Thursday, December 2, 2010

Names of a Bygone Era

Baby Boy Forseter was born last Thursday, Thanksgiving Day. No, he is not another grandchild for Gilda and me. He’s a grandnephew, the second born of my brother’s son, Eric, and wife, Amy.

Baby Boy Forseter still doesn’t have a name. He won’t get one until his bris, which, because of some jaundice issues, had to be put off one day until his ninth out of the womb, Friday morning.

WikiLeaks apparently has more important things to investigate than the name of my new grandnephew, so I am unable to tell you at this time what he’ll be called. Which led Ellie and me last weekend to reflect on names that are mostly to be avoided, for boys and girls.

Murray’s a good one not to name your newborn (for those who didn’t see or don’t recall my blog on my name, here’s a link: Growing up, I was happy not to have been saddled with Max, which befell my younger cousin. Now, it seems, Max is enjoying a resurgence in popularity.

Gilda’s another name not to be easily confirmed on the young and innocent. My Gilda notes she has yet to meet anyone younger than she with the name Gilda. It’s a name for the ages, the old ages.

Bernard is another moniker you don’t find too often among men with less than half a century to their credit. Annette, too, has a certain vintage quality to it. In case you’re wondering, Eric’s parents are Bernard and Annette.

Delivering food to the elderly every week, I come across names of a bygone era—Gertrude, Eva (yes, I know about Eva Longoria, but really, how many woman like that are around), Shirley, Anita, Ethel and Sylvia. Sylvia was my mother’s name. Ethel my aunt’s, Max’s mother.

Here's a non-inclusive list of names that recall a different epoch—Seymour (to be avoided unless he can be assured the lead in a revival of Little Shop of Horrors), Gus, Irene, Meryl, Carl or Karl (my father’s Americanized name, and also Gilda’s brother’s), Sharon, Selma, Arthur, Melvin, Herman, Fred, Bernice, Madeline, Claire, Leon, Walter, Marvin, Norman, Lillian, Warren, Lucille, Harriet, Florence, Phyllis, Irwin, Morris, Maurice, Vivian, Ida, Sophie, Blanche, Arlene, Leo, Myrna, Fanny.

They’re all beautiful names, but like Murray, they carry baggage from another time. Better not to load down a new generation with the sounds of the past.