Make way for Quon and names of tomorrow

May 28, 1999|By Loretta Grantham | By Loretta Grantham,COX NEWS SERVICE

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- You know you've thumbed through one of those dog-eared, pink paperbacks searching for your moniker's derivation and deep meaning.

Jennifer: Celtic, "white wave."

But a new baby-name book has been born, this one lime green and with an attitude: "Puffy, Xena, Quentin, Uma and 10,000 Other Names for Your New Millennium Baby."

Jennifer's out. So's Kimberly, Ashley, Matthew and Robert. Also passe: Otherwise sane names spelled weird "that will create a lifetime of headaches for the DMV." Jaeyne and Mychell, for instance.

The tots of tomorrow, just to name a few, are Jabot, Ide and Quon. Baize, Ingo and Zafion. The first three are in the girls section, but we sense a unisex trend.

Written by Joal (dad John and mom Alice) Ryan and in stores June 7, "Puffy, Xena" is more than a bland roster. It's also a commentary.

Ryan divides names into, among other categories, "Pocket T's" -- durable classics: Paige, Vanessa, Eric, James. "Peanut-Butter-and-Jelly Sandwiches" -- easily digestible: Jill, Karen, Alan, Keith. "Trendy Suspenders" -- flashes in the pan: Gwyneth, Whitney, Frasier, Garth.

"So it's come to this, has it?" writes Ryan, 32. "You, with the living room full of cheap Swedish furniture, a decade-old college debt and an expansive video-game collection. You, friend, have just had your ticket to Grown-Up Land punched. So, what are you gonna name the kid?"

Many entries include pros and cons. Gloria: "Plus: A safe choice. Minus: That Laura Branigan song." Campbell: "Plus: The less trendy alternative to Cameron. Minus: The soup thing."

The author stresses that "everyone's got an opinion on what's good, bad and why.

"In the end," she says, "there are no rights and wrongs. Just degrees of therapy bills."

Sure hope little Puffy has insurance.

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