Whither Junior

Another from the archival mists, or something.



One thing I have noticed in having two sons is the dwindling of naming a son for his father. Numbah One Son is not merely a Junior, he's actually a fourth. He, for reasons which I suspect are inextricably linked to genetic insufferability, particularly enjoys appending that IV to his name.

But within his (and his brother's sphere of influence) there are pratically no other boys named after their dad. This is not a rant about people who give their children crazy-ass names such as Carrion or Treyteur, what PG Wodehouse used to term "raw work at the font." In fact, our census shows exactly one other Junior, and that's pretty much all there is.

I'm not really sure why this is.

Some of them, I am reliably informed, have to do with the fact the wife, while she may love and adore her husband, she does so in spite of his name. Maybe it reminds her of a childhood bully, maybe she has harbored a grave distaste for the most prominent consonant thereof, maybe there is a villainous TV character who shares the name, no matter. That name will NOT be levied upon HER baby. And that's that.

My BiL is a Junior, and when my nephew was born, his wife resolutely refused to allow the lad to be saddled with a III. And so the long day wears on.

This isn't to say that every dad should have a lad named in his honor, but I am perplexed as to why this is in decline.

-Joke the III


Frogdancer said…
Well, speaking as a woman who has 4 sons, NONE named after their father, it has to do with personal identity. I believe that every person should have their own name, not someone's (slightly used) one.

However, second/middle names are different. Then you can keep the family happy. My third son's middle name is also his great grandfather's name, (who, incidentally, when we told him, looked pleased but then later said, "I never liked my name...."), but all the other kids have their own names. Except the first one.

He has my maiden name as a middle name. In my defence, I didn't know that 5 years later I'd be divorcing my husband and taking the name back.

Um... what were we talking about? Ah yes! Kids' names! Anyway, that was my reasoning. (Plus the names of all of the grandfathers were incredibly clunky. No way I was going to inflict any of them on a kid in the playground. And I hated the name 'Tony'. )

After all this, I don't think I need to write a blog post today. Maybe I should just send everyone here...!
Poppy Buxom said…
Well, Mr. Buxom doesn't particularly like his Christian name. So we named our son after both of our fathers. They happened to sport the same moniker, which happened to be one of my favorites.
My mom's brother was a Junior. He struggled his whole life trying to make an identity for himself. He eventually ended his own life. We have known others named junior and they have struggled as well. It can be difficult to live up to expectations of the name.
Badger said…
My dad is a junior, but my brother is not a III (or a Tres, as they are known hereabouts). I dunno why, really, except my dad and my grandfather had issues, and I suspect my dad didn't want to visit those upon his son.

We toyed with the idea of naming the boy after his grandfathers, but one is named Ray and the other is named Charles, I kid you not. No matter how you slice that ... no. And the boy was not to be a junior, because when DH was young his first name lent itself easily to a particularly damaging slur. We compromised by giving the kids our middle names -- the boy has DH's, and the girl has mine.

I grew up with a couple of girls who were named exactly after their mothers, though. I have no idea what you even CALL that.
Jen said…
LB is a junior and though he's extremely fond of his dad, he never enjoyed having his name. He was adamant that none of our children should be juniors. There are no juniors in my family of origin, due to Jewish custom which dictates that you don't name a baby after someone living.
Caro said…
My son is a junior but that's because his father rejected every other name I picked out. Maybe there was a method to his madness.

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