Work/Life: The Pitfalls of Naming Your Baby After A Consumer Product

  • A couple in Sweden just won the right to name their new baby "Lego" after a long intellectual property dispute. This is bizarre on several levels. Firstly, these people were obsessed enough that they actually put time and effort into fighting city hall for this: they fought to secure a name for their child that evokes interlocking plastic bricks. Secondly, it’s hard enough on kids with strange names to avoid getting picked on in school, but with a name like "Lego" you are virtually requesting that piles of young bullies attempt to stack themselves onto your offspring in order to visually duplicate the intended purpose of the toy itself. This child will be crushed both mentally and physically. Thirdly, naming your child after a product is a slippery slope indeed.
  • We are already immersed in a culture in which everything is a commodity, and by choosing a consumer item as a name for your child, you are putting that kid in the same category as a Cuisinart. (Now, don’t all jump on "Cuisinart" as the name for your new baby at once.) In so doing, you are preparing this child to then think of him or her self as a commodity, setting the stage for a lifelong work/life balance struggle that could have disastrous consequences. After all, if you’re named "Lego," it can only be a matter of time before you start to subconsciously take on the expectations of your name. You feel obligated to live up to its legendary toy status. You find yourself wanting to "fit in" to an inordinate degree. And you realize that with a little effort and body positioning, you can look like an airplane or an apartment building.
  • But, if you absolutely must name your child after a treasured product, why not at least choose ones that will give that young ‘un a positive self-image, and not unreasonable expectations of success? For example, why not name your baby:
  1. DEPENDS – Connotes reliability, to both work and family.
  2. KFC – This is one child who will not have any use for trans fat.
  3. GOODYEAR – An empowering name which reminds the child that the year he came along was, indeed, a good year. Mind you, one must remember to keep the blimp references to a minimum.
  4. INTEL – A name that tells the world your little one is smart. Of course, this could also get him beat up at school, although maybe, if Obama gets in, not so much.
  5. HOME DEPOT – No question this one grows up to be responsible to the family, as well as being handy with caulk.
  • So, if you’re planning on branding your little one with an unconventional name torn from the world of retail, think long and hard, my friends. And for poor little "Lego," be afraid. Be very afraid.

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