We’re friends, right? The Private has never steered you wrong on things before, right? Of course I haven’t. Good! Now that we have that settled, I have something important we need to discuss; especially if you plan to have children with your geek soul mate.
I recently read an article on Kotaku regarding a Japanese fortune teller suggesting to prospective parents to name their sons Pikachu, after the adorable lightning shooting yellow Cabbit from the Pokémon franchise. After sharing this on Facebook, a friend of mine who currently resides in Tokyo not only confirmed this, but even told me he knew of instances where parents DID, in fact, name their kids Pikachu. For all that is good and just, this trend needs to stop… Now. Please.
First and foremost, I wanted to say that I am not against prospective parents naming their kids after their favorite characters from a movie, show, animation, etc. There are character names, like Selina, Asuna, Yui, Sansa or Arya, that I would not hesitate naming my future daughter after. In fact, it is quite common for fans of a property to name their kids after their favorite characters. During the height of the Twilight craze, many girls were named Isabella (for Bella), and boys Jacob. There have been numerous instances where boys were named after the most famous captain of the Enterprise, James T. Kirk (Kirk Cameron being a notable example). Even Bruce became a popular name during the run of the 1960’s Batman series. I mean come on, why wouldn’t you name your kids after a character you like?
However, a child’s name should be thought of carefully because he or she will be stuck with it for the rest of their life; unless you (or them) prefer to spring for the thousands of dollars it will take to legally change little Pikachu Williams’ name, not to mention the time it will take to do it. The name is the first thing any child identifies with during their development. It is just as, if not more, important than identifying with the gender they are (unlike the couple who chose to not raise their child as either gender.) A name says a lot about a person and, quite frankly, I really don’t know very many parents who knowingly want their children to be known as a pocket monster. Plus with how cruel kids can be in school, you would be setting little Pikachu up for 14 years of ridicule by his peers and the boatload of therapy that will be needed soon after. And when they get older, I highly doubt young Pickahu would be taken that seriously by many hiring managers.
If, by some odd chance, young Pikachu Williams grows up and DOES become successful you know Nintendo won’t let him use that name professionally right? As awesome it would be to take Dane Cooks idea and name your kids Megatron and Optimus Prime, if they grew up to be a doctor, a lawyer or even a comedian, they couldn’t. As soon as they used it, Hasbro and Paramount would be all over them like Unicron devouring Cybertron. I personally find it cool Nicholas Cage named his son Kal-El, but I’m sure if the young man wants to be part of the family business he will have to change his name like his father did.
So please, my fellow geeks who are just waiting to have off-spring – or tribbles, or hellspawns or whatever you want to call them – please heed my advice: Do not name your child a ridiculous name. If you love your children, pick a name THEY can be proud of. If you still insist naming your child some bat-ish crazy name, at least come up with a derivative that sounds cool. Your kid will thank you later in life, when you tell them the embarrassing stories about what they could have been named.