How Bad Are These Initials?
My husband and I are expecting our first child. My husband especially likes girl names that start with "V", but our last name starts with "D", which instantly makes me think of the common abbreviation for "venereal disease"! I just can't give my child the first and last name initials of "V.D.", but would it be acceptable to still use a "V" name for the middle name, or would that still bring up the "V.D." connotation? We're also considering a first name starting with "E", but will "E.D." make people think of "erectile dysfunction"? I'm probably over thinking this but I know children with the initials "B.S." and "B.M." and couldn't help but think that their parents should have thought about the initials a little more.
- Initially Challenged
These are challenging times indeed for the initial-sensitive. Between text-speak, marketing speak and good old-fashioned slang, these days there's an acronym or abbreviation for just about everything. Pity the poor parent who sees the worst possible meaning in every set of initials. If you look hard enough and are good enough at wordplay, you'll find unsavory associations in countless pairs of letters, not to mention name anagrams and spoonerisms.
With the last initial D you're in particularly hairy territory. Even if you choose a "clean" initial pair today, there is no guarantee that tomorrow the medical community -- and its pharmaceutical marketers -- won't discover some new "Disorder," "Disease" or "Dysfunction" that KOs your perfect initials.
Because two-letter pairings are so limited and can carry so many different meanings (does BS mean spewing nonsense, or a bachelor of science degree?), I tend not to worry too much about first-last initial pairs. The initials B.O. didn't stop Barack Obama from becoming President of the United States, after all. Look around and you'll find plenty of successful people past and present who have borne your feared V.D. and E.D. initials without you even noticing. Try V.D. movie stars Vin Diesel and Viola Davis, or E.D. poet Emily Dickinson and tv host Ellen DeGeneres.
So instead of focusing on pairs of letters, look closer at trios. You can get away with almost any pair better than a three-letter initial set of, say, Philip Ignatius Gordon or Amanda Sophronia Simms. In your case, look at the middle name as an opportunity to soften your problematic pair to a lovely monogram like V.J.D. or E.F.D.
P.S. -- that "common" abbreviation V.D. isn't so common any more. For your child's generation, the initials to watch out for are S.T.D.