As all of you know—primarily because all 7 people who read this blog know my true identity—my first name, in reality, is spelled “Zach.” No it is not pronounced like Bradley Cooper’s name in Wedding Crasher. Unfortunately my parents didn’t love me enough to give me that honor. Sadly my parents decided that they were part of a society, a society wherein children’s names were not pronounced like a pseudonym for “balls.” But I digress. This post is not about my parents.
This post is about my name. ‘Zachary,” which I believe is Hebrew for “dude with an overabundance of body hair,” and its radical spike in popularity through the late 80’s and into the 90’s. According to the Google machine, In 1970 289 of every 1 million babies born in the United States were given the name of Zachary Taylor, our 12th, and most distinctive, President that robbed our nation of its greatest leader after dying of diarrhea in 1850. By 1987, the year of my birth and the release of the Tom Selleck hit Three Men and a Baby, that number had risen to 6,775 Zach Attacks per one million babies born in this great nation. The name’s popularity peaked in 1993 (more on this later) at 12,373/million American children that were named Zachary, at least 8 or 10 of whom were girls.
I have a hypothesis. I have some ideas. I have determined some factors that may have led to this spike of “Zach’s. And I am going to share them with you now.
The Causes Behind the Zachary Spike
1) The Zack Morris Effect-We all know about Zack Morris. The cool blonde hair. The owner of the first working cellphone in modern society. The basketball career derailed by his own high school principal, a man that had laid a G on crosstown rival Valley in the city championship and needed to protect his investment at all costs. Zack Morris, the 1993 high school graduate that changed the American landscape. Zack Morris, the 1993 high school graduate that changed it all.
What we didn’t know, until now at least, was Zack Morris’ roll in the spike in frequency of parents naming their children Zachary right around the time of his high school victory lap, which was this: Zack Morris very clearly traveled the nation in the early to mid-90’s impregnating woman and subsequently naming all of the children he conceived out of wedlock after himself. There is no other explanation in the name's peak in popularity occurring at the exact time as Zack Morris own peak in sexual desire. Ipso facto, If you’re named Zachary, and you were born between 1989-1995, then Zack Morris is your biological father. Spoiler alert.
2) People Started Getting Super Into the Bible-Starting in the mid 80’s or so some Americans got really into the idea that Jesus cared way more about whether or not you masturbated than he cared about whether or not you ever helped a poor person one time in your life. Obviously, around this time, these super religious knobs unfortunately began to procreate and looking for biblical names that they could pass onto their children. There is a Zachary in the bible of course. He was John the Baptist’s father, the guy that was struck dumb by God when he refused to believe that his 78-year-old wife Elizabeth was really pregnant, and then given the ability to speak again only after the baby was born and he could no longer try to talk his wife into having an abortion.
And, if you’re looking through the bible, you could do worse than picking a mute with the super strong sperm required to knock a post menopausal woman up as someone to name your child after. You could do way way worse. For instance, that Noah guy literally murdered millions of animals, and people for that matter, by building such a small boat. Way to go Noah. Your ark represents nothing but a lack of work ethic.
3) It Was the “Hip” Name-Imagine a couple sitting in a coffee shop, sipping espresso and telling anyone who will listen that they will never have a baby until the government gives men and women of every sexual orientation the right to biologically reproduce, before they wind up impregnating one another because neither one of them have jobs and condoms ain’t free. What would they name their child? Piper? Beachwood? Frostbite? If they live in LA, Lunaravocado?
Now imagine that couple in 1984, only they are sitting at a bar hammered drunk because alcoholism wasn’t frowned upon yet and you could use your food stamps to buy important stuff like malt liquor. Back then those people were naming their son “Zach.” Because Zach was a hip name. A hip name from an era when names were actual words and not just a string of consonances that parents strung together because they hated their child and wanted them to never be successful ever.
4) People Can’t Spell-The full name is spelled “Zachary.” We are all in agreement about that (unless you are a "Zachery" nerd, although the logic will still apply to that abomination here). What we aren’t in agreement about is how the shorter version, correctly “Zach,” should be spelled. Some people, like the aforementioned Zack Morris, add a “k.” Some people, like Zac Efron, the dude who co-starred with Bob DeNiro in that gay porn movie featuring elderly men Dirty Grandpa, cut out the “h.” Yet others, like my college classmate and affable moron Zakk Tapp, spell it with two “k’s” back to back because they don’t understand that the more “k’s” you stack together in a word, the more racist it becomes.
All of these Zack’s or Zac’s or Zakk’s are idiots of course. When you shorten a name you should do just that, shorten the name. Take off the “ary” and what do you have left? That is why Zach is spelled “Zach” by people who know how to read. Remember that the next time you write my name on a cup Starbucks barista. Because, if you misspell my name one more time, I am legally allowed to spit skim milk into your face while simultaneously giving you the most disgusting wet willy of all-time. Don’t blame me for that man. Blame the Missouri State Legislature for passing the law.
5) Z is the best letter in the alphabet-Zeus is the most powerful Greek God. The Zoo shows man's domination over beasts in the most entertaining, and humane, way possible. Zucini is the one vegetable that doesn't cause a perfectly good shish kebab to taste like the Chupacabra's anal cavity. These statements are facts. These statements are inarguable.
These statements show that Z is the most underused letter in the English language. Everything that starts with a Z is great, or at least better than it should be. This is why people are named Zach. Because its first letter is the best letter. Because we are the chosen one's.