A Surge of Surnames Serving as Starters

Register by Tim Reckmann

A Surge of Surnames Serving as Starters

Whenever I hear people blame
How surnames get above their station,
Moving up to the front of the name,
In a silly fads and trendy game,
Calling kids Odell or Mason,
Grabbing at that Moon Unit fame
That should belong to Jane and Jason
I love to contradict their claims
By pointing out it’s nothing new for names –
So Franklin, Brooke, and Harrison,
Meet Stanley, Joyce, and Allison,
Who opened up the door through which you came.
But then, there’s many a fam’ly brand
Whose use ain’t so contrived or underhand –
For they themselves derived from the font-side,
Taking a personal name, and riffing free,
Which now completes its jaunty ride
By cycling back as Price or Tiffany,
With not a shred of shame.
For labels, monikers and nicks,
Are simply anything that sticks –
And who wants kids to all be called the same ?

It’s intersting to consider how the four different types of surname get reappropriated:
Patronymic-names (f’instance Anderson, McKenzie, Fitzpatrick) are obvious candidates, being already based on a forename.
Location-names (like Milton, Beverley, Beckett) would be grabbed if they were thought to sound nice, much like India and Vienna would be later, though now with an added dash of exotic.
Nickname-names (say Wiley, Swift, Armstrong) are slower to be taken up, but not unheard-of.
Occupation-names (such as Parker, Smith, Marshall) are the most surname-sounding, and their recent large-scale take-up could well come to define this century, just as the Victorians are associated with naming their daughters after flowers and gemstones.

By the way…if Tinker Dill was a character in Lovejoy, Taylor Dayne was an 80s pop star, Soulja Boy is a rapper…then I guess it’s only a matter of time before we can say Hello Sailor…

(And to all you subjunctive-lovers out there, I stand by the two ‘was’-es above, as what it is saying is “IF…given that Character A was in Show B, THEN…”, meaning that the ‘was’ is not part of the conditional clause.)

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