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Is My Nephew The Spawn of Satan?

My nephew's baby has already been born, but the name they chose will give you goosebumps. Damien. Are they in their right minds? I find it truly embarrassing. I think so many people have seen all the "Omen" movies. I know there is nothing you can do. I just felt like talking about it.


Don't give up hope, there may be something I can do after all. I can persuade you that a demonic child in a horror movie isn't a bad association for your grand-nephew's name.

No, I'm not coming down on the side of demons. I'm just reporting on the realities of fashion. Strange as it may seem, a film appearance as the spawn of Satan is a reliable recipe for a fashionable baby name. Take a look at this lineup of classic horror movie kids:

Rosemary's Baby
(1968): Adrian

The Exorcist
(1973): Regan

The Omen (1976): Damien

Pet Sematary
(1989): Gage

Every one of these names soared in popularity after the movies came out. Somehow, parents were able to look past the glowing eyes, spinning heads and projectile vomit to say "hey, that's a catchy name!" Damien is an especially clear case, because of the spelling. Damien-with-an-e is the French version of the old saint's name Damian. After The Omen came out, it quickly leapfrogged the traditional English spelling.

Why the craze for cursed kiddies? I don't think it's a national turn to the dark side. It's about they way screenwriters came up with those names to begin with. They aimed for names that were unusual but not weird, with a slight air of formality or mystery about them. That's a mighty stylish recipe -- unusual and formal are totally in. So rest easy. The same ingredients that made Damien a perfect choice for a '70s horror movie also make it a perfect choice for a 21st-century American family.

Comments

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July 30, 2010 1:00 PM
By Elissa (not verified)

Geez, what a judgemental auntie/uncle!! I will admit that I think of The Omen whenever I hear Damien, too, however why should that be "truly embarassing" for You? Lots of kids are named Damien... I work with birth records so I'd know. If you want a "scary" name, I just came across a new baby named Damien Lugosi (Last name).

July 30, 2010 3:52 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Honestly, I wouldn't worry too much about 'The Omen' movies. Yes, some people are going to think "Damien, oh from The Omen!" but, as a twenty-something who has seen the movie, Damien just sounds like an average guy. The last thirty years (and a forgotten remake) have helped to take the edge off. And really, I don't think those movies have held up well enough to keep the association going. The current generation of parents-to-be have their own horror films, with their own off limits names. I can't imagine anyone naming their baby Hannibal at this point (I wonder if that will ever change...)

August 2, 2010 9:50 AM
By Kristina (not verified)

LMAO @ Hannibal. Exactly. At least the child's name is Adolf or Lucifer!

August 2, 2010 9:59 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I've never even heard of the Omen movies, never mind watched them or been aware of the name Damien's association. For me, the name brings to mind the fantastic book by Hermann Hesse (of the same spelling).

August 2, 2010 10:02 AM
By FranklinSmyth (not verified)

I thought the same thing about Hannibal, only to have it slapped up as the middle name of the new Riggins baby on Friday Night Lights, I was like, woah, replay, what??

August 2, 2010 10:15 AM
By Christiana (not verified)

Yeah, I think the association of The Omen is far enough removed that that isn't always going to be the first thought! The generation of people who are primarily having babies right now might not have even ever seen it (I'm a movie buff, born in the 80s and while I know it, and am familiar w/ the connection to Damien, etc. I've never seen the movie, so...)

August 2, 2010 10:15 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Haha, I've never seen The Omen. Not much of a fan for scary movies. But Damian/Damien wouldn't have that association for me anyway, I immediately think Damian McGinty from Celtic Thunder.
Now, I don't want to spam your comment box, but I think the writer needs to see a nice Damian. He's older now, but still very cute. ;-)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HpEAfdECNEc

Anyway, just love the new baby for who he is. It's a nice name.

August 2, 2010 1:27 PM
By elleireland (not verified)

At least it's a real name. @Elissa....do you ever come across new babies named Stacy? That's what my cousin is going to use. It's wrong for this generation, it's not a "real" name, it feels common and nickname-y, and it is making me very, very sad.

August 2, 2010 3:22 PM
By Elissa (not verified)

@elleireland --

Stacy-- and any Stacy-related names I found like Stacie, Stacia, Stacey and Staciana are definitely uncommon nowadays, though it was definitely a hit in the 80's. In my state (one of the most populous in the US) there were only 23 born with that name in 2009, and mostly to Hispanic families.

A nice alternative to suggest to Mom might be Anastacia-- a friend of mine with that name goes by Staci but could easily be any number of other nicknames as well if the baby chooses... maybe you could tell Mom that having a "longer" version of Stacy would give the baby some options as she inevitably has a name crisis when she gets older!

But, I've learned that nearly every parent chooses their child's name not without a lot of deliberation and with lots of love. A name that sounds weird to you or me is still a symbol of a parent's best efforts to put a label on something that reflects their hopes, dreams and desires. If Stacy it is, you don't have to love the name to love the child. Stacy may just grow on you!

August 3, 2010 12:24 PM
By emilyrae (not verified)

if it makes you feel any better, i've never seen any of the omen movies and do not associate the name with them at all. my first thought is damien rice, the musician, and one of my friends has damien at the top of her list of baby names for a boy.

August 3, 2010 12:33 PM
By faye (not verified)

1. Damien is a beautiful name. Be happy you're going to have a little awesome nephew and less concerned about his name. We don't freak out every time a kid gets named Carrie.

2. @elleireland - Stacy isn't a "real" name? Do you mean, it's usually a nickname? Because a lot of names like Nick, Allie, Betty etc have historically been perfectly common as what got put on the birth certificate too (the name "Aly" and "Allie" were as or more common as their longer counterparts during the Victorian era for example)

For that matter, Stacy's a character in the Babysitter's club, so it's got that nostalgic appeal. I think, given that we've been in a time of Victorian and 50s/60s names being super-popular, it's about time for 70s'/80's names to come back around. No one's going to be naming their kid Heather or Lisa or Dawn either because they knew so many growing up...but it's good to be the only one in the class!

August 3, 2010 1:21 PM
By Zoerhenne (not verified)

elleireland-I resent my name being referred to as "not a real name" and I've never needed "options" Elissa. Please realize that like the original questioner, actual people DO use these names. So one could say something like "It's not for me but whatever." That way you are expressing your opinions without really hurting anyone's feelings by saying "Eww! Damien. Really?"

I think there are much worse names out there right now then Damien btw.

August 3, 2010 3:20 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

MY GOODNESS!!! There are some terrible and judgemental people here! if your sister wants to name her daughter stacy, she can name it stacy! don't be all upset about it, just GET OVER IT and enjoy your neice. also- damien isn't a "scary" name, i laughed out loud when i read that question. i can't even believe that the name lady published such a stupid question!!!!!!

August 3, 2010 4:48 PM
By Lisa (not verified)

"i can't even believe that the name lady published such a stupid question!!!!!!"

Maybe it's a slow day LOL Anyway, my brother is Damien, and he'll be 30 this year, guess that makes him a "true Omen" baby - except I doubt my parents ever watched the movie. Horror buffs they're definately not LOL

As for those saying names are "outdated" or not a "real" name - honestly I'm getting sick of all the Ava's, Lily's, Ruby's and Charlotte's - it's nice to go back to some different names! There are millions out there, better to use something old and "outdated" than 1- have your child as one of at least 3 in their class and 2- give them ridiculous spelling to contend with. I'm going to assume that Stacy will be just that and not Stayzee ROFL

August 3, 2010 6:24 PM
By SARAH (not verified)

As someone who named my son Gage 16 years ago, let me say that it was chosen with love. HIs father and I had both read the book Pet Semetary by Stephen King before we met. We were both huge SK fans and loved the name before we ever met. When we did meet that was one of the first decisions we ever made, that if we ever had a son his name would be Gage. The name Gage is actually the french word for "a promise kept", think mortgage and engagement.

The funniest thing is that when my Gage was 2 years old, he was a blue eyed, tow-headed boy just like the boy in the movie! I was very relieved when he lived past the age of 2 without getting hit by a truck! JOKE!!!

Anyway he will be 16 next week and he is a wonderful, kind, caring young man. Not a spawn of satan at all!

August 3, 2010 7:52 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I can't believe how many people haven't seen The Omen; especially when describing themselves as "movie buffs". It's a classic, people!

Personally, I like the name Damien and I find this person somewhat vile. I couldn't give a flying fig what my aunties and uncles think of my children's names, and I'd hope they'd be less rude about them if they were to express an opinion. Humph.

August 3, 2010 8:05 PM
By Essy (not verified)

@Sarah - I had no idea that's where Gage came from that's fascinating! and a beautiful story!

---

Also, Stacy is an awesome name! Good on the mom to be for choosing it! but I'm biased, since it's my name minus the 'e' =)! If Stacy ever came back I'd be surprised

August 4, 2010 1:39 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Seems to me that the only way that your niece/nephew's baby name should "embarass" you or make you "sad" is if it's something like Banana.

Damien and Stacy are totally normal names. The over critical aunts/uncles here need to take a step back and realize that these are not their children, and so they have no business in picking the kids' names.

August 4, 2010 3:40 AM
By theclarestofthemall (not verified)

I haven't ever seen the Omen film(s), so I'm no expert on the subject, but why does it matter if he's associated with the films. This reminds of those ladies on the news on 6/6/06 who were interviewed saying that they were having an induced labor or c-section so that their child wouldn't be born on the "devil's day." Puh-lease. Anyway, the name reminds me of another film called Millions, (directed by Danny Boyle) and the main character is a sweet, angelic little Damien - the exact opposite of a horror film antagonist. Anyway, I think most people should care more your nephew's personality, rather than making assumptions about him based solely on his name. I think that a name will shape you only if you let it.

August 4, 2010 8:01 AM
By Andrew (not verified)

The Omen? What's the Omen?
Basically said, I think the show and reference has drifted enough into the past. I was like 2 years old when that movie came out. Damien is a fine name.

August 4, 2010 8:02 AM
By Tracy (not verified)

@zoerhenne I don't think the commenter above said Stacy needed "options" it was just a discussion. She didn't pass any judgement on the name at all if you notice.

I know my name is Tracy, and there aren't any good nicknames, sometimes I wish I could be more than just Tracy! Annatracia? lol!

August 5, 2010 8:14 PM
By Anna (not verified)

Ok i don't like horror movies and mostly everyone i know don't like horror movies. I like the name and don't associate the name with the spawn of satan and when this kid is my age neither will everyone else so don't worry about it.

August 5, 2010 8:28 PM
By Alison (not verified)

The Omen? Damien? What?

Honestly, I vaguely know there's something out there that's a scary movie that had a kid named Damien in it. I'm betting a ton of people born after the movie came out have little to no association. That was over 30 years ago!! Embarrassment is definitely not called for.

August 6, 2010 12:52 PM
By corny mom (not verified)

Two of my sons are named Isaac and Malachi, and though I've gotten a few "Children of the Corn" comments, they're always followed by "Ooh, cool!" I love the name Damien, and I hope you grow to as well.

August 7, 2010 6:56 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

My first association with "Damien" is heroic, not demonic: the priest who went to Molokai to serve the lepers. I think he was even recently canonised.

August 8, 2010 10:00 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I HAVE A NEPHEW NAMED DAMIEN MICHAEL LOVE THE NAME WANTED TO NAME MY SON IT BUT NAMED MY SON JASON MICHAEL NOT IN TO THE DEVIL BUT HAVE TO SAY LOVE THE MOVIES.SO TO ME THERE IS NOTHING A MATTER WITH THE NAME.U JUST NEED TO GET OVER IT.AND I HAVE A NICK NAME FOR HIM DAE DAE

August 8, 2010 10:22 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Forget the movie. Damien is a great name.

August 8, 2010 10:52 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Father Damien or Saint Damien of Molokai, SS.CC. (Dutch: Pater Damiaan or Heilige Damiaan van Molokai; January 3, 1840 – April 15, 1889), born Jozef De Veuster, was a Roman Catholic priest from Belgium and member of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary,[1] a missionary religious order. He won recognition for his ministry to people with leprosy (also known as Hansen's disease), who had been placed under a government-sanctioned medical quarantine on the island of Molokai in the Kingdom of Hawaii.[2]

After sixteen years caring for the physical, spiritual, and emotional needs of those in the leper colony, he eventually contracted and died of the disease, and is widely considered a "martyr of charity". He is the ninth person recognized as a saint by the Catholic Church to have lived, worked, and died in what is now the United States.

In both the Latin Rite and the Eastern Rites of the Catholic Church, Damien is venerated as a saint, one who is holy and worthy of public veneration and invocation. In the Anglican communion, as well as other denominations of Christianity, Damien is considered the spiritual patron for leprosy, HIV and AIDS patients, and outcasts. As the patron saint of the Diocese of Honolulu and of Hawaii, Father Damien Day is celebrated statewide on April 15. Upon his beatification by Pope John Paul II in Rome on June 4, 1995, Blessed Damien was granted a memorial feast day, which is celebrated on May 10. Father Damien was canonized by Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday October 11, 2009.[3][4] The Catholic Encyclopedia calls him "the Apostle of the Lepers",[5] and elsewhere he is known

August 8, 2010 11:34 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

My friend just named her son Hannibal.

August 10, 2010 11:52 AM
By Genoa (not verified)

I don't see the need for a name to have nickname options. A nickname doesn't have to have anything to do with the given name. In fact, I do not like the nickname that people automatically give me. Please don't assume I want or need to be called by a nickname.

Why do people feel the need to pass judgement on other people's name choices? There is a saying that my father taught me as a child: If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say it at all.

August 10, 2010 9:47 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

damien was actually the first choice if our now-daughter were to be a boy. i love the sound of it and decided that i wasn't going to be bothered by the omen reference BUT when i looked it up in a baby-naming book, the meaning was "demon". that was the straw that broke the camel's back. i'm not even overly religious or anything but still we chose otherwise. i just remember doing a project in a really early grade, like grade 2 or 3, where we had to decorate our name and include the meaning somewhere. for example, my name anita is derived from ann and therefore "grace" or "graceful" was what i put on my project. couldn't picture my poor li'l damien having to write demon on his!

August 11, 2010 12:59 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

"damien was actually the first choice if our now-daughter were to be a boy. i love the sound of it and decided that i wasn't going to be bothered by the omen reference BUT when i looked it up in a baby-naming book, the meaning was "demon". that was the straw that broke the camel's back."

Even though I had never looked into it before now, I had a feeling the moment I read this that "Demon" was not the real meaning of "Damien". According to The Name Lady's link above, the name "Damien" comes from a Greek word that means "tame". Babycenter.com also says it means "tame".

Obviously the meaning of the name Damien has changed (at least temporarily) for a lot of people: to them it more or less means "Demon Child" but, for the record, that isn't the real meaning of the name.

August 11, 2010 5:50 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

if you nickname him dae dae, i will throw up. I don't even know you, but i will throw up.

August 15, 2010 9:39 AM
By amusedbyirony (not verified)

It's so good to know that you aren't one of those stupidly judgemental people who resorts to name calling in your responses. Oh, wait! You are!

August 15, 2010 9:44 AM
By amusedbyirony (not verified)

Sorry, that last comment of mine was directed at Elissa and Annonymous of Aug. 3 at 3:20.

August 15, 2010 10:15 AM
By Understanding (not verified)

To the original question: I have to admit that I am also surprised by the number of people here that aren't more familiar with The Omen. Although, I should note that, not being a fan of movies about the occult, I didn't realize that the name Damian was associated with The Omen. However, I think I heard about a movie called Damien (and, maybe, Damien II) which I knew to be horror movies. I'm guessing they were sequels. I am also guessing that, like me, you were a teen or young adult when The Omen originally came out. I guess that, for many of us, Damien will always be associated with evil. While I'm glad that none of my grandchildren have been given the name (so far), I think that I could still love the child. Maybe the name Damien would come to have a new meaning for me. I hope it does for you. God bless!

August 23, 2010 4:58 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

That's a nice name..so what if they named it. I was born late 70's and an 80's kid so I loved the Omen movies..they were all really good, and I recommend anyone who hasn't seen them, and likes horror movies, to check them out, but don't be so insecure and that shallow as to think that a child being named that is the devil....geez..get over yourself!

August 24, 2010 12:40 PM
By Crystal (not verified)

I've never seen the movies, and I love the name Damien. I think it's a sexy name ruined by pop culture.

August 24, 2010 12:40 PM
By Crystal (not verified)

I've never seen the movies, and I love the name Damien. I think it's a sexy name ruined by pop culture.

August 26, 2010 2:14 PM
By Trecie (not verified)

My daughters name is Reganne. A combination of Regina and Annette (her grandmothers). We pronounce it Raygan. When people ask we just say " like the president". No one has ever mentioned the exorcist. I did not even remember that movie at the time that she was born. So if Damien floats your boat, go for it

August 28, 2010 10:24 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

My cousin was named Damien. His new stepmother insisted that he start going by his middle name when he entered kindergarten or first grade because of the association with The Omen. He goes by his middle name to this day.

I thought it was a stupid idea when I was a teenager and had to start calling my little cousin by a new name, and I still think it was a stupid idea now. He didn't decide to change his name, his father didn't decide to change his name, this new woman in his life (who turned out to be a very crappy stepmother) decided to change his name for appearance's sake.

Very odd twist that didn't occur to me until I read this entry: he and his wife had a baby boy last year. His name? Gage.

September 3, 2010 11:54 AM
By Caroline (not verified)

I have a nephew named "Damian" and my mom hates it. I think it's pretty ridiculous of her to think every single person who hears the name thinks "demonic spawn of Satan." Besides, we have had less of a problem with people have negative associations and more of a problem with everyone in the family thinking his name is "Damon."

Also, my stepsister is named "Staci" and I've never thought it was odd. Plus, she was named after her father, "Stacey," so it has family attachment as is special to her. She likes her name and has never felt the need to extend it with more "options."

H8RS!!

September 4, 2010 9:31 AM
By Hermowninny (not verified)

Exactly! It is a very noble name, in my opinion, and yes, I have seen the Omen movies, and yes, for a long time I would go running into my parents' room because my twin sister would be scaring me at night whispering "Damieeeeen, Damieeeeeen!"

This movie is so terribly old that NO ONE will remember it, or if they do, they will see past it. It is ONE movie character - you could probably find a bad movie character for every beautiful name you know - and on top of that this character is IMAGINARY!

Damien of Molokai was REAL person and a very admirable one. That, and the real meaning of the name, being "the one who tames", should be the only meaningful associations to make for the person who asked the question. And then there's fact that her family obviously likes the name and she should be respectful of their choices.

September 12, 2010 2:14 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I've never heard of those movies, but I do admit that the name "Damian" reminds me of the word "Demon." It also reminds me of this 80s/90s soap opera star/singer called "Michael Damian."

It has a little bit of a "bad boy" feel to it and I can't imagine a doctor / judge / etc named Damian. So personally, I wouldn't choose it, but it's not that bad.

September 12, 2010 11:25 AM
By Genie (not verified)

The kid in the omen was called Damien? really?
Well, I think the name sounds fine, and didn't make me think of 'demon' or anything. It sounds pretty cool, but i disagree with the person above; I actually find it a very sensible and professional name, and could definitely envisage a doctor/judge etc named Damien. Anyway, Saint Damien outweighs demonic-child-Damien by miles.
Also, Stacy is a fine name! The more I say it, the more I think it sounds really nice! (And Stacey Solomon is a real babe!)

September 21, 2010 12:36 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Actually, the Herman Hesse novel was titled "Demian" not "Damien".

October 31, 2010 8:52 AM
By Deja (not verified)

I named my son Adrian after reading the book "Rosemary's Baby" and the lesser known sequel "Son of Rosemary." It turns out that after she's been in a coma for years her son Adrian is loved by all- people wear pins saying "I love Andy" He really does try to be good... (And then his father decides to try to intervene!)

January 5, 2012 7:25 PM
By A. Bishop (not verified)

I love this. Thank you. =D

March 13, 2012 12:34 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Don't worry, Aunt Charlotte (who I'm 99% certain wrote this post). Your daughter might have a perfectly acceptable name but she creates all kinds of legitimate reasons for embarrassing the family.

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