By Emily Schilling
Back in 1969, when Johnny Cash sang about A Boy Named Sue, listeners laughed about the improbability of anyone saddling their son with such a scandalous (for a guy) name.
Fast forward a half century and unusual monikers are not so unusual anymore. In fact, nowadays it’s more unlikely that your name would be Tom, Dick or Harry than, let’s say, Liam, which was the most popular name given to newborn boys in 2018.
But why pick a trendy name like Liam for your son when you can choose something as unorthodox as Sue was in 1969? The U.S. Social Security Administration has compiled a list of the weirdest baby names of 2017, and some of them are, let’s say, very creative.
The oddest name in my opinion is Espn. I’m not sure how that’s pronounced and as for its origin, it has to be inspired by the sports network, right? I’m especially shocked that 12 girls and six boys born during the Year of the Rooster are walking around with this name. Though rare, can you believe this name caught the fancy of at the very least 18 parents?
One hundred six girls were named Empress and 145 boys were bestowed with the name Pharaoh. Those parents obviously have some lofty expectations of their children.
Another boy’s name, Havoc, frankly scares me. I imagine destruction occurring wherever he heads. That may be bad enough when he’s a toddler but could get progressively worse as he grows up. Speaking of frightening treks to adulthood, 11 little boys were named Arson. That’s not a destiny to aspire to.
I was especially surprised by two other names that were actually inscribed on multiple birth certificates in 2017. Believe it or not, at least 28 little boys are out there with the first name “Boy.” At least 19 girls answer to “Girl” with a capital “G.” That’s the best name their parents could come up with? If so, what’s wrong with Sue?
EMILY SCHILLING is editor of Electric Consumer