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With the emergence of Jedi as an organized religion, I can’t help wondering whether good old saints’ names, already sorely besieged by Madison, Ava, Parker and Holden, are going to find even more competition in an entirely new breed of religiously-inspired names.

If the lunch-table conversation in my house today was any indicator, Michael, for example — perennially at the top of every boy-name list — could lose out definitively to Obi-wan and Yoda.

Actually, I wonder whether that’s already happening. That would be a sign, after all, of the real inculturation of Jedi. The preponderance of Lukes out there right now doesn’t tell us all that much, but are there stats yet on the number of, say, Boba Fetts born in the last year?

Enquiring minds, you know.

Meanwhile, I don’t know what megavitamins the people were on who came up with this “Country-Clubber” list of baby names.

Beaumont? Stanford? Heatherly? These aren’t “Country-Club” names. These are “My Mother Watched Way the Heck Too Many Soap Operas and Read Way the Heck Too Many Trashy Romance Novels” names.

Trust me on this. Though I’ve never belonged to a country club, I did go to prep school, which experience left me, among other things, with an undying fascination with names, especially ones which seemed completely normal to me all the time I was growing up, and only later, when I left home, began to strike me as maybe a little unusual.

A girl I went to school with was named Darwin, for example, while her brother was called Posey. I knew girls named things like Douglas, Kendall, and Lawrence, perfectly lovely girls for whom these names seemed to be perfectly appropriate signifiers. Didn’t everyone everywhere know girls with names like that?

I’ve been fond of recounting an anecdote which involves names of actual boys of my lifelong acquaintance. Seems that a girl this group of boys all knew had told them that her parents had had a hot tub installed, and that they should come over and get in it, any old time. So one night, when they were out cruising around, they decided to take her up on her invitation. Nobody was home, but she had said “any time,” so into the hot tub they got.

The girl’s sister, on returning home from wherever she’d been, heard voices emanating from the backyard. “Who’s in the hot tub?” she called.

“Posey, Porter, Tip, Mott, and Horace,” they replied, whereupon she asked the most natural question to ask under the circumstances:

“Who named y’all?”

So if you’re looking for a litmus test for the . . . uh . . . let’s just say “old-family-ness” of a name, I think that would be it.

On the other hand, if you’re into the emergent-religion thing, just think: you could end up with Artoo, Beru, and Darth at your table someday, discussing what cult-movie characters your grandchildren will be named for.

Want more patron-saint coloring pages for those babies? Go here. And I guess somebody has to say it: May the Force be with you.

More on: Children (Other)

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