Sunday, June 22, 2008

A Girl Named Dagny

Just read about an Objectivist who called his daughter "Dagny." Hmm. If I ever had a son, would I call him "Howard?"

You bet the collectivists give them kids hell. Howard probably wouldn't be in for too much trouble unless someone told the little liberals in school who he was named for, in which case he'd be screwed.

But "Dagny" seems to be a kind of rare name. At least I never heard of a Dagny who was not named for Dagny Taggart. To the Komsomol commies that must be like a sign "Kick Me, My Parents Are Antisocial Fringe Lunatics."

So what was that guy thinking?

Well, probably something along the lines of

Girl, this world is rough
And if a chick's gonna make it, she's gotta be tough
And I know I won't be there to help ya along.

By the way, I have a book that says "Dagny" is Scandinavian and means "day." Hmm... Scandinavian — is that a proper language? Whatever.

Well, I guess it could be worse. You could have religious fanatics for parents who force you to run around in a burka. Like those poor kids from Texas they sent back to their fundie parents the other day.

Anyway, if I ever have a daughter, I think I'm gonna name her… Jennifer or Jessica, any damn thing but Dagny!

Yeah. Now I've offended Objectivists, liberals, communists, and religionists. That's pretty much everybody. So my work is done for today. Another Sunday well spent.

P.S. A boy named Howard figures in my new story, The Secret of the Lost Tribe, included in my latest book, Mysterious Boat, due out this fall. You wonder, what are these stories about? Now, The Mystery of the Mysterious Boat is about a boat that is mysterious, and The Secret of the Lost Tribe is about a tribe that is lost. /Shameless self-promotion.


Anna Belkin said...

I believe Dagny originates from D'Agnes (of Agnes), and it is a real name, although, I agree, rare enough to only be associated with the Atlas Shrugged protagonist.

In general, I too am against giving children ideological names. Somehow, I think it means forcing your ideology on them, and forcing them to account for it for the course of their life. While it may be something that I might want to do myself, (or even might want my kids to do!) the kid's life is their own, and the battles they choose to fight must be of their own choosing.

And hey, they can always change their name later on...

Paul Beaird said...

I named my daughter, Dagny Anastasia, and everyone who knows her loves her. I have many times, when asked how I chose the name, told people that I borrowed the name from the leading character in my favorite novel. This seems to intrigue people and they ask what book it is. I tell them it is Ayn Rand's novel, Atlas Shrugged, the most inspiring novel ever written. They all express interest and several have told me the got the novel and read it.
My daughter is about to be 10yo and, to date, literally no one has given her or me a bad time about her name. They think it is pretty. I tell them it is Norwegian and means "day", "new day", "bright new day". In fact, the name means "brightness" or "day".
If you want an example of a Dagny who was not named after the character in Atlas Shrugged, browse on over to

Alex said...

Thanks, Paul, for surfing over and sharing your side of the story. My best wishes for Dagny's future. Hope the Komsomol leave her alone.

Anonymous said...

I love my name. I love that it has a meaning and a legacy. I have made my name very much about who I am. It is not ordinary and neither am I.

The overwhelming majority of people are not familiar with it and they tend to forget it. People who know it, however, are fascinated and will always remember me.

Dagny means "New Day" in all Scandinavian languages, Dutch, and a German dialect. I find that inspirational.

Alex said...

So Dagny's your first name and Anonymous your last name? That's original indeed. Good you like it.

Hope your middle initial isn't O, though. Would be a bitch getting through airport security with a name like that on the ticket these days. Name: Do… Anonymous.