Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions. 


Wednesday, December 6

Gapers Block

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr


mike-ts / August 17, 2010 12:25 AM

I never was told "We picked X for a girl and Y for a boy." I picture them guessing on a name once they saw a boy come out. Mikes were all over the place, so there. When my maternal grandfather's cousin nagged him to Americanize his name, he looked up at the street sign they were standing under at the time and took that. Luckily it was a president's name, otherwise they would've been the 15th Avenues or something, and they would've been just fine with it, freaking Slavic peasants ;) Now I had aunts Mary and Barb who were named after older siblings who died in infancy. The first one passed, we got another girl, heck let's recycle. And a classmate Anthony with the same story!

But that is quite an intriguing question. I can't wait to see how it's received when I ask people in person.

Texas T / August 17, 2010 8:52 AM

I never verified this with my mom since my parents have been divorced for eons, but I was told that my dad got to pick the girl name and my mom picked the boy name. If I had been a boy, she would have named me Daniel after the Elton John song.

Luckily I was a girl and I was named after my great-great grandmother who was full-blooded Comanche. I like having a unique name that people are afraid to pronounce.

karen / August 17, 2010 9:37 AM

I was supposed to be named Jeremy Carl Walter... not sure where Jeremy came from, but Carl is an Uncle on my dad's side, Walter an Uncle on my mom's side. The deal was, if they named me that, my Uncle Carl was going to give my parents a pool table.

Alas, I was a girl, and no pool table was given. They've never let me forget it.

anne / August 17, 2010 10:05 AM

My brother wanted a little brother and wanted me named either Ralph or Potsie. (Big Happy Days fan.)

Kara / August 17, 2010 10:13 AM

I would have been Joseph Ambrose III. I still don't understand why they didn't name my brother that - I guess by the time he came around, they had given up on tradition.

kate / August 17, 2010 10:26 AM


Heather / August 17, 2010 10:29 AM

Noah. This was in 1970. The joke was my middle name would be Count. Yup. Noah Count.

My parents had two more girls.

alyssa / August 17, 2010 11:14 AM

Joel Anthony.

BG / August 17, 2010 11:23 AM

Angela or Velia (that was my grandma's name).

The story of how I got my name, William, is kinda funny. I was a really difficult birth for my mom (I almost suffocated because the umbiblical cord was wrapped around my neck) and she was pretty exhausted.

They had a slew of boy names ready for me like Christopher, Matthew, Pasquale (after my grandpa), etc. But my dad said to my exhausted mom, "Why don't we name him 'Billy,' after me?" My mom basically said, "Whatever" and went back to sleep.

Brian / August 17, 2010 1:53 PM


Carrie / August 17, 2010 2:03 PM


Robin / August 17, 2010 4:30 PM


eee / August 17, 2010 4:48 PM

The joke was I would have been given the family name of Lorenzo Alfonso—doubly bad as our last name was also 3 syllables ending in "o." In reality, it would have been Michael David.

fluffy / August 17, 2010 6:56 PM

If I was a boy, Carlos. They knew I was a girl, and the nurses tried to convince my Mom to name me 'Olympia' since the Olympics were taking place at the time in that country.

joshua / August 18, 2010 9:06 AM

Bari. My first cousins and I all have biblical names (coincidence or attributable to maternal grandparents) so I'm not sure where Bari would have come from, but I'm happy as a Joshua.

mare / August 18, 2010 4:16 PM

christopher george.

Allison / August 18, 2010 4:32 PM

First name: Joe. Middle name: Montana. So glad I'm a girl. Probably would have had same small stature and been quite a disappointing quarterback.

Stacey / August 18, 2010 5:02 PM

Instead of "Stacey Joy" - I would have been "Paul Richard."


Lisa / August 18, 2010 5:05 PM

I was going to be Adam Christopher.

But my middle name now is after my Dad's favorite Beatles song, Michelle, so that's pretty cool.

Abi / August 18, 2010 5:35 PM

If I had been a boy my name was going to be Howard, after my grandfather whom I never met... I appreciate the idea of the tribute, however, had I grown up as Howie, I think I would have been far more maladjusted. So instead I'm Abigail, and let's just say I'm quite happy with that.

Emily / August 19, 2010 9:16 AM

I would have been a Joshua...and was almost an Amanda.

Robyn / August 19, 2010 12:48 PM

The name had to start with an "R" - I was en route to being a Rose or Rachel when my dad struck up a conversation with a woman viewing a baby in the nursery at the hospital...her name was Robyn. named after a stranger.

Paul / August 20, 2010 12:41 AM

Marie Angelique

printdude / August 20, 2010 5:09 AM

Jay Mariotti

Michael / August 20, 2010 11:19 AM

Jennifer. Michael and Jennifer were the most popular names in 1972.

Spook / August 20, 2010 9:18 PM


next question?

jennifer / August 23, 2010 2:16 AM

my name was going to be garret. as a child of the 80s, being named jennifer meant that I was one of five in my grade growing up. yay for small town groupthink?

GB store

Recently on Fuel

Urban Ethos [26]
What is Chicago's "urban ethos"?

Cool Glass of... [16]
What're you drinking?

Supreme Decision [22]
What's your reaction to the Supreme Court's decision on the Affordable Care Act?

Taking it to the Streets [20]
Chicago Street Fairs: Revolting or Awesome?

I Can Be Cruel [9]
Be real: what is the meanest thing you've ever done?

View the complete archive

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15