The Awful Name You Almost Had


My father was almost named Bart. I know this because there’s an old family story that while my grandma was pregnant (or “expecting,” as the adults would say. We’re Catholic.) she told one of her nephews that she was planning on naming the child “Bart” if it was a boy. “Good,” said the child. “Then we can call him ‘Bart the Fart.'”

My father was not named Bart.

It seems like everyone has near-misses with truly bad names, or names that wouldn’t quite “fit.” Dodai’s parents considered naming her “Nicole.” If Madeleine had been a boy, she’d have been “Gadge,” but was almost named “Lane Victoria.” Jessica Coen’s dad was pulling hard for “Ida.” If Lindy had been a boy, she’d have been named Evan and, according to her prediction, worn a lot of scarves. And Isha’s dad really wanted to name her “Chamundeswari.” Fortunately for Isha’s elementary school career (because kids are fucking jerks!), her parents ended up naming her something that the nurse at the hospital could pronounce.

My mom wanted to name me “Holly” and if I’d been a boy, my name would have been “Reid.” Reid Ryan, the boy with the squarest haircut on his side of the Mississipp. Sometimes I try to imagine what Reid would have been like. Tall like my mother’s side of the family? Stocky and athletic like my father’s? Would he have tried hard in school like my sister and I or goofed around with a permanent Cheeto-residue smile like my brother did until he was basically in high school (my brother is now a lawyer, so it’s okay to make fun of what a sloppy child he was). These are the sort of things I think about while I’m alone on the train.

So this week, we’re going to take a break from poop and sex stories and instead focus Pissing Contest on the name you almost had, and why. Was it funny? Terrible? Named for someone famous that ended up being an awful person? We want to hear all about it.

But first, let’s get to last week’s Pissing Contest: Best Prom Stories edition winner. Take it away, La. C.:

High School blew for me. But I was determined to enjoy prom. My boy friend of 2 years (Or a million years in high school, but who’s counting) dumped me right before prom. That was cool, I got to go with my bestie, who hated school as much as I did. Actually, at this point she had already dropped out of school and was living on her own. I honestly don’t know why we did prom and not something fun, but I digress. We stopped by my place of employment, thank you Melting Pot managers for allowing some underaged pre gaming, beforehand to get smashed and then we were on our way. Prom was terrible. It was in some lame conference center. One of the local radio DJ’s was the prom DJ. Since I was harassed brutally in high school, prom was not much different. It just sucked.
So, since we had a life, we got out of there early and hit up some warehouse party. It was fun, I don’t remember the DJ. Then we ended up at an after party with some randos from Arkansas. That was fun too. There were lots of drugs involved, but I don’t remember which was the drug of choice at this point in our partying careers. I’d put my money on ecstasy (or something someone claimed was ecstasy) or cocaine. It was probably cocaine. ANYWHO, we were the last folks at the afterparty and the bartender was hooking it up. We met some guy and his buddy and they wanted to take the after party elsewhere. We went back to his TRAILER IN A TRAILER PARK ON BROOKS ROAD IN MEMPHIS TN and proceeded to get GEEKED and have my one and only threesome with him and my promdate/best friend. We bailed when his weirdo hanger-on buddy tried to get some himself. We headed straight for the park to nap and soak up some sun. A few weeks later our threesome instigator/trailer park romeo was arrested for stealing people’s baggage from the airport (pre 9-11), the local news referred to him as the Baggage Bandit. And there you have it. Prom 2000 was a fucking night to remember.


Without further ado, let’s get to your weird parents’ name preferences, all you Not-Gadges out there.

Image via Shutterstock

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