata. It is there to stand out and always remind him of his Mexican culture.

— Miguel Burciaga, San Jose (father of DeZario Agustin Burciaga, 6)

My parents blessed me with a wonderful name, and I wanted to do the same for my son. I am a lifelong lacrosse player and coach. Lacrosse is a Native American game, and I have a tremendous love and respect for the Iroquois, who still play lacrosse today.

When researching Native American names and historical figures I came across Deganawida, who, according to Native American lore, is the figure that brought peace to the Six Nations of the Iroquois. His name means the “two river currents flowing together,” but he is more widely known as “the Great Peacemaker.”

I convinced my wife to go with the shortened version of his name that we use on a daily basis, Degan (pronounced “day-gone”). But we put his full name, Deganawidah Teodoro Rodriguez, on his birth certificate. The h was added to his name when I was filling out the forms at the hospital. One of my brothers convinced me that it was the proper spelling of the name, although to this day I have never seen anything to back up his claim. Well, my son is stuck with it now!– Iliad Thor Rodriguez, 45, San Jose

via Baby names: Where does your name come from? – San Jose Mercury News.

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