Creative Names Gone Wild

From Idiocracy: Diagnostics in a 2505 hospital.

Sometimes being a blogger involves “tedious” research, like re-watching one of my favorite cult movies to take notes. Idiocracy, created by Mike Judge of Bevis & Butt-head fame, is about this guy of average intelligence named Joe, played by Luke Wilson, who travels ahead in time almost a few hundred years into the future. Actually he is frozen, as part of a military experiment, and wakes up in the year 2505.

In this future the culture had downgraded so much that intelligence levels plummet, making average-guy Joe the smartest guy on earth (in the future that is).

The concept defies natural selection and logic. I found myself asking how a society too stupid to manage the town dump can manage to create and maintain these automated devices. Granted, the devices never worked properly (the future is portrayed as a world of voice mail/automaton hell), but the characters are portrayed as too stupid to even tie their shoes properly. It’s no wonder the human race hadn’t been extinguished, much less capable of creating inadequate automated devices.

But as Rob often says, I should stop over thinking things. Once I am able to suspend disbelief, the movie is very funny. Highly recommended for those who haven’t seen it. Plus, I’ll watch just about anything with one of the Wilson brothers (Luke & Owen), two hot brothers with great names.

Most memorable to me were some of the ridiculous creative names, such as a guy named Hormel. These names of course were part of the joke. But then I read the Baby Name Wizard’s recent series on The Next Frontiers in Names.

After reading this article, I began to suspect some parents, eager to give their child a unique name, have discarded conventions to the point of being absurd. For example, one of the modern creative names mentioned was Abcde. This name actually appeared in the U.S. Social Security data. Abcde was given to 24 girls across the U.S in 2010. It is pronounced AB-si-dee.

Most of the Idiocracy names, many inspired by commercial brand names, might seem downright ridiculous to many of us, including me. And then I remind myself I recently wrote about Moxie, which has origins as a soft drink, and concluded it’s not really that bad as a name choice. The 2010 numbers for Moxie are similar to Abcde (in the U.S.). Suddenly the idea of a kid named Hormel doesn’t seem limited to Hollywood fiction. Could these really be the names of our great-great-great-great-grandchildren?

  • Frito
  • Formica
  • Hormel
  • Tylenol
  • Upgrayedd – a modern day pimp, but in 2505 there are thousands of listings for “Upgrayedd”
  • Velveeta
  • And the President of the United States in 2505, Dwayne Alessandra Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho.

Confession: I would rather see Hormel on a child (a boy) than Abcde. I wonder if Abcde could become the next Nevaeh, a modern creation derived from heaven spelled backwards, which ranked at 25 for 2010.

Readers: Can you see Abcde becoming the next Nevaeh?

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  1. I actually like the name “Abcde” as it’s pronounced, but I think the spelling is ridiculous. Having said that, I could see how it would the perfect name for a civilization such as the one in the movie. That is, if people are that stupid, they will probably have trouble learning to spell. So all they have to do is learn the first five letters of the alphabet and they’ve written their name. Now if their last name would be “xyz” they would have it made. 🙂

    And believe it or not, I can seriously see Hormel as a good boy’s name. Tylenol….not so much – although I like the nickname “Ty.”

  2. By a coincidence, we just watched this movie for the first time a couple of nights ago, and found ourselves enjoying it a lot. I had the same conversation with my husband that you had with yours!

    When I see articles about how names are becoming ever crazier, I always wonder how much truth there is in them – sometimes they seem quite convincing. Then I read one of Elea’s posts on “Finds From …” and discover that baby names were pretty “crazy” in 1854 too.

    However, amongst a sea of “we’re all rooned” articles, I did notice two recent articles on baby names. Apparently no baby names were rejected in Queensland, suggesting that parents registered pretty sensible names, and in Newcastle, they noted that the number of babies with double-names and strange alternate spellings had noticeably decreased. Maybe a tide has turned ….

  3. JennyJenJen says:

    I work with children so I come across many Kreative and Uoonike names although I also, refreshingly, hear many old classics (Linus, Seamus, Hattie, and Charlotte) making their prescence known.
    I believe the worst offender was the day I saw a field trip nametage with the letters “Xowi” on it. I wondered why the children were writing random letters on their tags until I heard her friends call her Zoe.

  4. I came across Abcde a few years a go and was horrified by the idea of naming a child after the first 5 letters of the alphabet. However, I really like the sound of AB-ce-dee. Now someone just needs to come up with a very classy way to spell it. 😉


  1. […] While a more diverse name pool can be refreshing, this willingness to experiment does have a downside, namely some children are given impractical names for the sake of uniqueness. In some cases, creative names have gone wild. […]

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