Author: Eldar Sarajlic

Should Governments Outlaw Bad Child Names?

When our first daughter was born, we gave her the name Lena. We’re Bosnians, yet this is not a typical Bosnian name. Wikipedia says it is seen in Hindi, Hebrew and Swedish. But, we’re not typical Bosnians, either. We live in New York City and feel more cosmopolitan than ethnic. Still, when choosing the name, my wife and I took special care not to come up with one that will be strikingly different from the Bosnian baby-naming standard. After all, we didn’t want Lena’s grandparents and family back in Bosnia break their tongues pronouncing their granddaughter’s name. I liked “Hypatia”, for example, but my wife vetoed it before I even managed to mention the famed beauty and wit of the Alexandrian philosopher whom I admired so much. I can only imagine how my mother would pronounce it while speaking to her over Skype. But, we also didn’t want to give her a traditional Bosnian name that her future classmates in America will have trouble pronouncing, or use as a regular poking tool. Although we both …