New York businessman Michael Ayer put a lot of thought into the name he gave his son. He was from a family where all the names were pretty traditional, along the lines of George and John, and he found that boring. So he tossed around a few possibilities – Bad Ayer, Hot Ayer, Million Ayer – before eventually deciding on Billion Ayer.
Why Billion Ayer? Yes, because it sounds like ‘billionaire’. And there’s one more reason.
“At least you could always run with Bill,” the businessman told CBS’s Cover Story.
Billion Ayer is now 17. He’s a high school student who plays golf and is in the school band. He says his name makes him stand out more.
“People I’ve never met know me,” he explains. “But I don’t even know their name.”
But does he like being called Billion Ayer?
“It’s all right,” he says.
As Mamamia reported recently, Billion isn’t exactly unique. Last year, there were seven baby boys named Billion in the US, along with 11 called Million and six called Trillion.
The question is, how many of them had Ayer as a surname? Because there’s a difference between a name that’s distinctive and a name that’s a deliberate joke.
Brace yourselves, online forum Reddit reveals the worst baby names they’ve ever heard, and they’re bad.
Billion Ayer’s dad clearly gets a kick out of everyone at the local high school knowing his son’s name. But online, a lot of people who watched the CBS segment questioned his judgement.
“If he liked ‘Billion’ so much, he could change his own name,” one man posted on Facebook.
“You don’t name your child a name that’s a pun,” added a woman. “That’s why you buy a boat.”
“Maybe ‘burden’, not ‘gift’, would be the correct word,” said another man. “That’s speaking as a school teacher who has seen many kids who don’t think their own names are as cool as what their parents imagined.”
But a man called Cash Coyne had some words of encouragement for Billion Ayer. “Hey Billion, take it from me, it sucks while you’re a teenager, but as an adult it works well. (But didn’t lead to a financial windfall in my case.)”
What do you think of the name Billion Ayer?