Spazzo Mag Names (how not to name your children)

Photo: An outback themed public toilet at a service station/truckstop in outback Western Australia.

Continuing from the previous post about changing a woman’s surname after marriage, I thought I’d continue down the same track in relation to what Marie from the Vote Me Up podcast would call “Spazzo Mag Names”.

It is bad enough that some people give their kids unusual (or not common, more to the point) names. My name (Eric) is a classic example of that. Despite that, it is still sometimes spelt incorrectly such as Erik. Having said that, I have contributed to that with my nickname of Erk.

Then there are other examples such as older names that were once common but are not modern now. Examples of names like this could be Mabel, Doris, Ethel, Edward.

Some people have names such as Edward and they insist on being called Edward. Other people couldn’t change quick enough to Ed or Eddie and only have Edward on their official documents.

There is a trend for people to alter the spelling of a common name by changing a couple of letters to make something completely different. Rebecca can become Rebekah and proving that this isn’t a new trend, I went to high school with a girl called Rebekah and that was a while ago now!

With celebrities especially, there is a trend for simply strange names for their children. I shudder to think about what a list of favourite baby names in the future will contain. I had a look at the current top 10 list of baby names in NSW according to the NSW Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages. The list for both genders in 2006 and 1996 are below. I am presuming that this list does not include variations such as Matthew with 1 T, Sarah with no H, etc.

BOYS 2006 Number
Jack 720
Joshua 660
William 625
Lachlan 605
Thomas 569
James 531
Daniel 457
Noah 413
Ryan 408
Ethan 404
GIRLS 2006 Number
Chloe 519
Charlotte 488
Ella 475
Emily 474
Olivia 465
Jessica 440
Isabella 415
Mia 394
Sophie 383
Sienna 332
BOYS 1996 Number
Joshua 1215
Daniel 905
Matthew 903
James 881
Jack 780
Thomas 734
Nicholas 673
Luke 635
Benjamin 634
Michael 624
GIRLS 1996 Number
Jessica 933
Emily 768
Sarah 694
Emma 540
Georgia 436
Chloe 427
Samantha 426
Hannah 393
Lauren 386
Rebecca 375

As someone who has an uncommon first name (Eric), uncommon middle name and an uncommon surname, I am used to spelling out my names for people if needed. That’s not to say that it is annoying, especially when some people don’t understand English. But when you call a person “Jack” for instance, of course people assume that it is spelt J-A-C-K. However if your parents called you J-A-K or J-A-C-K-K, it would be a pain for a kid who grows up to be an adult to constantly say “no, that is Jack spelt J-A-K” or they call him Jake. I’ve listed Rebecca/Rebekah as another example. In another example, one of the contestants in this year’s Big Brother was Susannah (Susanna) and if you think about it, you’d be able to think of quite a few different spellings for different names.

Indeed, my mate Leigh would probably be thinking that he is sick of people spelling his name Lee and is Leigh a male or female name? There’s another issue in itself with what I would call “unisexual” names, names that can be used for people of either gender. Sometimes the name is spelt the same way for either gender, spelt differently (Tony or Toni) or you get some people who have a female name who are actually male (Jackie comes to mind here).

So if you have to name a child, think very carefully before you call it Apple! Not only do they have that name as a baby but also as a child, a teenager and an adult!

I know that my mum thought very carefully when she named me Eric and she didn’t want a name that could be made fun of or shortened but a few years later I proved her wrong and now it is all Erk, all the time!

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