In my 36 years on this earth, I’ve never met another person named Shane. Not in school, not in my career, not at some random party.
Apparently, my chances of meeting another person named Shane are dwindling. BabyCenter just released a list of names that have not been chosen by a single member of its site for a newborn thus far in 2017, and have thus become endangered. “Shane” is not endangered, but it is at risk of becoming endangered, according to BabyCenter.
What does it mean for a name to become endangered? To borrow BabyCenter’s phrasing, it means it “could soon be gone forever,” like “dinosaurs, movie-rental stores and flip phones.”
Not encouraging news, though I’m not entirely surprised by it, either. The name “Shane” is kind of old-fashioned — at least it is in my case. I was named after the movie, which, according to the poster artwork on its IMDb page, is the “greatest story of the West ever filmed!” Which is great, except the film was released in 1953.
However, Alan Ladd was not the last great Shane. Off the top of my head, I can list four Shanes who’ve achieved notable success in my lifetime: Shane West, who had a walk to remember with Mandy Moore; Shane Black, who wrote “Iron Man 3” and “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang”; Shane Battier, a two-time NBA champion; and, Shane McMahon, son of WWE owner Vince McMahon and probably the coolest Shane of them all. (He jumps off cages and just last week emerged from an emergency helicopter landing in the Atlantic Ocean unharmed. He’s pretty much a superhero.)
So, yeah, I do think it’s a shame that “Shane” is on an endangered-to-be-endangered baby name list. New parents shouldn’t give up on it so easily.
There’s a famous line at the end of “Shane,” the movie. As Ladd’s titular cowboy leaves town and the family who gave him shelter, the little boy calls out to him with an emotional plea for him to return.
“Shane! Shane! Come back!” he yells.
That line holds up well today, in light of the BabyCenter news. Shane! Come back!
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