Parents Can Be Cruel

When your precious baby is born, isn’t it your parental duty to give your child a decent name?

For a female there is always the possibility of marriage and her last name changing to an unanticipated blunder.  Which reminds of this sweet, little old lady I once knew whose name was Ima Hog. 

If your name was Ima, wouldn’t you pick your husband more carefully?

Anyway, my point is, in high school there was a girl in my home room whose name was hideous.  I went to a private, all girl’s school where you didn’t automatically know everyone; girl’s came from all over the county.

So the very first day of classes, as a freshman, attendance was taken.  This is where I heard the name that no doubt came straight from the gate’s of hell.  A name only the cruelest of parent’s could have bestowed upon their child.   

Miss Bertha Controla,” the teacher called out. 

“Present,” Bertha said.

Ugh.  There was an audible gasp, I’m not even kidding.  Twenty-five bobbish haircuts flipped around to take pity on this poor soul.

Who in the sam-heck would name their child Bertha Controla? 

Kids are cruel and the teasing from the boys who held a daily vigil outside our school’s gates were the worst offenders.

They were relentless in their pursuits of her.  ”Bertha what do you think about condoms, spermicides, gels, whatever they could dream up.  It was always so creative and witty, as if they had brainstormed their taunting remarks all afternoon.  You know they did.

I felt bad for her, but geez what were her parent’s thinking?

Were they not using birth control when she was conceived?  Or were they using birth control that failed?

Their last name was Controla for cripe’s sake, I’m sure they thought about it.  Was it a joke they played on their own daughter?

Bertha did not return to school after our sophomore year.  She just disappeared.  Kind of like the Today Sponge.  Kidding, I’m kidding! 

So Bertha, if you’re out there…please let me know what happened to you.  I’d love to know if you ever married and if your new name gave you a new life.  Something tells me you didn’t hold on to your maiden name for posterity.

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  1. Ruth 1

    the best (or rather worst) one i eve heard was Iona Wall. although i suppose with that first name, it could have been even worse!

  2. You are NOT serious! Wow, and I was worried about the initials being a issue with Miss Ky– we changed her middle name to Paige to keep from having the initials spell out “Kad”.
    The Today sponge comment was especially clever…

  3. Yeah. I’ve always thought those parents must be clueless, rather than cruel, because who would do that to their own child? But then I remember that plenty of parents abuse their kids, so not everyone wants what’s best for offspring. Nice.

  4. ntsc 4

    My wife’s birth initials were VLD, her mother once gave her a sweater with only VD as the monogram and her sorority nickname was syph. She did not take my name when we married.

    My first wife did, which made her initials MBJ, guess what she got called?

  5. There was a girl in my first high school named Crystal Chanda Leer. I also knew a Heaven Delight Height and a Harry Cox. My mom told me about two little girls who lived near us when I was very young I can’t remember the names right now, but it sounded like a French strip act.

    I hope we haven’t scarred our kids with their names. I think we picked well, even if they are a little more common than I would have liked. Dh and the boys have been teased enough by putting “master” in front of our last name.

  6. Tipper 6

    When I told my husband about Bertha-he wouldn’t believe it. I said what about the boy in your high school named Harry Pitts? Parents are sometimes clueless-or at least I am anyway.

  7. giz 7

    By now I can guarantee you that poor Bertha has changed her name to Jane Doe and goes through life happily unnoticed. What WERE her parents thinking?

  8. krysta 8

    Oh poor Bertha. I had a maiden name that caused me endless teasing.

  9. sharon 9

    A friend of mine works in labor & delivery and she sometimes wonders if parents should be coached on the horrors a child will experience with some of the names that come through. Imagine putting it on a resume?! I went to grade school with Luke Sky Walker which was actually pretty cool…when you’re 10.

  10. Harmony 10

    How awful for Bertha, parents really don’t get it. But I have to admit, I like names that are different…but I would never do anything like that! When people hear my name, I am almost always asked “oh yeah…do you have a sister named Melody?”…The looks on their faces when I tell them that I do, is hilarious! Hey what did they expect from hippies!

  11. That is one of the most unfortunate names I have ever encountered. Except for my brother’s urologist: Dr. Small.

  12. How about the little girl named “Female” pronounced femahlee like tamale. The kind doctor at the hospital named her and put it in her crib. This is no joke it really happened.
    That poor girl.

  13. That is terrible. My parents joked about naming me Tajma and my brother Carnegie (yes, my maiden name is Hall) but they didn’t DO it for Pete’s sake!

  14. ryn 14

    I married in to a difficult name….my maiden name is Barnett which is fine but after I married I became Ryn Rohe said three times fast sounds like something from scooby doo. My husband and I laughed about naming our kids skid or front or even shad…..never would we have done it. Some people think its funny, I just feel so sorry for the kids.

  15. My oldest informs me that she is scarred by her name. I think she’s being overly dramatic!
    This is one of the hardest things for a parent to do, name their child something that isn’t going to result in chronic teasing or an unfortunate name later on.

    And the Today Sponge was a disaster, even if it did lead to an epic line on Seinfeld!

  16. SHUT UP.

    That is a really bad awful no good name. Really kind of makes you appreciate your name all the more, huh?

  17. annbb 17

    Too funny…to read about. I feel sorry for Miss Bertha, wherever she may be. At the very least, she could have gone by Berti!

  18. Stephanie 18

    I’m living in the land of Ima Hogg. Her family was one of THE families in Houston. The thing is she never did marry. But she did leave all of he family’s money to the City of Houston, University of Houston, and so on. Her name lives on….

    On another note, when we were going to name our second boy, we were going to name him after my husband’s favorite uncle, then changed out mind when we saw his initials would be GSR. Well at least my initials changed from SAG to SAR. My dad and sister are both SAG. I told my sister to marry a guy with last name that starts with T.

  19. Vonda 19

    Oh I used to work in special services at a school district and there was a little blind and deaf boy that had the name of Raisin Cane. Horrible. There was also Dusty Rhodes, Levi Blue and a bunch of others. I don’t know what parents are thinking sometimes.

  20. Hoo hoo! These names are great. We have a local realtor named Marty Penix. His wife’s name . . . is Alma. I suppose the only worse possibility would be if they named their son Harry.

  21. I went to school with a girl named Candy and she married a guy with the last name of Mann. So there you have it…

  22. julie 22

    I have had students in my school named: Duncan Duncan and Candy and Cookie Crumbles. My brother used to rodeo and there was a guy named Short Risings, or how bout Dusty and Sandy Rhodes.
    I dated a guy named Jubal Lee.
    My best friend’s dad’s name is Harry Dicke.
    Sometimes I think parents think they are being clever when they really really aren’t.

  23. Flea 23

    You’re fairly young, right? Mother of small children? Who names a child Bertha anymore anyway? That poor, poor thing.

  24. I used to work as a mailman in Sweden during summers, and I found some interesting names there.

    Ann Ahl actually married into being named “anal”, but my favourite is Hans Nopp, whose name translates into “his penis”. Poor guy.

  25. Jessica 25

    Aww I feel so bad for that girl!

  26. Oh no. Poor, poor Bertha. Maybe her parents didn’t speak English well? I hope?

    Growing up, there were old brothers that lived in town named Harry and Dick, and their last name was Butts.

    And, I had a gyno named Dr. Feltz.

    My father-in-law’s mother wanted to name him something, but his initials would have been horrible. So, she switched the middle and first names on the legal documents and then called him by his middle name. (Does that make sense?)

    I wonder if Bertha goes by her middle name now? Poor, poor Bertha.

  27. Bertha may have been the poor girls rich Aunt and she was named after her. Or the name might have been in the family for years on the mother’s side.
    We named all our children so they had the initial PJL. Why did we do that? Who knows. Peter was supposed to be John James but Betty heard the name Peter John and that’s what he became.

  28. shelly 28

    Are you shitting me? Maybe her parents wished that they had used some and that is the reason for the name.

  29. Lorena 29

    We have two public(ish) figures here in Oz that always get a snigger in our house: Misty Hymen (yes, really) and Guy Stainer.

  30. Philly 30

    Ok, how bout this name…..Dick Long

    True story

  31. Oh, that poor kid! What the hell were her parents thinking (or were they thinking at all)? When I was in school, there was a kid named David Davis. For cripes sake, if your last name was Davis, why would you name your kid David?

    My optometrist’s name is Ron Doctor. We call him Dr. Doctor!

    There used to be a surgeon in town named John Butcher. Can you imagine having your tonsils cut out by Dr. Butcher? I think I’d have chosen a different career path. ;)

  32. marye 32

    Stephanie said what I was gonna say…cause I am also living in the land of Hogg.

    On the other hand, kids will find something to tease other kids about no matter what.

  33. Liz C. 33

    Oh poor, poor Bertha.

    The former governor of the state of Texas James “Big Jim” Hogg named his daughter Ima. It used to be rumored that she had a sister name Ura Hogg, but that wasn’t true although it would have been funny. I think it was something like naming a boy Sue, lol.

    Get this. My paternal grandmother was named Agnes Gertrude. It’s a wonder she ever had a date, much less kids. But, back then it must have been an acceptable name.

  34. What an awful story. I often wonder what parents are thinking.

    My son has a cute name but it’s not super popular. He recently asked me why I couldn’t just name him something normal like John.

  35. Greta 35

    Uh…I totally named my son John. I am glad ;)

    I commented this before, but…true story…there’s a urologist in my area named Dr. Dick Tapper. He is awesome!

  36. That’s bad…

  37. grace 37

    i’m confounded by the william williams and robert roberts of the world. also, i know a woman named anita (i-need-a) mann. it’s true to fact, too–she’s single. :)

  38. Jenpirate 38

    My boyfriend’s mom is a teacher and she has taught some kids with some funny names. Like the twins Orangejello and Lemonjello. She also knew of a lady who had a student named Shithead (pronounced Shi-thead). I also have an uncle named William Williams. And I knew of two brothers, one named Billy and one named Willy. I also went to school with twins named Rusty and Dusty. People have very weird names, especially in the south.

  39. Neen 39

    Ugh. That’s just cruel.

  40. Ellie 40

    A teacher friend told me she had a child in class named “Lavoris,”. We figured it was her 10th child, she rolled over and saw a bottle of Lavoris mouth wash and that was good enough. My daughter had a classmate named Zucchini.


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