Let Me Name Your Babies

One of the things that never fails to crack me up is remembering a conversation my brother Luke once had with a customer service representative. When she asked him how he was doing, in that polite but rote way customer service representatives have of asking you things, he somehow got supremely flustered—in what I can only imagine was the sort of bumbling Englishman stereotype for which we have good old Hugh Grant to thank—and ended up conflating "not so bad" and "pretty well." 

And how are you doing today, Mr Burns?

Ah, not so well. 

I don't know why, but every time I remember this—hell, even right now while I'm typing it—I end up snickering. Can you imagine what that poor customer service representative thought? Man, this guy's a real downer. What, I have to hear about his gallbladder surgery now? Just say fine and give me your mother's maiden name, buddy, so I can look up your account. 

Another thing that makes me laugh is imagining what I might have been called if my parents had decided to name me after themselves. This actually happened to my friend Elisabeth's friend, who ended up with a name that I can't even remember now but was definitely some combination of a dude's name and a lady's name and was therefore difficult to both pronounce and spell.

Upon finding out that this was an actual thing real people actually did, I polled all my friends to find out what their parents' names were, and started amassing a small but hilarious collection of them in my head to cheer me up on rainy days. Some of my favorites from the list were:

Dolberto (Dolores and Roberto)
Marjerryet (Margaret and Jerry)
Dick (Deb and Mick) 

My most favorite of all, however, was Christeve, which is an amalgamation of Christine and Steve. Can you imagine introducing yourself to people as Christeve? It sounds so......so smooth. I want the person who introduces themselves as Christeve to do it with that super fakeout handshake where you end up slicking your own hair back right at the last minute instead of shaking the other person's hand. While also wearing really shiny mirrored sunglasses. Indoors. In an airport. 

My own combined-parents-name, in case you were wondering, would be Patralison, which sounds like either a low-end brand of tequila or a high-end chain of gas stations. Also a nightmare to write on those Starbucks cups, so thank goodness that didn't pan out. 

Sep 19, 2012

I don't know if you've heard of Manny Pacquiao, but yeah his wife's name is Jinkee - so you will get Mankee (it's an ongoing joke among Filipinos) and thank God my parents did not name me after them or else I would have ended up as Ferlet. Eeew.

Sep 19, 2012

I would have ended up as Sandeve or Stendra... I'll stick w Carolyn to be honest :-)

Sep 19, 2012

I *love* the thought that I might have been called Kimthia (yes, my dad is called Kim. Clearly a dog or a woman's name. I know.)

Super Sarah
Sep 20, 2012

One of my closest friends from university is called Ronita which I think is a beautiful name because of my beautiful friend! You know what her parents were called right? And I would have been Pidget or Bridrick by your theory and my girls should be Rarah or Ronsah. Nice!

Sep 20, 2012

I was once in a book group with a girl called Dani, short for Daniellinda. I never managed to work up the moxy to ask her if it was a parental portmanteau, though.

Sep 20, 2012

Oh dear lord, I just realized that mine would either have been Chereve or Steryl. Can you imagine going through life as Steryl?

On the other hand, naming my kids either Nichael or Micole would be perhaps the funniest/cruelest joke I could ever play on them...and on the poor writer of Starbucks cups.

Jaime Thomas
Sep 20, 2012

I used to babysit a girl who was named that way. Her parents' names were Ken and Theresa.

Her name was Kenresa.

It took me awhile to stop wanting to giggle every time I said her name.

Even now I shake my head at her parents.

(I would have been Jimoria. Or Glorijim.)

Sep 20, 2012

Kill or Baren. Less horrible would be Karill. Pretty lucky for me Bill and Karen had their heads on straight when they were naming me.

However, I did come close to being named something like Coral or Acquamarine. My mom was a marine biologist and subsequently an oceanophile. Dad was not so into it. You can see who won that argument.

Sep 20, 2012

I'd be Evdy or Anda. (Eva and Andy).

Could be worse!

Sep 20, 2012

I would have been Jamorna. Or Lorames. Egads.

Sep 20, 2012

I'd be Cindon, or Dondy or Cinald. I don't think I ever want to think of those names again. Ha!

Sep 20, 2012

My name is already unusual but Manleen or Eiliff would have been too much, I think!

Sep 20, 2012

On a similar vein, my cousin once had a girlfriend named Nevik. This was her dads name backwards! (Kevin)

This caused us to discuss what we would have been called, I would have been Nhoj, my husband would have been Llib, my boss would have been Trebor!

Hours of fun.

(Oh, I would be Jobarbara, or Barbaron - John and Barbara)

Hahhaha, NIVEK, hahahhaha

Sep 20, 2012

Ooh I would have been Rebierre, or Piecca (Pierre and Rebecca). I'll stick with the name I have. My father, a Shakespearean scholar, wanted to name me Mopsa (from The Winter's Tale). Good thing my mom stepped in as the voice of reason and shot that down. Mopsa! Worse than Piecca for sure.

Staci Magnolia
Sep 20, 2012

One of my best friends in high school was Tim.
Tim married a gal named Skye.
They had a son named......Ty.
Pretty much the most acceptable combo out there, no?

Sep 20, 2012

My parents are Mary and Gerry (short for Gerald) so I like to think I could have just been Merry which isn't so bad. My nephew's middle name is a combination of two names (friends of my BIL) and is (I am serious here), ChrisLandon. My entire family is still in shock over this but what can you do? Thankfully, it's his middle name so not used that often.

Sep 20, 2012

I would've been Kachard. Or Riye. Either way I would've sounded like a rejected sci-fi character. My kids could've been Alhole, Nichex, Alele or Nix. Nialeole. Ah, the missed opportunities!

Sep 20, 2012

I would have been Lory or Garou (Lou and Gary). I didn't realize that was an actual thing. Although I do know people who named their daughter Jae1ynn and the mother's name was Jennifer Lynn. And there was a time when I was interning for insurance underwriting and an application came through for parents Mary and Peter with children named Mary and Peter. I always wondered if whomever did the follow-up on that one found out if it was real or a joke.

Amber, theAmberShow
Sep 20, 2012

Toby and Donna would have named me Tobanna, which, right now, I am really starting to regret not being called.

"Oh, hello. I am Tobanna." I think my legs would be longer and my bosom would be heave-ier.

Sep 20, 2012

I was a waitress back in college and I walked up to a table and did my normal, cheery "Hey, how are you guys today?" To which they replied "Our house burnt down..." Which was completely sad but in that instance...you just don't think people will tell you the truth either. I kindly replied "Can I get you a Margarita then?" Which made them chuckle...

I guess my name would have been Fretty (Fred & Betty) because Bed just doesn't really work unless you are Michael Jackson's kid.

Sep 20, 2012

Donald and Elizabeth would have combined to give me Donabeth, which sounds like a midwest farmgirl to me. Unless my mom's name went first in the portmanteau, in which case I would have been Elizald. Which sounds like the cranky old neighbor who yells at you to get off his lawn.

Sep 20, 2012

My name is often written on Starbucks cups as "Eva," "Edith," "Deeva" and once, "Dva."

I'm still wondering how they get "Edith" out of "Deva," and my made up name from parents' names would be Andtin.

Heather B.
Sep 20, 2012

Peggy and Harold so Parold? Heggy? They also floated the names Millicent and Callista. Then my father met a woman named Heather and they went with that. THANK GOD.

Sep 20, 2012

My brother-in-law's parents are Elsie and Victor and they no kidding named the two oldest Elvic and Torsie.


I could be Denny or Pave. Pavid? Pennavid?

"Hi. I'm Pave. And I'm really into parking lots."

OR I could put an accent on the end -- pavé -- which is a gemstone setting. Now I sound like a couture super model. I could totally dig it.

Sep 20, 2012

If my parents had combined their names, I would have been Suzannerry. I think it sounds more like a place than a person.


My parents' names are Kermitt and Yvette. Which would make me either Kermette.

I'll stick with Karen.

Sep 20, 2012

My parents are Tim and Peggy, so I could have been "Teggy" or "Pim" and now I'm pretty sure my next pet will be named Pim.

Sep 20, 2012

I would have been Rayara, or Barmond!
My husband & I often joke that we could combine our names for a future kid and it would be acceptable - Danica!

Sep 20, 2012

My parents are Timothy and Carol so I would be...Carothy. I just renamed myself.

In the same line but kind of different - when my cousin had her daughter (who, for the sake of visual, you need to know was biracial because it makes this so much funnier) she wanted to name her Chestnut because "she has the most beautiful Chestnut skin!" My aunt, thank God, immediately said "So what will her nickname be? Chesty or Nutty?"

Sep 20, 2012

Okay, so my dad and my uncle are twins and they BOTH married women who have names like that! Weird twin thing in a long line of weird twin coincidences. Anyway, my mom's name is Paulina (combo of Paul and Ina and pronounced with the long I) which is somewhat normal, but my aunt's name is Marchar (combo of Margaret and Charles). I'm still not sure how to pronounce it.

Sep 20, 2012

Hmmm....Heinz and Jane....so Heane or Jeinz? hehe.

Sep 20, 2012

Oh, this is making me laugh at my desk today!!

My parents are Vince and Kathy, so I could have been either Vinthy or Kathince. That sounds almost like Katniss, so I guess that would be cool now.

Sep 20, 2012

Froze!!! (Frank and Rose)

Sep 20, 2012

heinz+deborah = heinzorah? deboreinz?

Sep 20, 2012

I know someone (Desiree) who married a guy named Allen and they named their daughter Alleree. Creative!

Sep 20, 2012

By this token my husband and I would have to name our kids Kave and Dim... sounds like they'll be real winners, eh?

Sep 20, 2012

Kale! Or Dae. Parents are Kae and Dale.



I imagine Davarlotte as the southern belle slash lady of the night of her tiny town.

Sep 20, 2012

Shelly - I hope that you see that Bill did concede to your mother's oceanophile nature with the more socially acceptable Shelly. Looks like a perfect compromise to me.

Sep 20, 2012

Oh no. I'd be Frudy or Jank. Ack! Have you thought about your future kids?? Hollean or Sholly?

Nothing But Bonfires
Sep 20, 2012

Oh man, I think these comments are some of my favorite comments EVER. Kimthia! Pidget! Pennavid! Steryl! Jank! It just gets better and better.

But the parents named Peter and Mary who called their kids Peter and Mary makes me laugh so hard every time I think of it. Can you imagine meeting that family? "Hi, I'm Peter, this is Mary, this is Peter, and this is Mary."

Sep 20, 2012

Mormons do this (quite a lot), which is why I have an aunt Erlyn.

Sep 20, 2012

Georjay (pronounced Jor-Jay)

Sep 20, 2012

Hahaha HAAA. Malcreen? Or Maurcolm? Oh dear good. I'll take Malcreen, please.

Sep 20, 2012

I would be either Gril or Phace. Not pretty, either way.

Sep 20, 2012

Oh boy, I'd have been Marshuck or Chusha! (Marhsa and Chuck)... I'll happily keep my given name!

Sep 20, 2012

*Marsha (oops!)

Sep 20, 2012

Paula & Edward means I would have been Paulward? Edla? It would have been rough either way. Strangely my future child would luck out on this as my name already contains my husband's name Lee.

Sep 20, 2012

I just laughed so hard at "Pave" that I totally sprayed my keyboard at work. Thanks a lot, Pave.

Jeff+Randy = Jandy (I'm picturing a stripper that starts her act wearing a pageboy cap), or Ref (which would work better if I gave a damn about sports. Any sport. But I don't.)

Sep 20, 2012

Hmmm, my folks are Connie and Earl, so, I guess Cearl? Or maybe Ernie? These comments are awesome.

Erica W
Sep 20, 2012

Were I to name my kids as such they'd be Robica or Eribert. hahaha Eribert makes me laugh.

Home Sweet Sarah
Sep 20, 2012

These comments are KILLING IT today.

So, I would have been...God, who knows. My (real) dad is Yaacov and my mom is Caren, so... Caacov? (OMG!) Or Yaren.

Incidentally, though, my mom married a Chris when I was 5, so that's who I consider my dad, and I am not even kidding when I say if I have another daughter, her middle name will be Caris.

(Although now I'm seriously re-thinking that.)

Nothing But Bonfires
Sep 20, 2012


Sep 20, 2012

Both of mine work out pretty well actually, with Sharon and Terry:

Sherry / Teron (which I kinda dig)

Sep 20, 2012

So my parents are Thomas and Jacqueline (Tom and Jackie). of all the permutations I've gone through, I think the worst would have been Jacqas. Say it out loud. Yeah. I can see the Starbucks cup now.

Sep 20, 2012

I'd have been Diaffrey, or Jefana (Jeffrey and Diana).

I do know a little girl named Keithlea... Parents are Keith and Leanne, of course.

Sep 20, 2012

Victor and Sarah, so Victah or Saror.

Although I do have a sister also named Laura, so it's not like my parents were very original.

Sep 20, 2012

My name has it all. It's hard to say and spell. But at least it is a rather sweet combination of my parents' names (Darrell and Deanna). Or so I thought. Dad had me believing what turned out to be a lie. When I was about 21-years old Mom (they are now divorced and you'll see why) disabused me of the notion. No, she said, he heard it somewhere, probably at a strip club. Mom didn't learn of this until after they named me. Originally I was to be called Holly. But no. I'm named after a stripper.

Sep 20, 2012

Friend Rikie is the daughter of Richard and Sondra . Her full name is Richondra, with a soft CH sound, so Ri-shondra.

I would have been Garrabra or Barbarry. My daughter could be Lineremy or Jerinnea

Sep 20, 2012

Shoni! (Joni/Sh@n) Or Jan (which actually was my dad's twin's name. Yeah, Sh@n and Jan. Boys. !?)

Come to think of it, we ate at Shoney's a bunch when I was a kid...

Sep 20, 2012

Your other combination of Alitrick is a nice piece of whimsy once you get past the slightly sleazy interpretation. (How about Heingelika for omi38+t@@ and Gorsabeth for me!?)

Sep 20, 2012

I'd have been either Dandi, or Cyan. (Dan & Cyndi)

A Little Coffee
Sep 20, 2012

Funny I've never thought about this before! My parents names are John & Jacki, although technically my mom's full name is Jacqueline. I could dig Joline!! Jockey... not so much! Or maybe that would have been me and my brother: Joline & Jockey. Haha.

Sep 20, 2012

I would have been Leovette or Ivpoldo! I'm so thankful they didn't think of doing that!

Sep 20, 2012

Gabhony or Antrella (sweet baby Jesus!) would be the poor children of Gabriella and Anthony. But can you just imagine if they went by their middle names??? (Irmgald and Kirk)

Sep 20, 2012

Wow, there are some real gems here. My parents are Geoffrey and Patricia, so I suppose I would have ended up as Geofricia. Or Patfrey. Both of which sound like unfortunate monsters gone wrong in some kind of low-budget halloween movie.

If we had kids their option would be Charillip, Pharlotte, of Phillotte. So good! Charillip! That definitely sounds like a winner! (Or a vegetable.)

Sep 20, 2012

My name would be Kari... which it is, because that's what my parents did with Kathy and Rick. Thankyouverymuch.

Sep 20, 2012

Karyn & Dick, so Kick, Kack? Daryn wouldn't be so bad. My husband has a cousin named Jonette. The rest of the family are Janet, John, John Jr. and Jimmy. Naturally, Jonette married Juan. My MIL actually made up the name, and was always very proud of herself.

Sep 20, 2012

Wayne & Anita. Waynita. Wanita. Wayneta. Anayne.

My mother originally wanted to name me Sayward, an old puritan name. She wanted to nickname me "Say'rd." I'm thankful to be Sarah.

Sep 20, 2012

I have a friend who's sister is Judel (Judy and Delbert combined). I've always felt slightly sorry for her name.

I'd be "Doy" or "Reb" (Roy + Deb or Deb + Roy), both horrible!

Nothing But Bonfires
Sep 20, 2012

These are all hilarious and totally making my day, but Laura at #58, I'm gonna need you to back up. You....you have a sister who is ALSO named Laura? I cannot rest until I hear a little more about this.

Sep 20, 2012

I could have been Marchard (Marcia & Richard), and my daughter could have been Hoff or Heff.

I have friends, Mark and Chris, who named their daughter Marisa as a combination name, she made out well in this situation. I think there was also a 16 & Pregnant episode with a Brooke and Cody who named their son Brody. I guess it's not always so bad.

Sep 20, 2012

Coming up with portmanteaus is kind of a hobby of mine so this is delicious fun! Our poor child would be Danica or Eriel (Daniel + Erica). I would have been Maureith (Maureen + Keith). My husband could have been Nanward (Nancy + Ed).

Sep 20, 2012

Ha! I would be Sheve or Sterryl (pronounced sterile).

Sep 20, 2012

My name's Elizabeth but I used to go by Beth, and my husband is Donn. When I was pregnant with our first, I joked that we would name her Beth-Ann Dawn, so that when we were being introduced people could say, "This is Beth, and Donn, and Beth-Ann Dawn." This really amused me.

Sep 20, 2012

Forgot to mention that OF COURSE I did not really do this to our child!

Sep 20, 2012

My parents are Tim and Joan so there aren't very many ways to spin that. I mean, Jim? Well that's kind of already a name. Though a man's name. Toan? *shudder*

Though, my middle name Marie is also my mom's middle name, and my brother's first name is my dad's first name. So my dad AND brother are both Tim, though they have different middle names. Made it lots of fun when we had a landline because as my brother got older anytime someone called asking for Tim we had to ask, "Big Tim or little Tim?" My brother goes by Tee most of the time with family and friends, though, because I dubbed him that when I was 2 and it stuck.

My poor husband was named after the kid for whom Code Adam was created and some little boy named Ryan that died of cancer the year my husband was born. So yeah. He goes by Ryan even though it's his middle name because his mom didn't want his initials to be RAT with their last name that starts with a T. So you know, at least she was somewhat concerned with the implication of his name I guess.

That being said that means our daughter would have been Eryan or Ryika. Haha. Her name is actually Anya which isn't really a family name or combination thereof in any way - at least not intentionally.

Sep 20, 2012

I'm cringing because we did this to our daughter, though I would like to believe the middle name we saddled her with doesn't suck too badly. It's Grae. My MIL's maiden name is Gray, my mother's middle name is Rae. Two birds, one stone. I don't regret the Grae but I often lament our decision to not name her Cathryn.

Sep 21, 2012

I would have been Paureen (Paul and Maureen). Or, I guess, Maraul? Either way. Let's never do that.

Sep 21, 2012

Growing up we had a neighbor named Larriann. Yep her parents were Larry and Ann. (in case she reads your blog I'll add that my sister tells me she has grown into stunningly beautiful woman with a Ralph Lauren catalog family.

Poppy K
Sep 21, 2012

Oy. I'd be Herbarbara or Barbert (Herbert and Barbara). Glad they didn't choose either!

Sep 21, 2012

The comments in this post are some of my favorite, ever. It would be really difficult to put my parent's names together (James/Jim and Joan/Joni) Jimi? Jaman? Joames? Joim? Jimi is probably the winner.

Anyway, my name is Amy, and my brother's name is Christopher. When I was a little girl and I was annoyed with my brother, I would whine at him "CHRIS-TUH-PHER!" And since "Amy" is pretty hard to draw out in a whine, one day he started retorting "Am-EE-PHER!"

The punchline is, my husband's name is Christopher. So our child's name could be... Amypher.

Sep 21, 2012

I'd be Betsbert or Alsty, I guess! My husband and I have made up an email account once that was named this way, though I have never thought about it as our future child's name. It is Cecdan. Although Brecily works too.

I also want to hear more about Laura who has a sister named Laura. It's like George Foreman!

And on an unrelated note... did you see that Juliana Hatfield rejoined the Lemonheads and Ryan Adams will be their drummer?

Sep 21, 2012

So a friends older sister was named Jandon which was a combination of Janice and Veldon...which I thought, although unique, was a bit much.

My mom is Lisa (Melissa) and my dad is Gary, so I could have been Gasa, Liry, Galirysa, Meliry, Galissa.

and this is hilarious.

Sep 21, 2012

My poor grandfather (whose first name was Kenneth, as if that wasn't bad enough) was given the middle name Lloyrene. Yes, his parents were Lloyd and Irene and for some terrible reason though it would be nice to combine their names. Lloyrene. Lloyrene...I still don't get it.

Sep 22, 2012

Holly, you neglected to mention your OTHER possible name: ALICK! Which is way better than Patralison, you must admit.

Mine would have been Petrella, or Steter, or Pella, or Stete... uh, no thanks.

Sep 22, 2012

I'd be Andorah (wasn't that the mother-in-law on bewitched?) with Andy and Deb0rah. I guess that could also by Deby. Bleck.

Erin @ Fierce Beagle
Sep 22, 2012

My parents are Kevin and Sharon, so I'd either be Shevin or Karon. Additionally, they often get called Shevin and Karon (by me) because I think it's hilarious to transpose people's names.

Sep 23, 2012

I would have been Dalan or Suzle (Dale and Suzan). My kids would have been Shaer or Heatan (Shawn and Heather).

Shelly, my photography teacher named his son Asa. (The former American Standard Association that is now known as the International Standards Organization (ISO).

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