March 6, 2011

Our Division Avenue High School cheerleaders had grand old names, but these new fangled ones for babies drive me wild

By Frank "Judge" Barning

Yesterday, our blog post was of the Division Avenue High School's 1961-62 cheerleaders. Give me the sweet old names of those young women. The squad included Linda, two Sues, Joan, Mary, Janet, Cathy and a pair with the solid, feminine name Melissa.

What strikes your blogger is the names of these young women. None are as off putting to my old-fashioned taste, as are some of today's most popular names for girl babies. Examples are Savannah, Keira, Zoe, Madison, Addison, Camryn, Chloe, Jada, Peyton and get this, Brooklyn.
The name Tiffany became popular a few years ago. I look forward to meeting a Tiffany whose last name is Lamp. As if Tiffany is not exotic enough, here are some alternate spelling of that name: Taffany, Tifanee, Tifaney, Tifani, Tifanie, Tifany, Tiffane, Tiffaney, Tiffani, Tiffanie, Tiffanny, Tiffeney, Tiffenie, Tiffine, Tiffiney, Tiffini, Tiffinie, Tiffiny, Tiphani, Tiphanie and Tiphany. None of these alternates are listed in my computer's spell check.

I knew someone in California with the last name of Shore whose daughter was named Sierra. Sierra Shore might be a good name for a stripper, a hooker or a beach motel. You have to be careful giving babies names.

And don't get me started on boy baby names. Jayden, Caden, Colton and Ryder are among the leaders on the 2010 list. In my class, the names Sterling (Morrison), Erling (Ernie Anderson) and Garrett (Gary DeCastillia) were not main stream.

Checking my class of 1960 yearbook, there were few of us with odd first names. Topping the charts might be Lilette (Levy), a different but charming name. And rare was the odd spelling. We had a Lorrayne (McCoy).

My mother had an offbeat, and rarely exhibited, sense of humor. She insisted that had I been a girl, I would have been named Tangerine. A song named Tangerine was a big hit the year I was born, 1942. It was on the Billboard charts for 15 weeks, peaking at number one. Dad wanted me to be Harry Herman Barning 3rd. Mother intervened on that, thank you very much. And I was named for her grandfather and brother.

Mother also, jokingly I assume, considered naming me Judge Barning. Imagine the taunts I would have received from the the boys in school. "Here come the Judge, here come the Judge."

And excuse me if you have grandkids with some of the names that I find odd. Please accept, in advance, my apology.


Marilyn Monsrud Frese said...

Congratulations on your 250th post!!! This has been a great adventure, not just for you but for all your followers! And you have another winner here! Don't even THINK about ending this adventure now... we just wait for the next post to start our day with!!!

Jim Anrton said...

How many girls where named " Shirley" after Shirley Temple- including my wife. Now I can join in with a grandson names CEIVEON- pronouned like the number 7. Next thing is he will just sign his name with the number"7" like Prince did with his symbol. I thought Apple was a silly name but its been out done

Kathy said...

When I named my daughter "Jennifer" in 1969, my mother said "Where did you get such an exotic name?" "Love Story" fueled the popularity of that name, but I hadn't even read it. We just liked the name. Apparently, so did 7-8 out of 10 other parents. When she showed up in pre-school, there were FIVE Jennifers! And it has been ever so since. She named her son Iain, a Scottish spelling. Watch any English/Scottish movie and see how many are spelled that way! But he must spell his name everytime he's introduced. On the other hand, do we want "Ethel", Gertrude" or "Mildred" to come back??

Frank Barning said...

Kathy....I found online:

Jennifer has 21 variant forms: Genna, Genni, Gennie, Gennifer, Geniffer, Gennivre, Genny, Jen, Jena, Jenefer, Jeni, Jenifer, Jeniffer, Jenn, Jenna, Jennee, Jenni, Jennica, Jennie, Jenniver and Jenny, Janifer and Geniver.

Its source is Gwenhwyfar, which is a Welsh name that means "pure and yielding."

Anonymous said...

I "judge" you had a good time writing this post, Frank. Well, I had a good time reading it. Shirley you will share your comic talent with us in the future. Carry on. PJMcD