Is My Nephew the Spawn of Satan?

Filed under: Baby Names, Opinions

My nephew's baby has already been born, but the name they chose will give you goosebumps. Damien. Are they in their right minds? I find it truly embarrassing. I think so many people have seen all the "Omen" movies. I know there is nothing you can do. I just felt like talking about it.

- Spooked Great Aunt


Don't give up hope, there may be something I can do after all. I can persuade you that a demonic child in a horror movie isn't a bad association for your grand-nephew's name.

No, I'm not coming down on the side of demons. I'm just reporting on the realities of fashion. Strange as it may seem, a film appearance as the spawn of Satan is a reliable recipe for a fashionable baby name. Take a look at this lineup of classic horror movie kids:

"Rosemary's Baby" (1968): Adrian

"The Exorcist" (1973): Regan

"The Omen" (1976): Damien

"Pet Sematary" (1989): Gage

Every one of these names soared in popularity after the movies came out. Somehow, parents were able to look past the glowing eyes, spinning heads and projectile vomit to say "Hey, that's a catchy name!" Damien is an especially clear case, because of the spelling. Damien-with-an-e is the French version of the old saint's name Damian. After "The Omen" came out, it quickly leapfrogged the traditional English spelling.

Why the craze for cursed kiddies? I don't think it's a national turn to the dark side. It's about the way screenwriters came up with those names to begin with. They aimed for names that were unusual but not weird, with a slight air of formality or mystery about them. That's a mighty stylish recipe -- unusual and formal are totally in. So rest easy. The same ingredients that made Damien a perfect choice for a '70s horror movie also make it a perfect choice for a 21st-century American family.

Have you disagreed with relatives' name choices? Share your experiences here. And if you have your own question to Ask the Name Lady, drop her a line!

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.