Baby Naming Manifesto 1.2 Now Available

Monday, March 10, 2008

Please check the Manifesto version 1.2 which now includes two additional rules. Thanks to The Wiz and Bwebster for making them happen:

-The "Logistical Nightmare" test: Make the name something people have heard of before. Don't just make up a name that can be phonetically pronounced but nobody has any idea what the heck that's about.

-The "I'm Changing My Name To Salem" test: If your child will share a name with twelve of his or her classmates when school begins, beware.

These will most likely be the last two rules before the scoring system is unveiled. The last rule that I almost created was the "Moe's Tavern" test as recommended by my little bro, Tony. The Moe's Tavern test asks if the first and last names combined sound like one of the fake prank call names that Bart Simpson uses with everybody's favorite depressed, psychotic bartender. Our last name is "Sweat" (no, not "sweet", but good ol' perspiration) so our family may be hypersensitive to the Moe's test. In his comment, Tony mentioned that he briefly considered naming his son Noah, but then realized he would be subjected to a lifetime of "No Sweat" jokes.

When I first returned home from my mission I went on a date with a girl whose last name was Goates (to protect the innocent, let's say her first name was Rachel). I knew right then and there that Rachel and I had no future together, regardless of how well the date went. Just think about it. If we had ended up getting married, her full name would have been Rachel Goates Sweat. Seeing how Jay Leno has been yucking up the "Goates-Sweat"-type wedding bit for years, maybe this is more widespread than I initially assumed and there is a legit need to create to the Moe's Tavern rule.

Right now I've decided against the Moe's Tavern test because I think it falls under the general umbrella of the Mean Jay test. What do you all think? Does Moe deserve his own rule?

13 comments

Megan said...

I like the Moe's Tavern rule. It could also encompass name pairs that are a phrase. Case in point? Poor "Justin Thyme" on December 31st. (BTW, Spencer would definitely vote for a Moe's Tavern rule on its own!! LOL!) :)

8:41 AM
Gretchen said...

I agree, same as the "Mean Jay" test.

Although I can't help but point out that not all girls keep their maiden name as a middle name when they get married. This is a great source of debate between my husband and me. We've agreed to disagree - at least until our daughter gets older... UGH

8:42 AM
bwebster said...

Hey - Salem would be proud. Though not as proud as she was when -- after working at Target for a year (with a nametag that read "Salem") -- a woman with a baby came through line and informed her that she had named the baby "Salem" after seeing my daughter's name tag while shopping at Target some months earlier.

By the way, here's a web site that lets you check the popularity (or overuse) of baby names for about the past century or so. A good way of seeing just how common your proposed name is or has been. Check out the "Alias/Lost" (TV shows) effect by looking up "Sydney" and "Evangeline" (the names of two of my granddaughters). ..bruce..

10:11 AM
The Wiz said...

Wow. I'm honored.

Also, I think I might know your little brother. How many Tony Sweats can there be? You can email me (thewiz at mormonmommywars dot com) if you want to verify this info. What a small world!

I agree that it falls under the Mean Jay test, although I'm not against creating a "sub-category".

11:52 AM
Eden said...

I don't know if this really fits, but in choosing baby names, we have the "Linda, Margaret, Carol" Rule (all names of my aunts). When you hear one of those names, you instantly know that the individual was born in the 1950's. The same could be said for names like "Tiffany" or "Jennifer" (born in the 70's or 80's) or "Ethan" and "Jordan" (born in the 90's). You have to avoid the trendy names or your child's age will be broadcasted just by their name.

Also, we avoid the "ton" and "son" names--another annoying Mormon trend where you take a name and add a suffix to it in a lame attempt to make it original. In our primary class, we had a "Brockton," a "Bryson," a "Kadon" (close enough to count for our rule), and a "Kellson." Nothing says "Utah" like the "sons" and "tons!"

2:10 PM
The Motherboard said...

I totally think you need to have the "Moe's Tavern" rule. Back when I had a life, I was a travel agent, and I used to keep track of peoples names (and the weirdness of said names) and laugh my head off!
I went to highschool with a kid who had the last name of Butt. He wanted to name his kids Harry and Kissme. And, I had other classmates named Bunny Hopper and Skip Clap.
For real.

6:56 PM
andrea said...

My favorite real-life Moe's tavern name is the dad of one of my best friends: Richard Bratt. Rich Bratt! How could his parents do that to him? And to top it off, he named his son after him.

6:20 AM
bioman75 said...
This comment has been removed by the author. 1:19 PM
bioman75 said...

First, new to the blog. Wife showed me the blog after frequenting the mormon mommy wars. I gotta say I really like it.

I think the two rules are similar but distinct enough to warrant having both of them.

You might also add another rule; similar to the Helaman 5 rule. The "Golden Question" rule. I have a great grandfather with Moroni as a middle name and I wanted to use it as a possible middle name but my wife was adamant about not having a child being a "walking golden question" (e.g. Nonmember: What does Moroni mean? Future Missionary: Let me introduce you to my two friends who would love to explain it to you). I concede her point.

1:20 PM
randalswife said...

The Mo rule: I have a friend with the last name of Hunt... This has brought up many different name conversations, some of which cannot be edited for general readership, but my favorite is when he was a teenager he dated a girl with the first name of Treasure. No joke! I also met a guy once whose name was Royce Rolls. Seriously.

11:28 PM
Vlazny's said...

Not sure if this is violating the bad inital rule, but my oldest brother named their daughter Madison Taylor. Yes, her initials are MTV. And Yes, she is a wild little girl.

10:29 AM

Go Hunter Hawks!! I LOVE your thoughts on baby names!! Two guys from Provo actually published a book called "Bad Baby Names". Also a friend I worked with showed me a site a few years back, wesclark.com/ubn/. This site lists bad Utah names... it's great!
My cousin Eden, and sister Natalie turned me on to your blog... very amusing, thanks for the chuckles!

1:44 PM
Megan B said...

Love Moe and the funny Bart calls. I am also loving these comments and the real "Moe's Tavern" rule breakers that exist. Must keep the Moe's Tavern rule and save some poor kid's existence.

6:25 PM