Saturday, April 16, 2011

A Rose By Any Other Name

I have a fascination with people's names.  Yesterday, I wrote a FB note about a client and I called him "Mr. Hitler".  Because no one knows anyone with the last name of Hitler.  (Well, yeah, him, but he doesn't count.)  If you have the last name Hitler, you're probably going to change it, but at one time it may have been a fairly common name (especially in Germany, I'm guessing).  What if Adolph's last name had been Smith or Brown?  Or Eisenhower?  That would've been awkward!  But I think he kind of killed that  name for good.  Bad guys tend to do that.  When's the last time you met someone named Attilla or Genghis? (No, Kahn doesn't count, because that was Star Trek and therefore Sacred and Above The Law.)  But on the other hand,  Charles Manson is an Uber Creep and I know lots of Charles' (I named my son that) and who doesn't love Marilyn Manson?  (Lots of people, but you keep diverting me, stop it!)  So actually my theory doesn't work at all.  Ok, next paragraph. . .

I used to read the wedding notices in the paper to see the name combinations.  My all-time favorite was the marriage of Tracy Titsworth to Sterling Pankratz, which meant her new name was Tracy Titsworth Pankratz.  What a wonderful name!  (Unless it was mine. Then I would change it to Hitler.)  Also, at Sterling's batchelor party I'm sure there were endless jokes about him getting his tits' worth.  hahaha

Sterling.  Really?  What kind of people name their little baby boy Sterling?  Also, I never understood naming your son Richard and then deciding his nickname should be Dick.  Why would you make your own kid a dick?  On purpose.  People don't name their daughters Cunthia--there's a reason for that.

It's hard enough when you have a normal name and then some social phenomenon occurs to make your life a temporary hell.  This happened twice to me.  The first time was when I was in junior high (no fancypants Middle School for me, thank you!).  Herman's Hermits came out with the song "Mrs. Brown, You've Got A Lovely Daughter".  (My maiden name is Brown, I guess I should have mentioned that before I started this story.)  For about 3 weeks both my sister and I had people singing this song to us ad nauseum.  It got old quickly.  The next time was several years later when the porn classic "Debbie Does Dallas" was released.  Yeah.  I guess it was better than "Debbie Does Hitler".

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