i have taught in many schools and daycare centres and heard it all, but no kid has been picked on because of their name.
You must live somewhere fantastic
yes i live in fairy land with lepracorns and fairy dust...
seriously, with the age group i have taught (0-5's) they just dont give a crap what someone's name is. also in kindy, it isnt a big issue, it is in upper primary and high school which names can cause some probs (but i dont teach that area). at the age i have taught they just dont have the development to associate names with teasing. the girls dont want to play or be someones friend, boys seem to pick out the socially shyest or quietest to intimidate.
"and who will be the name police and decide what is 'weird' and what is 'normal'?
that would be society. names that were popular way back when would be seem as ludicrous nowadays. society changes it's values and views and as such this has an effect of lots of things, names included. what's seen as 'normal' today may not be tomorrow.
so i am part of 'society' and i obviously are more laid back than some people, so once again it is an ambiguous task to determine 'normal'. sure, i had a giggle when gwenyth paltwro named her daughter 'apple' and then 'moses', plus nicole kidman and 'sunday roast (rose)'. but i got over it! it is just a name, it means a lot to the parents who put a lot of thought into it.
perhaps i am naive to think that the name isnt the problem, it is the BULLYING. i hope that i can raise my kids to be respectful and tolerant towards others, including their names, race, religion, socio economic backgrounds.
i would hate to raise my kid to be a conformast/sheep. dont we encourage children to be themselves, to stand up for what they believe in, to be great? or do we squash the individuality out of them so they can 'conform; and follow all the other sheep so they dont get picked on?
as for adolf hitler, well i surely wouldnt because of the negativity/inhumanity of the PERSON, and wouldnt want my child associated with that. but it wasnt the name that caused adolf to be adolf, it was his behaviour and personality.
name your child what you want. as you said, the goal posts will shift over time and the new breed of sheep will determine what is appropriate. now i know we conform for many reasons, including morals, values etc, that is why certain crimes are such taboo and keep order and a sense of community. but personally i am glad there is uniqueness and difference in the world. if people dont go outside the square, then where would be?
[Edited on 24/12/2008]