Time to Update Again

Do you remember that baby naming book from the eighties and nineties (they released updated editions because it was quite popular) called Beyond Jennifer and Jason? I was obsessed with it when I was a kid; whenever someone we knew was pregnant and they’d whip out that book, I’d get all excited. I don’t know, I just like names! Anyway, a few years ago I nabbed an old copy––I don’t remember how, either from a box of free books on the street or I stole it from someone––and I kept it around as a kind of funny gag and also if I needed help creating a pseudonym. The other day I idly took it off the shelf and was flipping through it, and then my husband saw it (what the fuck is this?!) and was looking through later, and came across a section called “Wimpy Names.” So already this is feeling embarrassingly Dated, because can you imagine an author including that in a name book now?  But it gets better. There’s a subsection of Wimpy Names that reads: “A wimpy name does not necessarily a wimpy boy make…. Maybe these guys become supermacho in reaction to their anemic names, or maybe they would have overdeveloped biceps even if their names were Brawley or Flint. Here, a list of famous tough guys with anything but tough names.” And it goes on to list Arnold Schwarzenegger, Charlton Heston, Ernest Hemingway, Sylvester Stallone, and, among others,… Bruce Jenner.

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