Monday 18 October 2010


Alicia Keys just had a son and named him Egypt. I can hear the critics murmuring already, branding this name ridiculous. And to be honest, I’ve never really understood naming your child after a place. It just seemed a little forced to me. However, I suppose if something utterly miraculous occurred somewhere, i.e. I gave birth in the middle of the Tucson desert in a sandstorm under the caring eyes of a donkey and three shepherds – it could happen -  I would consider calling the King, Tucson. Just to mark the memory…

King Tuscon. Has a nice ring to it.

Then again, I do find it amusing that people get so upset about what other people name their children. I mean seriously, they’re not yours; eyes on your own paper. More importantly, aren’t all the names we presently deem so strange and unordinary bound to be ordinary one day? Perhaps Egypt will be all the rage in a few years time. And maybe a name like Jack was cutting edge way back when, until it became downright trendy to the point of nausea (don’t get me wrong, it’s a good name). Or take a name that is a little more outside the box, like Poppy. Over in England it’s commonplace. In the states less so I suppose. But how is a name like Poppy any more fitting and acceptable for your child than a name like Apple? I mean one is a flower, and one is a fruit. What’s the big difference, really? We’re just not used to hearing people scream ‘Apple’ at the playground everyday. [But you will…oh you will!]

I think the true mark of a strange name is if it offends just about everyone within a two-mile radius; then you’re talking! Try screaming ‘Stump’ across a crowded playground and see how you’re received. Or ‘Puke.’ I mean it rhymes with Luke and is just one letter off, so hence what’s the big deal right? And in French if you put the accent aigu on the e, it could even sound avant-garde. “Poookay come here Pookay, ta mere wants to speak to you!”

I suppose like anything, things are only considered strange or abnormal when they are not in everyday use. This of course can change depending on where you live. In some tribal communities in Africa what is considered normal – for example a sixteen-letter name with one vowel -  is going to vary greatly from a city in America where people call their kids LeBron after their favorite sports hero.

We certainly didn’t name the king a run of the mill name – no it’s not King (bet you’re dying to know aren’t you?); and my partner did have concerns that people wouldn’t be able to pronounce it correctly. But as I told him, no one has ever been able to pronounce my name (which is an utter mystery to me) and I turned out just fine. Okay, I do have to repeat it several times and hear a variety of alternatives like Anathena, Anitha, Anthaya, and even Nancy. Yes, some mental giants when they here me say Anthea come back at me with Nancy. I tell them promptly to get in the car and go get their ears checked. Some people are simply beyond helping.

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