20 (Questionable) Ways To Name Your Baby


Once the lines have settled on the pregnancy test, and your prenatal vitamins are placed prominently on your nightstand, it’s time to choose a name. Shakespeare said, “What’s in a name?” and I’d like to respond with, “Uh. EVERYTHING.”

Having trouble picking a name? Why not try these:

1. Tell everyone within earshot what names you’re considering, so they can shoot them all down and offer their own superior suggestions.

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2. Open a baby name book to a random page, close your eyes, and point. If it’s in the book, it’s gotta be good, right?

3. Name the kid after a pop culture icon who will be obsolete by the time your baby enters preschool. Kardashian, Gosling, and Twilight are great options.

4. Better yet, combine the names of TWO pop culture icons who will be obsolete by the time your baby enters preschool. Kanyeiber (Kanye + Justin Bieber) or Beyoncyrus (Beyonce + Miley Cyrus) for example.

5. Go with where your child was conceived. Sure, “Neighbor’s Pool Table” doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, but oh the stories you could tell!

6. Let the doctor decide. He does this all day long, so he has to have some good ideas.

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7. Put a poll up on your blog and ask your readers to vote. Because the internet deserves the power to name your child.

8. Spell out your favorite TV station. Emteevee looks super cute when you write it like that.

9. Play pin the tail on the alphabet. Tape all the letters in the alphabet to a wall, put on a blindfold, and place 5-7 stickers on random letters. Pray you choose a vowel.

10. Let your older kid slam on the keyboard for three seconds and use whatever comes out. Gyjuvyurdtxpijoty for the win!

11. Go the nature route. Don’t do typical nature names like Meadow and Forest though. Choose unique names like Magma or Dung Beetle.

12. Pick a classic name, but jazz it up with some extra consonants and vowels. Daniel becomes Dhahnyiell and Sara turns into Zhszhairrah.

13. Choose a tech-related name. Dotcom, Siri or British GPS Lady could work.

14. Use their name to choose their future profession. Linebacker or Flautist for example. Name it and claim it!

15. Find a meaning you like and choose a name accordingly. I’m certain there are plenty of names which mean “one who emerges from the womb destined to color on walls in permanent marker.”

16. Don’t give the kid a name. Instead, allow him or her to choose their own name as a present on their third birthday. Kids have great judgment skills.

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17. Combine two or three of your favorite elements from the Periodic Table. What about HeNaPb?

18. Do like Prince and just draw a doodle on the birth certificate. You can always pull a Puff Daddy and change it later.

19. Pay homage to your favorite food. I’m a fan of Pho, Ribeye, and Cheesy Gordita myself.

20. Or your favorite drink. How badass would “Michelob Ultra” sound at high school graduation?

Happy naming!

Related post: Shit, I Chose The Wrong Name For My Kid

About the writer


Toni Hammer chronicles her mommy misadventures at Is It Bedtime Yet? and spends too much time on Facebook and Twitter. She writes for Scary Mommy, Babble, The Huffington Post and other sites that she can't remember because she's exhausted from being a SAHM to two toddlers. She drowns her mommy guilt in copious amounts of coffee and Diet Coke.


Jo Mastin 2 years ago

Consider a name that will be easy to write for those kindergarten entrance tests.

Kathie 2 years ago

Heard of a family that couldn’t decide so they put all the names in a bowl and let the baby choose. Said it would solve problems later when the child complained about their name – parents said “you picked it”.

Dalia Valberde 2 years ago

It shouldn’t matter how common a name is or how different all that matters is that you personally like it and its not something your children will have a hard time saying/spelling, i hated in school how my teachers could never say my name Dalia and its not hard or long so being hispanic in the US we opted for english names instead of super long spanish names.

Barbara Mastroddi-Lackey 2 years ago

Lots of great feedback here (and Erin, I love your naming criteria; I couldn’t agree more). What about those who feel obligated to name children after relatives (not talking about the Jewish custom of deceased relatives, and even there, there is leeway with using initials)? I know people who feel they HAVE to name their children after their grandparents in some way, or go with the whole Junior/Third/Fourth bit. Both DH and I were juniors (named directly after our parents) so we did NOT want to do this. As the hubs said, “It’s not like we’re part of a dynasty.”

Sharon Hammill 2 years ago

Plenty of people do 12 then claim that they have given their child a ‘unique’ name. What they’ve actually done is given their kid a common as mud name and f$&@!d it up so the poor kid has to spell it to everyone they meet for the rest of their life.

Linda Marie 2 years ago

Thought you’d get a kick out of this Amanda Reyelts and Rhona Rohrbach Mullen

Dana Volpe Cammarata 2 years ago

Luke. Easy. Strong. Olivia a Sophia/ Sofia are way overused!! So no to those. Amanda is one that used to be popular but now my daughter is the only one in the school with it. Means worthy of love:)

Kelly 2 years ago

I swear if I ever have a daughter I’ll call her Beyoncyrus. 😛

Catt McMasters 2 years ago

Amy Battersby in case you want more “help”

Veronica Everett 2 years ago

OMG #3! People call my daughter Isabella all the time and it makes me so angry! She was named after her great grandmother so I take major offense to this.

Harriet 2 years ago

Omg I really needed this article bc we are struggling to find a unique name for our baby girl!!! This made me lol so much, ty!

Haley MacDonald 2 years ago

I’m actually considering some of these to name the baby we are exPecTing lol

Jennifer Kitchen Morante 2 years ago

Choose a name that allows your kid to get a job interview!

Alicia 2 years ago

Hey, my daughter got an uncommon name but her dad is Greek with a very Greek last name so it fit. Her name is Pallas. And while she’ll be the only Pallas she ever meets in her life, I don’t say I regret naming her that. Butttttt…she does have a drawback……she’ll NEVER find her name on a Coke! (Or a keychain, or mug, or any fun thing bought from Disney…..sigh)

Dalia Valberde 2 years ago

Great minds think alike lol

Keri Taylor 2 years ago

I used to work in the birth certificate office at the local hospital and no joke saw names like flannel pajamas

Erik 2 years ago

I found this thru the dad issues blog and laughed thru the she thing. We went thru exactly 2 names for my daughter. First one was Makenzie. Found out a GI we didn’t like had a daughter named Makenzie. So that one went out the window quick. We settled on Jordyn. Named after Michael Jordan and Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson. We are sports nuts. Loved this and will be back to read more.

lehan 2 years ago

Our daughter came 14weeks early…..had zero girls name picked….thought for sure we were having a boy…..threw names out to SO……only 1 he didnt veto…..and voila…..our daughter was named…..unconventional yes…..but very suitable…..#win lol

LaToria Bolden 2 years ago

Love The article!

Mommies head on over to my site and check out my AWESOME Labor Day Sale

Looking to network with other mommies out there in cyberspace

Be Blessed

Melonie Vail Vest 2 years ago

We didn’t tell anyone his name, till he was born! :)

Soul 2 years ago

My family and I seem to have a thing for Disney princesses. My youngest sister is named Aurora (sleeping beauty) and I, not thinking, let my husband banner our baby Jasmine. Please baby girl, when you have kids, think the names through.

    Arashi 2 years ago

    If you have twin girls in the future, go for broke and name them Anna and Elsa. There will be kids looking on in total envy.

Dixie Thompson 2 years ago

Don’t name your child “John Henry” and call him “Henry”.

Kate 2 years ago

Names are a big deal. When I was born in 1971, my parents named me Lori. I have despised my name ever since. I went to court earlier this year and had it legally changed. I am now Kate. So glad I did it!!

    Kylie 2 years ago

    How funny! My mom is Laurie and I’ve never liked my name and have always wanted to change it to Kate!

Nancy Welker Fortais 2 years ago

My husband and I are teachers- finding names that did not remind of of- um- “trying” students took some work. Thankfully we’re pretty happy with our choices 14 and 16 years later!

Mandi LeHerissier 2 years ago

Midnight Toker?! Poor kid….

Sally Stradling Graham 2 years ago

Best to choose a name the poor little guy can spell in kindergarten!

Stephanie Lynn Milbury 2 years ago

I knew a couple who had 2 boys name Jack and Jameson. Classy

Amanda Etcheto 2 years ago

my husband opted to name our daughter after a celestial panther from a book series based on the roll playing game dungeons and dragons. I agreed to the name because I love king Arthur . Gwenivere will be here in feb lol

Alexandria Cruikshank 2 years ago

When we picked out first daughters name I had no internet or anything, had no idea that Sophia was popular. Named our second Aubrey cause it was just so cute! We looked in baby name books and narrowed them down. Then come to find out they are super popular.. Will probly be 16 Sophias and Aubreys in their classes :/

Dalia Valberde 2 years ago

We have a Olivia Rose and a Khloe Coraline (not caroline lol)

Mandi LeHerissier 2 years ago

Irish name – Jameson!

Amy Beth Rhodes 2 years ago

If we have a boy my husband wants to name him Billy Ray! Not after Billy Ray Cyrus though, these are both names that belong to someone very important to him. I understand that but it’s a horrible, horrible combination!

Sarah Fritz-Maldonado 2 years ago

Lol we took forever to decide and I did take suggestions this time because I was at a loss … We have a James Anthony (my family names) we have Laila Jasmine ( I like the name Laila and I have a slight obsession with princess Jasmine) and this baby is either Olivia Jade (jade was my choice Olivia my husbands) or Archer Benjamin (all Hubby’s pic there lol) most of his family hates the name Archer which is probably why it has been his #1 boy pick 2 pregnancies in a row lol

Mandi LeHerissier 2 years ago

My daughter and I both have names that are songs ..Mandi and Layla

Elizabeth D. Ortiz 2 years ago

Or Xaro Xoan Daxos … 😀

Jules 2 years ago

Beyoncyrus… Lol

Corrine Garvey 2 years ago

BTW the worst name I have read before was “Master.” I wasn’t sure if the person was a genius or cruel haha. I could not imagine being THAT child on the first day of school and when the teacher calls his name everyone just looks.

    Arashi 2 years ago

    As long as his last name isn’t Bates, that could end well… Or if that IS his last name, send him hiding. Forever. With his therapist on the phone all day.

Corrine Garvey 2 years ago

We are having the hardest time ever with boy names. My husband loves Tristan (I don’t) and I love Nathan, Ethan, and Andrew (and my husband doesn’t). If anyone had any suggestions let us know. Irish names preferred, but really any name at this point.

    Christine 2 years ago

    Owen, Sean/Shawn, Nicholas, Benjamin, Brandon, Brian, Colin, Emmett. Some Irish and some not, just all the ones I couldn’t use because they were already family/coworker/friend names!

    Katelyn 2 years ago

    My son is Seamus (shay-mus). He is so far the only Seamus I have met and he’s 5. Kieren and Declan are pretty Irish… Connor, Callum, Liam, Kellen.. Ummm.. We have an Elias at work, I like it, the kids call him Eli.

      Maria 2 years ago

      My 19 year old knows two boys named Seamus, makes me wonder if it’s a regional thing.

Jeanette Moltzer 2 years ago

Hmm, I find it very interesting that both my kid’s names….Ethan and Paige…are on post-its in this picture.

Christine Alessandro Maggio 2 years ago

With our first (Dominic) I got ” I hate that name” from my mom and other negative opinions from family members. Then with my second (Andrew but mostly called Drew) I got that is not Italian and doesn’t go with Dominic. I can’t win but i didn’t give a damn because those were always out favorite two boys’ names.

Sally Dyer-Edwards 2 years ago

In addition add unnecessary punctuation e.g. J’nai or L-a (ladasha) or spell a word backwards Neveah

Ginny Schultz Vandenburg 2 years ago

Family names. Then even if they are “questionable” (my son’s middle name is Cornelius after his grandfather, and no his first name is not “Yukon”) at least you have a good excuse!

Dawn 2 years ago

My Older 2 girls want to call their new brother ‘Optimus Prime’… Hubby’s all for it but I’m yet to be convinced…

    K 2 years ago

    Kids are adorable!

Holly Gillett Lmt 2 years ago

Oh my gosh these are terrible ideas !

Jordana Kujavsky 2 years ago


Emmi Lawrence 2 years ago

#1 is why we don’t tell people the name we chose until it’s on a birth certificate. My grandmother just suggested foregoing my married name altogether for our first. Now we’re pregnant with our second and only our immediate family knows

Brandy Dixon 2 years ago

#20 Ha! Our little man is Evan Williams. That’s what you get from a mom named Brandy. We’re thinking if we go for number 2 he could be Jameson.

Rachel Myers 2 years ago

We picked our names and are telling NO ONE! Not even our other children can know.

Daphne Fernandez 2 years ago


Valerie Ann 2 years ago

I never struggled with this – I did however call our lil man “blip” from day of positive test to the day we found out he was a boy! Hubby thought I was nuts but in the end he was named with a book character anyways!!

Meagan Busby 2 years ago

The names people pick these days for the kids are just dumb.

Erin Harter Janiak 2 years ago

Haha. I will say I did use two rules when naming my daughter. Make it sound good for “All rise for Supreme Court Justice….” and sound bad for “Let’s hear it for our lovely lady tonight….” Good for justice, bad for stripper.

Lacey Ducsay 2 years ago

Dung beetle

Dina Susanne 2 years ago

Totally doing one of those

    Valerie Ann 2 years ago

    Which one? :)

    Dina Susanne 2 years ago

    Oh.. good question!

Amanda 2 years ago

I love #16. If I’d done that, my daughter would be named “scratchy claw tiger” which is this weeks obsession. :)

    K 2 years ago

    My son said Ka Chow ( as in the thing Lightning McQueen says lol

Allison Diehl 2 years ago

Heh heh. “12. Pick a classic name, but jazz it up with some extra consonants and vowels. Daniel becomes Dhahnyiell and Sara turns into Zhszhairrah.”

    Terri 2 years ago

    Or leave vowels out. My Grandson was named Bradly, not Bradley.

    On the other hand, I have a grand niece that was named Rylee Mae, after our Great Grandmother’s middle name and her husband’s last name. For some reason, it fits her prefectly.

Marcia 2 years ago

Please people – select a name for your baby that will still be appropriate for them when they are in their 80’s!

    K 2 years ago

    What is an example of a name that is not appropriate for an eighty year old?

      Kristen Lee 2 years ago

      I would hate to be one of the million 80 year old Brittanys in 50 years.

        Karina 2 years ago

        HA! At least YOU spelled it correctly. It’s even worse when it’s “Brittni”, “Britney”, “Britnee”, “Brittnie”, and every other godawful way people try to “make it different.” We all know your special snowflake is EXTRA SPECIAL AND UNIQUE, but please don’t take it out on them (and the rest of us) by deciding that the rules of English spelling & phonetics don’t apply to said snowflake. When they start putting in job applications, potential employers WILL assume: a) they are illiterate AND B) that they come from a long line of illiterates.


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