3.17.2008

'Cholera Peace' Has A Nice Ring To It

...no? 'Cash Guy'? no? 'Ima Hooker'?

As much joke-like as those names may sound, they've all been used as legal monikers in the past. And as bad as those sound, they have plenty of company in the realm of weird and obscure baby names.

The least common name my wife and I considered when naming our son was Enzo, and that pales in comparison to the number of seven-deadly-sin names which have been popular since the 17 hundreds. (My family would have completely disowned me if I brought little 'Sloth Washington' home from the hospital.)

The Today Show featured a segment about terrible baby names and a book which calls them all to light:

What would compel a parent to bestow a newborn with a name like “Tiny Hooker” or “Fanny Large”? Or an amusing choice like “Wanna Towell"? It’s not just Hollywood’s elite opting for unique, embarrassing names—throughout history, normal people separated their offspring from the masses with truly terrible names.

In “Bad Baby Names: The Worst True Names Parents Saddled Their Kids With, and You Can Too!,” Michael Sherrod and Matthew Rayback, of the genealogy Web site Ancestry.com, share thousands of shocking names given to real people, as recorded by the U.S. Census Bureau. Discover the funny names based around common themes, like diseases (Fever Bender, Cholera Peace), food (Bread White, Pomegranate Purple), pets (Good Dog), and if you thought Wednesday Addams was unfortunate—wait till you meet Monday Monday.
Check out the Today Show website for sampling of some painfully bad names like Lunch Magee (I kinda' like that one, actually). Scroll down for a video clip of the interview with Sherrod, explaining the census data used in writing the book and how crazy names are not just a new phenomenon (like Everly Bear)

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