What Not to Name Your Kid

There are some topics I would love to write about but I know they’re way too controversial or potentially offensive- this is one of them.  But if I am vague enough and only give over-the-top examples, I might be able to pull this off.

When naming our son who is due to arrive in November, a few ground rules were that the name had to be easy to say and spell, easily recognizable, and not made-up.  So that’s one of the many reasons we went with the classic American “Jack”.  Other than my dad, I don’t know anyone else with that name, yet it’s highly popular in movies and TV- therefore making it popular but not overused.

I do take requests as far as topics I write about.  “What Not to Name Your Kids” was an idea suggested to me by a few different people and I decided to take the challenge.  After all, we all are familiar with baby names that we say, “oh, I like that” when the soon-to-be mom tell us, yet we later tell our friends “you gotta hear this name, it’s so weird…”  So I have come up with a list of “no no’s” when it comes to naming a North American child.

Last names for first names that are not classic or already decently popular. Madison and Mackenzie are acceptable.  But when I hear more obscure ones like Middleton, Smithwell, Dresden, Spurlock, Applegate, and Hester, I can’t help but feel sorry for that kid.

Wrong gender names. Obviously names like Jordan and Taylor are good names that truly are completely neutral and work well for a boy or a girl.  But when I hear of a girl being named James or Scott or Todd, or if a suffix is added to a boy’s name to make it feminine like Markley, Davidanna, or Johnlyn, I get irritated.

Funny names. Jack B. Nimble, Robert Robertson, and Sunshine Day.

Random, made-up names that are supposed to be cute. Spiffet, Tindle, Gladdon, and Marxon.

It used to be that a person’s middle name might be a little different or off-beat.  But nowadays, parents are going all out on the first names.  That will surely be a trait of the Class of 2030.  Weird names.

6 thoughts on “What Not to Name Your Kid

  1. My first year teaching, I taught a Mercedes, Lexus, and Infinity. My second year, I was lucky enough to teach little Azah (pronounced Asia)–sweet kid, offbeat mom to say the least. By my third year I was introduced to Co’Meshia Imunique and twins Kilo and Margarita. The last year I taught children with mostly normal names–Haley, Peyton, Elizabeth, Luis, Juanna. Though some were decidedly ethnic, they were not that unusual. I’m planning to go back to teaching this year and can’t wait to get another class roster just to see what other people named their babies.


  2. Allison Wanda Land–that’s hilarious!
    I went to high school with a “Jonathan John Johnson.”
    I’ve always chuckled at the name of actor “Rip Torn.”
    At camp at WOL, I counseled two sister named Keesha and Leesha, and their little sister who was not there was named Meesha. (Don’t remember if that’s how it’s spelled, but still you get the idea that the mom wasn’t too creative.)
    I also know someone who named their son “Cotton.”


  3. try subbing in chicago public schools… my fav name was exxon. I also liked having kids correct me for saying their names wrong when it was clearly their parents who SPELLED the name wrong!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.