Duana Names: Xavier, Lafayette, Memphis
I am in love with the names Xavier Lafayette, and Memphis Xavier. I am told these are the worst names in existence. I am told I would be condemning a child to a life time of mockery. Give it to me straight, are these names as bad as all that? Admittedly, I cannot think of a good nickname for either, but how important is that aspect anyway?
Oh wow. I have rolling, conflicting emotions on this. I went “no-yes-no” in rapid succession when I read this.
Is Xavier Lafayette that bad? Not in my mind. Xavier – sure, good name. I always thought it was pronounced “ZAY-vee-er” but apparently people are pronouncing it ‘EX-a-vee-er” now.
Let me say that I am not in favour of the second pronunciation. Go ahead and call me a snob or a luddite or whatever – I don’t believe you should pronounce the first letter that way. It would be like calling someone “AITCH-eth-er” (Heather…get it?).
So. “Xavier”. No problems here. Lafayette doesn’t speak to me one way or another, but is it a family name, or are you trying to impart something with general exoticism, or what? What would he be mocked for? “Fey”? Remember that your son is going to at school with a million people whose name ends in Brayden, some Maddoxes and Jaxes and Sebastiens. I really don’t think Xavier’s going to stand out that much. Also, Xavier is going to be called Xave. No question. It’s this generation’s “Dave”.
Now that we’ve dealt with that though – what’s the deal with Memphis?
Memphis. Not terribly lyrical to say. Sounds a bit, well, I gotta say it, a bit pretentious. Because think about actually saying it out loud. “Memphis! Get your homework off the table!” “Memphis has a bit of a cold”. It should work, because Georgia works, and Dakota works, but they have rhythms and sounds that are a lot more like names. Memphis somehow makes me think of “Camphor” or “Purvis” or names of corporations more than a name of a little boy. Nicknames have never been my thing either, but I just don’t get a vibe off Memphis. Do you? I mean, does it really sound like it’s your little kid?
If it does, then great. But if what you want is the sound of the south, then hey, I think you can do better. Carter. Landon. Hell, watch an episode of “Nashville”. Teddy. Deacon. Avery. Long, languid names that sound like a boy was taught that it’s a fine thing to be a Southern man by his Daddy. Everett. Hell, even Davenport.
Or name him Xavier Memphis, and get the best of all worlds. But know you’re naming him because these are names you love, and not because you’re trying to title a band who’s also a kid, right? He’ll be cool no matter what you name him – you don’t have to front-load it all at once.