Gun names

I was chatting with an old school friend of mine and she told me that someone we used to go to school with is expecting a baby boy. She and her husband are seriously considering [name_m]Colt[/name_m] or [name_u]Remington[/name_u] as a fn. When my friend pointed out that these were both gun related she said she was well aware of that and thought it was appropriate for a boy. I just can’t imagine why anyone would want to name their son after something that can kill people. I know it’s their choice, but why would you do that?

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Colt means young horse. [name_u]Remington[/name_u] means place on a riverbank. Both could also be a family name. We don’t know. Both were names long before they were associated with firearms. Yes, she said she was aware that they were gun related names (the last names of those who had developed the guns were given to their inventions) and thought they were appropriate for a boy, but these names were also the names of famous people who have done good in the world and character names ([name_u]Remington[/name_u] [name_u]Steele[/name_u] for one) as well. We don’t know if there was another reason for her to choose these names.

I’m not agreeing or disagreeing with either side in this case. Today, we all seem to focus in on the one negative to names instead of looking at the positives and other possible meanings and connections. All I’m saying is that people have reasons for choosing names we are not aware of, and if it so happens she chose them because they are gun names, then that is her choice. Would you choose not to name a child [name_m]Theodore[/name_m] because of [name_m]Theodore[/name_m] Kaczynski and [name_m]Theodore[/name_m] “[name_m]Ted[/name_m]” Bundy, both well known criminals? Would you skip naming your child [name_m]Donald[/name_m] because people say you shouldn’t name your child after a current president, even if you’re really naming your child for a beloved relative?

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I agree, I find it really unsettling that so many people seem to think that an association with a gun is a plus, rather than a negative. “I love [name_u]Remington[/name_u] as a name so much that I don’t care about the gun association” or even “the gun association is neutral to me” feels so different from people seeing it as a positive or “appropriate for a boy.” Ew, in my opinion. [name_m]Even[/name_m] if it’s not gun-related, I find really aggressively masculine names for boys off-putting, personally.

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@findemaxa13 [name_m]Can[/name_m] I ask what you find to be a really aggressive masculine name? I’m only asking for my understanding of your statement.

Animals and plants can kill people too, and yet I regularly see names like [name_m]Bear[/name_m] and [name_u]Wolf[/name_u] on baby name lists. I’ve even seen [name_u]Foxglove[/name_u] and [name_u]Oleander[/name_u] on lists before. [name_m]Colt[/name_m] and [name_u]Remington[/name_u]’s origins predate the gun associations.

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Tbh this is the exact thought I had. Not sure it could win the argument but it’s a very fair point.

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I’ve met kids named [name_u]Ranger[/name_u] and [name_u]Rowdy[/name_u], for example. It just feels like the parents were trying too hard to present a certain image.

I completely agree with @shells15 on this one. I actually grew up on a street called [name_u]Remington[/name_u] so for me the name carries more of a sentiment to childhood then it does to guns. As it’s also been pointed out some people name their children after dangerous animals or names of biblical and other literary characters that carry negative connotations. Some name their kids [name_u]Danger[/name_u] and [name_u]Rebel[/name_u] and such. Someone mentioned [name_m]Theodore[/name_m] and it’s potential ties to [name_m]Ted[/name_m] Bundy. I hear [name_m]Theodore[/name_m] and think of [name_m]Alvin[/name_m] and the chipmunks… so you just never know. [name_f]My[/name_f] husband has an in law whom he realized either knowingly or unknowingly has named their kids so far after different beers. People have different reasons for naming kids and unless the name is a deliberate attempt at showcasing evil I wouldn’t jump to the default negative connotations.

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@Alix2016 I too immediately jump to [name_m]Alvin[/name_m] and the Chipmunks :wink:, actor Theodore Bikel and Theodore Roosevelt as well as names I found in my family tree. We also had a couple of friends of the family with [name_m]Theodore[/name_m] as names growing up, so it was a common name in our household.

Remington makes me think of the artist more than guns. I think it’s weird to have a child share a name w guns especially as mass shootings are on the rise, even in schools etc

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Also [name_m]Colt[/name_m] sounds way too much like Cult IMO

I completely understand this feeling, especially with everything that’s going on right now, and the fact that many of us are grieving and angry over atrocities committed with guns. I personally would not name my child anything gun-related, but as others have pointed out, these names have original meanings unrelated to firearms and that means the child can lean into those if they hate the gun association. As someone from outside the USA, I would not look at those names and know they were gun-related. I’d think of young horse for [name_m]Colt[/name_m], and [name_u]Remington[/name_u] gives me fancy english boy.

There is totally a toxic issue regarding violence and destruction being seen as “boyish” and I hope not to raise my sons this way. I hope the parents have chosen the names for other reasons, but at the end of the day we can never control the choices that others make.

I do think there is a difference between gun names and say, [name_m]Bear[/name_m], for example, because there is something more deeply unsettling about humans hurting other humans. When we’re doing it to each other it becomes morally complicated, it becomes an ethical issue. Yes, bears and wolves can kill people. But they’re not aware of the pain they’re causing and still doing it anyway. It’s the circle of live vs man’s inhumanity to man. The latter is much more unsettling than the former.

But at the end of the day, there are many names with many associations, some of them good and some of them bad. [name_f]My[/name_f] favourite girl’s name is [name_f]Delphi[/name_f], and I would use it in spite of the [name_f]Delphi[/name_f] murders because I love the other, more positive associations. Let’s hope those parents feel the same about [name_m]Colt[/name_m] and [name_u]Remington[/name_u]!

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And at least they’re not considering [name_m]Gunner[/name_m] or Rifle or [name_m]Lynch[/name_m]! That would be worse.

Neither of these names is my style, but I wouldn’t jump to negative conclusions personally. Some people are interested in guns; some people rely on guns for their livelihood. Being interested in firearms doesn’t mean that you’re glorifying mass murder. Many old names mean “sword” or “spear” (earlier centuries’ equivalents of today’s firearms), so to me this seems like modern take on an old tradition.

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Gunner is becoming a rather popular name. Nameberry has its popularity currently at 282 joining [name_u]Hunter[/name_u] which is currently #56

I think names with a connection to guns, criminals or other bad things can be roughly put into three categories:

  1. Certain names had originally a positive meaning and good name sakes, but were ruined by bad associations. The name [name_m]Adolf[/name_m] is unusable for example.
  2. Some other names are more in a gray area. They have bad associations but they aren’t totally not done. These are names I would personally still avoid though.
  3. Some names have bad associations but lots of good associations as well. I think a lot of classical, common names belong in this category. Simply because they’re used so often, there’s a high chance of a criminal being named that as well. Like @shells15 pointed out:

For a lot of names it differs from person to person, and from place to place, in which category they would put a name. I’m not from the United States and I didn’t even know that [name_u]Remington[/name_u] and [name_m]Colt[/name_m] were gun related. So for me personally, these names are type 3 names, but it seems like they are type 1 names for you.

However, when naming your children I think it’s important to think about in which category a name belongs according to the ‘general public’ as well. If I would discover a name I like is a type 2 or even type 1 name for a lot of people I wouldn’t want my child to be called that.

In the situation you described, I think the parents see [name_m]Colt[/name_m] and [name_u]Remington[/name_u] as type 3 or maybe type 2 names, because I really hope they are considering these names for other reasons, and not because they want to name their son after a gun.

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Like @alatari [name_m]Colt[/name_m] does remind me of a young horse and [name_u]Remington[/name_u] does sound fanciful. (But the nn [name_u]Remy[/name_u] is so cute and I think the reason many people use it) Personally I wouldn’t use them because I wouldn’t want my child to go through this exact conversation, but I wouldn’t assume anything negative about someone who did. This is probably really based on culture and where you live, but around here I might think they were going for the “good guy in a Western movie” image. To some people guns are an interest like @choupette said and to many people they are just a means of protection. And people name their boys names that mean protection or to protect all the time too.

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