Dave McElhinny: No shot at being the best Dave in history
Monday, July 22, 2019 | 12:01 AM
More and more people are choosing to create unique names for their newborn children. Bill, Mary and John are giving way to the likes of Tymber, Kalaris or LaTonyalicious.
Others are choosing traditional names, but spelling them differently, such as Maddisyn, Aydin, Emalee or Maysson.
Some people get annoyed by odd spellings or unheard-of names, but not me. I totally get it. After all, if you want your child to have a shot at being the best person in history with that particular name, you gotta get creative.
My name is Dave.
Nothing too descriptive or creative there, and considering some of the great Daves in history, chances are pretty good that I won’t even crack the top 10,000.
From Beckham to Letterman, Chappelle to Hasselhoff, these guys have done more with Dave than I ever have. With people like Matthews, Copperfield, Lee Roth, Osborne (Super Dave) and Crockett being my predecessors, not to mention that guy who toppled a giant, I think it’s safe to say I’m more than a few rungs down on the Dave ladder.
If only my parents had the foresight to name me something unique like Hashtag, Thimersol or Granolafiber, then I would’ve had a chance.
The problem is that in America we don’t have any naming rules, so a guy like me doesn’t stand a chance of rising to the top.
I think certain Native American traditions hold a lot of merit, where you earn your name or it is bestowed upon you according to your attributes. Chapawee is a Sioux name that means “Industrious or busy.” Macawi means “Generous,” and Zonta means “Trusted.” Now that’s awesome. Generous McElhinny would’ve been cooler than Dave.
Perhaps our culture should adopt such a notion. A child could be given a temporary name at birth, like Beta 6 or R2D3, and then on their 18th birthday, a permanent name can be chosen that more suits that person.
For me, considering my love of words, maybe Booker or Reed would’ve been a good fit. For a banker, it would be something completely different, like Cash or Grant. You get the idea — a name that fits the person.
Since my parents dropped the ball on my moniker, I swore that I wouldn’t make the same mistake. So I made the decision to allow my youngest son the option to change his name. I’m a good dad like that. After all, Adam is like the oldest name in history. It comes from the original man and has been used a lot. It’s time he creates his own destiny and not be shackled by an arbitrary title bestowed upon him at birth.
So the other night, as he was getting ready for bed, we sat in his room and I asked him if he could change his name, what would he choose. He thought carefully about it, weighing different names. I told him not to rush this decision. Finally, after some serious deliberation, he gave me his answer — and it was kind of cheesy, but a deal is a deal.
I’m not sure if my wife is going to go for it, but when school starts back up in the fall, everybody will get a chance to reintroduce themselves to Doritos McElhinny.
I think he could end up No. 1.