The Name Game

Posted: Friday, May 8, 2009 at 12:00 am
By: Doug Lund
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Just think..fifty or so years from now, a little farm girl in Kansas may get a nasty bump on her head from a flying door during a tornado and slip off into a parallel universe where her only desire will be to get back home to her Auntie Em..short for Emma or maybe Emily.  Dorothy just back from Oz. There’s no place like home.
It could very well happen because just like in Dorothy Gale’s 2059, Auntie Em’s will be everywhere.
According to a story on, the Social Security Administration says Emma is now the most popular girls name in the country..ending the reign of Emily which has topped the list for the last 12 years.
The Emma’s and Emilie’s I knew as a kid were elderly plump Norwegian women who always wore blue print dresses and sensible shoes.
I wonder if other late 19th century names will ever make a come back.
Names like, Myrtle, Esther, Gladys, Mable, Agnes, Florence, Hazel, Ethel..heck even Dorothy, were obviously once regarded with much favor and affection but have long since fallen by the wayside and would likely cause some raised eyebrows and perhaps a few snickers during the baptism.
Gosh, even names that were popular in the baby boom years..including my own..have dropped off the radar.
When’s the last time a kid was christened, Larry or Linda, Kathleen, Kenneth, George, Barbara or Gary?
Biblical names, though, seem immune to the passage of time.
For example, Jacob has been the most popular boy’s name for the past ten years.
Others that are timeless include Joshua, Daniel, Matthew, Joseph, Hannah, Sarah and Rachel.
My niece and her husband, who live in Hawaii, took what some might think was a bold leap in choosing to name their new son, Kekoa..pronounced Kay-Ko-Ah..which, in Hawaiian, means “The Bold.”  He’s a sweet boy and it’s a sweet name but it probably won’t pop up on the most popular  list anytime soon.
I never had the opportunity to name a son. I often wonder what we’d have come up with.
Scott or Ira would be out, of course, because he’d sound like a country. Could have gone with Disney Lund..just for laughs..but, like in Johnny Cash’s song “A Boy named Sue” son Disney would likely come back one day looking to kill me.
Just to be mean, I might have named a son Todd David and raised him up to be a pompous ass consumed by his own pretentiousness. A bully who occasionally creeps out from behind the statue of his beloved Buddha to cast aspersions down upon all those who aren’t as wise as he thinks he is.
Nah, we’ve already got one of those.

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