Wednesday, May 19, 2004

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At last, my daughter Amiga will have a playmate

Gwyneth Paltrow has named her new baby girl Apple Blythe Alison Martin. According to ITV, "Paltrow named her baby girl Apple after the little girl of partner [Coldplay frontman] Chris Martin's North American booking agent."

For those tempted to tease Ms. Paltrow for her name choice -- and I've certainly teased Paltrow in the past -- do bear in mind that other celebrities have done far worse to their offspring, as Kat Giantis points out for MSN Entertainment. Consider that actor Rob Morrow agreed to name his daughter Tu Morrow. And Giantis filed her story before Geena Davis announced the names for her just-delivered twins -- Kian and Kaiis.

Furthermore, Paltrow can at least claim to some originality in her oddball choice. According to the Social Security Administration, 261 mothers decided last year to name their daughter "Journey." 5062 moms picked "Trinity," even though both of the Matrix movies released in 2003 sucked eggs. You can scan the most popular names from last year by clicking here.

In honor of Apple's birth, readers are invited to post the worst name choices they have ever heard or read about.

posted by Dan on 05.19.04 at 01:58 PM


Worst name for a kid that I've heard?

That would be Ripcord (possibly Rip Cord -- never inquired as to the spelling), a son of a paratrooper that my father knew when he was in the Army.

If my memory is not failing me, he had a sibling named Airborne.

Actually, I can't decide which is worse.

posted by: Elio Garcia on 05.19.04 at 01:58 PM [permalink]

Worst Names?

A coworker of my father, Tom Wieser, named his son Bud.

A local talk radio host in Dallas is named Benjamin Dover. (I've never heard him refer to himself, or allow his guests to call him Ben.) He also writes a column for the local paper.

posted by: Scott Harris on 05.19.04 at 01:58 PM [permalink]

Former Texas Governor Stephen Hogg named his daughter Ima. She never married.

posted by: Scott Harris on 05.19.04 at 01:58 PM [permalink]

Have we all forgotten Frank's daughter, Moon Unit Zappa?

posted by: Hunter McDaniel on 05.19.04 at 01:58 PM [permalink]

Zowie Bowie (David's offspring in the first marriage)

posted by: norbizness on 05.19.04 at 01:58 PM [permalink]

Latrina. The last name doesn't matter.

posted by: noone on 05.19.04 at 01:58 PM [permalink]

father of a friend:

Rock Bottomly

posted by: chris brandow on 05.19.04 at 01:58 PM [permalink]

I ran into 2 Yuppie acquaintances who had condemned their baby boy to a childhood of torment and resentment by naming him Melcher. Yes, there was an inheritance involved.

posted by: MArk on 05.19.04 at 01:58 PM [permalink]

One of the people I work with is named Phonetip.

She goes by Tip.

posted by: Scott on 05.19.04 at 01:58 PM [permalink]

I knew a guy in college named Eric Shin. Everyone called him "Woody".

posted by: Dan on 05.19.04 at 01:58 PM [permalink]

I understand that Germaine Jackson has named his daughter 'Germajesty'.

This isn't so bad individually, but I had a former co-worker named Eric Lipton, who once dated a girl named Elizabeth Bigelow. Luckily they broke up instead of marrying and hyphenating their names together.

posted by: Kyle Haight on 05.19.04 at 01:58 PM [permalink]

Richard Hertz (goes by Dick)
Richard Sweatt (also goes by Dick, ran for a NH Congressional Seat a few years ago and my kids still haven't stopped laughing.

posted by: steve on 05.19.04 at 01:58 PM [permalink]

One of my colleagues is named Richard Falek. Not even kidding.

posted by: popotayan on 05.19.04 at 01:58 PM [permalink]

I have a friend named Jennifer Death. Seriously, and her brother is name Preston Death.

posted by: popotayan on 05.19.04 at 01:58 PM [permalink]

Anybody know a boy named 'Sue'?

posted by: Independent George on 05.19.04 at 01:58 PM [permalink]

yeah, but what goes with Death? Or is that their middle name?

posted by: bg on 05.19.04 at 01:58 PM [permalink]

the best i've run across so far is randy bunney.

posted by: jb on 05.19.04 at 01:58 PM [permalink]

Foster Payne, the current head of military intelligence at Abu Ghraib

posted by: AIJ on 05.19.04 at 01:58 PM [permalink]

Female. Pronounced Fuh-mah-lee.

posted by: Pete Maniloff on 05.19.04 at 01:58 PM [permalink]

Espn, pronounced Espen, after the sports network.

posted by: Peter on 05.19.04 at 01:58 PM [permalink]

Children named after consumer brands (like "Armani") or car manufacturers (like "LaHonda" or "LaToyota"). I am not making this up -- and it is just plain gross.

posted by: MBAdams on 05.19.04 at 01:58 PM [permalink]

Taffy and Candy Apple, two cheerleaders at my high school many eons ago.

posted by: Mike on 05.19.04 at 01:58 PM [permalink]

Siran Stacy was an Alabama football player in a Bowl game a long time ago and I can remember hearing his story during the broadcast. His mother wanted to name him after Saran Wrap because she liked how it sounded. Wary of the possibility that others may share her effection for the sonorous plastic wrap she decided to change the spelling to ensure the unique nature of her son's name. Mission accomplished.

posted by: joejoejoe on 05.19.04 at 01:58 PM [permalink]

My girlfriend and I have joked about naming our kids Wal-Mart and Target. If there's a third one, he can be called Monticello

posted by: Jim on 05.19.04 at 01:58 PM [permalink]

Just remembered a few more:

A few years back there was a football player for the Detroit Lions named Harry Colon.

I had a friend whose last name was Funk. She had a litle boy and named him Zeppo.

posted by: MArk on 05.19.04 at 01:58 PM [permalink]

Years of working in property records have turned up quite a few: Oliver Green, and LaStrada and Havoline are among my favorites. I guess Lemongello and Orangello are urban legends. But surely the worst must be Dweezel.

posted by: Bill on 05.19.04 at 01:58 PM [permalink]

I went to high school with a girl named Bell Tinker.

posted by: Grant on 05.19.04 at 01:58 PM [permalink]

The Brothers Mapp - there were two prominent HS ballers named Scientific Mapp and Majestic Mapp in the Bronx in the '90s.

posted by: joejoejoe on 05.19.04 at 01:58 PM [permalink]

When I was looking online for a name for my son four years ago, I ran into this one at one of the baby names sites:

Crystal Chanda Lear

posted by: Matt Newman on 05.19.04 at 01:58 PM [permalink]

The name's a bit odd, but at least it's spelled normally and not a made up mash of syllables.

Regardless, Coldplay made a funny video in honor of the little fruit's birth, as a different band called "The Nappies":

(Only available until 5/23, apparently.)

There's shit goin' on that you can't disguise;
Your boobs growin' out ten times the size.
Your cup's gone up from an A to D,
That's bad for you, but fun for me...

I'll be there with you, baby,
Through the thin and the thick.
I'm gonna clean up all the poo and the sick...

I ain't no baddy, I'm your baby's daddy.

posted by: Jon H on 05.19.04 at 01:58 PM [permalink]

Crystal Chanda Lear was the daughter of the guy who invented the 8-track tape and the Lear Jet.

I once worked on a contract, for which the contract monitor was Throckmorton T. Hodges.

I went to college with a guy named Burl Ives.

A Massachusetts family surnamed Pickup named their son Chevy. You will be shocked to learn that I heard of them due to their involvement with the criminal justice system of the Commonwealth.

posted by: Bob Hawkins on 05.19.04 at 01:58 PM [permalink]

In the "fitting names" department, I know a pro photographer in Chicago named Chuck Shotwell.

posted by: Jon H on 05.19.04 at 01:58 PM [permalink]

My dad's colleague's last name is Turtle... his first name is Harry... that's right.. Harry Turtle.

posted by: UC student on 05.19.04 at 01:58 PM [permalink]

Baby's named a bad, bad thing.

posted by: Slithy Tove on 05.19.04 at 01:58 PM [permalink]

Two of my press contacts have superb names:

Tilly von Twickle, and Joanna Beaver.

BTW, I don't think Apple is such a terrible name, but the lovely Gwynneth and husband Chris should understand that if the girl is raised here in Britain, her nickname at school will be "cider" or "scrumpy". Actually, "scrumpy" could be quite cute.

posted by: Tom on 05.19.04 at 01:58 PM [permalink]

The recently deceased Italian superbanker Enrico Cuccia's wife was named "Idea Nuova Socialista." She had a sister named "Vittoria Proletaria" and another named, less implausibly, "Italia Libera." And no, this was no mistake. Their father, financier, banker, and government minister Alberto Beneduce, was a romantic socialist in his young days and had his kids before he became a financier. In any case, Italian financiers aren't Warren Buffett. They've always liked the state and socialism (Italian style).

posted by: David G. on 05.19.04 at 01:58 PM [permalink]

If you want a unique name for your kid try Joe or Mike or Mary or Jenny. Gauranteed they'll be the only one in their class. If you name them Megan or Ashley or Tyler or Austin they'll forever have to be identified by their full name. They will be one of 13, which is how many Megans my daughter tells me are in her grade.

posted by: DSpears on 05.19.04 at 01:58 PM [permalink]

My brother's High School friend Bob Fry had a sister named Electra.

posted by: mCrane on 05.19.04 at 01:58 PM [permalink]

I wanted to name a son Ford, but a) we didn't have a son and b) my wife wouldn't let me do it. :-)

posted by: David Pinto on 05.19.04 at 01:58 PM [permalink]

Some from the world of sports: God Shammgodd (basketball), Ben Gay (football), Richard "Stubby" Clapp (baseball), Wonderful Monds Jr. (football) and Wonderful Monds III (baseball). And don't even get me started on women's tennis. (OK, briefly. Best woman's name: Ruxandra Dragomir. Best man's name: Bohdan Ulirach, which whould be a great name for a rock band)

I also knew a guy in high school named Tony Anthony.

And if you want to see the effect of popular culture on names, go to the census website and look at the history for Xander and Willow. (For next year I'd buy stock in Seth and Summer.)

posted by: Devin McCullen on 05.19.04 at 01:58 PM [permalink]

Don't forget NASCAR legend Dick Trickle or perfect pitcher Randy Johnson. (which really gets a rise out of our English comrades) Or anthropologist Richard Leakey, known to friends as Dick.

I went to school with a guy named Deth Im. (Alphabetize it by last name). (It was pronounced "Date", more or less, and was short for Sitthideth.)

Of course, all of this is coming from someone with an ancestor whose first name was "Hermit", as best I can determine.

posted by: rvman on 05.19.04 at 01:58 PM [permalink]

The sign at a local church lists their pastor:

The Honorable Reverend
Dick Shook.

My great-grandpa's name was "Obadiah Hokum", but he named his firstborn "Orrin Herbert". His cousin's name was "Peleg", pronounced "Pee leg". Western North Carolina, ya know.

i kinda like "Apple"

posted by: Tilli (Mojave Desert) on 05.19.04 at 01:58 PM [permalink]

A girl on my street growing up: Wendy Weathers
A guy in my high school class: Rucker Betty
A guy in my college dorm: Ignatius Turdo

True, all.

Unconfirmed story from a friend: A rural mother named her newborn "Placenta" because she heard her doctor use the word and thought it pretty.

posted by: equitus on 05.19.04 at 01:58 PM [permalink]

I've actually seen a seminar given on the economics of names. Apparantly there were more than a thousand newborns in 2001 in California
named "Unique", more than a hundred named "Uniq"
and only one named "Uniqqque". All true.
Also apparantly a bunch of kids named "C-Note"

posted by: radek on 05.19.04 at 01:58 PM [permalink]

And yes, apparently Crystal Lear's brother is named King.

I remember a usenet discussion on this years ago. Among those I remember was a woman named "Londonne City England", and men named "John Doe", and "Santa Claus". And yes, there really is a Santa Claus, and he *always* kept his passport around. (I imagine so did John Doe.)

posted by: Tom West on 05.19.04 at 01:58 PM [permalink]

I had a friend in HS named Crystal Clarity, and I barely escaped being named London.


posted by: Aaron Bridges on 05.19.04 at 01:58 PM [permalink]

my schoolteacher brother had a student named "Sir Derek." and that was his first name.

posted by: david on 05.19.04 at 01:58 PM [permalink]

I remember reading a story a few years ago about a Mrs Warmwater in Southampton, England who gave birth to a baby boy. She insisted on naming him Luke.

Unbelievable but possibly true.

posted by: alex on 05.19.04 at 01:58 PM [permalink]

Local high school principal, Russian immigrant, last name Dikov.

Named his daughter Tara.

Swear to G-d. Met her at a party. Scared the living daylights outta me.

posted by: Evil Schmoo on 05.19.04 at 01:58 PM [permalink]

A new nominee!

Helen Hunt has named her new baby "Makena' lei Gordon Carnahan".

From AP:"Makena' lei Gordon Carnahan, born May 13, and her mom are both healthy, Huvane said. The father is Hunt's companion, Matthew Carnahan, who produced the TV series "Fastlane."

The baby's first name comes from a town in Maui, Hawaii, and her middle name is from Hunt's father, TV director Gordon Hunt."

Please, please, PLEASE don't tell me that Makena' lei was the town in which the baby was conceived!

posted by: Al on 05.19.04 at 01:58 PM [permalink]

I'll throw in a vote for former Green Bay Packers RB Terdell Middleton, though perhaps the name isn't so awful if you insist on being called Dell for short....

posted by: Jeremy B. on 05.19.04 at 01:58 PM [permalink]

Armageddon and Omniscient. Brothers, whom my wife taught in high school. Army and Omni for short. Nice kids.

Stone and Brick (twin boys, second name Wall).

A French official once refused to allow a couple to name their kid Zoobalon (sp?), the french name of the Magic Roundabout character Zebedee.

IN the late 70's someone gave his daughter the first and last names of the entire Liverpool football team. I'd guess she's changed her name by now.

posted by: harry on 05.19.04 at 01:58 PM [permalink]

Also, I remember a black guy in the Socialist Workers Party at the LSE, circa 1985, called Harold Wilson. 'Hi, my name's Harold Wilson, and I'm a revolutionary socialist'. Very nice guy, wonder what happened to him.

posted by: harry on 05.19.04 at 01:58 PM [permalink]

I went to school with a guy named King Kang Dong.

posted by: krista on 05.19.04 at 01:58 PM [permalink]

I've worked for 2 companies so far that have large databases with people's names in them. My favorites:

Marmalade Cherbert (pronounced Sherbert)
Rusty Hammer (I swear I'm not making that up)
Jack Frost
Al Capone

Various others that are borderline obscene that I can't immediately recall. :)

posted by: Anne Haight on 05.19.04 at 01:58 PM [permalink]

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