A study by something called Siteopia.com suggests that my wife hit the jackpot the day I was born. Because if you want a great husband, the go-to name is David.
“It seems certain names tend to crop up more than others when thinking about the qualities of a good husband or wife,” a Siteopia spokesperson told the U.K. newspaper The Telegraph. ”Every time we hear mention of a name we naturally associate particular values or impressions based on our past experiences.”
On the female side, Sophie and Louise hover just below No. 1 Katie. For males, David and Andrew kick serious hiney. Photos of Katie Holmes and David Beckham illustrate the top prizes, but no indication is given of what those qualities might be other than chipmunk cheeks and chiseled pecs.
There is, however, a link to each of the Top Ten names for each gender. Clicking on David takes you to Babynamer.com, where you learn that the name derives from “a Hebrew expression meaning ‘beloved.’ Some believe David originated as a nursery word meaning ‘darling.’ Others think it means ‘hero.’ The story of King David, as recounted in Jewish scripture, supports the second theory.”
To a lot of us, David was a sweet little shepherd boy, a la Linus in “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” a cherub who slayed the slovenly Philistine with naught but a slingshot. Never mind that, in the hands of a well-trained warrior, the slingshot in question fired a projectile that could pierce armor and be aimed with 21st-century laser-guided precision. Charles M. Schultz surely knew what he was doing when Linus, who blasts a soda can from the top of a fence with a snowball using his security blanket as a sling, is cast as a shepherd in the gang’s Christmas play.
Here’s what Dr. Joel M. Hoffman says in his book, And God Said: How Translations Conceal the Bible’s Original Meaning: “Shepherds were mighty. They were regal. They were powerful. Crushing a shepherd was a sign of great strength. The job of a shepherd was to provide sustenance, care and defense.”
And, shepherds “were romantic.”
So romantic, in fact, that David the rock-flinging shepherd would grow up to be David the watching-the-hot-woman-next-door-bathe-and-deciding-he-had-to-make-whoopee-with-her king of Israel. So we’re definitely talking alpha male. But while I’m sure plenty of women like the idea of a man who would kill for them, murdering their husbands to make it acceptable to date them probably is a tad too alpha for most.
David the king was also a poet and a musician, making him a rock star of the second millennium B.C.E. What woman born since 1940 has not dreamed of waking up next to a rock star?
And yet, I have the impression that David is not the name of the typical romantic hero. It’s the Danes, Derricks and Dirks who flash their abs to win over the women. David? He’s the sweet guy who whips up a tureen of homemade chicken soup when the heroine has the flu, but ends up being left out in the cold. Ditto any character named Andrew. Hell, even I have a hard time accepting Andrew as a hero’s name, mostly due to that doe-eyed Andrew McCarthy, who played wimpy losers in almost every romantic movie made during the 1980s.
But David’s not badass enough to walk away with the lady?
David is, in fact, the ultimate mushy/badass first name. What other name is associated with a guy who’ll slay giants during the day, then make you chicken soup—or strum you a lullaby—when you’re flat on your back?
Of course, you really shouldn’t be picking a guy because of his name. The study’s spokesperson agrees: “While men like David and Andrew seem to be top of the pile, they’ve still got to uphold that reputation day to day.”
If you end up with more of a David Thome than a David Beckham, that might not be such a bad thing. I totally forgive you if the latter is more likely to appear in your fantasies, but not having been blessed with that guy’s physical attributes, the former does his damnedest to uphold the name of all Davids everywhere.
I think I’ll keep my name, no matter how people interpret it. I mean, it’s better than, say, Dick, right? Then again, I suppose that would depend on the guy—and the woman—involved.