25 March, 2012

Lame Name

opinion 1
What is going on with baby names? Everyone has gone insane. There have always been those few people who name their kids freaky things, but lately it seems to have gotten out of hand. People come up with unusual names to stand out, or name their kids something the parents find cute and funny, and they have such fun taking little Brecken or Grather out to the park, but then when the kid starts socializing, their cute, unusual name is suddenly just weird. Kids will pick on you for being different, and they are quick to latch on to anything about your child that they can use against him. It's a tough world out there, and some of these names just make it tougher. Before you all say I am exaggerating, I can assure you I know what I am talking about. I also grew up with a very, very unusual name. My mom wanted me to be a non-conformist. I grew up surrounded by Jennifers and Ashleys and Sarahs, and I felt my life would be so much better if I had one of those names. So often I heard people say, 'your name is WHAT?' and I remember being very young, and the kids standing around me looking at me like some sort of unidentfied bug. What this lead me to do is try to conform in all other ways. I wanted the brand names, the hairstyles, I wanted to make sure I saw all the right movies and liked the right songs. And when I started dating, I would do anything to make sure the guy would stay with me. I'm fine with all of it now, but I would never want my own child to go through that. The fact that my mother gave me a weird name to make me not conform kind of backfired... all I did was conform my little heart out.

Ok, here are some of the weird names I have encountered: I went on an interview the other day with 2 little girls named Quinlan and Waverly. I felt so bad for them, they seemed like such sweet little girls. Those are both hideous names, but poor 4 year old Waverly is going to get so sick of people saying, 'oh like Wizards of Waverly Place!' My god people, what are you thinking? Naming your kid after an old TV show is bad enough, but a current show that is probably watched by your childs' peers? That is just cruel.

I took my charge on a playdate once with a friend named Ainsley. I hadn't met the child before, and Ainsley sounds like a last name, but as a first name I figured it was a boy. Nope, that unfortunate child was a girl. Darling little 2-year-old girl saddled with a name that makes me think of an old man on his deathbed (just the image that comes into my head).

One of the worst names for a boy these days is Keegan. There are little Keegans running around everywhere. I cannot hear that name without thinking of Kegels! The lucky thing for these boys is that most kids don't know what Kegels are, and the name has become common, so even if people make fun of it, the Keegans can all suffer together.

I knew a family once with 3 kids named Tabitha, Brynn and Skye. Tabitha had to constantly deal with jokes about wiggling her nose (and having never seen Bewitched, did not know what they were talking about), Brynn had her name mispronounced as 'Bryan' all the time, people who just saw her name written assumed she was a boy until they met her. Skye had all the jokes you would guess about up in the sky, high as the sky, etc.

Does anyone remember the news story a few years ago about people naming their kids ESPN? They literally named their kid after a sports network! It was pronounced 'ess-pen'. This one seems like bordering on child abuse! Are they going to have another kid named MTV?

Even some of the good names are being mangled. I met a little girl named Cadence a few months ago, and told her what a pretty name she had. Then I saw a certificate she got from school, and saw how her name was spelled. KAEDYNCE!! Can you believe it? She is going to have her name spelled wrong her entire life. She will have people mispronounce her name forever.

I had a friend in high school named Penny Nickels. The name Penny is fine out of context, but mixed with that last name... I still want to smack her parents. I had another friend named Crystal and her sister was Christy. That's pretty much naming 2 kids the same thing. I babysit 3 little girls named Indigo, Madeline, and Eleanor. My problem with that is in the same family, we have a very weird name (Indigo), a very trendy name (Madeline) and a very old-fashioned name (Eleanor). It seems unfair to give one kid a weird name and the other two fairly normal ones.

Some names are very pretty, but have multiple pronunciations. I have a friend with a daughter named Talia. Beautiful name, but the problem is people never know whether to say 'Tallie-a' or 'Tawli-a'. Same with Alicia. Is it 'Alee-see-a' or Alee-sha'? I just mentioned the name Madeline, but is it Mad-a-line or Mad-a-lyn? These names might not make your kids into freaks at school, but it will be super annoying to correct people on your name hundreds or thousands of times.

Throwing punctuation into names seems to be on the rise too, and it's just obnoxious. I knew 2 sisters named C'Eleste and K'Leigh (pronounced Kaylee). Those would be nice names if the mom didn't mess them up with apostrophes and weird spelling. There was another little girl named Le-a and her teachers keep calling her Leah or Leia. Finally her mom had to come in and explain that the pronunciation of her daughters name was Ledasha. You are supposed to pronounce the dash. Insane! Punctuation in a name is just going to cause problems in spelling, pronunciation, and you know when you have to fill out a form and it says, 'please print your full name, no punctuation, numbers, or other characters.' Problem if punctuation is IN your name.

I love the idea of naming your child after your heritage, however, there are some names that are normal names in other countries, but really do not work here. I met a precious baby girl named Kaylee (yep, another one)... then I found out her name was spelled Ceildh. I guess it's the Welsh spelling of it, but no one over here is going to read that name and automatically think Kaylee. Same with Rhys. It's a great Welsh name, and Reese is a great name for America, but you need to adjust the spelling depending on what side of the pond you are living. Over here your darling little Rhys is going to be called 'Rice". In high school I knew a boy named Anibal. I don't remember what country he was from, but I remember everyone calling him 'Annabelle' to be mean. When I was a kid I knew twin Japanese girls named Christy and Toshi. Their dad was from Japan, and the mom was American, so they thought it would be cute to name one twin an American name and one a Japanese name. Sure, very fun and cute for the parents, but they did live in America, so poor Toshi was the one with the 'weird' name and she couldn't even commiserate with her own twin. If you are going to make one twin a target by giving them an unusual name, give them both weird names so at least they have an ally when the teasing starts.

One more thing to watch out for is the gender change of a lot of names. Girls seem to be taking over the boys names! You never meet little boy Lindsays or Ashleys anymore. Even some of the more modern names for boys are taken over by girls. When was the last time anyone met a little boy Morgan, Taylor, or Jordan? Are these names still borderline, or are they considered girly? Little boys are quick to use 'girly' as an insult to their peers, so make sure you give your son a definitely masculine name. Girls can pull off boys names much better in our society, sad but true.

I'm not saying it's right that kids are treated differently because of their names, but that's the way it is. It would be great to change that kind of thinking in children, but you are not going to change the world by naming your kid something weird. Remember, you may think a name is cute or fun, but your child has to deal with all the baggage that goes with it. Kids can be very cruel in social groups, parents should be arming them against this, not making them even bigger targets. I think it is fine if people don't want another John or Jane, but why get completely weird with it? There are plenty of names that are very pretty, not that common, but are still actual names that won't turn your kid into a laughing stock.

81 comments:

XTC said...

Fantastic post! Sadly, I laughed my ass off. I get the Keegan = Kegal. But Ainsley? Sorry, all I could think about was Anus.

Parents that give their kids horrific names like that should be taken out in the backyard and beaten with a switch.

Nannycaroline said...

I've heard of Dashiell(boy), Atticus(boy) ,and Wemberley(girl). I guess people want their kids to have uncommon names.

Bethany said...

I was reading an article about this not long ago, basically it said that many times parents don't think longterm when picking a name. They just think " Oh what a cute name on the cute little baby,"

JJMom said...

I think names are a matter of taste...and some people have no taste!!!!! :)

My son's name is James. I have had several people say "how boring" when I tell them his name!!! Which I think should give me free license to say "how stupid" when I am introduced to Jaxon and Nevaeh!!!!!

unicornsparkleprincess said...

there are definitely crazy names out there, but i don't think all of your examples are 'bad names'.

Susannah said...

Oh I have heard far worse. I honestly think many people think of their children as little accessories or something, or because some airhead celeb names their new baby Rainbow Sprinkles Popscicle Ballerina Winter Jones they should do the same.

@ JJMom I love the name James very classic!

Katie said...

I think I'm more bothered by ridiculous spellings and pronunciations.

Don't spell your kid' name Handy and pronounced Hanny becuase the d is silent.

Run Reesie Run said...

@JJ's mom: I think James is completely adorable. I love that name. Good choice!

@OP: I literally LOL'd when reading about "Ainsley" and your mental picture, lol.

I think some names are completely ridic. I especially hate when decent names are butchered by bad/crazy/overboard/exaggerated spelling. It's not that serious!! lol. Anyway, I have some additions to your list (I know you didn't ask for them, but...)

Presley (girl) - saw a mom calling a kid that. *eyeroll*
Crystal Glass - knew a girl with this name.
Naughty' - pronounced "Nadia", apostrophe included (True story!!)

My guess is that most of these kids with "weird" names will grow up fine. After all, they won't be the only ones. Oh, and a side note, I actually like the once-masculine name "Ashley" for a boy - I wouldn't use it, but I wouldn't laugh if I met a male Ashley.

BKmommy06 said...

I've got some to add to the list:

Hennesey
Patron
Tappanzee (the mom didn't even know it was a bridge)
Names beginning with La', Sha, Que, and Ta' make me cringe (La'Crysta, Shaquanna, Quevarius, and Ta'laylah).

At one time or another, I have had children with these names in my class.

Wow. said...

This seems like a pretty xenophobic, narrow-minded approach to naming. Yes, there are some weird spellings out there which can make it hard for the kid, but it seems preposterous that the writer has a problem with names that don't fit in "on this side of the pond". Saying that the only appropriate names for North American children are North American names completely denies the awesome cultural diversity we have here. Maybe things are different up here in Canada. If you don't know how to pronounce someone's name, ask. As for the author's experience, not all of us with unusual names felt the need to do everything possible to fit in just because of our names. That seems more a reflection of the author's character than the result of their unusual name.

Are you serious said...

This is the dumbest post I have EVER read on here. Christ, it's just a name. Get over yourself.

get a life said...

This is the most ridiculous post ever I actually quit reading. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but does it really matter to you? So judgmental.
I especially found the part about spelling correctly in the specific country obnoxious.
What a waste of time.

another nanny said...

OP, you seem to have a very narrow definition of "acceptable" names. We live in a multicultural society, so we're bound to encounter wide variations in names just based on that alone. Is it really that hard to just ask someone how to pronounce their name?
I grew up with an incredibly common name, and still managed to encounter teasing about my name in elementary school. So I don't really consider that a valid argument. I'd be more concerned, though, about employer discrimination based on names, which is an unfortunate reality.

Ashley B. said...

This was possibly the dumbest post I have ever read...why is it on a nanny site?

T said...

I don't think OP was saying no one in America should have ethnic names. But there is a big difference between naming your child Kaylee or Caley, and naming her Ceildh. It isn't fair to make your child deal with the constant mispelling and mispronouncing of their name. It would be great if all children were multi-cultural and open minded enough to accept any name, but this is not the reality we live in. It is unfair to put that responsibility on a child. Don't make your kid into a target for bullies just to force the issue of multi-culturalism.

Claire said...

I am all for multi-cultural names, but yeah, it is pretty tough for a boy named Anibal to be constantly called Annabelle. Parents need to look at ethnic names from all points of view. If I were in England, for example, I would never name a child Fanny. That is an actual name over here, but in the UK it is an unpleasant slang term.

don't dis my name said...

I didn't see this as xenophobic, I saw it as OP looking to prevent kids from being teased. Kids are so quick to turn on eachother, why give them ammo?

Think about it said...

Wow said:

"If you don't know how to pronounce someone's name, ask."

Do you have any idea how annoying it is to constantly explain how to say your name to everyone you meet in your entire life? Do you know how it makes a child feel that no one can ever say their name correctly?

Beezus said...

My whole life until recently I despised my name. Sarahbeth. It's two simple names slapped together and it always sounded like I was a coddled southern baby when my mother would call for me. I of course would tell friends my name was Sarah, but my mom always corrected them. It was annoying and eventually she gave in and Sarah it was. When I was 7 I started dance class. I was greeted by a "Cera". She was convinced she was the cooler Sarah. I wasn't but I was convinced that my name was very plain in comparison. I wanted to be Rebecca! Not sure why;possibly too much Full House, but I was aware some people had much better names than mine, and I brooded over that for some time. Fast forward 8 years and my family moved to Tennessee I was 15 and had gotten my first "real" job working at Mcdonalds. Yes. I said it. I was surrounded by 5 other Sarahs! I went by Beth, unfortunately there was already one other, and some attempted to call me Sadie, but that didn't really stick. The south is full of Bible names, and rightfully so, most are very timeless, but tend to be over used.
Now I am 25 and living in NY. I love my name as Sarahbeth. My mother named me it because she liked the meanings behind the names and I think that is where the real problems lie with children's names today. Parents just hear a name in a movie or hear a sound they like in some cases and it ends up being flat and meaningless. I know a little girl named Kameron. Cameron means "crooked nose"!!! They had no idea!

ELam said...

I'll admit that I kind of skimmed over this. That was a very long piece about your opinion on names!

However, I see both sides of this. A name may be "just a name" to some people but, that is your identity for your entire life. It DOES matter, whether you think so or not. I mean, ESPN? You can't tell me you wouldn't judge that at least a little bit. That's ridiculous. And the spelling of "Kaedynce". Ugh. Yea, I totally judge that too. I think that unusual spellings irk me more than unusual names, in fact I usually like the unusual names. In this post I actually liked the name Brecken, Ainsley, Keegan, and Brynn.

To each their own, yes. But just keep in mind the ramifications from being a little too unique. Not everyone in this world is as open-minded as you may be.

And to add some more gems that I've come across in real life to the list:
*Alexxus
*Vittoria ...not ViCtoria, ViTtoria..ugh
*Heavenleigh
*Destynee
*Alexxee ..pronounced Ah-lex-ee
*Makkenzee (I think Mackenzie is my all-time most hated name, I can't stand it and all of its 1384952 spellings)
*Miakyel ..pronounced Michael

world's best nanny said...

My son is 16 years old, he is a sophomore in high school. the kids names is his class are crazy! He said there must be 18 Britney's or Brit-nee, or Brittni! Then there's a dozen Amber's. Several Desi's or Desys or Desiray's. There are no Mary's or Linda's in the whole school! The kid who gets picked on the most is a girl with an old fashioned name "Miriam" When the babies get to be my son's age do you want her getting the wrong report cards? Or be called Amber1 and Amber2? Stick with nice names with no stupid spelling variations to try and individualize them. It won't work, they will be drowning in a sea Brie's!

StrawberryShortKakes said...

I can't stand the names with the weird spellings! I also hate when people stick all kinds of vowels or a 'y' where they don't belong. Like (Aydyn instead of Aiden) Generally I like to go by the rule that the parents are the one to raise the child and therefore it is their right to choose the name. But I think that parents should stay within reason and not go crazy. I tend to like the names that are a little unique but not totally out of left field.

I have a name that is very similar to a very common name. I love my name but I can't stand when people call me by the wrong name. Usually I know it's not their fault that my name is similar but different but after a few times of meeting me you should be able to remember my correct name.

I also agree with a PP that parents shouldn't shy away from cultural names (as the OP suggested). I embrace those names because it adds a nice mix to the Ashleys, Brittanys, Michaels, and Johns.

As long as the name is easy to pronounce and is written generally how it sounds then it is ok in my book. Unless it's something like "ESPN." That's just weird.

MissMannah said...

OP, I have a question for you...did you happen to change the names of the children you watch? Because I don't think the parents are going to be too happy to see that you're making fun of their name choices on the internet. Anonymity is a good thing when you're being snarky.

I, for one, hate the million different ways of spelling the name "Kaylee". I would love to run into someone who spells it Ceildh, because that means their parents actually took the time to look up the original Welsh (I thought Irish or Celtic?) spelling, rather than trying to "Americanize" the name. It seems to me that Ceildh would be the only proper way to spell it and Kaylee/Cailie/Kaily, et al would all just be dumbing it down.

MissMannah said...

PS: My name is Amanda and I always hated having such a generic name growing up.

Tabitha said...

OMG!! I wish I could meet the other Tabitha you mentioned! My whole life I have had people ask me if I could wiggle my nose! It is really annoying. People think they are being so clever and original, they don't realize I have heard the same line a million times.

I do enjoy having a weird name now that I am an adult, but as a kid it was tough. I reamember all the kids saying, "your name is WHAT?"

The other thing I don't like about my name is that the only nicknames are Tab and Tabby. I hate being called either of those!

MissMannah said...

I just want to point out that the Tabitha on Bewitched couldn't wiggle her nose either. She used her finger to wiggle her nose when casting a spell. So the people who asked you that question were idiots.

I think the name Tabitha is adorable and not weird at all!

Teacher in a Combat Zone said...

As a parent, I found the naming process the most stressful part of being pregnant. I was always concerned that the name I chose was going to be "wrong" or somehow scar my kids for life. I also changed my kid's name in the delivery room all three times.

My oldest was supposed to be Aiobheann Claire after my grandmother (Aiobheann is an old Celtic name that is pronounced "ev-en"). I had had her name picked out for years. Once I saw her though, I knew her name was Amelia LaRue. I'm not sure why, or how the name came to me, but it did. My son was supposed to be Atticus Scout (my favorite book is "To Kill a Mockingbird") and ended up being Augustus Jude (I call him Gus, my husband calls him Auggie). My littlest was going to be Saoirse (S-air-sha) Rose and I had actually started filling out a birth certificate with that name and at the last minute she became Annabel Alice. And now, all three names are the perfect fit for my kids.

As a teacher, I've struggled with the "creative" spellings and names that will give kids a stigma later in life (there are plenty of studies done by employers who skip over applicants with "creative" names):

Kaitlynn/ Caytlyn/ Kaitlyn/ Catelynn/ etc
A million different forms of Kaylee/ Kayleigh/ Kayla/ Kaylana
Mathyough (Matthew) and Emmaleigh (Emily) who were siblings
Corbi
Alice'n (Allison)
Addalayed
Mikael

My kids' preschool has some interesting names as well (not bad or completely weird, just interesting):

Cordelia
Rafael
John-Luke
Maximus
Mia
Milan
Genevive
Gwendolyn
Courtland
Emerson

But, as a mom to Amelia, Augustus and Annabel (in addition to steps-- Micah, Ronan and Sara), I guess I can't judge too much. I'm sure there are people out there who think my kids will be scarred for life. I mean, I know they will be, but I'm hoping it's for something awesome like emotional torment at the hands of their mother instead of something as silly as the name I've saddled them with. :)

Tabitha said...

Yeah, MissMannah, when I finally watched Bewitched I was SO diasppointed that she couldn't actually wiggle her nose!

I do actually like my name a lot now. I think it's actually pretty now that Bewitched has become less known. I enjoy being unique now. BTW, I have always liked the name Amanda. I think it is so pretty, and I have had 3 friends named Amanda who were awesome!

Teacher in a Combat Zone said...

And MissMannah, next time you think your name is boring, just remember, your mother could have named you:

-Uhmanduh
-Amanndah
-Uhmandah
-Ammanndaugh

... or worse than those...

Seriously, it could have been a lot worse. :)

*Melanie Raye* said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MissMannah said...

I should say I hated my name when I was a kid and there was always at least 2 other Amandas in my class. I like it now, especially now that I know it means "loved" in Latin. My mom actually was thinking about naming me Cherokee, after our Native American heritage, but my dad talked her out of it! Also, I love the names Amelia and Annabel...great choices!

Teacher in a Combat Zone said...

Thanks! I cringe now when I think of the lifetime of misspellings and mis-pronounciations my girls would have gone through had their names been Aiobheann and Saoirse. I still think they're pretty names, but maybe for a fish or some sort of pet that won't need to spell their name for every teacher/ friend/ potential employer/ college admissions board. :)

Bethany said...

I love the name Saoirse and it's meaning . I don't have children don't know if I will, but unless I'm living in Ireland when I become a mother I guess I'll jut use it as a middle name. If it's something I still like at that time.

slb3334 said...

My niece has a common name, Tasha. My brother and sister-in-law thought about naming her Natasha but decided against it because they figured people would just call her Tasha anyway.

NVMom-movedtoTX said...

Just wait, nannies and teachers, you'll soon be meeting girls named Katniss and boys named Haymitch!

Momwest said...

"Ledasha"-lol, that was great! Well, give the woman props for creativity! The poor kid will be making a dash with her finger everytime she tells someone how to spell/ pronounce her name. We named our kid that old traditional stalwart Robert and nowadays it's unique among all the Brendans, Jordans,and Jakes that have to add their last initials In order to be correctly identified.

Chicago nanny said...

Actually, the author of this post stole the name Le-a from a joke that is going around on the internet. I doubt she's ever met anyone with that name.

Logical Skeptic said...

"Vittoria" is the Italian spelling of "Victoria", so it's not too far off the mark and well within reason for a family with Italian heritage.

And yes, the "Le-a" story is apocryphal.

ELam said...

^^^^

I Googled the name after I posted and saw that. I had never heard the name before and was wondering if it was a cultural thing. This family is not Italian in the slightest, which I know doesn't mean they can't use the name, but the mother looooooves to constantly point out "I did not name her VICtoria for a reason, it's VITtoria!" when people can't pronounce it correctly. I just get sick of hearing about it!

I saw another one today: Xanda, it's a boy. I'm assuming it's pronounced "Zan-duh" but...oy.

Phoenix said...

well I learned early on (like in grade school) that you can't control other people. And it isn't very nice to say other people are being "strange" when they name their kids something that doesn't fit your idea of the norm. It isn't your child so why are people wasting their time judging the names of other peoples children. You do realize there are children dying of disease and famin in other parts of the world right? Or some children who dont even get named by their parents because they are unwanted.
Be thankful parents are putting so much thought into their children. Each name is given with love. Just because you find it strange doesn't mean you have any right to say it.
Seriously, get a life.

Nanny E said...

Chicago is right. Le-a was a joke told by a comedian I once heard called Finesse Mitchell, going off from the topic of his own weird name. Ugh, I hate when people steal material and claim it as their own. Based on all the random people the OP seems to encounter, it seems she probably just looked up unusual names, and then crafted a series of encounters off of it. Again, ugh.

Nanny E said...

On the "weird names" note, my daughter's full name is Neve Kyrie (pronounced Nev Keer-ee) and my mother in law flipped out about how "freaky" it was. Sigh, oh well. I'm pregnant again, and I want to name my second Arya, but I'm chicken ;)

beauty is in the eye of the beholder said...

I couldn't even finish reading this post. I think it is extremely judgemental and who the hell cares what people name their kids?

Psyber Chica said...

Nanny E, please don't make your decisions based on your mil's or anyone else's taste! I was terrified to cut my daughter's hair. There were other things I didn't do because of her. It was a huge relief and very empowering once I realized how silly it was to live my life more concerned with what she thought than what my husband and I thought. Guess what, I cut my daughter's hair and I let her wear skull jewelry and shirts and it's OKAY!

I do regret the spelling we chose for my daughter's name, but my husband was adamant that we spell it the weird way.

jenkait said...

Great post, thank you!!

Being a "Jennifer" I had a totally different experience than you..there were actually 5 out of us 25 girls named Jen in my gym class one year...thanks, mom!! I always thought it would be nice to have a slightly more unique name to be honest!! But as you point out, there are good things, too.

You bring up a good point about very unusual names and teasing...though I wonder if the next generation will think differently about names than we do? ie, there will be so many "unusual" names the kids won't be raising their eyebrows at them? I believe that kids will tease other kids about ANYTHING, but I'm sure that's not comforting to the kid teased for his/her unusual name :/

I find it interesting that were boys' names like Jordan and Ryan are currently being used as girls' names...but I was surprised to learn this has actually been going on for a long time...apparently Beverly and Evelyn used to be male names, too!!

Great point about how the parents should simply think of the KIDS when naming them (regardless of what they name them).

Thanks for your thoughtful post, it was again an interesting perspective for a "Jen" to read :)

OP said...

OP here,

Thanks for all the replies! This was a lot of fun, and I am glad to see all the other awful names people have come across!

Again we have the problem of some people barely reading my post before starting to rant in response.

I never said people shouldn't give their kids ethnic names. My first line in that paragraph was, "I love the idea of naming your child after your heritage," did some of you perhaps miss that line?

I love ethnic names, but if you saddle your kid with an unpronounceable name, you are not promoting ethnic diversity, you are only making your little Rhys go through life explaining that his name is not Rice. Yes, that is our problem as Americans that we may be too dumb to appreciate different sounding names, but it is not children's responsibility to change people's minds.

Giving your kid a name that no one can pronounce just so you can be ethnic seems to me like sending your son to school in a dress to try and change people's minds about gender roles. There should be nothing wrong with a boy wearing a dress, but I wouldn't make my son wear a dress, because I KNOW he would get teased.

No, I did not know Ledasha personally. A friend told me about it. Maybe that friend did hear it from a comedian or the internet, I don't know. If you READ the post you will see I never claimed to know her. Some of my stories were people I knew, and some were just names I heard about. At no time did I lie about who I knew personally, just met, or only heard the name. The point I was making was about weird names, not how well or in what way I knew or heard of these people. If that distiction is so important to you, go back and read the post more carefully.

Thanks to all who responded, and I hope this clears up some of the confusion some of you had!

Tabitha said...

Oh Nannypants, trust me, they WILL make the connection to Wizards of Waverly Place. Bewitched was already off the air when I was born, and still that's the first thing anyone thought of when they heard the name Tabitha. Wizards of Waverly Place is a current show that is very popular with kids. When little Waverly goes to school, I am certain that every single person in her class will have at least seen the show, most of them probably watch it regularly.

Claire said...

That is a really good point about boys in dresses. I too would love for that to be automatically accepted by everyone. If my son came to me and told me he wanted to wear a dress, I would let him, but I certainly wouldn't make him wear it just to make a point. I think a lot of parents choose names to make a point or force an issue, it is really sad. The kid cannot just change their name at age 3 or 4, so give them one that won't be a struggle for the rest of their lives.

AZ Nanny said...

My charge's name is Madeline (pronounced '-lyn'). People are constantly saying it with the '-line' sound because of the childrens book and tv show. I can see her rolling her eyes every time she has to correct someone. She's only 6 and already sick of it! However, compared to a lot of these horrible names, I think she got off pretty easy!

Phoenix said...

People actually pronounce my real name wrong. They say Chel-see-ya

Seriously? Chel-see-ya. I use the standard spelling Chelsea. I think some people are retarded. The only thing that was strange where I grew up was people would name their girls boy names. We had a girls named Ryan, Dylon, Devin, Brandon, Michael and Bobby. Don't know people did that...

MissMannah said...

OP, you are being very contradictory. You say in one breath it is great to honor your culture with your child's name and in the next you say you are "saddling" your child with an unpronounceable name. Which is it?

In my family, my younger sisters are Jennifer and Meghan...very common 80s names just like mine. However my older sister's name is Dawnita, which I'm convinced my mom invented while on painkillers. My sister loves her name because it is unique and she's never found someone who spells it the way she does. But when someone meets all of us for the first time, the first question they ask is "How did you get such a weird name when the rest of you have such normal names?"

PS: Aoife, I think you have a very pretty name! I've never heard it before but I like it.

OP said...

Miss Mannah, I would only be contradicting myself if ALL ethnic names were unpronounceable in other countries. There are many names from all over the world that we can all pronounce easily, maybe you haven't realized this?

What I meant was it is wonderful to give your child an ethnic name if you want to honor your heritage, but there are many many ethnic names that are easy for everyone to pronounce. You don't have to pick a name like Rhys or Ceildh, you can just as easily pick Dylan or Fiona, just as ethnic, but you aren't setting your kids up for teasing.

Phoenix said...

pray tell what is your definition of ethnic?

MissMannah said...

I don't know if you realize how ignorant you are making yourself (and, as a result, all Americans) sound. Maybe you need to live in one of those countries where the government gives prospective parents a list of names to choose from.

Seven Nanny said...

Don't worry, OP, I think most of us know what you mean. Both Miss Mannah and Phoenix have reputations on this site as being very argumentative. They probably just want to disagree.

I saw nothing xenophobic at all about your post. I too think it sucks when kids have to go through life with a weird name.

Not Mad! said...

My mom considered the name Madison for me, which I think is a very pretty name. The reason she did not choose it was that the only nicknames for it are Mad and Maddie. She said she could imagine the other kids saying "Maddie's mad, haha let's make Msddie mad!" Whew. I am very grateful I did not have to listen to that all through school! However, I have met some Madisons who never had that problem. I still think it is a pretty name, but I give my mom a lot of credit because she actually thought about the possibilities, and tried to save me from being made fun of.

ignorant american said...

Actually, I DO think we Americans are very ignorant about different cultures. So are our children. This is why we shouldn't send our children out into the sea of ignorance with a name none of their peers can say or spell.

Fanny! said...

Wow, some of you are really focused on this ethnic thing. I don't think OP was saying anything negative about any culture in particular, just that some names are not appropriate for some countries.

So let's use an example of a name that does work here and not "across the pond." Someone mentioned the name Fanny. Let's say hypothetically, you picked the name Fanny for your little girl. Let's say by the time you have a daughter you are living in the UK. Are you going to keep that name, and let your child be named the British equivalent of 'cunt'? Are you going to say that people are just close minded and too bad if they tease her? Or are you going to pick something else and spare her the humiliation?

I don't think of the UK as an ignorant country at all, it seems to be a very intelligent culture, more evolved than ours. Yet I have no doubt that little Fanny would have a miserable time living there, but that isn't a bad slang term over here, so she would probably do fine. It would not be ignorant of the British to be shocked that someone was named Fanny. It is simply unheard of to use that word as a name.

Teacher in a Combat Zone said...

I have to agree that no matter what, the PARENTS are saddling the CHILD with name. The child is the one who has to go through life with a "unique" name. I love my own name, but I've spent YEARS of my life correcting people about how to pronounce it. It's Lila- (lie-la)- a long vowel sound with a short vowel spelling. I've spent so long saying "it's not 'li-la" it "lie-la", that I've stopped correcting people.

I don't mind ethnic names at all (I am the woman who almost named her daughter Aiobheann), in fact, I would rather see a kid with a difficult to pronounce/ spell name that was TRULY an ethnic name rather than a name that was completely made up or with some ridiculous inventive spelling simply to be unique. This really makes life difficult on the child.

I think it's just something that parents have to think about before they name their child- your child has to live with this name for life, not you. I have also found in my experiences that it's the parents who have the "plain jane ridiculously popular names" who name their children something more "unique" because they were one of 5 Caitlins/ Jennifers/ Susies, etc. Just my opinion.

Aoife.Colm said...

Nice to know that I saw your nanny deletes comments.
I posted a commented and poof...it is gone.
Typical...someone posts something that doesn't agree with the OP and it must be silenced.....

it happens said...

Aoife, I'm so sorry that happened to you. I think that the comment was probably lost in the internet, because MPP posts everything, so long as there are no racist/homophobic comments, or specific threats against someone. I would blame this on an internet malfunction, not on ISYN.

BTW, I think your name is beautiful!

OP said...

Thanks to XTC, Nanny caroline, Bethany, JJMom, Katie, Run Reesie Run,BKMommy06,T, Claire, don't dis my name, think about it,Beezus, ELam, worlds best Nanny, Strawberry ShortKakes, Tabitha, Teacher in a Combat Zone,Momwest,jenkait,AZ nanny, Seven Nanny,Not Mad!ignorant american, and Fanny!

You guys got my point. Thanks!!

AAAAAA said...

I read an article once that speculated that people with names that start with A are more successful. That seemed like a load of crap to me until I looked around at all the Ashleys, Alyssas and Ambers. They were all popular in high school and successful afterwards. Is there something that makes people like names that start with the first letter of the alphabet?

Annonnimousie said...

I am a victim of unusual-itis. My name is Arsione Regina. If anyone is a student of ancient Rome/Egypt then you know who she was, Plus my Mom added Regina, which means "Queen." So I am the second banana queen.

what's in a name? said...

OP: don't blame others if you could not reach your readers. If someone stops reading your post in the middle, you didn't reach your reader. To blame it on their lack of intelligence is a cop-out.

In my opinion, this post was ridiculous. We need to embrace diversity, which makes our country great. And that means being open and accepting to whatever name any child has.

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet."

Phoenix said...

Why do you care what other people name their kids?
Why do you judge people based off this?
Do you feel pity for people who are inventive?
Why do you feel that everyone has to be "normal?"

You are all such a bunch party animals.(sarcasm included) Pass the vanilla please

Plethora said...

"What's in a name...?"

That won't fly in every case and you know it. I don't think that name would smell so "sweet" if they were named Craphead (sub "Crap" for the worst version).

Hey, little Craphead.
Oh, Craphead, aren't you so cuuute?
Craphead got her first tooth.

If you think you could say that to a kid without wincing, something is wrong with you...Unless you thought it was pronounced "crah FED"...which is a whole 'nother story.

FWIW @ Annonnimousie - I think Arsione Regina is flippin cool. At least they're real names.

MissMannah said...

Teacher, your name is Lila? That is my very favorite name! I love is so much that I was dead-set on naming my firstborn daughter Lila until my husband told me he doesn't like it. We seriously had a big fight over it and I'm not even pregnant yet, it was pretty pathetic. And what's even funnier is my second-choice has always been Amelia (which I saw you chose for your daughter!) and my husband doesn't like that one either. He obviously just has no taste, right? I think it is very odd that people have mispronounced your name though because I thought it was a fairly common one.

As for A-names being successful people, I'm an A-person and I'm not entirely sure how successful I've been. But I guess "success" is subjective anyway.

Phoenix said...

Ha! I am writing a novel and Lila is the main character's name. My great-grandmother's name was Lila and if I was able to have kids and had a little girl I would have named her Lila. That too is my favorite name.

I said...

http://whywereason.wordpress.com/2011/08/04/the-unconscious-influence-of-names-what-is-really-going-on/

That's an article I read this morning about how your name affects who you are as a person. Really interesting

Hellcat said...

I think most intelligent people would pronounce "Rhys" as "Reese."
Then again I named my son "Rhett," so maybe I am one of these crazy people in question. I've had people try to call my son "Rah-heat."
Morons.

I do hate the name Ainsley... I'm not a fan of "alternative" spellings, but my other son's name is Cailum (which, again, I think anyone with a brain would read as kay-lum") but everyone thinks it's a creative spelling for "Callum" or they call him "Cal-EE-um" (like Calcium.)

For these reasons, I named my daughter Chloƫ. And I included the diaeresis because it is proper, and meant to indicate that the O and E are pronounced individually... Despite all that, and that it's actually a common name, she is still called "Shlow" from time to time.
MORONS!

For the record, I would puke if my name was Ashley, Amanda, Sarah, Jennifer etc.. And I hate my own name anyway. (It's Trish.)

Hellcat said...

And Atticus isn't a weird name. It's a classic. It's from To Kill A Mockingbird. Just like Rhett is from Gone With The Wind.
You people should pick up a book some time. Especially those of you who live in America and don't know your own great literature.

Teacher in a Combat Zone said...

MissMannah-- That's pretty weird! I've always loved my name, but yes, plenty of people mispronounce it. I'm not sure why. There are two Lila's in my school and, fortunately for them, no one says their name wrong because they assume that it's pronounced like mine.

And Amelia-- that had been a throwaway name from early in my pregnancy. I hadn't been crazy about it until I met that little stranger for the first time. And I knew forever she was Amelia. It's funny how that happens sometimes.

Hellcat- I agree. Atticus isn't a strange name. I absolutely love it!!

ums said...

Hellcat, it is obvious to me that the readers of this blog are not very well read. When they counter Shakespeare with "craphead" jokes. Some are really just a lost cause.

1234 said...

It's a it funny to me how the same posters that pride themselves on being well read and easily call others morons, don't seem to know the the definitions of weird and strange.

role model said...

I used to work in an inner-city urban area and there was a boy named Sony. He was in the 3rd grade.

Many people made fun of his name all the time. And they were all adults. The kids never made fun of his name. I think adults are the ones who have problems with names. If led by example and if we model the proper behavior (being accepting and embracing diversity) then our children will as well.

If we write whole blogs dedicated to making fun of children's names, it is simply bad role modeling.

MissMannah said...

Wow, thanks for saying you'd puke if you had mine or my sister's name. How sweet. Good thing I don't get my feelings hurt easily.

I have an interesting story about your son's name. (Cailum) My cousin actually named her son Kaylem, pronounced the same as yours. Apparently she had misheard the name "Caleb" as Calem but she changed the spelling around so people wouldn't call him Callum. So yeah, she just made up a name and was horribly embarrassed when she found out. She said "Kaylem doesn't have a name!"

Nannycaroline said...

I know Atticus is from To Kill A Mockingbird and Dashiell is after Dashiell Hammond, an author. I'm not sure about Wemberley. I was just staying they are the unusual ones I have heard of.

Nannycaroline said...

*saying. I get called Care-Ah-Lynn even though it is spelled and I say it like Care-Oh-Line. Oh well.

Hellcat said...

Funny you should say that.
Cailum got his name because we couldn't really decide between Caleb and Callum.

Alicia B said...

Hm. Well, my name is Alicia and I can tell you firsthand it's obnoxious to always pronounce my name but .. eventually you just become numb to it.

I now respond no matter how it's pronounced, and always politely correct someone. I used to get really annoyed by it, but I've since come to accept and embrace my name. It fits me, I love it.

My sister's name is Kearstyn. For the record, while it's trendy, she was born before the trendy phase (93). My mom named her that because I saw 'Little Monsters' with Kirsten Dunst, and pronounced her name 'Kearstyn'. My mom liked that spelling over Kirsten (I have to agree with her, since Kirsten could be mispronounced at every turn..)..

Some 'unique' spellings work, others do not. I have a cousin who shares my middle name (Marie) but whose name is spelled Maree. .. Why, I have no idea.

I don't like most gender neutral names, and I like classic names more than anything. I'm a bit old-fashioned. :P

Personally I think there's a fine line between unique enough, and too unique to be a functional name. My concerns for naming my children are more in line with how the name flows, whether it would go well with a sibling name, if it FITS MY CHILD (most important), and last but not least how popular or unpopular it is. It's not a matter of 'fitting in'. It's striking the balance between fitting in and being a rebel. Nobody actually wants to be one of 20 girls named Jessica, but then again nobody would enjoy being the sole HumpFr'e in existence either.