“Yossarian? Is that his name? Yossarian? What the hell kind of a name is Yossarian?”
Lieutenant Scheisskopf had the facts at his finger tips. “It’s Yossarian’s name, sir,” he explained.
— Joseph Heller, “Catch-22”
I only mention this because a man in Nebraska has just renamed himself Tyrannosaurus Rex Joseph Gold. His original name was Tyler Gold. He explained that the new name was “cooler.” This is, by the way, literally the same logic that Kanye West used in replacing his lower teeth with diamonds.
What’s in a name, anyway?
A rose by any other name would probably be unscented, these days, because of what we have done to the genomes of roses over the years. I know that the naming of cats is a difficult matter, not just one of your holiday games. But the naming of people — there are so many ways to go wrong. There’s the Name That Sounds Normal But Is Embarrassing When Combined With Last Name, like Edward Will Burst. There’s the Name That Seems Fine Until You Consider The Nickname Possibilities, like Henry Potter or Richard Fondler.
Still, you have to go pretty far to stand out from the crowd. This is not to say that everyone is named the same thing. Far from it. The most common names now are less common than the most common names from years past. This is fortunate, since the most popular names almost all feature prominently in the “Twilight” series. But in all this scrabbling to be unique, it is possible to go too far.
Tyrannosaurus Rex is pretty far.
Your name — and the name you want to give your child — says something about you.
Jayden or Zooey with variable numbers of O’s: I desperately want my child to be hip and televised.
Moon Unit: I’m Frank Zappa.
Fanny or Everard: I’m either a hipster or this is 1840.
Ebenezer or Betty: Same.
Apple, Willow: I place too much confidence in celebrities.
Adolf, Judas, Napoleon: I will make a terrible parent.
Waldo, Thor: I think I’m one of those funny dads.
Anakin, Galadriel, Frodo, Eddard: I’m not yet mature enough to have kids, nor, potentially, will I ever find a woman.
Bella, Jacob, Edward: Don’t even start with me.
Holden: I was deeply influenced by “The Catcher in the Rye,” although not in a wanting-to-assassinate-people sort of way.
Name That Sounds Normal But Is Spelled Phonetically: “I’m sorry, I thought this would be easier” is my life motto. I always have too many items in the checkout lane.
Name That Sounds Normal But Is Spelled With Silent Symbols: I am the Artist Formerly Known As Prince.
Tyrannosaurus Rex: I have tiny, tiny arms that are vastly out of proportion with my body.
Plesiosaur: Tyrannosaurus Rex was taken.