Posted by
Jim Goad
• 05.23.12 11:00 am

On Seinfeld, Newman once told Kramer that “Tuesday has no feel.” I feel the same way about the name “Kevin.”

I know people named Kevin, and I’ve hesitated to tell them this, but that is one blank slate of a fucking name. Does it conjure any colors to you? Any sounds? Any smells? Anything? Not to me. It’s the Blank Canvas of Guys’ Names. “Mark” is kind of bland, too, but at least it could signify a stain or a smudge. But “Kevin” is the very essence of nothingness. You could throw anything at “Kevin,” and it will bounce right back at you.

Maybe it’s synesthesia from a head injury, but most words and names have a texture to me. All the way since the 80s I’ve had this odd habit of coming up with fake names merely because I like the way they sound. I stopped counting at around 700 names. Then I started using “Kevin” as a first name because it enhanced the goofiness of the second name. Even if the second name was flavorless by itself, it suddenly acquired spice just by standing next to “Kevin”:

Kevin Advent
Kevin Budget
Kevin Enema
Kevin Guppy
Kevin Jiffy
Kevin Monthly
Kevin Scripture
Kevin Seminar
Kevin Sherbet
Kevin Sitar
Kevin Spinach
Kevin Torpedo
Kevin Value
Kevin Venison
Kevin Yemen

When I saw an episode of Portlandia that featured Kevin the Cat, I didn’t feel quite so alone in my fascination with the sheer unfascinating nature of this name. I felt reassured knowing that someone else out there appreciated its magical cardboard taste.

We are all Kevin.

OK, no we’re not.

And that’s a good thing.

Unless your name is “Kevin,” in which case it sucks to be you.




  1. Kevin says:

    Hey man, WTF????

  2. Dr. Know says:

    There’s a Saint Kevin’s Church in town, and I always thought it sounded made up.

  3. tod says:

    your name is jim.

  4. Jim Goad says:

    Did you say something, “Tod“?

  5. Dr. Know says:

    ^^^^^ BURN! Carlin rocks.

  6. I prefer ‘k3v1N’.

  7. tod says:

    my name is actually kevin.

  8. jissom jigaboo says:

    The ‘Kevon’ spelling of the name, lends itself over to mystery, as it could belong to either a black dude, an Armenian or a hirsute cross of the two.

  9. angelo says:

    Kevin Bacon’s cool

  10. Jim Goad says:

    @ Tod/Kevin:

    Either way, my condolences.

  11. Lair says:

    There’s something weird and wonderful about the idea of Mr. Goad sitting down and watching an episode of Portlandia. I’d have pegged him for someone who stays far away from new TV shows.
    Since I’ve never been to Portland I was wondering just how accurate some of those sketches on the show are. They reminded me a lot of my childhood growing up in Vancouver around Commercial Drive, but I didn’t think that Americans would tolerate that kind of, uh, “alternative human” and their flagrant fragrances.
    Also: Kelvin is the failed artiste cousin of all Kevins.

  12. Kevin McAllister says:

    Cevin Key?

  13. Kevin Arnold says:

    Nivek Ogre?

  14. Jim Goad says:

    I don’t own a TV, but someone whose opinion I trust tipped me off to Portlandia, so I watched the whole first season online on Netflix. The “Kevin the Cat” episode was available for a while on the Portlandia Facebook group.

    I lived in Portland for 11 years and was floored by how accurate many of the characters were, especially the Feminist Bookstore and the Bicycle Rights guy.

  15. Why would anyone name a mango “Kevin?” That’s the issue I’m most concerned about.

  16. Anonymous says:

    kevin weakly mo like…

  17. Jason says:

    1st: fucking funny.. 2nd: on a lesser plateau, has there ever been a more absurd “mainstream” name than “Gary”? Have you ever met a baby named “Gary”?

  18. Chris says:

    my name sucks too

  19. techsgtchen says:

    My name is Kevin. I wanted to change my name to Gilligan when I was in 2nd grade because I used to watch the show all the time on T.V. but my mom wouldn’t let me. I guess I should’ve changed it when I turned 18.

  20. miss Universe says:

    I think Daniel Pinkwater also had a fascination with the name Kevin…from what I remember

  21. Ernest Queefingway says:

    Never trust a Tod, or even worse, a Todd. We had a Todd in our office whose nickname was “marshmallow” because he was so soft.

  22. nuxnoiz says:

    cEvin Key and Nivek Ogre [Kevin Crompton and Kevin Ogilvie to their mommies] are the epitome of Kevins desperately trying to not be Kevins. Pure overcompensation and rather overrated.

  23. Jim Goad says:

    This sort of feels like kicking a homeless person at this point, but someone forwarded this to me:

    Why Kevins don’t get girlfriends: Potential partners less likely to click on ‘unattractive names’ on dating websites

  24. M. David says:

    Here’s an interesting Kevin…

  25. Kevin says:

    Hey :( (yes my name really is Kevin)

  26. chris says:

    Hey Chris, both of us have shitty names!

  27. Cum Belch says:

    I wanna name my two future sons Kevin and Travis, so I can get way too into coaching youth sports and nickname them the Kevastator and the Travisty. Also, this was funny. Names like Gary and Scott and Jim seem way better than the epidemic of slapping a consonant or two in front of -aiden and naming your son or daughter like everyone I went to high school wih is doing right now.

  28. Tom Lane says:

    Kevin sort is a sort of imploding word. It has a valley in the middle. Kevin, when spoken in its two syllables, is like a bridge that has collapsed in the middle; shaped like the “v” on the word, which happens to be perfectly situated right in the middle of the name.

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