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.

18. Sagan — “It is important to look your best when attending astrophysics classes at Princeton when you are 18-months-old.” We agreed, although we hope he chooses UC Berkeley.
–Thanks Stacy W.

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.
–Thanks Amber

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.

11. Angus — My wife is a huge MacGyver fan, but didn’t know “Mac” had a first name. Me? I can’t get the Jack in the Box commercial out of my head.
–Thanks Diana S.

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.
–Thanks MM.

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.

1. Ponyboy — This person submitted three interesting names together. I vetoed Iscandar as too weird even though I’m a fan of the sci-fi cartoon from which it’s derived, and my wife vetoed Fiver.

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.


21 Responses to “Winners in the Name My Baby Boy Contest”

  1. Chief Family Officer says:

    I seem to recall a friend who’s a prosecutor mentioning a criminal case involving “Ponyboy” something or other. :)

    February 15th, 2008 at 7:24 am

  2. Nichole says:

    Nice work, Thingamababy readers! I love Twain and Sagan.

    February 15th, 2008 at 7:25 am

  3. Nissa says:

    Woo hoo! Thanks!! I already ordered some adorable shoes with my Gift Certificate! When will we find out which name y’all go with? There are some really good ones among those!

    February 15th, 2008 at 7:32 am

  4. lace says:

    Yay! How exciting to see one of my submissions on the list. Thanks so much. This was so much fun!

    Congratulations to all the winners! There are some great names up there. It must have taken a while to choose from all the great submissions.

    February 15th, 2008 at 7:55 am

  5. Allison (CodeCrafter) says:

    Congratulation to all the winners!

    This was a fun contest, I loved reading all the entries and their explanations. There were more then a few names that went down on my list to suggest to my husband for future children.

    February 15th, 2008 at 7:59 am

  6. kim says:

    Congrats to all the winners! And let me put in a plug for “Cyrus”. It’s my husband’s name and he’s a keeper. Try thinking of Cyrus the Great instead of Billy Ray.

    February 15th, 2008 at 9:35 am

  7. thordora says:

    I LOVE Levi…

    February 15th, 2008 at 9:40 am

  8. Jen says:

    I’m sorely disappointed :) But who wouldn’t be! Great choices though… I’m a big fan of Sagan.

    (And I really, really wish you’d do a girl’s contest just for fun… hello, Vincent folks? I’ll host?)

    February 15th, 2008 at 10:58 am

  9. sunny says:

    This has been fun! I like Westley. Angus makes me think “beef”. Could be good or bad! ;) Best wishes to you!

    February 15th, 2008 at 11:05 am

  10. kelli says:

    16. Aramis — and conveniently (?) there’s already a perfume by that name

    February 15th, 2008 at 11:20 am

  11. JMo says:

    What!?! No Maverick? I guess the silver lining is that I can save it for my next kid. I’ll try to remember that when I am forking over $$$ for new shoes. boo hoo

    Twain is a great name.

    Congrats to the winners.

    February 15th, 2008 at 11:30 am

  12. Grenda says:

    Love, love, love Westley and Wash!!!

    February 15th, 2008 at 10:13 pm

  13. pinkbeary says:

    “Sagan – ‘It is important to look your best when attending astrophysics classes at Princeton when you are 18-months-old.’ We agreed, although we hope he chooses UC Berkeley.”

    That was too funny. What if he wants to go to Stanford? Good luck on your name search.

    February 15th, 2008 at 11:43 pm

  14. AJ says:

    If he wants to attend Stanford, I’ll cash out his 529 college savings account and he can pay his own way.

    Good luck with that. Being a minor, he’ll need my permission to get a job.

    February 16th, 2008 at 7:45 am

  15. Diana from Holes in my Shiny Veneer says:

    Thanks for the win– just posted about it on my blog:

    February 16th, 2008 at 10:34 am

  16. Maria says:

    I agree with one of the previous posters, I would LOVE to see the same guidelines done for a girls name! The readers came up with so many great and unique names.

    February 16th, 2008 at 5:41 pm

  17. Cindi Hoppes says:

    Congratulations to the winners. I tried! My cousin named her son Asher! Cindi

    February 16th, 2008 at 8:49 pm

  18. Maggie says:

    Some of these names had me laughing out loud. Certain ones may require your son to have years of therapy. Levi I like!

    February 17th, 2008 at 8:25 am

  19. MetaMommy says:

    I’m so excited! I’m so glad you liked Twain. Sorry it got nixed so quick, though. I know your pain :-(

    Good luck on your final choice!!

    February 21st, 2008 at 10:56 pm

  20. Lori says:

    I know this is a year later, but I’m leaning towards Malcolm. Because after Wash utters his famous line, Mal quips back with, “What does that mean?!”

    I love “Firefly”.

    February 22nd, 2009 at 3:59 am

  21. mckenzie walker says:

    I think babys are all winners no matter what the papers say or people think

    February 25th, 2009 at 2:26 am