How (Not) To Name Your Baby

919 Comments

baby-names
Is it just me, or is it like a freakin’ contest nowadays of who can give their kid the most gag-worthy name? All of a sudden, everyone is “that guy” with regards to naming their offspring. You know, that guy who makes folks roll their eyes or stare blankly when they hear the baby’s “hip” or intentionally unusual furniture- or foreign city-inspired name that is spelled with 7 extra consonants and a random apostrophe? Yeah. I didn’t want to be that guy. Don’t you be that guy, either.

So please, don’t:

• Create a new spelling for an otherwise normal name. Why on earth would you intentionally botch the spelling of your kid’s name? People are shitty spellers already. You don’t have to make things harder by taking a perfectly well-spelled name and adding silent letters or superfluous punctuation. Your kid will not be more unique just because you buck the rules of written English and change Mark to Marq. They will not be more mysterious or well-rounded if you spell it S’mantha and not Samantha. They will, however, spend their life correcting people and getting agitated that no-one ever spells their name right, even if the assumed spelling is reasonable (“It’s Mary. No, with four Rs. Yes, M-A-R-R-R-R-Y. God! Everyone thinks it’s just one R!”). Side note: If you change the spelling of a nickname to align it with the real name, I might be able to forgive that. Eg, Catie, instead of Katie, for Catherine.

• Invent a stupid pronunciation, especially for a [relatively] normally spelled name. A friend told me of a girl she knows named Le-ah. No, it’s not pronounced “Lee ah.” It’s not pronounced “Lee.” It’s “Lee dash ah.” You read that right. “Lee dash ah.” The dash in the name is part of the pronunciation. I thought my friend was kidding, but you can’t make stuff like this up. Poor Le-ah is going to be insane by the time she’s 4.

• Name your kid something that is a well-established name of the opposite sex. I’m all for squelching gender stereotypes, but I think there are better ways to do it than by confusing people with your kid’s name. I’m not talking about those borderline names that can go either way, like Terry or Kelly. I’m talking about giving your child a name that is straight up for the opposite sex. I’m talking to you, Jessica Simpson. Maxwell? For a girl? Really? Perhaps you had a great reason for giving your daughter a boy name, but because I don’t know what it is, I am just confused.

• Name your kid a nickname. My brother had a friend named JD. Named JD. It didn’t stand for anything (he’s a Southerner. No further comment necessary). The poor guy got so tired of repeating the line, “No, it isn’t short for anything. That’s just my name,” that he made up a full name for himself. He went with Jack Daniel. Like I said, he’s a Southerner.

• Have a crappy reason for selecting a goofy name. If you want to name your kid Esmeralda Ireland because it was your grandma’s name and grandpa’s birth country, OK. I can get behind that. Maybe the name is weird, but you have a nice reason for choosing it. But if you’re naming your kid Esmeralda Ireland because you like witches and you hope to visit Ireland someday, you’re a tool. You’re also a tool for naming your kid after a random object, place, celebrity, or trendy fictional character (ahem, Edward Cullen).

• Invent a name just to be quirky. My husband and I joked we were going to get on the portmanteau baby-name wagon by combining my grandmas’ names (Gloria + Sophia = Glophia). We high-fived each other for our hilarious originality, but really, with this trend of inventing unique names, the odds are slim that Glophia isn’t already taken. In the end, we had no reason to invent a name, so we didn’t. If you don’t have a reason to invent one, don’t.

Obviously, you can name your kid whatever you want, so really my point is this: if you’re going give your kid a goofy name, have a damn good reason. Or at least a mediocre story.

On a related note, if you’re going to be “that guy” and give your kid an effed up name, don’t also be the guy who refuses to share the name because you’re afraid of negative commentary or feedback. As soon as someone tells me they’re not sharing baby names, I assume the name they picked sucks or will scare people—-and they know it. When you pick a name for your kid—good or bad—own it. Don’t be a puss about it. If someone begins to pooh-pooh your name, cut them off. Who cares if the biggest moron in their high school was Skippy, or the biggest douche was Biff? That’s their experience, not yours. Who cares if your coworkers think Maroon Marmalade is a terrible name as long as you love it. Most people know better than to slam your baby name anyway. Everyone is so damn sensitive nowadays. But on the bright side of the unwanted commentary, someone might actually have a helpful tidbit about your name that you should know before legally assigning it to your child. Like, “Adam Samuel Samsonite? Soooo…his initials will be ASS?” Oh hell no. Thanks for pointing that out, Friend.

Lastly, a little food for thought: When you hear of a kid with a bizarre name, I bet the first thing you think is, “Why would a parent do that to their child?” That’s the important and oft overlooked part: the parent makes the call, but the kid lives with it. Your unusual name choice and alternate spelling are burdens your child has to bear. Maybe they’ll work it like RuPaul, maybe they’ll get shoved in a locker, who knows. Just keep that in mind when you’re deciding which fruit or color to name your kid after.

Comments

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  1. 1

    Sunshine says

    As a person that had to live with a “gag-worthy name,” I am in total agreement with this post. If someone asks me if my sister’s name is Moonshine one more time…well you may see me on “Snapped.”

    I gave all 3 of my babies “normal” names so they don’t have to go through this shit. My parents tried to chime in on the baby naming process but I told them they should never be allowed to name another living thing!

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    • 2

      Jen says

      You have my sympathy. As I read your comment, the only thing I could think was “Gosh. That could have been me.” My maiden name is White. My mother wanted to name me Snow. Yep, Snow White. Thank goodness Dad was a “stick in the mud” and refused to allow it. Instead, I’m named after two characters from “Valley of the Dolls.” Thanks, Mom. But meh, they’re pretty normal names. I’m still calling it a win. (I also made it a point to give my children traditional names.)

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      • 3

        Cassandra says

        Jen, my maiden name is also White. My parents went through the same scenario. The only way my mom got around it was with being half Japanese and making my middle name, Yukiko. Japanese for snow.

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    • 13

      Sandie says

      My sister’s name is Misty.
      When we’re together meeting new people, one of us tells them an easy way to remember our names “Just think of a misty morning on a sandy beach.”

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    • 18

      Tara says

      The worst name I ever heard for a girl was Jersey….I honestly hear a cow moo in my head ever time I hear her mother call her. I have two daughters with traditional simple names, Lauren and Victoria..and no Victoria is not a Vicki/Vickie/Tori – don’t mess with an already easy name….grrrr

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      • 19

        Lauren says

        Before I found out I was having a girl I had picked the name August for a boy. My dad ruined this for me by telling everyone my child would be named Gus. I think Gus is one of the worst names to ever exist. Its only a 6 letter name in the first place. There is no reason to destroy a beautiful name with your own crappy version. I’m so excited I’m having a girl so my dad can’t ruin my child’s name.

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        • 20

          Belladonna says

          God, parents can be so invasive. I wanted to name my daughter Dante. ( pronounced Dan-tay I think it suits a girl, but not as Don-Tay) and my parents say the name is for boys and always spell it Daintae (I know right! ) on her birthday cards because it’s more ‘feminine’. I drew a very firm line when my mum started pronouncing it ‘dainty’. At school I got so fed up with people saying I was a poisonous plant and running away I went by Donna at my second school.

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    • 23

      Rodney says

      I never liked the name Rodney, although many people call me “Rod”. There aren’t many “Good” famous people named Rodney. you have Rodney Dangerfield, and Rodney King. Yeah, there is a baseball player and country western singer. But when i tell people my name is Rodney, older folks say ” like Rodney Dangerfield’ and younger ones sometimes bring up Rodney King. I’m constantly pushing for Rod. Oh by the way… Rod Stewart’s name is Roderick Stewart.

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      • 26

        Geraldine says

        There’s Roders Trotter, son of Del Boy, too in Only Fools and Horses ;)
        (A British institution for those on the other side of the Big Pond)

        We gave ours short easy to spell names that work in English and
        French, their nationalities. Some people have managed to shorten my sons, in the same way the French shorten Geraldine to Gégé …

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    • 27

      Grace says

      I know twins named Sunshine and Moonshine. they are around 23 now. I bet they will name their kids something off the top names for the year. I know I will.

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    • 28

      Alex says

      My mom named me for Alexander Hamilton, which I suspect came from her babymoon trip to Barbados. I love my name apart from being asked if I’m named for the president (he wasn’t ever president) and always having my name misspelled as Alexander (it should be Alexandra). My favorite name joke is the one where they ask if I’ve ever run into Erin Burr. Nyuk nyuk nyuk.

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    • 29

      Chelsey says

      For one I agree with everything you said except for when people don’t share their baby names you “assume” its because they don’t want to hear negative feedback. I am 28 weeks pregnant with my first child and I’m having a girl. Unfortunately I live in a very small town where everybody copies everyone and there’s a lot of noisy people who gossip and spread rumors and are pregnant with their first child as well and went to school with me and are having girls as well. For instance theres a girl I went to school with and she just had her little girl but while she was pregnant she asked me if i had picked out any baby names and at that time the name my fiance and I were thinking about was lily so I told her so far that would be the name we were giving our daughter well guess what she just named her daughter thats right LILY!! So the new name I chose I haven’t told anyone because I don’t want them to copy my name and use it. Its a name that has alot of meaning to myself and family and I don’t know anyone with this name and I could give a damn if anyone thinks its silly or doesnt like it all that matters is my fiance and I like it.

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  2. 30

    Michelle says

    I regret being that person who had to spell their kid’s name differently (Braeden instead of just Braden or even Brayden). Why did I need that extra ‘e’?? I didn’t. I was naive and hormonally charged and it was my first pregnancy. Friends don’t let their friends add extra vowels. Where were my friends in my time of need?

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      • 44

        Hannah says

        I used to work in admissions in a local ER… I actually SAW with my own eyes, and checked in a little girl named “Le-ah”. She was about 5 or so at the time (this was almost 7 years ago) and her mother was VERY pregnant with twins. The mother said that she was naming her twins “lemon-jello” (pronounced lem-an-gel-o) and “orange-jello” (pronounced or-an-gel-o).

        NOT KIDDING!

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        • 45

          C.R says

          I watched a show called secretly pregnant and the woman who was “Secretly pregnant” had a child to a low life who she named A’King and when she gave birth to the second child to the same lowlife she named it A’Knight.
          I thought she was saying
          Ahkeen, yknow? or Ahnight. But nope. A’King and A’Knight

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        • 46

          liss says

          Are you in TX or Arkansas? My coworker’s mom is a teacher in Texarkana, and she had twin students named Orangejello and Lemonjello. There just can’t be that much of a coincidence.

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    • 48

      Adriene says

      I wish the Le-ah thing was an urban myth.. Maybe not THAT specific name, but it is amazing the things that people choose to name their children..
      About 8 years ago there was the Hayden/Cayden/Brayden/Aiden phase.. I assured my sister, pregnant at the time, that her child would likely have at least one of these in her class… She does, in fact!
      I agree with Niki – as another L&D RN I’ve heard many names that I just have to smile at because there is nothing else I can do! And when they ask me how to pronounce a name they spell, I’m honest and tell them I have no idea..

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    • 49

      Beth says

      I heard one about a girl who was named Shithead, but is was pronounced Shi-tay-ad. Lord, I hope that one is a myth! And since there was some kid named Hashtag, I really wouldn’t put it past someone to name their child Le-ah

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      • 50

        Athena says

        “Shithead” is typically an Indian name. My brother has a couple of friends with this name. It’s pronounced “Sha Heed”. It’s actually quite popular in their culture – and “shit” isn’t a swear word in Hindi.

        I agree with some of this post, but with a mom named Venus, my name Athena and my son’s name who is Ares (pronounced Aries, but spelled like the Greek God) we’re sticking with unusual names, who the hell cares what looks we get. I love my name.

        We’re pregnant with #2, any ideas boy or girl for a nice ‘God/Goddess’ name that starts with an “A”? Nothing like ‘Aphrodite’ which could be nicknamed ‘Afro” hahaha

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          • 57

            windy says

            I grew up with an Athena and Aurora, Aurora is goddess of the dawn, and the “real” name of Sleeping Beauty in the Disney version.

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          • 59

            Athena says

            I love the name Atticus, unfortunately for us, one of my college friends JUST named their son Atticus, like, in the past month. We haven’t see each other in person since graduating, but we share a TON of FB friends.

            I had the same issue with Ares, no one liked his name (except for my parents) when we first told them. I can’t possibly picture him as a Matthew or Lukas or anything else common, haha!

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          • 60

            Laura says

            Don’t let someone you know using a name be why you don’t name your kid something. Are they going to spend the rest of their life with that person? Probably not. A name is one of the most permanent things we get. Pick the one you want, even if everyone or no one else is using it.

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          • 61

            Jess says

            Loved the name Atticus until someone pointed it out that it sounds like someone with a lisp saying “ass kiss”. That ruined it for me.

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          • 62

            Allie says

            No it doesn’t (that would sound like Athicus or Athicuth, not Asskiss). I love this character in To Kill a Mockingbird. Although the book overall is a bit depressing, it is a modern American classic.

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        • 63

          Joanna says

          We named our daughter Ariadne from Ancient Greek times. And we named our son Athan from the word “immortal” in Greek. We have very good stories behind both names but in all honesty, we live in such a culturally divers part of the world that who cares what you name you child. The only people who seem to have a problem with my kids names are the older generation who just refuses to believe that there are other names beyond Henry and Cathrine. I personally don’t love my name, and it’s a pretty straight forward one, yet 80% of the time people spell it wrong anyways. I’m not going to base my life around other people’s inability to be divers.

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          • 68

            C.R says

            I hope you pronounce it Awn Ya, because its pretty annoying when people call their kids Irish names and say or spell them wrong :v Connor anyone? That’s a last name in Ireland. :P

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          • 69

            Shannon says

            That is exactly how we say it :) That is a pet peeve of mine, as well. Her middle name is Aisling, none of this Ashlyn mess lol!! Traditionally it has a stress mark, but we chose to leave it off. She will be 13 in about two weeks, and most everyone in her school says it correctly now–we live in a smaller town & she has stayed in the same schools since kindergarten, so all of her peers say it correctly. Its only adults that get it wrong–We get Aine (like pain), Aine-y, Ahnay, Annie, Anna, Anne, or Aimee. She is use to it now. Her nickname is Awn or Awnie, and people always look at me weird when I call her that. Except for once when a Scandinavian lady in Walmart overheard us and got all excited because her name was Anne, pronounced Awn, and she had never heard it in this country. There are no other kids in her who school with Aine, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. :) Although, people do ask me all the time if I made it up. Aine felt vindicated when Mattel released a Legends of Ireland special edition Barbie doll named Aine.

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          • 70

            C.R says

            Ah I bet! She should have come to Ireland :v No one would have thought her name weird! My name is Corinne (Ko Rin) and no one can ever pronounce it. I’ve gotten legal letters delivered to me addressed as “Catherine” and “Caroline” and I’ve even been called “Lorraine” It’s not a difficult name I swear! My poor son, his name is Evan and he gets “Eh Vann” in the doctors surgery. I couldnt have picked an easier name and they still butcher it. Morons!

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        • 71

          Reba says

          We named my daughter Atheya (Ah Thee Ya) because we were arguing between Athena and Thea for over a month. Quite a few people didn’t like it. One kept pushing Althea but I didn’t like that. Today pretty much everyone likes it =)

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        • 73

          Kassa says

          My daughter is named Minerva, I confess I received a good deal of skepticism about it from my coworkers, but the name just fits her. My biggest concern is keeping people from calling her ‘Minnie’ as our last name is ‘Newdick’.

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          • 74

            Issa says

            Good, I have an ally! Our last name is Glasscock. Not kidding. Hubby wants to name our first girl Anya. Anya Glasscock? Not happening. He went through school with a lot of ‘Cox.’ Maycox, Willcox, ect. Still, while I like Anya as a name, it’s not for us.

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        • 75

          Alia says

          Ummmm…. no its not… I am Indian.. very much so.. We do have names like Kshitij, Surnames like Dixit, but no Shitheads.. sorry!! And we pretty much spell our names phonetically.. so Shithead would be pronounced Shit-head, nothing silent..

          Shahid, Shaheed are different names altogether, of arabic/persian origin…
          Speaking of arabic names.. There is a common name Anas its pronounced like the english “an” and “us”… My very wannabe friends decided that the traditional spelling was too boring and bland.. and decided to chage is from Anas to… you guessed it.. ANUS!!! I smfh furiously!!!

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      • 76

        Myrtle says

        I always wonder if such names are considered attractive in the old country and just sound bad in other languages, or if they’re actually the Myrtle or Egbert of “back home,” too.

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      • 77

        Just "George" says

        I hope it was a typo, but while killing time at O’Hare Airport, I picked up a paper and read a story about a girl named “As’shole.” I asked someone about it, and they said its a middle eastern name, that is pronounced Ash-olay.

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        • 79

          Carissa says

          There is a need to use profanity when all ur doing is making fun of people an judging them by some little ass mistakes they made u need to grow up…I don’t care what u think an another thing is making mistakes while texting doesn’t mean I can’t spell your a Douch

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  3. 81

    Meg says

    Oh my god, my cousins wife had a student named La-a… Also pronounced ladasha… Oiy. My daughters are Taylor and Samantha. And someone asked me why I wasn’t spelling it S’mantha, I told them because I love my kid

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  4. 86

    Susan says

    So true. It’s because of parents like this that I now need to spell Susan when I talk to people. God only knows how they THINK it’s spelled.

    Sooozyn
    Siouxzin
    Sue’sin

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    • 90

      Nilzed says

      Suzanne? I mean, I know technically that name should be pronounced differently, but that’s the alternative that first comes to mind for me.

      Karen. Yes, with a K. And an E. just one R.
      (Seriously, my name is dead common. The most common for my age peers, Ive known nearly 100. yes, I counted. Maybe 5 did not spell it Karen, so I don’t know why anyone would have to ask.)

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        • 92

          Tina says

          I named my daughter Erin. I think it’s a beautiful, feminine name, without being too fru-fru. And, yes, when i was pregnant, people asked (A LOT) if I was going to spell it A-a-r-o-n! stupid and annoying.

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        • 93

          says

          There is an announcer at a radio station who spells HIS name Erin…really confuses me because that is the traditional spelling for a girl. Aaron is the boy’s version.
          An “A Boy Named Sue” by Johnny Cash moment.

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          • 94

            Daniel says

            Aaron is nowhere near the boy’s version of Erin. In fact, Erin isn’t the right name, it’s Éirinn. It’s an Irish name. Aaron is Egyptian I believe. Erin is both a male and female name, although poets used to use it as a romantic name for Ireland itself, and tended to refer to it as female, but as a name, both are spelt ‘Erin’.

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      • 95

        Deborah says

        My son in Pre-K goes to school with a little girl named Karen. But she pronounces it CAR-in. She is such a cute kid. But I just know she is going to spend her life having to correct people’s pronunciation.

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        • 96

          Tricia says

          Karen, pronounced Car-in (sometimes spelled Karin) is actually the Danish pronunciation. It’s my sisters middle name (Karin), and I also know a woman with this name (Karen). It’s a beautiful name though!

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      • 97

        Karin says

        Well, I’m glad people have asked you how to spell Karen, because I can’t tell you how annoying it is that people ALWAYS spell my name Karen unless I tell them. It got so bad that I no longer say my name first if it has to be spelled, but spell it.

        My parents chose this spelling, and the spelling is at least as old as yours is, just less common in English. I also HATE it when people want to pronuonce it like Corrine! I have never seen Kar said like cor (as in incorrigble), but I accept ethnically correct variations in pronunciation such as the Scandinavian ways.

        Karin

        Karin

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      • 105

        Melisha says

        My sister’s name is Shanda but her middle or last name isn’t lear. Lol Her middle name is Jewell after our great grandma. People butcher my name and always have but I guess I’m weird because I’ve always liked my name. I understand people thinking it’s Melissa misspelled but once someone called me Marcia and I still wonder where they got the R from!

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  5. 107

    bethlaf says

    i love my kids names, but they are slightly off beat, not crazy , just not top 100 , having gone through school with 6 count em 6 other Elizabeth, you might see my point…

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    • 108

      Sandy says

      I was never the only Sandy in any of my elementary school classes, and it never bothered me. What did bother me was my last name, which no one could ever pronounce. On the first day of school I would sit there and wait for the long pause while the teacher struggled with it, and I’d spend months helping them with it. My conclusion was that duplication was a small price to pay for avoiding a lifetime of confusion and correction. Both my kids have names that can withstand a spell check. If they want something unique, they can come up with their own nickname, which will have more meaning to them than anything I could devise.

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      • 109

        Michelle says

        Nobody could ever pronounce my maiden name either. It was Rohde- pronounced road-ee. It got mispronounced so often that when someone would get it right (which was very, very seldom) I would actually congratulate them.

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  6. 110

    Face-Palm says

    Hand to God, I had a friend name their sone Epic. EPIC unless that kid is hand made awesome, he’s screwed. Especially since his last name is Johnson. (His father though tit would be hilarious)

    Then my sister is a mix of Danielle and Mischelle, >> Dyschelle -sighs- She was called Dirty Dishes the entirety of high school

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  7. 116

    darla says

    I named my son Hehr (here) his dads name is Thayer my son loves his name at 1 he wt in at 30lbs at 15 145lbs at 9% body fat and a pretty good wrestler with great size he is definitely here Hehr!

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      • 118

        darla says

        Well my choice my child so KMA! If you knew me and my husband and our boy you wouldn’t be sitting here talking BS to me WTF is wrong with you! My child’s name fits him to a T and I have given HIM the option to change it and he will tell u and anyone else who ask do u like your name and he will say YES he is 5ft10 145lbs and 15 years old plays sports and gets good grades he is in the 100% tile for his size so BIOTCH he is HEHR and here!

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          • 121

            Dutchlady says

            No. Sorry to tell you, but thats just plain wrong. Either in the Netherlands or Germany it is spelled Herr and the meaning is a simple Mr.

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          • 122

            Maelie says

            The German is Herr, Dutch is heer. In German the ‘e’ is as in ‘fern’, Dutch the ‘ee’ is as in ‘in’ but long. It does not mean lord. God, why don’t people at least google the name they choose for their poor children?
            Also, 90 procent sure Darla is a troll.

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        • 123

          John says

          How does the name “fit him to a T” when you made it up?

          And you don’t give him the right to change it; the legal system does. The only thing you gave him is a goofy name that reflects poorly on you.

          I suspect you know all of this already, judging by how ultra-defensive you are about the terrible name you burdened your child with.

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  8. 130

    Ali says

    I know someone who named her kids Britaney and Johnathan. She thinks it’s cute-I’m pretty sure it just looks uneducated. Also, I will always remember one of my mother’s former students who was named Adoremeisay. I am not kidding, her name was “adore me I say” all pushed into one word.

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  9. 132

    Sarah says

    As someone with a really common name, I can understand the desire to give your child a slightly less common name; there are a million Sarahs in the world and at least 5 in my graduating class. However, I whole-heartedly agree with all of the points listed here. As a teacher, I get to see my share of horrible names. My all-time favorite was actually shared with me by a fellow teacher. She had a child in her class named Shi’thead. Now, take that apostrophe out and tell me what that name spells…yeah, who thought that was ok?! I think the countries that have a list of approved names to choose from might have the right idea after hearing that whopper of a name…

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      • 134

        Sarah says

        Hahaha ahhhh! No, I live in VA. OMG I can’t believe there was more than one moron who named their poor child Shi’thead. I think this family pronounced it “”Shhi-theeed” if I remember correctly. Either way, AWFUL!!

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        • 135

          Sarah M says

          OMG yes…thank you! I hated going by “Sarah” and my last initial…and then my full last name because there were THREE Sarah’s with the name last initial. Finally I just tried going by my first and middle name like so many Sarahs commonly do (Sarah Jessica, Sarah Michelle) but…I hate my middle name almost as much as my last (my maiden name, not my current). I can’t win!!
          I like to write creatively, and I always use odd names for characters…like Stazia, Vayda…weird stuff. People were surprised when I named my son boring ol’ Ryan. LoL
          I think the only other people that can feel the pain of being named Sarah in the 80s and 90s are Jennifers…UGH. And my mom claims it wasn’t common at all (no mom…it was only in the top 10 most popular names since 1880 and finally fell off in the early 2000s. Thankfully!)

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          • 136

            Sarah says

            Haha yes yes yes! My best friend was also named Sarah when I was a kid, so I was Sarah W. but then there ended up being like 3 Sarah W.’s in my class so that got annoying. And I hated my middle name also, so my mom always just called me by my last name, Wilson. My mom always swore the same thing-“there were no Sarahs when I picked that name!!” I eventually got to the point where I typically only answered to Wilson (but then I got married and frequently forget what my married name is).

            I’m due in May and naming my daughter Riley Paige and hoping like Hell she doesn’t hate at least one of those names!

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          • 137

            Sarah M says

            THAT is cute! :)
            My daughter will probably hate me for her name, but my husband was REALLY adamant on it, and it’s spelling and I agreed stupidly because I wanted the middle name…her name is Mathea Joan…which is cute enough. But Mathea is pronounced: “Mat-he-ah”. Pronounce it like you would if you DID NOT have the natural urge as an English speaker to put the ‘t’ and the ‘h’ together as the “thhhh” sound. No one can pronounce it right…they pronounce it “Math-ee-ah” (like you’re starting to say Matthew in which Mathea is the girl form of Matthew) or “Mat-ay-ah” like with a Spanish accent. I hope she’s not TOO mad at me for it; at least I named her after a cool lady (Joan was my gramma who raised me who passed on years ago).
            After reading this post I feel very bad now (the article, not this specific post). I should have argued further for a different spelling.
            At least it’s not ‘Sarah’…*roll eyes* She won’t be able to find any license plates or necklaces at the amusement park (well I really couldn’t either, because they were always SOLD OUT!) but…at least it’s different (and I call her “Mattie”…)
            It’s got to be better than Moon Unit or Hashtag or something…right?

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          • 138

            Sarah M says

            Oh! And for one of the easiest names in the world NO ONE can properly spell ‘Sarah’. I’m not talking the “Sara” debacle (of which I HATE!!!!) which I know you know what I’m talking about, but no one can spell it. I get “Shara” or “Sarha” or whatever…is EVERYONE dyslexic? Or just THAT stupid???? UGH!

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          • 140

            Violet says

            I was another Jennifer born in 1980. There were at least five of us, if not more. (I’ve blocked out most of my school years.) At the beginning of fourth grade, I insisted on going by my middle name, Renae. It was a tossup, either go through life answer to the call of ‘Jennifer’ along with a dozen others in the room, or having to spell my name out, three times, every. damn. time. I’ve chosen to deal with the spelling frustration over the commonness one. I can understand people being confused with the RenAE, what I don’t understand is why so many people spell it ‘Renea’ when they get it wrong. What the hell?

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          • 143

            Jenifer D says

            Another Jenifer here but my mother got the bright idea that leaving off an “n” would make me unique…. Really Mom! The name was like number 1 or 2 on the charts for 3 years before I was born and several years after and leaving out an “n” was going to make me unique. Now I have to explain every time I fill something out that no I did not misspell my own name (actually got my forms handed back to me at the DMV once to “make the correction” WTF seriously I am pretty sure that at this point in life I know how to spell my own name!)
            When I had my first I went with Anastasia not common but not weird. Then came our second daughter and Hubs and I just could not agree, or the name was already taken by a close friend or relative so we ended up with Abigail and it almost killed me (sometimes I still want to go change her name). She is Abi by her choosing so at least that’s a little less common.
            I tried going by middle name in high school but I just don’t look like a Denise and I couldn’t remember to answer to it so I gave up. Now I am Jen to most who know me other than my older family who still call me Jenie.

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          • 144

            Ginger says

            I’m loving this thread. Growing up with the legal name Ginger (not a nickname), I chose to name my kids very simple names. I chose Sarah for my daughter because I think it’s beautiful. I was so jealous of all of the Sarahs and Jennifers growing up!

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          • 148

            JenniferW says

            as a Jennifer, i completely relate to your issue with the name sarah. 1971 and my mom picks the #1 name…i’ve never cared for it. i had to tell people all through high school, “no! my name is NOT Jenny!” lol

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          • 149

            Jennie says

            Then the song ‘867-5309/Jenny’ came out, and another one my dad used to sing that had the lyric ‘jenny, jenny why don’t you take a walk with me/jenny, jenny, WOO jenny, jenny’.

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          • 150

            JenniferM says

            Born in 1978, Maiden name is Li & lived in Toronto, Canada. Lots of Asians, lots of Li’s, lots of Jennifer’s. Do you know how many Jennifer Li’s I’ve encountered? In high school, there was a Jennifer Li in the same grade as me and we’d often end up in some classes together. Since we couldn’t go by the last name & we had Chinese middle names, we’d have to go by the middle initial.. like Jennifer whatever your middle initial is to tell the difference! And there was at least one instance where our marks got screwed up & because of it. So annoying! Also annoying was every calling me Jenny. I couldn’t stand Jenny! I prefer Jen or Jennifer. It’s only been the last few years that I’ve stopped correctly people who call me Jenny cause I just can’t be bothered anymore!

            On that note, while I do understand wanting a different more unique name for our children, I’m not going to name my kid some weird arse name. I still remember when I was in highschool working at the local swimming pool. We had a brother & sister named Beavis & Barbie… no joke. I guess they were just lucky the parent’s didn’t use Butthead instead LOL

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          • 151

            Jen says

            Another Jennifer here… There were 6 Jennifer’s in my graduating class (class of 121 kids). I HATED when people assumed that I went by Jenny! Not only did I get “Jenny, I got your number…”, but some very clever middle schoolers came up with “Jenny’s got a gun…” (Janie’s Got a Gun by Aerosmith). My mother claims that no one she knew had a kid named Jennifer when I was born. Sure, I’m sure that wasn’t true as a child of the early 80’s…My own mother thought is was hilarious to watch me get so upset when she called me “Jenny Penny.” Thanks mom.
            In college, I worked at a medical office and one of our patient’s names was Skysun. Get it? Sky…sun. He was a boy. Now as the Director of HR for my company, here are a few employees (or former employees) names: Jessaeca, Niki-full name, not short for anything, Nittaya, DeLhondrae, Orvettalyn (I always want to call her Loretta Lynn for some reason), Brycin, Kimmi, Aristotle (who went by Ari), and countless others. I don’t get why people do that to their kids, always makes me think they will either turn out to be a celebrity or in special ed. Some people like a good gamble I guess!

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          • 152

            Jennifer says

            Another Jennifer born in the eighties here. I actually don’t mind having a common name, but I hate, hate, hate when people call me Jenny. Jen is okay, but not Jenny. I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one.

            Jenifer, I work in a bilingual school, people spell my name with one ‘n’ all the time because the name became popular in Latin America shortly after it was popular here and that’s the spelling most Spanish speakers use.

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  10. 154

    Janelle says

    In a primary school newsletter my kids brought home, student of the week was named Swastika…Yes that’s right. Well at least Nazi’s are good students. Poor kid…wait ’till history class in high school.

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  11. 156

    Catie says

    I work doing newborn portraits in a hospital and we always as the baby’s name. My rule of thumb is, if you can’t spell the name without looking at the piece of paper it’s written on, how do you expect them to learn how to spell it at age 5.

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    • 157

      Theresa He says

      except if you ask the idiot dad….couldn’t spell Cheyenne (oldest daughter’s middle name….because it work with Cassidy)….without help, even 20 years later, I think.
      The year she was born there 5 Cassidy’s born in MT….One even shares her birthday. He was the only boy but there were two Cassidy River’s. They did an article in the local paper about “different” names that year.

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  12. 158

    Heather says

    My SIL couldn’t decide on a middle name for her daughter so she hyphenated her first name and gave her a middle name: Ava-Rose Marie, intending for people to call the baby Ava-Rose. No one does, mostly she goes just by Ava. However, when she was a newborn, my MIL would refer to her as “Ava Hyphen Rose.”

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    • 163

      Kate says

      I’m really glad that my daughter won’t be able to find anything with her name on it. My little siblings and I were constantly whining and asking mom for tacky trinkets because they had our names on it. I’m looking forward to not having to deal with that.

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  13. 164

    AmberB says

    My youngest is named Sawyer – my husband’s grandmother’s maiden name (that’s what we tell his family) but really it’s from Lost. And in the 2.5 years of his life we’ve only met 3 other Sawyers, of similar age, 2 were boys and one was a girl. Mom of the girl Sawyer said, “but Sawyer is a GIRLS name!” all offended that I named my boy Sawyer! Made me giggle.

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