Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Names, Shakespeare!

Naming a child is a heavy task.  If you pick a common name you make the child's life easier because most people will know how to spell and pronounce it.  However, by picking a popular name, you also run the small risk of her having to use her last name or initial to distinguish herself from the eleven other Katies in her class.  (Is that really a big deal?  No.)

However, if you pick a weird name because you want to be different and the old-school charm of more "normal" names fails to thrill you, you may:

1) saddle your child with a name she hates
2) force her to have to spell/pronounce/explain her name to every single person for the rest of her life
3) embarrass her by giving her a name like Chlamydia or Wensday (true stories).  Or Dweezil, Moxie Crimefighter, Fifi-Trixibelle, or I.P. Freely (true celebrity stories).

So it's up to you, really.   Your child's fate rests in the pen you use to fill out the birth certificate.

Tesla has a unique/strange name.  We were well aware of that when we chose it.  Many people think it is a girl's name.  We were prepared for that as well.  When he's old enough to care, he can go by his middle name (Miles) if he prefers.  I won't be offended.  But while I was unsure of the name when we first picked it, I grew to love it and I'm glad we used it.

The other day, he and I had a recertification appointment at the WIC clinic.  Usually what happens is this:

The nurse glances over the chart, and seeing the name, addresses us.

"If you'll just undress her down to a clean diaper and lay her on the...."

She looks up at Tesla for the first time.

"...Oh, is he a boy?"

I always laugh and nod.  Some people get mad when someone mispronounces their child's name or incorrectly guesses the gender.  OWN UP, PEOPLE.  If you named your daughter Marcus or your son Tighrohne, people are bound to be confused.  Accept it.  Get over it.

So, anyway.  We were waiting in the exam room when the nutritionist walked in.  She glanced at the chart and said, "Tesla?  My dad would be so proud!"

I was surprised.  Most people don't get the reference.  (Heck, I had no idea who Nikola Tesla was until Silas told me.)  I told her so and she grinned.

"Nikola Tesla was my dad's hero!  He was a genius."  She looked over at Telsa the baby.  "You are going to be brilliant!"

I was pleased with her reaction.  It's not a common one.

But seriously.  They even look like twins.



  1. This is not a joke:
    I had a dream last night that Tesla was RAPPING to me. RAPPING!

    Also: After parents, cousins, siblings have been bugging us to get pregnant, asking what we want to name our children etc, we've decided on the names:

    & sweet little Chuckhorse (the boy)

  2. i love it! i think Skittlecore is my favorite. it sounds like a rapper name. speaking of rappers...haha i love your dream! i'm picturing him rapping now. so gangsta. he been raised in the concrete jungle...of provo.

  3. I was SO jealous of those in elementary school who had their last initial added to their name. :)

  4. (not jealous enough to use way common names on my kids though.... although they aren't that different either.)