A few years ago, a friend mentioned to me that he liked the name Brian for a boy. One of the reasons he gave for liking the name was that it was a name that wasn’t easily insulted. Of course my brain immediately tried to corrupt Brian. It was easy, in fact. I mentioned flyin’ Brian, cryin’ Brian and my personal favourite, Bri – ANN.
I learned to corrupt names as self defence. My name is usually the first one people think about trying to corrupt when I’m in a group. Maybe my name isn’t as bad as Gaylord Fokker or Mo’ Lester, but still I try my best to dish out as many barbs as I take in. So over the years I got good at it.
I’ve even managed to corrupt the name Jeffrey, a name which 3 elementary school tormentors had. I wish I had been as adept at corrupting names back then. There is of course the obvious deaf Jeff which I never thought of in elementary school. Then there is the less obvious bereft Jefft. And finally I thought of “Ju’ Free us from JeFree”.
I am now ready to offer my services to prospective parents who wish to know the worst that can be dished out with the names of their children. They can change the name to something less troubling for their child to grow up with.
Have you not heard other people say that calling children certain names is child abuse? People might smile at Johnny Cash’s “A Boy Named Sue”, but I’ve never known anyone to actually name a male child Sue. So I think the service I would offer would be valuable.
So, say you give me $10. I’ll work on whatever name you give me and its corruptions for a full half hour and then send you the results. You might be okay with the corruptions I found for the given name. Then you can proceed to name your child since the name has been properly vetted.
Or you could go it alone.
Perhaps you’ll go for a biblical name. After all, hasn’t the creator himself vetted these names? I would say no. Perhaps you would go for the name Joshua. You might realize that whenever people are Joshing they’ll point to him. Or say “Oh my gosh, it’s Josh,” thus taking the creator lightly along with your son.
Or maybe you’ll think popular culture has adequately vetted your names for you. Like say the show Friends where Rachel and Ross’ baby was named Emma. They didn’t vet fully, either. Flem Em, comes to mind. And if enough people named their daughters Emma (especially when Friends was current) there could be more than one Em in a class. Then it could be said, “Em and Em have something brown in the centre but it certainly isn’t chocolate.”
Or maybe you wish to name your child something so boring, at first glance it seems incorruptible. How about John? First of all that’s the name of a prostitute’s customers. And the nickname for a toilet. And how about gone John or con John?
There is only one alternative. You must vet the name with me, prospective parents.