“Today it’s all about individuality,” Mr. Sherrod said. “In the past, there was more of a sense of humor, probably because fathers had more say in the names.” He said the waning influence of fathers might explain why there are no longer so many names like Nice Deal, Butcher Baker, Lotta Beers and Good Bye, although some dads still try.
“I can’t tell you,” Mr. Sherrod said, “how often I’ve heard guys who wanted their kid to be able to say truthfully, ‘Danger is my middle name.’ But their wives absolutely refused.”
A few years ago, my husband came up with "Perry Winkle" as a name for one of our future kids. He thinks my infatuation with the color will get me to buy into his goofy suggestion, so he brings it up frequently, hoping that he'll eventually wear me down. But he is tragically mistaken in this belief. I would never do that to a little boy. (Although I could totally see myself succumbing to the temptation of naming a girl Violet or Lavender.)
I will grant you this: Punny and unusual names give other people something to talk about. I know I've had numerous conversations with friends, exchanging anecdotes like "I knew a kid named Dusty Hall" and "I went to school with a guy named Joe Blow, Jr." Of course, the African-American community has also contributed greatly to the list creative and unique names, including kids named Uneek, as a matter of fact.
My personal favorite comes from my high school English teacher. (Her name, incidentally, was Sharon Stone.) She swore that a family of three kids went through our school with the names Jack Pine, Douglas Fir, and Merry Christmas Tree. (At least those kids had the option of playing it straight by simply keeping their middle names under wraps.)
I'd love to get some comments on this-- What are some of the best/worst names you've ever encountered personally? (I'm not asking for urban myths about ignorant parents naming babies after diseases or anatomical terms.) I'll start the ball rolling by saying that I had a friend in high school named Scott Crabbs, which seems innocent enough until someone asks, "Who's Scott Crabbs?"