Sunday, April 21, 2024

Nuts in a name?


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“The fault is not in our stars but in ourselves.” This is what Cassius of the “lean and hungry look”, a gentleman that Julius Caesar said “thinks too much”, said to his partner in crime Brutus.
I would hope so, although rocker Frank Zappa provided a semblance of hope for the defence when he named his firstborn daughter Moon Unit. But then he proved beyond a shadow of a doubt (as the lawyers say) that the stars, moon and planets were innocent of undue influence when he gave his other children even more outlandish names. 
As Britain’s Independent newspaper said: “When Frank asked his 12-year-old daughter whether she would like a diaphragm and her own flat to have sex with boys, it was just one more unconventional moment for a child named after an astronomical measurement.”
The Independent added: “Moon Unit, along with her fellow siblings Ahmet Emuuka Rodan, Diva Thin Muffin Pigeen and Dweezil, was one of the first in the modern era to shoulder the burden of their rock star parents’ taste in outlandish monikers. She is also one of the few [to speak] freely about what she sees as the damaging effects of an alternative 1970s upbringing ranging from a strange name to the freedom to do anything she wished.”
It is possible that Zappa had an excuse – he was the leader of a band called Mothers Of Invention. What excuse did David Bowie have for naming his son Zowie Bowie? In fact, Bowie’s last name was Jones – he was born David Robert Jones. He then became Ziggy Stardust and later David Bowie. He named his son Zowie because it was Bowie’s interpretation of the male version of the Greek word for life (Zoe). While attending Gordonstoun, the Scottish public school attended by Prince Charles, Bowie Junior changed his first name to Joe and then added the original family surname of Jones. Later he exchanged the Joe for Duncan.
The children of Bob Geldof, the Irish rocker who started Live Aid (the charity), did not follow in Duncan’s extremely wise footsteps. His wife, the late British television personality Paula Yates, had three children with Bob and named them Fifi Trixibelle, Peaches Honeyblossom and Pixie. A daughter with another rocker Michael Hutchence was named Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily.     
A few years ago the Enquirer revealed, “Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin had a baby girl and named her Apple.” The paper claimed that’s what happens when you write your potential baby names on the back of your grocery list. There are other theories. The lucky couple might have wanted to ensure the continuing good health of their family and figured that an Apple every day would keep the doctor away. She might have been sponsored by the computer company of the same name to publicize its products.
Weird names
The reason I am recounting all these weird names that celebrities give their children is that David Beckham and his wife Victoria (aka Posh Spice) inflicted the names Brooklyn, Romeo, Cruz and Harper Seven on theirs. Canadian comedian Stewart Francis won the Best Joke award at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the world’s largest art festival, by poking fun at the names. His one-line quip, “You know who gives kids a bad name? Posh and Becks” won the fifth annual Dave Award For Funniest Joke Of The Fringe. The television channel Dave got ten comedy critics to put together the ten best one-liners and the 3 000 comedy fans present voted. 
Francis also had another one-liner in the top ten. He punned, “I saw a documentary on how ships are kept together. Riveting.” Francis has other gems, including, “Standing in the park, I was wondering why a frisbee looks larger the closer it gets . . . . then it hit me.” Before taking on the Beckhams he even poked fun at himself, “We have a beautiful little girl who we named after my mum. In fact, Passive Aggressive Psycho turns five tomorrow.”
Some of the other one-liners were almost as good. I liked Will Marsh’s “I was raised as an only child, which really annoyed my sister” and Tim Vine’s “I took part in the suntanning Olympics – I just got bronze.” George Ryegold was funny with, “Pornography is often frowned upon, but that’s only because I’m concentrating.” I still think though that if Tim Vine had used one of his old one-liners he might have won: “I was in the army once and the sergeant said to me, ‘What does surrender mean?’ I said: ‘I give up!’” 
• Tony Deyal was last seen saying that Toni Braxton’s son is name “Denim” – it might be his genes or maybe just a bit of parental Levity.


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