My wife and I planned early for our children. Even before we got married, we had a list of names picked out. The original criterion was simple. The names had to be acceptable to each of us, and neither of us could have personally known anyone with the names. This last bit might throw people a little, but we decided we wanted our kids to have names that, while normal enough, would be unique. We didn't want to burden them with the idea of being named after someone else.
While that worked well for our first daughter, we changed it a little when our son came along. We had a suitable first name picked out, but the middle name was iffy, so we decided to change it. Our daughter, Sylvia, actually picked it out for us. She kept saying "Name him Howie" (after Boston's famous radio show host and columnist, Howie Carr), so Wyatt Howard Ingham was so named.
Names are an important part of a child's identity, and while I'm not sure how big a part it plays in the development of their personality, it is a good idea to give them a decent moniker.
Thinking about future possibilities, I've come up with a list of names I would never give to a future son. Some of these are obvious, but others are simply predicated on my personal preference. If you happen to have one of these names, don't feel bad. I didn't give it to you.... er, uh, I mean there's nothing wrong with it, it's just not my cup of tea. No, put the pitchfork down! That's better. Okay, now, as I was saying, here are a few names I personally won't be giving to my sons.
1: Adolf. That one's pretty obvious. Why would anyone be psychotic enough to name their son after one of the most evil dictators in history? I don't care what your justification is; there is no excuse for anyone to be named Adolf these days. Millions of innocent lives paid to eliminate this name from the pool of acceptance! Lucifer would probably be more acceptable (though they might as well be one and the same). Really, Neo-Nazi losers, pick a different name for your kid.
2: Dweezil. Other than Frank Zappa, I don't think anyone else was wackier at naming his kids. This is a good example of a "weird" name you shouldn't curse upon your son. Of course, any time I've heard Dweezil Zappa, he's said stuff that was pretty Dweezilly (yeah, that's a word now). I wonder if his strange name has had an impact upon his personality, or if that's just a strange coincidence.
3: Uborg. I used to tease my wife that we could always call one of our sons "Uborg," just because it was so strange for an English speaker. Really, is there anyone in America named Uborg? If so, does he use it? "Hi, I am Uborg. You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile." Oh, my Trekoholism got the better of me there. But, yes, Uborg is definitely out of the question. It may be a cool name in Sweden or something, but not in the US of A.
4: Barney. Modern culture has destroyed this name in so many ways. Whether you think of Barney Fife the bumbling tv policeman, drunken Barney Gumble from the Simpsons, or Barney the purple Moronasaurus, this name has become synonymous with stupid. No offense to any real-life people named Barney; it's just not something I would use.
5: Tyson. I'm not sure when this became a "badass" name, but its fate was sealed by Mike Tyson, the disreputable boxer who liked to beat women and bite rivals in the ring. Today, it is the #1 name that drug dealers give their Pitbulls, so it's definitely on my no-name list. (There's also Tyson Chicken, which was a major polluter in Arkansas due to various environmental waivers they bought from a certain governor. So many rivers, so much chicken crap!)
6: Martin. Hey, there's nothing wrong with the name (it is mine, after all), though it's not one I'd want to recycle. Naming a child after yourself can be done as a sign of admiration and tradition, but it's not something I'm keen on doing. There will be no Martin Ingham Jr. Maybe I'm just greedy: "This is my name, get yer own!"
Okay, enough of this. There are six names that shall remain unused and unloved by yours truly. I hope you don't take it personally. If your name happens to be Barney Uborg Tyson III, please do not show up on my doorstep looking for blood. It's all in good fun.