So, as of about a week ago, I have to come up with two boy names. First it was one gender neutral name, then it was gender neutral twins, and now we know they are two boys.
Oh man, do I have jokes. (Scroll down to the end if you want my best joke, and an utterly evil one at that. Or read like a normal person if you want the whole train of thought.)
My parents told me once that my name basically came down to a toss-up. I was going to be “Daniel” or “Forrest.” They landed on Daniel, and through 1994 it probably wouldn’t have mattered that much either way.
And then 1994 happened. “Forrest Gump” came out and my life would have been annoying forever. (Thanks for landing on “Daniel,” Mom and Dad.)
The moral of the story is that a child’s name is very important. My brother has this whole bit where he imagines taking a proposed child’s name to a fifth-grade classroom and using little kids as a focus group. Like, if there’s a way to make a name funny and/or mean, fifth-graders will figure it out, and they’ll figure it out fast. So if you want to name a kid Forrest today, you take it to fifth-graders. If they just shrug it off, then okay, enough time has passed. “Forrest” is fine again. But if a fifth-grader is all “Haha, run Forrest run!” within five minutes? Sorry, Forrest is off the list.
That said, just because I don’t want kids to make fun of my sons’ names doesn’t mean I can’t.
One other ground rule: Never name a child after a still-living celebrity. Really, all celebrity names should be off limits, but especially people who can still become disgraces. There are almost certainly some people who named their kids “O.J.” (Simpson) or “Oscar” (Pistorius) or, I don’t know, “Donald,” and probably wish they could have those back now. I might joke with my wife that we’re going to name a kid Hosmer or Orton or Goldblum after my favorite baseball player, football player, and actor, respectively, but I’m not about to tempt fate like that.
All that said, here are 10 ideas for naming the twins, all of which will be vetoed by my much-more-normal-than-I-am wife, who will insist on perfectly normal names like Derek or Chauncey:
1 | Jared and Jarrod. This is first cousin to the "opposite-genders-with-the-same-name" idea, just to create chaos. Also, I think it would be hilarious to make their teachers use “jair-RED” and “jah-ROD” as pronunciations.
2 | Chris and Topher. This could also be Wil and Liam or anything similar. But we have two different friends named Christopher, and both of them thought this was the best idea in the world. Heck, the munchkins are going to be lumped together for a big chunk of their life anyway – might as well roll with it.
3 | Dosher or J.Y. I irrationally love spoonerisms (swapping the first letter or letters of names or words to sound silly), and those two make for the most fun spoonerisms I can think of, even if the second one in particular borders on child abuse.
4 | Adam Dennis Kelley and Dennis Adam Kelley. I don’t have any joke there, I just like the first name-middle name and middle name-first name swap going on.
5 | Daniel II and Daniel III. You show me the rule that says the “III” has to be the generation after the “II.” I’m not going to do this, because I don't think highly enough of my own name to bestow upon my offspring, but there’s a certain George Foreman-esque appeal to it.
6 | Samuel and Adams. See also Benjamin and Franklin and John and Hancock. Either way, when people ask why I chose those names I will tell them it was to honor my favorite president...just to see the looks when I insist that yes, Adams was the fourth president, and yes he was the one actually in the Pocahontas story, and yes, he helped free the slaves. I enjoy lying meaninglessly.
7 | Arthur Dent Kelley and Ford Prefect Kelley. I don’t even care, I still want to do this.
8 | Cory and Shawn. Because there has never been a better friendship duo.
9 | Barney. Stinson, Rubble, Fife, Miller, Gumble, Purple Dinosaur. The name Barney has gotten a heck of a lot of traction in popular fiction, yet I’ve never met a single Barney in real life. Kid would be legen…wait for it…dary.
10 | Huey and Louie. Their entire lives, it would be, “Oh, that’s cute, but where’s Dewe—Oh. Oh no.” Yes, I am the worst person in the world, and it is very good that Laurie is around to tell me "no."
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Just about all of us had a few wrong ideas about raising kids before we became parents ourselves. Some of these ideas might have been based on our own wacky ideas of how we would do things differently than everyone else. Other ideas we take for granted as new parents, only to realize later how laughable the idea was.