Thursday, June 21, 2012
Whatever happened to Norm and Fred?
I don't mean Norm Larker and Fred Kipp. I mean the names "Norm" and "Fred." You don't see names like that anymore (although now that I think of it, I do know a kid named Fred).
Today everyone is named "Alex" or "Ryan" or "Brett." "Ian" or "Zach" or "Josh."
Perfectly fine names, don't get me wrong.
It's just that I'd get a kick out of it if I saw a kid and asked him his name and he said ...
"Hi. My name is 'Burt.'"
"Fantastic," I'd say back.
How many people do you know named Burt anymore? The first "person" I knew with the name "Burt," or "Bert," was a puppet. The first real person I knew with the name "Burt" was a woman, believe it or not. A neighbor across the street.
Then there is Burt Reynolds, Burt Lancaster and Bert Bacharach. But, damn, all those guys are old ... or dead.
Nope. No "Burt" anymore.
Instead, we have "Dustin" and "Jacob" and "Justin."
Perfectly fine names, of course. But once we had two photographers in our office. One named "Dustin" and one named "Justin." And they'd get mad if you confused the two once in a while. Well, if one of your names was "Fred" this wouldn't be a problem, would it?
We could use a few guys named "Duke," again, too.
OK, so his real name was "Edwin." I actually knew an "Edwin" in high school. But he was an outcast, probably because his name was "Edwin." Should've gone with "Duke." You can't make fun of someone named "Duke."
But there are no "Dukes."
Just "Troys" and "Trevors" and "Codys."
Great names, again. Can't find much wrong with them.
It's just that they're not ...
It's just that they're not "Roy" or "Clem" or "Ed" or "Gil" or "Harold."
OK, not "Harold." But there's no one named "Pee Wee" either.
Some names that you see all the time stand the test of time.
"Jim" and "Bill" and "Mike" and "Willie" and "Andy" were around then and they're around now.
OK, not "Dick."
But "Mark," "Dave," "John" and "Chris" will always be popular.
It's good to have at least some names that were as prominent 60 years ago as they are now.
But "Hunter"? Will time please expire on the popularity of "Hunter"?
As someone who deals with names of young athletes all the time, I am forever encountering unique and new names. Some are absolutely crazy.
But I think if people wanted to be original, without risking having the teacher stare blankly at their name on the attendance sheet and then stammer out something not even close, they could simply name their kid ...
"Norm," or "Fred."
Worried about them getting beat up in school? You worry too much.
Besides, I'd worry about passing that card collecting habit onto your newborn there a little more. That'll put a target on his back.
(The preceding cards were provided by Commishbob, who has one of those timeless names that never attracts bullies. Now about that name "Greg" ...).