Thousands of suggested first names for whitish babies who don’t have strong ethnic or pseudo-ethnic roots - an entirely new, and irreverent, look at the phenomenon of naming babies with sections on contrived names, palindromes, surnames as given names, and, for the first time, no attempt to separate girls’ names from boys’ names. (And, yes, for those not inclined to check a dictionary, there are a few cautions about nice-sounding words that would make terrible names.)

Available editions: Kindle, only 99 cents at this page, and PDF and iBook for iPad at this direct order page for an even dollar.

an excerpt from the book

you are about to have a baby,
you are certain that you don’t want to name her after your grandmother,
you’re at least a little bit rebellious,
you don’t have a religious tradition to draw from,
you don’t have pretensions to ethnic roots,
and especially if
you aren’t well-educated either (so spelling and word origins elude you),
then this book is for you.

In here you will find thousands of unusual names, some truly unique names (meaning the only one ever), and ideas for creating a new name from scratch. You’ll find so many good names that it will make you want to have a lot of babies.

This book is almost entirely facetious. If it weren’t, it would probably insult you, for I’ve pointed out some peculiar things about a lot of names, and you are probably related to someone I’ve poked fun at. But, although facetious, a pair of sharp realities also make it as serious as a two-bit ax: It exposes the astonishing truth that hundreds of corny names are already on living people's identification cards, and as a result of this irreverent little volume, other ethnically-challenged parents may be inspired to give such names to many more yet-to-be-born children. If it weren't for those misfortunes, it might be a harmless effort.

In addition, this book is almost entirely sincere. The field of names from which my parents chose was limited by fiercely Puritan, Anglo-Saxon traditions. Even though my own family was as poor as color-neutral people can be - just as poor as folks of any other race can be; after all, nothing is nothing no matter who you are - they were instantly alert at the mention of anyone with a funny-sounding name. If, as a teenager, I had brought home a friend named Sonny Lee Swill, they would have welcomed him to the dinner table or on a family ride to the fair, but if I had suggest that I might plan to go out with his sister, Nonny Jee Swill, they’d have cautioned me about all kinds of potential problems. If, instead, I had made friends with someone named Crofton Linscott Bradford the First, they’d have been arranging my marriage to his sister, Prudence Grace Bradford, before they’d have laid eyes on Crofton or discovered that he was Sonny Lee’s poor relation - and all this based on the name.

What’s more, this book is sincere because I heartily approve the movement that is overrunning those prejudices. I happen to like the sound of many new (and renewed) names. Two things about the new names, though, do irritate me: the apparent pretensions, especially in naming girls, and the silliness, evidently borne of downright ignorance, in creative spelling. You’ll better understand what I mean if you read on.

DISCLAIMER and note to the sensitivity police:

This is not a racially-prejudiced or race-baiting book. Take it at face value: It’s a list of suggestions for people who don’t have a solid ethnic, religious, or national heritage to draw from. It may also be a source of extra ideas for people who already do have their own traditions.

And to the political correctness police:

Yes, I have used some “modern” names to illuminate what may be ignorance, or may instead be defiance or plain indifference to historic rules for naming children. Maybe I’m wrong, but I also conclude that the majority of children in America today are born to unmarried young moms who, therefore, are mostly responsible for deciding what their babies’ names will be. Whenever someone wriggles free of tradition’s leather straps, whether it’s in art or science or politics or naming babies, she exposes herself to scorn and ridicule – some of which I employ here – but she may ultimately earn admiration and emulation. So, if those who have led the way into alternate spellings of Cameron and Chelsea have inspired you to experiment on your own, then thank them, as I do. For without them, I might not have had so much to write about.

Available editions: Kindle, only at this page, and PDF and iBook for iPad at this direct order page.