Dear Auntie Venting
Something terrible has happened, yah? I have totally kept my other middle name a secret for years and years, yah, and now some pesky phone hacking inquiry has meant I had to, like, totally reveal it to everyone, yah, and now they’re all laughing at me. I mean, Mungo is a totally solid name. It’s been in my family for generations. I totally respect its history and its connection with all things traditional and aristocratic, yah? My other middle name – John – is so common. Like, sooooooo common. I need the Mungo to totally posh me up a bit.
But now my worry is that since people are laughing at me, I totally don’t know what to call my baby, who was, like, born recently and everything. Can I call her Mungo? Is it totally a boy’s name, or can I be all groovy and, like, totally modern and, like, break down the barriers between gender and renounce stereotyping and all that, yah? What other amazing names are there? Surely none are as amazing as Mungo? My god, Auntie Venting, you must help me. This is, like, totally doing my head in.
The totally honourable and not-at-all sleazy
Auntie Venting says…
Calm down, Mungo. Choosing a baby name is fraught with danger and one needs a SOUND MIND and a COLLECTED DEMEANOUR to be able to achieve the Holy Grail of parenting – i.e. the Ultimate Baby Name That No One Will Laugh At. It can be done. Do not quail in the face of danger! Keep your head and take some deep breaths. I will help you through this calamitous time.
Although, from what you say, you are heading in the wrong direction entirely. I don’t have much hope.
You see, Mungo is not a cool name. It is a ridiculous name. It sounds too much like Um-Bongo, the mega-fruity juice drink beloved of anyone fortunate enough to be a child during the 1980s. And nobody wants to have a name that sounds like a juice drink. Please DO NOT call your daughter Mungo. Not even the middle name. No.
As for first names, this can be a veritable minefield of lifelong mockery and heartache. Do not choose anything that rhymes with a rude word. Your child would suffer intolerably in the playground. And beware: kids can be horribly imaginative, as my friends Ruby ‘Pubey’ Townsend and the late Felicity ‘Fecal Matter’ Jones (god rest her soul) knew all too well.
Do not choose a name that could easily be misconstrued as a pet’s name. Standing in the park and calling for your daughter to come to you could result in a cavalcade of dogs launching themselves at your nethers instead, which is never handy for anyone. Therefore avoid Chi Chi, Bam Bam, Snowy, Toto and Sugar Cube. Which reminds me, do not pick a name that can also be slightly whorish.
Try to choose a name which is feminine, to avoid confusion in later life, especially if your daughter happens to inherit your hairy-arse gene.
And lastly, bear in mind that inspiration can be found in the most obvious places. The other day I was gazing out of my window and musing on the wonders of nature and managed to spy several suitable baby names within no time at all. Unfortunately, my husband did not want children called Spruce, Pylon or Massive Grain Silo. The spoilsport.
I hope this helps you, Mungo. And good luck with the whole parenting thing. You’re going to need it.
[No actors were harmed during the making of this blog post]