June 26, 2013 – Entranced in my favorite online game over the weekend (“Strike a Match” on Boxerjam.com ), I came across a player using “Khaleesi” as their username.
Any fan of “Game of Thrones” knows that Khaleesi is “the mother of dragons”. They also know that technically it is not a name, but rather a title. The character’s name is Daenerys Targaryen.
Still, I thought it was clever.
Yesterday, I found an article in an online newspaper that stated, “There are now 146 American girls named Khaleesi, up 450% from 2011.”
I knew that the name Arya, another popular character from “Game of Thrones” was on the rise, but that sounds like an actual first name. I’ve also known people to name their pets after sports heroes and characters from movies and books. For instance, friends have a dog named Gandalf because they are huge fans of “The Lord of the Rings” books, another has a new puppy named Chase Mutley, after the Phillies Chase Utley, and others named their cat Buster, after the character in “Arrested Development”. That works. Khaleesi is also the perfect name for a regal cat, don’t you think?
Naming pets by these character names is whimsical. When it comes to a child, a human being who will have to repeat his or her name thousands of times over the years, it borders on child abuse.
Why would anyone want to saddle a child with a name so unusual it makes him or her uncomfortable? A pet won’t have to stand by their name in the schoolyard, or possibly grow up to be a CEO of a major corporation with a name that embarrasses them. Standing out in any way is enough to embarrass a kid at any age. They will already feel odd enough during their lifetime, so why make that worse with an unusual name.
Parents, I beg you, if you want to be clever, or feel particularly close to characters in a sci-fi book, get a pet or a new online handle. You’ll still get the thrill of creativity, and spare your child from a lifetime of embarrassment.