There’s a book out called Bad Baby Names by Michael Sherrod and Matthew Rayback, trying to prove if Johnny Cash’s hypotheses put forward in the song “A Boy Named Sue” (1. A child with an awful name might grow up to be a relatively normal adult; and 2. The parent who inflicted the name does not deserve to be executed) is true.
By scouring census records from 1790 to 1930, Mr. Sherrod and Mr. Rayback discovered Garage Empty, Hysteria Johnson, King Arthur, Infinity Hubbard, Please Cope, Major Slaughter, Helen Troy, several Satans and a host of colleagues to the famed Ima Hogg (including Ima Pigg, Ima Muskrat, Ima Nut and Ima Hooker).
The authors also interviewed adults today who had survived names like Candy Stohr, Cash Guy, Mary Christmas, River Jordan and Rasp Berry. All of them, even Happy Day, seemed untraumatized.
“They were very proud of their names, almost overly proud,” Mr. Sherrod said. “We asked if that was a reaction to getting pummeled when they were little, but they said they didn’t get that much ribbing. They did get a little tired of hearing the same jokes, but they liked having an unusual name because it made them stand out.”
So, that leads me to ask…
Do you like your name?
You don’t have to divulge it if you don’t want to.