By Sean Pearson
As I move closer and closer to forever obfuscating my identity and embracing my alter ego via changing my middle name to “Danger,” I find time to look back over my many years of moving and changing schools, and the fun of meeting new people with some of the oddest names.
(I don’t really remember if the people were actually interesting or odd. I’m basing my remaining impression of them only on my personal memory of their names. Maybe that’s not really fair, but it IS my memory — and my column. Buck up, Skippy.)
If you live in Homer, chances are, you’ve already heard many an odd name. Perhaps some might even find changing one’s middle name to “Danger” a bit odd. (Though, for the life of me, I can’t understand why.)
Regardless, the disclaimer here kinda goes without saying. If you see you’re name in here, that doesn’t necessarily mean I’d consider it odd. Some I find fascinatingly original and colorfully descriptive. Others, a bit overly dramatic and pedantic.
I’ll let you decide which are which.
I’ve always wondered how some parents go about deciding on a name for their child. Some buy a “Let’s name the baby” book. (Not to be confused with a “Let’s name the baby book.”) Some consult family and friends. Others stick with the straight tradition of using family names.
My sisters and I still fight over whether there was actually a woman living in Louisiana named Ima Hogg. Maybe it was just an urban myth.
One that I know wasn’t an urban myth was a guy in high school named Barry. Middle initial: D. His last name? Hatchett. You do the math.
Some names are traditional and will never go out of style: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Peter, Paul, Mary, Sarah, Ruth … you get the idea. Then there are those that generally lie buried deep within the archaic name vault full of Gertrudes, Hazels, Theodores, Bartholomews, Pearls, Mabels and the like.
And I have to say, I’m fairly well-versed in “names that used to be considered chic, but are now fairly commonplace.” These would be your Cheyennes, Aspens, Pipers, Dakotas, Auroras, Jades, Jewels, Asias, Mariahs, Heathers, Kierstens, Brandons and Dylans.
Moving a little further along the spectrum of name diversity, we have Colt, Maverick, Breezy, Spike, Jazz, Sunrise, Sunshine, SunRose, Denali, Truckee, Canyon, Dawson, Dax, Tux and, of course, Shlomo.
And while they probably don’t qualify for the sake of all that is decent in the world, there are certainly a number of nicknames out there that have stuck over the years for one reason or another. I had a nickname once.
Only one person is still allowed to call me by it, and it isn’t you.
I’m fairly proud of my collection of friends with nicknames. And please note that I did refrain from including any of those that maybe be considered “not family friendly.” What kinda place you think we’re operating around here? Geez.
I know three Skips, one Slim (may he rest in peace,) a Punk, a Peach, a Yukon Charlie, Horsetrader, Bugs, Beezer, Schpootie, Snot-Bubble.
I also know a guy who likes to call himself Satan. I have a tendency to wanna call him “Patch” instead, since I find Satan to be less-than-enjoyable company.
Still … I respect that a guy’s gotta have his street cred. Maybe “Patch” just doesn’t instill the same kind of fear in people.
Unfortunately, I’ll never get the opportunity now to meet Poopdeck Platt, but I have to say I certainly enjoy using the street named after him. And I’d still love to strike up a conversation with Vision Money some day.
In the end, I’m really holding out to run into a kid in town whom I’ve been told is named Fire Over The Mountain. Now that’s somebody I gotta meet.
What’s in a name … ?
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