Not awful baby names


awful baby names

I don’t love my kids’ names. There, I said it. The most important decision you make for your children and I botched it before ever leaving the hospital. Go me!

Well, I do love Lily’s. Jeff and I wanted something feminine and timeless and pretty and the moment we found it, we knew. It’s more popular than I realized, but that’s alright. She’s fine.

It’s the boys. I mean, their names are fine. Nice, even. Just so much more boring than I ever imagined I’d have.

I always thought I wanted a Gabriel, but with Ben, we owed Jeff’s family a name and he wanted to honor his grandmother by using the middle initial “A.” An A name would have resulted in the initials GAS, which shattered my dreams of a little Gabe. Also topping my list was Oliver and Asher, but the “er” at the end clashed with the “er” at the end of our last name, so those were out. Every other name I loved didn’t work for some reason or another and I was totally stumped. Boy names are just so hard.

I vividly remember the moment a friend suggested Benjamin as I pushed Lily on the swing in her backyard. It’s not awful, I sighed. There was no reason not to use it. I liked it enough. And, with that, my baby had a name.

Evan was going to be my Gabriel. Or my Aiden or Julian or something less common and more beautiful sounding, while still being masculine and cool. (Kind of an impossible feat, right?) But at the hospital, none of those names seemed to fit.

How about Evan, Jeff suggested as I huffed and puffed my third baby out. Evan. It’s not awful, I sighed.

It was never a name we so much as mentioned during the nine months, but suddenly that’s what our baby was called. I remember being rather incredulous the next day that I agreed to it at all. We each accidentally referred to him as Ethan a few times during the early days since that was actually a name we’d discussed beforehand. Whoops.

So, that’s the story of how we named our boys: The least awful names I could think of.

Sorry, kids!


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  1. 1

    Loukia says

    Ha! Well we had to (well, not HAD to, but you know, as tradition goes…) name our children after our parents, and I was okay with my dad’s name – Dimitry – or my mom’s name – Katerina. I wasn’t in love with my husband’s dad’s name, though. Christos. But it’s grown on me. Although it’s totally said differently in Greek – Xristos. And in English people say Chris-tos. Anyway! And I got my Dimitry. If we were to have a third child, (unlikely) and it was a girl, she’d be named Katherine. If we had another boy, hmm. Alexander, I love.

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  2. 3

    Kmama says

    I am a freak and required that we had two names picked out before each child was born. I didn’t want to have to name my child something that I didn’t think they looked like. So with my first, we had Jack and Nicholas picked out. Jack was my pick, and Nicholas my husbands. After 45 hours of labor and a c-section, I won. My oldest was Jack.

    With my second pregnancy, we decided on Nicholas, but could not think of another name. We had Cole and Evan in mind, but didn’t “love” them. We decided that if he didn’t look like a Nicholas when born, we would name him something else that we thought of in the hospital. Thank goodness he looked like a Nicholas.

    So I have my Jack and Nick.

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    • 5

      Bruna says

      I love Nicholas! I had it as a choice before I knew if I was having a boy or a girl. But it was a girl and her name is Emma. :) Emma Louise, actually. They were our grandmothers – and I think those names go so nice together.

      The weird thing here is… This is my second marriage (well first, because the previous wasn’t on paper, but anwyays), it is a mess because we come from different countries, so my first son’s name sounds really “different” both in Denmark (where hubby is from) and here in the US, where we live now. “José Guilherme” – yeah, try to say *that* again, lol. In english this would be “Joseph William” and boy, does that sound weird in english? But I promise you, in my home country, in our mother language, it’s beautiful. Not so common, even though I know a couple of guys called Jose Guilherme, but it’s strong, and very beautiful.

      The worst will be finding a third name to go with Gui’s and Emma’s, if (when) we have another baby! :P

      PS: Guilherme goes by “Gui” (as in…guitar) most of the time. It’s his nickname but in the US noone even knows how to say his first name so… He goes by “Gui”; which I love.

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      • 7

        Kmama says

        No, imagine that!! My brother teased us about it for awhile. Worse than that is Nick’s middle name is Drew. So it was Nicholas Drew…and my brother asked if I had a Lachey complex (Nick and Drew Lachey). We never even though about those things…though we thought about so many others.

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  3. 8

    elisa says

    naming the kids is hard! especially the boys, so i can totally relate to your story and the not awful part.

    Marius is my favorite name, which my eldest boy is called. When we had our 2nd boy – well trouble! (I had a lot of girls name to choose from, but somehow they didn’t work). We had thought of Kalle and Silas (which are both easily pronouced names in Denmark, where I live!), but we couldn’t decide which one, since neither was just perfect. After a couple of weeks my twins (at the time 4 yo) woke me up from my nap telling me that it was decided that the name was Kalle. Well, ok, I thought, we had to make the decision at some point – and I could live with that. Getting down stairs I said to my husband: “so you three decided on Kalle?” He looked surprised and informed me that he had noting to do with that, the twins had decided it all on their own, apparently. So Kalle is his name. Sometimes I like it, sometimes I would have preferred Silas – I don’t think I’ll ever be completely content with the choice.
    And by the way, he is named after cameleon – from a kids tv-show!

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      • 10

        Hannah says

        I totally agree…I can come up with girl names, no problem. We have Eleanor (although I was a little bummed by all the “Ella” names that cropped up around the same time). Then came…the boy. Felix, Charles, Oliver, Henry, Patrick, back and forth, round and round…then he was born, and he didn’t “look” like any of those names. Six hours later, I muttered, “what about Benjamin?” and it was settled, even though I have an uncle and a brother named Ben, and it was always an instant veto beforehand. Now, I can’t imagine him as anything else!

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      • 11

        Nenette says

        Me too! I have a ton of girl names. Nothing for boys, so when my son popped out, we were thrown for a loop, and eventually chose a name that we both loved. Unfortunately, it’s a name that made my parents decide to never speak to us again. Meh, their loss. We’d been putting up with their “crazy” for years, and frankly, this was a small price to pay. :)

        I love the name we named our daughter, but I wish we could’ve had more daughters because I love all the other girl names we have in the queue. Alas, I don’t think I could handle a 3rd child in the mix. Kudos to you moms who can! :)

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  4. 12

    Cindy S says

    It’s so unfair that they FORCE us to name these little creatures before we leave the hospital. I mean, really, there is probably no time in life when we are LESS qualified to be making important decisions. Hormones roaring, body aching, terror setting in (I have to be ALONE with it?)…my goodness. I think they should allow us 3 months or so to come out of the total TORNADO that is new parenthood before we decide for sure on the baby’s name. Let the kid show some personality first so we can label them properly. I mean, that’s what we did. And now, little Satan and little Jezebel could not be more comfortable in their monikers.

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  5. 21

    Sherri says

    My husband and I fell in love with Malcolm for a boy for over a decade before we even started trying – one of those early dating, hypothetical baby names conversations. Fast forward 13 years and boom, a baby boy. Thank goodness, since we didn’t have any girl names at all, as the ones I was always partial to had rocketed up the top 10 list. I’m thrilled for my son to have a classic and not terribly popular name that he can live with as a kid and an adult.

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  6. 22

    Rhonda M says

    I was lucky, I knew 20 years ago what my daughter would be named if I ever had one. First name anyway, I knew would be Hannah. I have been in love with that name forever. Hubby picked the middle name, which I love too, her middle name is Cheyenne.

    If she had been a boy, we picked Chase Neal. But I knew in my heart I would never use the name.

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    • 23

      Lisa @ Crazy Adventures in Parenting says

      We have a similar story. Always dreamed of a girl named Sydney during our courtship. Funny how NONE of our three girls are named Sydney. We completely effin’ forgot all about it! Ha!

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      • 24

        April Queen says

        My daughter is Sydney (Amanda is her middle name after my sister Amanda). When I named her that Melrose Place was really popular and a lot of people thought I got the names from it! But I always liked Sydney too.

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  7. 25

    Jennifer says

    Growing up with the most popular name in the US for 16 years running, I was desperate to find names for our kids that were NOT on the most popular baby names list. But, since my husband is of Italian descent and we have an incredibly long last name, they could not be more than 2 syllables. So, we have Mila and Marco. I still love their names, thankfully.

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        • 28

          Jennifer says

          I think it got worse after I got married and became a Jennifer WILLIAMS. At least my maiden name was unique. Do you have any idea how many Jennifer Williamses there are?

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          • 29

            Randi says

            My SIL’s name is Jennifer Jones. She absolutely hated it growing up. She said that she ALWAYS had someone in the same class with her name, sometimes both first and last name. At her graduation there were 6 Jennifer Jones, lol

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        • 30

          Lisa @ Crazy Adventures in Parenting says

          I feel ya! Dude, I was one of THREE Lisa H’s in my HOMEROOM. {shakes head} Oh, and now? My friggin’ married name is a character off of Green Acres!

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    • 31

      Karen says

      I did the same thing, I’d come up with a name, then plug it into the social security web site to be sure it was at the very end of all the names. The name we picked was number 910 out of 1000 for 2009, so that’s not too bad. It’s not even ranked prior to 2004 b/c it wasn’t in the top 1000. Her middle name didn’t make the cut at all.
      Charlize Makaira.

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    • 32

      Jen says

      I never want to saddle my children with a common name. I’ve come to terms with mine, but it sucked growing up! Funny how you almost never hear of girls being named Jennifer now? Probably because we all bitched so much about it :)

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  8. 33

    Alexis says

    We also struggled with names. We went to the hospital with a list of names which we quickly decided were all UNBEARABLE once baby #2 showed up. Then we sat there on check-out day surfing the Internet for ideas because I damn sure wasn’t bringing baby home with no name. Our family is pretty much defined by procrastination and I knew if he was nameless when he got home he would probably stay that way.

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  9. 35

    Tseidel says

    While my kids were gestating, my husband and I discussed names. He wanted to name them traditional north american aboriginal names, which I was fine with. Until! you look them up. Maybe I just set my standards too high. Aboriginal, easy to say, a nice meaning, not too ethnic. The girls were easy. Talise and Rozene. Nice part is that there won’t be half a dozen Talises or Rozenes in any of their schools. The boy? That was different. Holy, but it was hard! It’s very difficult to hold to my principles. Poor boy went through two weeks of namelessness. People in our small town were having a good laugh, I’m sure, as they resorted to calling him President’s Choice, and No Name. FINALLY we came up with Jolon. Can be shortened to Joe, or Joel, and again, not a plethora of Jolons around. So I though. Ha! Joke’s on me! Since he was born/named, two babies have popped up. Both girls. Jaylin, and Joely. Eff.

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  10. 38

    Siz says

    I picked 2 names for my boy Thabo(which means happiness) and Jayden, and we ended up using both and so now he’s TJ!
    For my current pregnancy I was sure it was a girl and picked Zinhle(beautiful) and Karis, then a few days ago the scan confirmed its a boy so am back to square one! Any suggestions?

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    • 42

      margy says

      I gave my son my maiden name as his christian name, so he is Lane with middle name Shilo. We have not personally met another Lane but know they are out there. lol

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      • 43

        Molly says

        We named our firstborn son Lane as well and I still LOVE it! So strong yet so simple. I was always so close with my Grandpa Lane (Lane the last name) and my husband liked the name Lane from Lane Frost in that bullriding movie “8 Seconds”. If our first was a girl it also probably would have been Lane as it is a unisex name. I am always intrigued when I hear of other Lanes in the world. :)

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