A Rose By Any Other Name . . .

I’ve been called many names throughout my illustrious life, most of which were well-deserved.  I’m not mad about it, not in the least, as I’ve hurled a few myself at others.  Worst than the names that I’ve been called, are the names that I have heard that were actually given to children by their parents.  I wanna tell you that it isn’t a pretty picture.  “Shaqwanda“, “Lometra“, and “Aquanetta” have all become rather tame by now.  Those names that are close in nature to them are bad enough, but, there are others that are even worse.  No doubt, you’ve probably heard them yourself and shook your head upon their utterance.  It’s enough to make you choke, I tell ya.  “A Boy Named Sue”?  Ha!  Be grateful.

For me, it all started, I think, with Jamal, Malik, and Marquis.  It was a time when it was important (for some unknown reason) for mothers to mark their children with some Islamic-sounding name in honor of their children’s daddies who were away on vacation (i.e. doing jail time).  If I think very deeply, which I am in no frame of mind to do, I could probably come up with at least ten real-life people that I have encountered in my realm of life with those names.  As it turns out, most of the daddies have been in jail for a longer period of time than those children were on earth (i.e. mama’s baby, daddy’s maybe).  Some families that I know of have children with all three of those names, and, as is usually the case, neither of them having the same father.

I am always amazed when watching football on Saturday or Sunday at the names that appear on the telly out of the clear blue sky.  To all of the networks – gives us a warning when you’re going to display such mind-shattering info.   The most recent names that had me in awe were DeShawn and DeAndre.  But, please, STOP THE PRESS!!  Playing for Baylor’s football team is LeQuantum McDonald!!!!  Back in 1987, some parent had the audacity and unmitigated foolishness to name her son LaQuantum!!!  WTF???!!!  I hereby declare that your name-giving privileges are revoked – permanently!  Don’t you EVER put another moniker on another child.

Please . . . sit down.  Really . . . sit down please.  There is or was a player at Auburn University whose first name is (drumroll please) . . . Tez!!  I’m serious, man!  His name is Tez, as in T-E-Z!  I know you think that’s a pretty bad name but you ain’t heard nothin’ yet!  His last name is Doolittle!!  You knew you had a f*cked up name to begin with and you went and named him TEZ!!!???  We all know that mothers get the utmost respect, no matter what the case may be.  But I’m sorry.  Dude, I personally give you permission to go home and slap the livin’ sh*t out that woman!!  Has she lost her mind?!  I don’t care who in your heritage had that name and wanted to be remembered, but, lady, you had no right to lay that kind of punishment on your child.  As with LaQuantum’s Mom, I hereby FORBID you to name another child.  If you even think about it, you will be arrested on the spot.

Here are a few who get (dis)honorable mention: Knowshon Moreno (Georgia), Co-Eric Riley (Mississippi State), Sen’Derrick Marks (Auburn U.), and Sa’Coby Carter (Middle Tennessee State).

I’ve seen quite a few in my life, and, no doubt, so have you.  If you happen to be one of those, with one of those God-awful names, then, I sincerely apologize.  Oh, not for teasing you about your name – I’m sorry that you were unfortunate enough to receive one.  Don’t act surprised.  You know that here at The Realm Of Darkness NOBODY gets a pass – not even you.

I’d say see you soon, but, don’t count on it, as I’ll probably be incarcerated.  As soon as I finish this piece, I’m hopping in the old ride, headed for Staten Island in search of Ms Karen Harris.  If I don’t find her, I’m headed for Lawrenceville, GA, in search of Mr. Michael Vassell.  Either way, one of them is about to feel my wrath.  They are the parents of one I-Perfection Harris!!!!!!  The I, supposedly, stand for “Immaculate“.  Actually, I think I’ll just go after both of them, because they actually have another son whom they named SUPREME JUSTICE !!!!!!!!!  See you went I’m released.

copyright  ©  2008  freedom


7 Responses to “A Rose By Any Other Name . . .”

  1. I have to agree those are so wild names.
    I have come across many at me job that make me say WTF was your momma thinking.
    And I have a co-worker who loves to tell me the names of her future children and all I can do is cringe.
    Poor babies.

    And once a while ago a woman I know was putting together her family reunion. She had me cracking up when she said that you know a black family by the “a” sound on the end of all the names. We as a people love the “a” sound. Shawna. Lawanda. Get the picture?

  2. Great minds think alike. I wrote a post pretty familiar to this, and got a LOT of flack for it. But dammit, it has to be said.

    Though it doesn’t have anywhere near the effect of physical abuse, parents giving their children strange names (thus hurting their chances at getting any real social validation) falls in line with jsut about every other form of irresponsible parenting.

  3. Sharon – I get the picture alright, and it comes with audio. It is unbelievable what names we dole out in the name of being “different” and “unique”. I’m just glad that I was born way back when.

    Andre – This is obviously a work of humor, but, I sincerely hope that folks will read between the lines and understand that it’s really no laughing matter. I read your piece and, though I don’t usually feed into “studies” and polls too much (“figures don’t lie, but, liars will figure”), I have to agree with the findings in just about each study that I’ve seen on the subject. I kid, but, I actually enjoy being the Angry Black Man, as it is my vehicle to keeping the world informed that racial discrimination is, indeed, alive and well.

    That having been said, I left out one important name which, to me, invokes a vision of a child who is the personification of the Devil himself. In my neighborhood, five out of ten families have some child who has been dubbed “Man-Man”. OMG!

  4. This is obviously a work of humor, but, I sincerely hope that folks will read between the lines and understand that it’s really no laughing matter.


    I thought it was a serious piece. I feel stupid. Still, I see your point about this potentially being a legitimate topic of discussion. I mean, I really do wanna take some of these parents and smack them.

    But now that the humor has been pointed out, I’ll tone down my ABM diatribe and live a little.

    *cracks a smile*

  5. Oh. no. that’s not what I meant. “obviously a work of humor” as well as the category are simply my attempt at being facetious. I REALLY DID mean that I hope that people will read between the lines and see the seriousness of the situation. The humor was the “softening of the blow”, as it were. Obviously, you HAVE read between the lines. As for the ABM diatribe, you know that NEVER goes out of season. Perhaps I should stop being so subtle from now on. Sorry about that. Peace.

  6. I used to trip whenever I heard a guy with a ‘girl’ name (i.e.- Stacey, Leslie, etc.) but when the white girls were coming out as Aieshas and KeShawnas, that’s when I was like “whaaa?” LOL But the other names sound like celebrities gone wild with the baby name books.

  7. It’s wild, ain’t it? I am often amazed, as well, when I hear an ethnic name and it turns out to be a Caucasian. Weird. I wonder when our folks will finally understand that these crazy names will cost our children an opportunity that could have taken them places other than Mickey D’s? Peace.

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