You’re Gonna Name It Whatttt?


It’s amazing the freedom with which people will tell you that the name that you and your partner have selected for your precious unborn child is, to their way of thinking, stupid. When people ask if we’ve settled on names, we’re accommodating and share the ones that we have indeed picked. If it’s a girl, it will be Sabine, after the river that divides southeast Texas from Louisiana. My husband’s ancestors forded the Sabine River as they made their way west. If it’s a boy, it will be Beckett, as in modernist Irish writer Samuel Beckett. Not because we’re Beckett fans, but because my husband saw his name on a sign when we were in Ireland and thought it had a solid ring to it. When we discovered that we had a little stowaway from that particular country, we figured it was all the more appropriate.

While most people are fine with Sabine, recognizing it as either a French or Italian name or (among the Texas contingent) for the river, they are less diplomatic in airing their displeasure with Beckett. We’ve suffered all manner of the visible and verbal stinkface. Noses wrinkle, lips curl, and hearing suddenly fails even the youngest. “You want to name it whatttt?” My brother quickly dubbed our two selections just about the most pretentious names he’d ever heard, but he and only he is allowed to get away with this because he wanted to name his son Wretch. (Thankfully for all involved he opted for Samuel.) But when we get this from people who think nothing of popping out a Peyton, Ashlyn, or Moses, we tend to scratch our heads.

We’re nothing if not willing to listen, though. Folks’ reluctance to sanction our names does in fact have us wondering if we need to expand our list. Some other ones we’re now considering:

Snowball Bird — I once announced as a child that I would some day name my daughter Snowball. Might be time to pay the piper.
Jupiter Pluvius Bird — A friend recently invoked this old timey rain reference mentioned in an early 1900s football article. Retro chic!
Plaxico Bird, Blagojevich Bird, Madoff Bird — Admittedly, these seemed like a way better idea initially.
Stands With a Fist Bird — Can’t hurt down the line when she’s filling out college applications.
Barack Hussein Bird — But imagine our irritation to discover there already is a Barack Hussein someone or other. Dangit!
Apu Nahasapeemapetilon Bird — So he, too, can “graduate first in his class of seven million at Caltech.”
Verizon Wireless Bird — Sure, we don’t typically like being sellouts to Big Cellular. But the wheelbarrows full of cash that they’ve offered to roll up to our door every month in exchange for naming rights to our child are awfully tempting. Plus, this sets us up for the ultimate child-rearing tool: “Excuse me, Verizon Wireless. Can you hear me now?!”
George Bush Bird — Ironic, I know. But it guarantees he’ll be president some day.
Shiloh Suri Pax Maddox Violet Apple Bird — Phoo. Again, apparently taken already.
Kiernan Riordan O’Shea Bird — Because maybe the problem with Beckett is that we’re not going Irish pretentious enough, hmmm? Did that just Blow. Your. Mind?


12 Responses to “You’re Gonna Name It Whatttt?”

  1. I-66 Says:

    You’re only allowed to name it Snowball if you name the next one Snowball 2, and the one after that Santos L. Halper.

  2. J. Says:

    I was going to ask if you were going to name the wee one Barack. You beat me to the punch. Boo. 🙂

    I love the name Beckett. One of my friends actually just named her little girl that – so you really could go either way with it!

  3. Kathryn Says:

    It can only really be Snowball II if it has dark hair, and knowing our flame-haired Bird family… not bloody likely!

  4. La Raza Representative Says:

    I apologize if this is off topic, but I’m curious about something. Why is it that when a person of Hispanic descent crosses a river into Texas, all manner of derogatory names are placed upon them? This is a classy, upstanding blog, so I won’t list the examples. Yet when some crazy Scot is on the move in the North American continent, it is afforded all sorts of regal descriptions. No swimming, but fancy “fording.” No illegal immigration or fence-hopping, but the pioneering spirit of “heading west.” And while the Rio Grande is usually used as a punch line, the Sabine could now receive the ultimate endorsement of being the name of your blessed child.

  5. Phil Says:

    Can’t you sell the naming rights?

    How ’bout “ING Clarion”, or “Royal Dutch Shell”?

  6. etcetera Says:

    that picture is hilarious.

  7. Lemmonex Says:

    I think they are both great…what’s so wrong with Beck? Nothing, I say.

  8. Johanna Says:

    I love both names! Sabine, as you know already, but Beckett is totally on the good side of different.

    And etcetera is right, that photo is brill. I laughed out loud and scared an intern when I saw it.

  9. Michelle Says:

    Sabine is one of my favorite German names, pronounced ZAH-been-ah. And Beckett is cool, too. I caution only that you consider what the initials would be. However, as we all know that I absolutely adore a certain vendor with the same initials, such a thing can be easily overlooked.

  10. Nadine Says:

    I like them-different, without being ridiculous.

  11. Big Brother Says:

    Hey, I made it clear I LIKE many pretentious names and I really like your choices. I am really fond of the great pretentious names my fellow citizens of the south give their sons. i.e., Sawyer, Forrest and Jebidiah.

  12. freckledk Says:

    I just found this site. Congrats! I didn’t know!

    Beckett and Sabine are wonderful names. Have you heard what M.I.A. named her baby? ICKITT.

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