In my lifetime, I’ve encountered several people who have ………. shall we say, interesting names. Was having dinner with a friend back from overseas & she proclaimed that she was now a grand aunt. Her grand nephew’s name is Damien Achilles K*****. How quirky is that?
The first name, Damien, is already invoking scenes of havoc & destruction in my mind. After all this is the first name sported by the sinister child of the devil in the 1976 horror classic, The Omen (There’s a remake but its not worth mentioning). Sadly, but not surprisingly, Damien Achilles’ mum has had to bear the brunt of tasteless & cruel jokes about whether her son was born on the 6th of June 2006 (666 – being the number of the devil incarnate) – Scary!
FYI, the name bears the meaning of ‘to tame, to subdue’. Yikes……… even scarier! ……………..Hmm.. any regrets, mum?
Talk about double jeopardy. The child’s second name is Achilles – Remember, the expression ‘Achilles’ Heel’. It has come to represent someone’s weakness. In Greek mythology, Achilles’ mum dipped him into the magical River Styx to make him invincible. She held him by the ankles so that the river water could run over his body. However, the heel area where his mother held him was not touched by the water. This part of the anatomy has since been referred to a weak point as Achilles was killed by a poisoned arrow shot into his heel. Interesting though the story may be, I wonder how a Malaysian child would be able to relate to being named after a Greek warrior (with a vulnerable heel…to add to that!). And, we haven’t even started exploring the possibility of people mispronouncing his name i.e. massacring Achilles – with a ‘ch’ sound as in chin instead of a k sound. (Check out this link, if you’re not sure of the pronunciation)
I really don’t know how parents can think up of such quirky names. Is it for the amusement of it? Is it to try to be different from everyone else? Is it for the meaning behind the name?
I’ve read that some parents like to name their children after their favorite cars i.e. Mercedez, Porsche, or favorite football players like Beckham even. Perhaps, parents secretly harbour hopes that their children’s lives will mimic the success or popularity of personages or objects that they’re named after. OK! I understand if you want to name your child after a favorite person, but an object?!! Gosh – it is turning out to be a branding exercise instead of a naming exercise. Dunno.
I’m sure all parents mean well when naming their children. Unfortunately, it really is the children who will suffer at the end of the day. They end up being the butt of people’s jokes, being victims of mispronunciation to their names, etc. Sigh….. the consolation is that the kid can always have an ALIAS when he or she grows up I suppose …..
Before I end, there’re 2 more people I’ve met with quirky names…. they are Darling & Moonlake. I kid you not.
- Darling T*% – She was a University mate of mine. It always cracked us up when her boyfriend called after her in the lecture hall… “Hey, Darling (pun intended, of course) – I’ve managed to book us a seat here……….”
- Moonlake L** – Moonlake was a Hong Kong based colleague of mine in the stockbroking firm that I was working in, years ago. One thing I notice about the Honkeys, they tend to come up with English names that share similar meanings to their Chinese names hence, the quirkiness.
I’m sure everyone has encountered someone or other with a quirky name at least once in their lifetime. One thing is for sure – those with ‘unique’ names will always be deeply entrenched in our minds…. and forever remembered!
p.s. Maybe that’s what the parents are looking for…………
In response to Pink Jeans’ comment regarding quirky celebrity offspring names…. Yes, she is indeed correct in saying that they ‘take the biscuit’ in being the most quirky … check them out here.