Thursday, December 18, 2008

What's in a name, Bronx Mowgli?

People give their children the oddest names. In the olden days in South Africa, white people used to chuckle at black kiddies called Sixpence, Pepsi, or Hurry-up. Of course, the black kiddies had perfectly good African names that the white people just didn't have a clue how to pronounce.
And there has always been a tendency in Afrikaans-speaking families for made-up names like Heraldine, Fredline and Loumarizanne.There was a picture in The Herald the other day of a child called SchjimonĂ©, and I read yesterday of a young swimmer called Anoraine. Shame, what happened to plain Jane? It’s certainly easier to spell.
But we English-speakers are also prone to it: I’ve bumped into a waitress in George recently called Shyne. Apparently, her grandmother was called Shine, and her folks thought they would give it a twist with the “y” in the middle.
But, really, the celebs Stateside put our odd names to shame: this week The Herald also reported on Bronx Mowgli, who is the unfortunately named offspring of Ashlee Simpson. That's mum in the picture, with dad Pete Wentz. Young Bronx Mowgli is one month old and already his name has been voted the most disliked male baby name in a survey of around 5,000 visitors to a baby names website. Ag shame, baby, you edged out Sophocles Iraia Clement who was a close second-to-bottom.
I kid you not ...

1 comment:

Jeanne said...

I always used to wonder how names end up with a thousand different spellings in SA (when I was lecturing at the PE Technikon I had a Denver, Denvor and Denvar in my classes) - until my mom was at Home Affairs one day. The queue she was in at the time was the same one for regstration of births and deaths, and the lady behind the counter was having some trouble with the name the mum in front had supplied. Suddenly she gesticulated that my mom should come forward. When my mom reached the counter, she asked her "Sorry lady, how would you spell Alicestene??" So the way your name is spelt could be the result of a straw poll around Home Affairs!!

My personal pet hate is parents who give their kids a combination of mom and dad's names...