Friday, February 15th, 2008
Winners in the Name My Baby Boy Contest
After much debate and gnashing of teeth, my wife and I selected 20 winning submissions out of 202 in the Name My Baby Boy Contest.
My profuse condolences go out to all the “losers,” for I know you genuinely embraced my rather lengthy contest requirements. In a dim glimmer of hope, there’s always the new Thinga-Reader Appreciation Giveaway that will have a winner each week. There isn’t an end date yet, so in theory we could be looking at 46 more winners this year.
My wife and I haven’t settled on a name for our boy yet, but some of the submissions have become candidates. Thank you one and all for participating. It has been quite an experience. And thank you Christer at Vincent Shoes for offering up twenty $50 gift certificates to our winners to help spread the love.
And now the winners, in no particular order…
20. Westley — He’s the main character in The Princess Bride, and ‘Bride was the first film I watched with my wife. Westley is on her short list of potential baby names. My wife observed, “We couldn’t name a child Farm Boy.”
–Thanks Maria V.
19. Guy or Montag — My wife likes “Guy” because “Manny” is on her short list. Oh. My. God. Manny is on her short list. Now do you realize why I held this contest? Help me!
Meanwhile, I love Montag, the last name of a great character in the book Fahrenheit 451. People mistakenly believe the story was about censorship. As Ray Bradbury explains on his website, “I wasn’t worried about freedom. I was worried about people being turned into morons by TV.” And so, in Montag we find a critical thinker who learns to question assumptions instilled in him by society. Incidentally, Bradbury said we’ve been living the book for 50 years.
–Thanks Dayna S.
17. Odo — He’s the shape-shifting constable on the Deep Space Nice space station. Dependable. Trustworthy. Vigilant. Plus, my wife observes, “How convenient to be able to sleep in a bucket.”
I appreciated learning that the name isn’t pure fiction. Odo was a king of France in the 9th century.
–Thanks Noreen L.
16. Aramis — The Three Musketeers is one of my wife’s favorite books, and I’ll admit Aramis is the best of the four main character names. An apostrophe’d name (D’Artagnan) is asking for trouble. Athos sounds like ass or apathy. Porthos sounds fat. So there you go.
15. Destry — It’s sort of a combination of Dusty and Destiny, maybe a tad feminine, but personality and demeanor count for everything. We had never heard of the comedy flick Destry Rides Again, and so we rented it. I drew a parallel between this old west lawman who doesn’t carry a gun and sci-fi’s Doctor Who, a character who routinely faces danger with nothing more than his brain and a screwdriver.
“Doctor, they’ve got guns.”
“And I haven’t. Which makes me the better person, don’t you think? They can shoot me dead, but the moral high-ground is mine.”
–Thanks Robyn D.
14. Ash — I fondly remember watching the Evil Dead and Evil Dead 2 films at a friend’s house in my youth, and later making my wife watch them before we saw the sequel Army of Darkness in the theatre. Ash was in all three films. As the submitter says, “and he has a chainsaw for an arm… just the coolest.” At age 15, the first two films are a little scary, but when Ash strapped that chainsaw on his stump, we were rolling on the floor. I wonder what my 15-year-old Ash would think.
–Thanks Adela G.
13. Deckard — The name has a nice sound to it. We’re fans of the film Blade Runner for which Deckard is the main character. The story is a bit dark and dreary, but Deckard is deeply pensive and captivating.
–Thanks Barbara O.
12. Thrace — This was one of two female names submitted. Aside from Kara Thrace being a character on the shockingly good remake of Battlestar Galactica, she is one tough cookie who holds her own among men. While today we might describe her toughness as masculine, I’d like to simply call it inner strength. A boy in our next generation shouldn’t flinch at being named after such a woman.
–Thanks Nissa H.
10. Samwise — The real hero of the Lord of the Rings books? He is an ordinary man of great internal strength who steps in to help beyond what anyone could expect. He epitomizes the question, “If not me, who? And if not now, when?”
–Thanks Jed G.
9. Wash or Hoban — I like both names of Hoban “Wash” Washburne.
Hoban is similar to my short list name Hobart, after Hobart Brown, the whimsical founder of our community’s Great Arcata to Ferndale World Championship Kinetic Sculpture Race.
And Wash, I just like Wash. Maybe because if my father had another child it would be named Washoe. Why? He thinks it sounds like an “old west” name.
But mostly, Wash was a great character in the sci-fi series Firefly. A crack space pilot, I like his signature line, “I am a leaf on the wind, watch how I soar,” and how he said it with obvious fear while under great duress.
–Thanks Molly M.
8. Twain — I like “Huck” from Twain’s Huckleberry Finn, but it rhymes with too many unfortunate words. Two people submitted “Sawyer,” but that name doesn’t grab us and it’s popularity is surging. But Twain is different. I put Twain on my short list for all of five seconds before my wife vetoed it.
7. Seven — It’s a classic reference to a George Costanza baby naming conundrum depicted in a Seinfeld TV episode. I appreciated that the shoe choice was Stan (ala coSTANza) and in gold, because of a second Seinfeld reference, “The Summer of George.”
–Thanks Roberto V.
6. Cyrus — When I hear the name Cyrus I think Billy Ray Cyrus (ack, cough, gag), but it’s on my wife’s short list of names. She doesn’t recall why it grabbed her, but she also likes the similarly-sounding Osiris. –Thanks Danielle S.
5. Tiberius — Captain Kirk’s middle name. Say no more.
–Thanks Eric D.
4. Cooper –
Dressed up like a million dollar trooper
Trying hard to look like Gary Cooper.
–Thanks Melissa T.
3. Lazarus — From the Biblical tale to the sci-fi stories by Robert Heinlein, Lazarus is a name that has continues to permeate history and pop culture, usually in reference to resuscitation or immortality. And yet, parents don’t often select this name?
–Thanks Sarah S.
2. Levi — I double-checked to be sure I hadn’t tipped my hat somewhere on Thingamababy before. I hail from a family of cycling enthusiasts. You know, where calling Lance Armstrong a disgrace to the sport is fightin’ words (not so much Floyd Landis). And so cyclist Levi Leipheimer was an intriguing submission for the stated reason of being free of drug scandals and serving as a terrific role model.
–Thanks Heather Arr.
But Ponyboy, that’s a keeper. He is a character in the book and movie The Outsiders who, in one scene, quotes Robert Frost’s poem “Nothing Gold can Stay” to his friend Johnny.
To explain what shoe Ponyboy would wear today, the submitter quoted a famous line Johnny delivers later on his deathbed: “The Mini Bjorn in gold. Stay gold, Ponyboy. Stay gold.”
–Thanks Lacey K.