It’s All About the Name

It's All About the Name - Family First Names

Family First Names


Dear Jeff,

We’re excited about the news of a Basketball team in the making, and yes, I have some original thoughts about possible names. Etc.

You mention family genealogy as a source of ideas. In this specific regard, I am somewhat handicapped. It seems that all my material was sent to our brother Jim for a school project that Lauren or Stacy did. They still have the original material, so give them a call and drop my name. If they still recognize it. It might be worth a 10-cent phone call… You don’t use Sprint? Have I got a deal for you… There’s this bridge in Brooklyn… Sorry. The land in Florida is taken. A fellow named Disney. I think.

I’m at a loss as to how you knew of my special expertise with naming babies… Generally, it’s been a well-kept secret.

Family History

First, however, some history bears repeating. One upon a time, a good brother was crestfallen to lose out on the opportunity to name his daughter after the middle names of his extraordinary brothers Jeffrey Lee and James Stacy. Both the brother and his lovely Indiana bride had easily agreed the name “Stacy Lee– would be a terrific way to honor his siblings. Ultimately, in a senior moment, one of the brothers broke up the name set. He dared to name one of his own daughters, Stacy. Sure it was his name, nevertheless…

Michelle Kathleen became the second incarnation of a “magnificent obsession– Michelle after “David Michael– & Kathleen after “Kathleen Ann, – i.e., using the first names of the siblings to the wife of the good brother as the new source of inspiration. This “family– tradition, started by “yours truly– could create some interesting combinations. How about. Paul Stacy, Lee Stacey, John Jim, or JoJim? And is it Paul Lee? or Pauly (s.p.)? Let me digress…

The Buris Family

Then there was my attempt several years ago to convince my then boss. Duane Burris to let me name his and Debbie’s fourth or fifth baby (at some point, I’m told you to stop counting. Is a basketball team enough, or is football the current rage’? Anyway, we were driving to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, for a conference, and you know how it is when you have too much time on your hands. All the Burris’s children and the parent’s names all begin with a “D.” I campaigned hard for 12 hours to get Duane to choose –Dean Burris thinking I had a shoo-in recommendation. I honestly thought with our involvement with Colleges and Universities that Duane would jump on the concept that –Dean– is a convenient shortcut to academic rank. Who needs to get a doctorate when “Dean– will do.

It turned out. However. that the baby was a girl rather than a boy. Not listening to the Dr. (me again), they named her Dallas. [You may not be old enough to remember a famous porn movie called. Debbie Does Dallas. Enough said. Dean would have been a better choice. even for a girl.’ How about President Elcik? Commodore Elcik? You get the idea…

This christening a child with a name is obviously a –tricky– business.

Teacher’s Dilemma 

Jeff, Do you remember my teacher for the eighth grade? I can’t seem to remember her name. She was also the Principal of the grade school. Perhaps I can’t remember her name because of the wooden ruler she broke over my head. Who would have thought she would get upset because I asked her to be quiet and stop bugging me. My memory is shaky… What really was the word I used? Nevermind…

Anyway. I remember quite well the day she returned from a principal’s conference, just busting a gut to tell us a story she heard at the conference.

As I remember the story, a young impressionable schoolteacher is chagrined to learn that a new boy in her first-grade class was named “Dammit– by his obviously distraught parents. (Rumor had it they had wanted a girl, and “Dammit– was a surprise. The teacher didn’t like it much. but what could she do’? –Dammit was the boy’s given. Christian name.

Well, several weeks into the school year, the teacher learns the Principal will soon visit her class. Vowing to make a good impression, she decides to call on the new boy under no circumstance. The day of the visit comes, and she decides to hold a spelling bee. As the words get progressively harder to spell, the teacher notices that the new boy is trying harder to get her attention. On the very next word, the whole class seems stumped, all except the new kid who continues to wave wildly for her attention. In exasperation, the teacher was heard to say. “Dammit. You know that you can’t spell that word. The principal at this point ventures. “Hell- let him try.”

Now really… which is worse. –Damit or “Shutup”?

Recommended Names

Michelle (the girl who could have been named Stacy Lee) thinks you should seriously consider one of the top 5 baby names for 1996, as reported by health departments. These are in the order of their popularity: Michael. Matthew. Christopher, Joshua, or Jacob. Michelle’s favorite suggestion is “Matthew Lee.”

It's All About the Name - John's signature

John P. Elcik, IV
She1byville, Indiana