Announcing Gguk Rarrigaz Bates...

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Isn't modern technology amazing? Be amazed at this selection of boy names selected by the Baby Name Wizard at


Without knowing it, I must have selected the "name sounds like Grandpa clearing his throat" criterion.

Suddenly "Moe Tell" looks like a good alternative. (By the way, Jan, my wife said to tell you that she knows where you live.... :) )

(And, no, the baby isn't here yet -- just trying on the name for size.)


How about "Toby Joe Bates"???

My dad wanted to name me that (after his dog and his mule that he had growing up, respectively). Mom won on that one, obviously.

Your dad must have esteemed you highly to want to name you after his most beloved and loyal companions.

Did your mom pick your first and middle name separately or was she aware of the Puritan theologian? It turned out to be very apt.

Did you ever get any grief over your initials?

My dad's name is Jack. He often got called "John," so he wanted me called John to help end it. It didn't.

Owen is a middle name of several generations worth of grand-great-great fathers on my mother's father's side.

So... I was given a Puritan theologian's name by Methodist parents who didn't know any better. How's that for God's providence - I really get some "way cool" responses to the name in reformed circles.

As to the JOB monogram, yes, there was some ribbing, but not much.

I think, though, that had I been named "Toby Joe Butler," I either would have ended up as:

a) a country singer; or,
b) an evanglist

Steve Tedder said:

Speaking of baby names, you might be interested in reading Mencken's "The American Language" on the subject. He went down this road long, long ago! Unusual names are not a recent development.

Jan said:

ah, yes. It would have been prudent of me to remember your wife's current state of irritation (especially around the inner belly button area) before making such suggestions. So sorry.

But, really, isn't the name "Moe" lovely with most any last name?

Not to worry, Jan, there was a smile when she said that.

And, yes, Moe is indeed a lovely name, but the name doesn't "sound like music in mine ear," it sounds more like head bonks, nose ratcheting, and eye poking. Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk.

I've not read Mencken on the subject, but certainly name invention was just as popular in rural America at the turn of the 20th century as it is more widely today. Looking back a couple of generations in my family and my wife's, there are some real oddball choices that must have sounded perty to someone. (That's one reason why picking a family name wasn't much of an option. The other is that the more conventional names that our forebears used were the sort that have long since passed out of fashion.)

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on December 31, 2005 11:14 PM.

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