While searching for names for a baby boy, many parents turn to history for inspiration. Though some names of historical figures should clearly be avoided (Adolf, Attila, Napoleon), other names aren’t as obviously bad choices (Caesar, Judas… Flash?).
Even well-meaning parents can accidentally choose a historical name that will end-up causing trouble for their son. My friend, comedian Hannibal Buress (whose new CD is titled “My Name is Hannibal“), is named after a general, but is constantly identified with Hannibal Lecter. It’s worth noting that girls are just as likely as boys to be affected by a poor name choice or alternate spelling. Another comedian pal, Giulia Rozzi, often hears her name mispronounced. “Who would name their daughter ghoul-ee-ah?,” she asks on her new CD, “A Very Pretty Name.”
In Frou-Frou, Frisby & Brick: The Book of Unfortunate Baby Names, author Russell Ash lists an array of baby names to steer clear of, including categories like Animal-Related Boys’ Names and Insulting Names for Boys. Apparently the late 1800’s were a particularly hard time for boys, with names like Crappy James and Dippy Day being doled out in Pennsylvania and Texas. Sure, no modern mother would name her baby boy Crappy, but think twice before you christen your son after one of the characters in Twilight. In 100 years, Cullen may be the new Dippy.