Back in June, which now feels like a lifetime ago, I wrote Part I to this column, which included the names Vallen-Tyne, Hollow Point, and Sckottland. In response to an example about a little boy named "Nephew," I wrote: "When I see something like this, I feel like we’re already living in the future, Trump is President, and every child is one hot trend away from being named Kviiiilin or a series of clapping hands emoji." Now that we're officially living in a world with President-elect Donald Trump, I'm not sure whether to laugh or cry. (Frankly, I've done a bit of both the past couple of days.) Surely if a nation as robust as America is capable of electing a man with no political experience to run the free world, it is capable of continuing to give children names that make us wince, squint, close our eyes, and sigh deeply. But in the spirit of recognizing that society has been on the demise for years -- if we're judging on baby names alone -- I figured we should examine a new crop of head-scratchers and prepare for whatever's coming down the pike in the months and years ahead. If no one accurately predicted a Trump nomination or win, it's safe to assume that anything is possible.
Forget about Roman numeral names and emoji names. We're in uncharted waters, with anti-Establishment voters in the UK and the US turning out in droves and rerouting what many assumed were obvious courses in history. If men like Donald Trump don't have to play by the rules in order to be successful, who says yoonique baby names aren't just another way of rejecting neoliberalism? You know what's liberal AF? Names that don't push any boundaries. Names that say, "I do my homework and pay my taxes and follow the rules to make progress in life." BOR-ING. We need more names that say "America, FUCK YEAH!" Names that declare that spelling and grammar ain't got SHIT on yooniqueness. And if you can express your beliefs via a flag on your car, why not do it via your child's name, too? Why are people *just now* giving their kids gun names? This should've been an American pastime for several generations!
Ahh, Cross and Caliber Christian. Names that tell you everything you need to know about a family, especially when paired with that deceptive Trump campaign tagline. I've been wondering, though, in relation to baby names, what would "making America great again" look like, exactly? This book excerpt someone sent me doesn't bode well for the future:
As America's political landscape shifts, so, too, will the baby name trends we've all become accustomed to. Heck, maybe the name "Adolf" will have its first big moment since the 1940s, who knows!? Maybe it'll get lumped in with the Aidan/Aiden/Ayden trend and be combined to create "Aidolf"? Now that's catchy. Whatever happens, I will be here to document it and weep onto my keyboard as we inaugurate a man who people in my own Facebook feed have seen bumping lines in Manhattan nightclub bathrooms. It's going to be quite a ride! To gear up, let's take a look at some terrible baby names already embraced by parents during Obama's terms as President. If these names were doled out during a period of economic recovery, just imagine what parents will come up with in the Trump era. Something tells me the names will be loud, nonsensical, self-important, and potentially offensive. Only time will tell. Here's what some parents have come up with so far.
Maggie is #blessed to have given birth to a sauce-thickening agent that weighed a whopping nine pounds. You've heard the expression that girls are made of "sugar and spice and everything nice"? Well, Roux-Bea is made of flour and butter. She's pro-gravy. And really, who among us isn't? God bless this great nation and may God bless little Roux-Bea, because she's going to be explaining her French-inspired (?!), hyphenated name for the rest of her saucy life.
Here's a name that can proudly exist in Trump Nation (aka what America will be called 3.5 years from now). It's suuuuper bipartisan, because on the one hand, the name "Major" screams "I'm a big fuckin' deal! That's MISTER Major to you!", but on the other hand, the name "Lefty" implies having progressive values. When I first read this submission, I had to double-check with the submitter that this was the kid's real name even though s/he had written, "When this person told me his newborn son's name, I had to ask three times for him to repeat it because I didn't think I'd heard the name correctly. Then I stalked him on Facebook and saw the FULL name. I thought it was a joke. Not a joke. Just a horrible, horrible name." Let's hope this trend picks up momentum! I wouldn't mind someone naming their daughter "Madame President," now that I'm thinking about it. Give every baby a formal title! The little angels deserve some goddamn respect.
The "smash cake" cupcake trend -- in which children celebrating their first birthday get to "smash" a miniature cake, also known as an oversized cupcake -- is the perfect pairing to this baby's yoonique name. No, his name isn't "Xerxes," so his full name also isn't "Xerxes the Great" as one might imagine. Why name your kid after the fourth king of the Achaemenid dynasty when you could name him something slightly abbreviated that references a popular video game? According to the "Bloodrayne" Wiki page, the character Xerx is "a sophisticated mad scientist who invented the Shroud and created various high-tech weapons." DOOOOPE!!! This kid is gonna smash the HELL out of that cupcake! Great name choice, Mom & Dad. Inspiring, even. Upon further investigation, Xerx is also a vampire who "fights Rayne in a giant bio-mech suit with weaknesses that are not immediately noticeable, and attacks with the deadly Sun Gun." This kid has a lot to live up to! What a fun namesake challenge.
Reading through this brief exchange just caused my eyes to bleed. That being said, I'm looking forward to the future great American novel 'The Adventures of Graesyn and Ryot,' about two young boys on a valiant mission to catch as many Pokémon as they can across the rural U.S. Along the way they meet a cast of characters and engage in romantic pursuits with twin sisters named Kayleigh and Kyleigh. It's gonna be great, believe me. This book is gonna have the best words. It's gonna be the best book you've ever read. It'll make America read again, just wait and see. You think books are good now? 'The Adventures of Graesyn and Ryot' -- and the sequel 'Graesyn and Ryot, a Tale of Two Frat Boys' -- are gonna blow all the other books outta the water. USA Today Bestseller list, here they come!
'Amaznic' one of those names that kind of looks Serbian, but you know it's just pronounced "Amaznick." Which I'm trying to wrap my head around, yet can't. Is this a portmanteau? Did Amaznic have one grandpa named "Nicholas" and another named "Amazeballs"? That's the only rationale I can come up with here.
Awww, yeah. Vadyka is going to grow up with an orange fraud as her first president and *know* that she's special. Her name tells the story. Much like no presidential nominee in the history of America has become president without disclosing his or her taxes, for 136 years no other parents except Vadyka's have thought of using her name. I'm telling you, history is getting made left and right in the United States right now, and names like Vadyka are paving the way. This is what America is all about: ingenious ways of breaking the mold. I look forward to seeing what's going to happen next. For all any of us knows, we may be inaugurating a Madame President Vadyka in 35 or so years (or, in our new president's case, just over 69 years). Oh, what a day that will be.