Tag Archives: names

#63: Never Admit You Have No Freaking Clue Who Leighton, Cuttino, Rihanna, Jensen, Dane or Feist Are

Admit it: They all swim together, these strangely-named, androgynous-sounding, ethnically-ambiguous young stars of film, television, music, and sports. Is Leighton male, female, or both? Is Cuttino America’s Next Top Model and Feist the frisky young soccer player? Is Jensen a member of a brother band while Dane is embroiled in babymamadrama? Or vice versa, or none or all of the above?

Quiz time!

Match the photos below with the appropriate names.

1 2 3

4 5 6

a. Leighton b. Cuttino c. Feist d. Dane e. Rihanna f. Jensen

Okay, now let’s make it a little harder. Match the names above to the person’s other name. And yes, this is a trick question because, in a couple of cases, the person in question uses their last name as a first (or an only). Here are the other names:

Robyn, Ackles, Meester, Mobley, Leslie, Cook

And now, since you’re so smart, match the names and the pictures to the possible occupations:

Supernatural soap star, Standup comedian, Gossip Girl, Canadian folksinger, Barbadian pop singer, Los Angeles Clipper

And the answers are:

1. Leslie Feist
, who goes by her last name only, is a Canadian folksinger best known for her song “1234” in the Apple commercial.

2. Robyn Rihanna, who also goes by her last name only, is a Barbadian pop singer and Grammy winner who looks amazing in sparkly dresses.

3. Dane Cook is a standup comic and star of movies so dumb you’d only see them in a desperate and probably unsuccessful attempt to bond with your 15-year-old son.

4. Cuttino Mobley is a Los Angeles Clipper, which reportedly means he plays professional basketball.

5. Jensen Ackles is a former soap star who’s now in a television show called Supernatural, which I’ve never heard of either.

6. Leighton Meester is one of the stars of Gossip Girl, a show which your teenager undoubtedly loves because the characters as much (more!) money and sex as adults, with none of the icky responsibility. Enjoy!

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#35: De-hyphenate Your Name

There was a brief moment when name-hyphenization seemed like the answer to all marital-equality issues. A moment when two people might have gotten married and become Pamela and Richard Redmond-Satran. (Not that we ever did that: My husband declined to take the Redmond, so I just dragged both names behind me like a big fat butt, without the hyphen connecting them.)

But back to you: The whole hyphen thing seemed like a good idea for about a minute and a half, until the jokes started about what would happen when Gabriella Redmond-Satran (not one of our real children) married Marmaduke Martini-O’Flaherty. Would their child be called Maximilian Redmond-Satran-Martini-O’Flaherty?

And then there was the question of whose name went first, and whether the husband as well as the wife would adopt the hyphenization, until the notion just collapsed. Before that, however, several hundred people got married and hyphenated their names. All those people are now over the age of 50. Or just sound like it.

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#15: Don’t Be Named Bob or Pat

Or Pam or, God forbid, Dick. There’s a whole generation of names last popular in the 40s and 50s — Karen and Donald, Barbara and Leonard — that you’ve got to avoid if you don’t want to seem old.

Of course, you didn’t choose your own name and you’re pretty much stuck with it unless you want to do something really radical and change it to one that sounds young. Like what? Josh or Jessica, if you want to go thirtyish. Hey, but those names are aging fast, so you may want to go even younger, with a name like Justice or Jagger. Or turn the whole age-name thing on its head and pick a really old name that’s popular for babies: Moses, say, or Matilda.

For further ideas, check out one of the baby name books I wrote with Linda Rosenkrantz. You don’t have to be a baby to need a new name.

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