Tuesday, September 19, 2006

What's in a name?

Ever since I discovered the need to entertain myself online a few years ago, I often find myself laughing out loud at a certain website. No, not Black People Love Us!, although that site is darn funny. I'm talking about Baby's Named a Bad, Bad Thing, found at notwithoutmyhandbag.com/babynames. Oh dear, are those baby names fun-nee! What were those parents thinking?

I revisited the site recently when my friend Ava was having her first baby, my darling niece Darien. Lucky for everyone involved, Darien's parents did not suddenly discover their Welsh side, and thus eschewed such monikers as Llio Meinir and Ceiros Eurwen. They also stayed away from Sharmonica, LaPleasure, Argyle Emmaleigh and Tierrainney Mariecon.

Unfortunately, my half-brother Lincoln and his lovely wife did not have the same approach in naming their offspring. The latest addition to their family, baby number 5, is a wide-eyed boy named Colby. Your first instincts might be to say, Yeah, like the cheese? That's not so bad. Well, no. It's tolerable. Until you meet his older brother Carrington, Cary for short. I see a whole mess of shoulder pads, catfights and big diamond necklaces in their futures. Maybe they'll be feuding, fabulous linebackers in the NFL.

Who am I to judge what names parents pick for their children? My first name is Bianca, and I still don't know why. My Mummy and Daddy chose it for whatever reason. The last name they gave me was a hyphenate of both of theirs. Then they mistakenly gave Lincoln the honor of selecting my middle name. Reagan seems innocent enough, like the girl from The Exorcist. Ha. I would have preferred if that had been his reasoning. But no, like most other children made in the 80s with that name, I received it in homage to our 40th president. And vehemently so. Even at 13 years old, Lincoln was the Alex P. Keaton in our otherwise moderate family. He didn't just name me after a US president; he named me after a REPUBLICAN president, the leader of HIS party. He told my parents that it was fitting, because President Lincoln had freed the slaves, and President Reagan was bringing truth and justice back to The White House. Pfft. I bet even as a newborn, I blew a raspberry in his face then, too.

One might acknowledge the bond Lincoln and I have as siblings with such patriotic names. One might be thankful that my brother in his whimsy did not middle-name me Ronald, or Ford. Or Nixon. But not I. I just wish he would take the same interest in me now as an adult, as he did when I was a little kid, before our father died.

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