“SORRY,KID. YOUR NAME IS BRADY BRADY.”
In an episode of the show Sex and the City, Miranda and her ex-boyfriend Steve Brady mull over names for their in-utero son. Miranda ponders the classic “Danny”, and Steve suggests a name with familial significance, “Paul”. Ultimately, Miranda opts to name the baby “Brady” – the father’s last name – as an ostensible booby prize for Steve, who is out of the picture romantically. Baby Brady will have his mom’s last name, “Hobbes.” Later in the series, however, Miranda and Steve reconcile and marry, begging the question: will the red-headed tyke be “Brady Brady”? Or at least, Brady-Hobbes-Brady?
In my nephew’s kindergarten in Pennsylvania, his classmates are: Ethan, Jacob, Josalynn, Josie, Susan, Caroline, Toshi, Juliette, Arthur, Augusta, Lillibeth, Joshua, Henry, Joseph, Kate, Thomas, Charles, Lauren, Liam, Claire, Nora, Matthew and Sarah.
In my friend’s child’s kindergarten in Los Angeles, the kid’s names are; Porter; Delaney; 2 Jaggers; Axel; Anderson; 3 (one male, two female) Sawyers; Bennet; Wilson; 2 (one male, one female) Parkers; Truman; Maxwell; 2 Masons; Presley; Hendrix and 2 Coopers.
The banal baby naming trend of using surnames as first names has got to be one of the weirdest and most desperate in the entire storied and perverse history of baby naming trends. Thin on meaning, outside of their traditional place in the sur name category, I find this trend perplexing. Why name your kid “Cassidy” or “Kennedy” when we have lyrical, literary names like Clara, Clarissa or Caroline? What the heck does “Riley” have over Ethan or Thomas, other than it is also common dog name?
Consider these popular and unisex winners:
….and the horrifying and now-infamous (shudder)…. Madison.
One of the problems is that a large majority of these share the distinction of being the most popular first names and most popular sur names, threatening an entire generation of future Americans with the whole “Brady Brady” conundrum.
Sometimes the universe works in mysterious ways, such as how I met so many Jennifers and Rachaels in college, and how there is an alarming plethora of Jasons and Andrews in my workplace today. The “Sawyer and Mason” generation is going to be a world of hurt. 20 years from now, a good chunk of our young men and women of the unisex last name generation will be co-mingling, and everything will be a big confusing mess.
Show me the hipsters with the balls to their kid Weintraub or Horowitz and I’ll change my opinion.
The hippest trendies in the world will be the couple who names their baby “Steve”.