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Stupid baby names
December 11, 2002 10:55 AM   Subscribe

Stupid baby names. Parents share suggestions about misbegotten, badly-spelled monikers with which to saddle their innocent offspring for life: I named my daughter Madyson Caite and I regret doing that because every little girl in the last 3 or 4 years has been named Madison. Everyone complements it, but I still hate it. I would rather call her Caite (Kate) but am not sure. Please, everyone, pick something normal for your child. If you choose something different and unique, please don't keep following the trends of Madisons, and Mackenzies, and Taylors, and Destinys. This is getting old.
posted by beth (201 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
I posted this as the granddaughter of a woman named Loujean who did a lifelong battle against people incapable of rendering her name correctly (they'd spell it as two words, typically).

Imagine, decades upon decades of people mispronouncing your name, misspelling it, and giving you weird looks because of it. Why do parents insist on being so vainly cruel?
posted by beth at 10:58 AM on December 11, 2002


I like to run what I call the "secretary of state test" on baby names: i.e., imagine how it would sound to have a news anchor read the now-adult child's name out in a serious context like "Today at the United Nations, Secretary of State [Brandy Alexandra Jones] condemned Iraq's stance...."

(Of course, the current SoS pronounces his name "colon"... I don't know what that says about my little idea.)
posted by stonerose at 11:02 AM on December 11, 2002


Well, my cousins not only pick common names, but then the spell them "creatively". So far we have "Kortny" and "Kamrin". It's lovely. I can't even bear to address Christmas cards anymore.
posted by greengrl at 11:07 AM on December 11, 2002


Madison is trendy, I suppose. For originality one could always go with Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily (the daughter of Paula Yates and INXS singer Michael Hutchence) or maybe Peaches, Pixie, or Fifi Trixibelle (the daughters of Yates and Bob Geldhof). Or traditional favorites like Moon Unit or Dweezil. I suppose.
posted by Shane at 11:10 AM on December 11, 2002


Utah baby names has some gems as well... in case you missed the other 2437 times it's been around the block.
posted by Dean_Paxton at 11:12 AM on December 11, 2002


More Big News About Trendy Names: "Caitlin" isn't technically meant to be pronounced "Kate-Lynn." It is originally a Gaelic spelling for (Eng.) Kathleen or Colleen. But there's a ton of Caitlins around now, and their parents all pronounce it "Kate-Lynn." Hrmph.
posted by Shane at 11:14 AM on December 11, 2002


I knew a kid named Zane Zachery Zeh. That last one is pronounced "Zay". I pitied him, and still do. 8)
posted by Cerebus at 11:14 AM on December 11, 2002


Oh yeah, well, I know a Crystyna.

Poor girl.
posted by iamck at 11:16 AM on December 11, 2002


"I am having this baby boy on Aug 6. Dad and I love Alexander Scott but our last name is Smith. Will the initals be a huge problem? We don't want him to be teased.

That's OK. Kids are pretty uncreative when it comes to teasing. They'll never eventually spot that one.
"

This person should write for The Onion.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 11:18 AM on December 11, 2002


I have a cousin named Nicole, pronounced Nic-o-lee. I also have another cousin who named his son Steel Blue.

Last names have been dropped to protect the innocent.
posted by InfidelZombie at 11:22 AM on December 11, 2002


I knew a girl called Nivea, a girl called Misha (named after the Russian Olympic mascot), and a girl called Sunshine (I was convinced she had a twin called Moonbeam, but she was an only child).
posted by riffola at 11:22 AM on December 11, 2002


Oissubke's child-naming guidelines:
  • Always give a child a middle name that they can resort to when they decide they don't like their first name.
  • Names should be easy to spell, even for people who have never seen them. You should be able to instinctively spell it just by hearing it (unlike, say, "Oissubke"). No child ever thanked his or her parents for using a "creative" spelling.
  • Names should always have a reasonably good nickname form. If you name a kid "Mordecai", know that you're going to start calling him "Moe" after about the third time you say it.
  • Don't use last names (e.g., MacKenzie, Madison, etc.) as first names, especially for girls.
posted by oissubke at 11:24 AM on December 11, 2002


My wife's name is "Michelene." While not particularly odd, you risk grievous bodily injury if you pronounce it like a certain tire company's name.
posted by Cerebus at 11:25 AM on December 11, 2002


Imagine, decades upon decades of people mispronouncing your name, misspelling it, and giving you weird looks because of it. Why do parents insist on being so vainly cruel?

Oh shut up. My name is Hall, and I've been fine. It's really not that big of a deal. Imagine, decades upon decades of not worrying about it.
posted by Hall at 11:27 AM on December 11, 2002


If you name a kid "Mordecai", know that you're going to start calling him "Moe" after about the third time you say it.

Mordie, actually...
posted by agaffin at 11:29 AM on December 11, 2002


My mom knew a woman who name her daughter Formica Dinette. I am not kidding.
posted by drinkcoffee at 11:30 AM on December 11, 2002


Although, I will voice my disgust of trendy names like Mackenzie.
posted by Hall at 11:31 AM on December 11, 2002


I think the world needs another few zillion kids named Dylan.
posted by HTuttle at 11:32 AM on December 11, 2002 [1 favorite]


Oh yeah, well, I know a Crystyna

The trouble with replacing all the i's with y's is that she'll have nothing to dot with hearts, circles or smiley faces when she's between 6 and 13.

Now, "Tyfani" would be optimal. The same incredibly creative and intrinsically worthwhile i-y swappage, but preserves the number of i's to dot.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:33 AM on December 11, 2002


Naming your children is difficult. We agonized for months about what to name our second, if it turned out to be a boy. In the end he had the good sense to be male and avoid having "Baby Girl" printed on his birth certificate.
His name passes the secretary of state test, considering that he's named after a man who was both Prime Minister and President of Ireland.

If I didn't know better I'd guess that many kids are being named by the same marketing departments that name housing subdivisions. "Braeden Chase" was recently considered by a friend of my wife. The child escaped that fate by having the good sense to be female.

My friend Tom Collins plans a sick sort of revenge against his mother by naming his first child Jukebox Spoon.
posted by putzface_dickman at 11:35 AM on December 11, 2002


I tend to put a lot of prospective parents off when I let them know their chosen name sounds like a stripper's stage name. Hunter, Cheyenne, Britney.....I could go on.
posted by mkelley at 11:37 AM on December 11, 2002


I knew a kid named Zane Zachery Zeh. That last one is pronounced "Zay". I pitied him, and still do. 8)

Why? He can have a cool nickname in Z3, as in the BMW Z3... or he can become a rapper named Z Cube(d).
posted by gyc at 11:37 AM on December 11, 2002


My mother, a private school teacher, encounters unbelieveable numbers of freakish names.

The two absolute worst:
Girl, first name: Latrina. Poor thing's father didn't know what it meant.

Male, foreign: Athol Thmelly. (say it out loud)
posted by babylon at 11:38 AM on December 11, 2002


I went to undergrad with a Richard Munch ...
posted by probablysteve at 11:40 AM on December 11, 2002


Oh yeah, and I forgot about my cousin, who's last name is Russell, brother to the father of Kortny and Kamrin, who wants to name his new baby "Jack" if it's a boy. OH yeah. I love my family.

Then again, I don't know if that's as cruel as Peter Bush's parents. We gave him no end of grief in high school.
posted by greengrl at 11:41 AM on December 11, 2002


Back in elementary school (i.e. in the mid-80s), there was a girl in my class named "Dallas". (Can't remember the last name, though.) Just a handy hint for all you parents-to-be: pop culture references do not make good names...

Also, this one made me laugh out loud:

I was thinking of naming my son Toolio. Does anyone know the origin on that one?
---Jessica DeSac

Toolio DeSac. Boy, can't think of any way that kid'll get picked on. That's one taunt-proof name there!

posted by Johnny Assay at 11:43 AM on December 11, 2002


NyQuell Jackson-Terry gets a restraining order against her NFL hubby in this site
http://espn.go.com/nfl/news/2002/0809/1416045.html

Also, I was riding my bike in Oakland a few years ago and stopped on Lakeshore to get a lemonade. At the window was a woman with twins. Someone asked the names and she said, "Zinfandel and Chardonay" I swear to God.
posted by Mack Doggy at 11:44 AM on December 11, 2002


I have a half brother named Aragorn. I haven't seen him in years, but I really wonder if he started using it again with the recent surge in Tolken popularity. I always thought his name was pretty cool, but I didn't have to live with it, and I can see why he did the 'switch to middle name' thing.
posted by Kellydamnit at 11:45 AM on December 11, 2002


Well, I gave birth a week ago, and bucking the trend of naming children weird things, we named our son Thomas David.

My parents named me DeAnne, which you would think would be pretty darned simple for people to get right, but I tell ya, I've been called Dean and Deanna 90% of the time. It's quite annoying. I figured with a name like Thomas, at least people would spell and pronounce it correctly. ;)

Also, if I may add, he is the most perfect baby of all time.
posted by dejah420 at 11:49 AM on December 11, 2002


Don't forget you can always go to this list compiled by the Us government of the most popular names based on social security registration.

You could really mess up your kids by tweaking the top 5 names

Boys:
1: Jaykob
2. Mikuhl
3. Maddhew
4. Jawschwa
5. Kristoffer

Girls:
1. Ehmlea
2. Madyson
3. Hannyah
4. Eshlea
5. Lexus
posted by jeremias at 11:50 AM on December 11, 2002


I went to school with a girl named "Aquanetta" and when I worked at a summer camp, I had a girl named "Velshita". Sounds like velveeta mixed with shit. Oh I could go on and on about this.
posted by mkelley at 11:51 AM on December 11, 2002


I shudder to think how many kids, at this very moment, are being named Samwise.
posted by hammurderer at 11:52 AM on December 11, 2002


anyone come across the story of "inner-city" twins named Oranjello and LeMonjello. a friend of mine swears he was their counselor, but i think it must be some kinda urban myth.

a search utility on the link site would be fantastic....i love the way she tries to confirm the names. i named my son Orion (it was actually my grandfather's name) ... please tell me that wasn't cruel.
posted by danOstuporStar at 11:52 AM on December 11, 2002




Bad baby names
posted by TedW at 11:54 AM on December 11, 2002


Well, I'm John David Liberty Bell the Fifth, though the "Liberty" thing isn't part of the heritage of the rest of the name. So, I suppose it's a debate between John David Ringing Bell the Sixth, and John David Long Distance Bell the Sixth. JDLDBVI's initials will make him "unyque".
posted by Pseudoephedrine at 11:54 AM on December 11, 2002


No matter what your name, the Kabalarians have you covered. I could go on and on...

Two summers ago, I worked on a robot for the IJCAI/AAAI conference robot waiter competition. We wanted to add nametag reading functionality, so we added a pan/tilt camera and I wrote some quick and hacky OCR software. To make our lives easier, we only let our robot address people when their names matched entries from the Social Security lists jeremias mentioned. This worked well enough until two interested professors from a university in Tokyo started examining the system... thankfully the robot didn't even hazard a guess.
posted by tss at 11:56 AM on December 11, 2002


My girlfriend's name is Cinnamon. She says it was pretty rough in elementary school (though she easily shut kids up by saying "Oh, you're just jealous...Bob.") but by college the teasing turned to complementing.
posted by me3dia at 12:04 PM on December 11, 2002


NyQuell Jackson-Terry gets a restraining order against her NFL hubby

The nightime, siffling, sneezing, coughing, aching, stuffy head, so you can sleep knowing your name will be made fun of on MetaFilter.
posted by samuelad at 12:06 PM on December 11, 2002


Try changing your preference between long name and nickname.

It confuses the hell out of my mom when people refer to me as 'Drew' even though that was why she originally named me 'Andrew'. (she liked 'Drew')
posted by cinderful at 12:08 PM on December 11, 2002


A teacher friend of mine once told me about a child she had named "Beeger". Apparently the boy's parents were fans of the Buck Rogers Movie/TV show, and thought the little robot Twiki (voiced by Mel Blanc) was saying "Beeger beeger beeger" before he would speak english. They were fond enough of that phrase to use it to name their son.

On the other hand, my wife and I are expecting a second child (don't know if it's boy or girl yet) in January, and still haven't decided on a name. Definitely not Mackenzie though.
posted by kokogiak at 12:10 PM on December 11, 2002


dan: Orongelo and Limonjelo were characters in You Gotta Play Hurt, a great book by Dan Jenkins (author of Semi-Tough.) Jenkins often plays with names when naming his athlete characters -- one of his other books features twin running backs Budget and Avis Fowler.

I once went to school with a girl named Toshiba. She was named after a cassette player. No joke.

I also vaguely knew some kids from a family where every kid had a different wacky name. One was Doctor, one was Doctor Pepper, one was Manoj 3.141592765...

I keep flashing back to the Nicolas Cage sketch on SNL a few years ago -- "they'll beat the CRAP out of him!"
posted by Vidiot at 12:10 PM on December 11, 2002


In the tradition of dejah, my month-old daughter is named Mary. And I can't tell you how many people, when informed of this, look at me funny and say "Really?".
posted by padraigin at 12:11 PM on December 11, 2002


oh yeah, and my last name is Meyer. My mom had to talk my dad out of naming me "Quag." I'm sooooooo glad she succeeded.
posted by Vidiot at 12:12 PM on December 11, 2002


In my family there is a cute little boy named Jathan. Pronounced like Nathan. But, the mother firmly refused all advice to at least spell it Jaythan to give people at least a chance of pronouncing it from text. 1/2 the people think you said "Nathan", the other half think you said "Jason" and have a lisp. He's a sweetheart and really deserves better. I'm confident by high school he will be known as "Jay".

His sister is named Madison, naturally. There are 3 Madison's in her class. And about 8 Kaitlyn's of various spellings. Trendy names=bad. One also has to bear in mind your children will not be cute little children forever. One day they will be a 32 year old doctor or a 44 year old policeman. Will their name still fit them when they are grown?

I think a lot of this can be explained by the immaturity of the current crop of a significant portion of the child-bearing populace. Children are not baby dolls or toys.

Also, I think there should be a hard rule against naming people after map locations. Dakota and Sierra are much better place names than people names, and they fail the stripper test (see above). Also, just placing a "La" or "De" in front of a name does not make it a new legitimate name.

After hearing a woman call after her child "Mocha" in the mall, I decided that day there should be some sort of oversight committee that has refusal rights over a child's legal name. Give the kid a goofy-ass nickname if you want but their legal name should have some integrity to it.

"If I didn't know better I'd guess that many kids are being named by the same marketing departments that name housing subdivisions."

Whoa. Best quote of the thread thus far.

On Preview: TSS.... i'm a little spooked by the fact I had been to the Kabalarians web site for the first time this morning for a completely different reason.
posted by Ynoxas at 12:14 PM on December 11, 2002 [1 favorite]


I always thought onomatopoeia would be a nice name for a girl.
posted by Wood at 12:16 PM on December 11, 2002


Oissubke: Always give a child a middle name that they can resort to when they decide they don't like their first name.

Great advice. That is exactly what I did when both my daughters were born. I picked first names I liked and a more generic middle name. The older daughter chooses to go by her middle name, and her younger sister makes fun of her for being normal.

I just have to add that as a teenager I was angry at my father Richard on pretty much a daily basis. So you can imagine how much I loved it when his friends would call and ask for Dick.
posted by oh posey at 12:18 PM on December 11, 2002


Back when my mom was working, one of her clients had a daughter named Dementia. I've seen pictures. I can almost see it... it's a nice-enough *sounding* name. Like Larva.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:28 PM on December 11, 2002


thank you, Vidiot, i've been looking for that answer for years.
posted by danOstuporStar at 12:29 PM on December 11, 2002


There used to be a woman in my neighbourhood who'd named her kid "Paddington." Bad enough, but then she'd constantly refer to him in the third person -- "Paddington would like a glass of milk," etc. Damn that was annoying.
posted by transient at 12:30 PM on December 11, 2002


I would like to add one to Ossiubke's guidlines:
Make sure the first name flows with the middle name.

We gave our son an old fashioned family name (Lowell - his dad's name) and wanted to make sure when he said his whole name it didn't sound like he was gagging or anything.

And then there were to two kids from the next town over named Mary Jane and Cocaine. (Also remembering that fine SNL skit with Nic Cage - "It's AS-WE-PAY, moron").
posted by thatothrgirl at 12:30 PM on December 11, 2002


Female name “Trinity” is #74 in popularity - 98% of which are probably children of obsessive “Matrix” fans hoping for boy next so they can name him “Morpheus” (a name which I predict will break the top 100 list in about two years). Be on the lookout as single white mothers with children named “Trinity” start dating bald black men to make little Morpheuses with.
- Destiny's Child Indeed - a rant about stupid baby names
posted by pjammer at 12:32 PM on December 11, 2002


Ynoxas: I decided that day there should be some sort of oversight committee that has refusal rights over a child's legal name.

darnit, I can't find any references, but I believe I saw a news story once about Germany (or was it Switzerland?) having exactly such a law.
posted by Vidiot at 12:33 PM on December 11, 2002


Yeah, it's waaaaaayyyyy different than when I was a kid. We only had two Andrews, two Todds, and two Seans in a class of 20 kids. We had a Michael, a Darren, and a Christopher, too. But so did every other class as well. How many Johns in your school? (And that's a capital J, you perverted...)

My wife and I have decided on Morgan or Joshua when our first is born in March. Well, my wife has decided, and I'm smart enough to agree with her in order to have a chance at trying for a second child...

(and on preview, Ynoxas, I think Germany *does* have laws dealing with baby names.)
posted by GhostintheMachine at 12:34 PM on December 11, 2002


after preview: I remember that same article. Wasn't it in the Middle East and some parents were wanting to name their kids after Bin Laden, or was it Germany and Hitler?

(Also reminded of a friend's mom who used to work in a low-income hospital er who told the story of the woman, who upon waking up after giving birth under anesthesia said "she had heard the most beautiful name while she was under, and she wanted to name her daughter "Vagina").
posted by thatothrgirl at 12:37 PM on December 11, 2002


The hands-down worst names I have ever heard were for two twins who went to my high school. Their names were pronounced Ah-RAN-geh-low and Leh-MON-geh-low.

They were spelled Orangejello and L'monjello.

Apparently, their mother was quite fond of the dessert.
posted by rainfallsix at 12:41 PM on December 11, 2002


I read a piece written by a woman who was supporting her writing by working part-time jobs. She claimed to have heard a mother call her female child "Ampersand" at one of these jobs. She stated that she asked the mother directly about this to make sure she got it right, and the woman said "I don't know what it means, but isn't it lovely?"
posted by Irontom at 12:44 PM on December 11, 2002


A thread after my own heart.

Aside from the strife of growing up as the only boy I knew of with the name Morgan, when you added to that the middle and last name of 'Hugh Johnston' there's really no limit of choices for a creative mind.

I couldn't complain too much though. I went to a highschool with a kid named Benjamin Dover (he'd beat up anyone that called him Ben). And my older brother narrowly avoided being named Merlin Gandolf.

Yes, I grew up in THAT kind of an enviornment.
posted by KnitWit at 12:44 PM on December 11, 2002


(Also reminded of a friend's mom who used to work in a low-income hospital er who told the story of the woman, who upon waking up after giving birth under anesthesia said "she had heard the most beautiful name while she was under, and she wanted to name her daughter "Vagina").

I think this might be a mini-urban legend. I've read a verrrry similar passed-on story, only the child is named "meconium" by rapturous, drugged mom. Meconium is the term for fetal feces.
posted by Skot at 12:49 PM on December 11, 2002


I love having a 'wierd', unpronouncable name that means something and has a history. I'd never name a child of mine something that didn't have a history and a story. I'd never misspell a name, or make up a name.

People are teased not because of their names, but because everyone is teased. It isn't like the other kids aren't going to find something wrong with your shoelaces if your name is Bill.
posted by goneill at 12:52 PM on December 11, 2002


Well , with a last name of Craddock, I'm thinkin of naming any kids: Arista, Demma, Buera or Otto.
posted by tj at 12:56 PM on December 11, 2002


The first time I went to college, I spent some time with a girl named Heaven Love Moore. Truly.

My name in real life is Garth, and I spent a fair amount of time trying to convince Heaven to marry me so we could have children named 'Water' and 'Fire.'

That woulda been hilarious.

The other day at the dog park, I heard someone calling his ill-named and misbehaving puppy 'Booty.'

Heh.
posted by stet at 12:56 PM on December 11, 2002


The only reason I'd ever have a kid is to give it an interesting name.

It actually rubs me the wrong way to see things like " their legal name should have some integrity to it." Comform, damn you! I'd rather have children deal with the teasing than to be saddled with a banal name. Jeez, names used to mean something. Now they're just names. That sucks.

Having said that, I'll also say that I have the habit of naming my pets and houseplants things like Mr. Cat and Mr. Plant.
posted by tolkhan at 12:57 PM on December 11, 2002


In my 6th grade math class, there were 7 of us with the same first name and 5 of us have the same middle name or variation of the same name (Marie, Mary, Maria). The poor teacher just called us Miss. (insert last name).

My husband picked out the name Riley for our son. The day after he was born, our OB/GYN delivered a girl who was named Riley. Little did we know... On Sunday, my husband once again apologized to Rye for giving him a name that seems to have a recent increased popularity when another lady called to her son named Riley.

I manage a database for a college and you should see some of the names that come across my desk.
posted by onhazier at 12:58 PM on December 11, 2002


"our first is born in March...in order to have a chance at trying for a second child..."

Hehe, check back with us in April. ;-)

ghost, vidiot, thatothergrl, that's great, except I don't live in Germany.

On general principle I'm opposed to something like this, and most people say that society itself will police this issue. Except it doesn't. Apparently societal ridicule is not enough to keep someone from naming their child "Vulva" (there's at least one in my town). It's not supposed to be in the parents' best interest, but in the child's best interest. A child cannot legally change their name until they are 18.

On preview: rainfallsix, apparently you went to high school in a book *poke*
posted by Ynoxas at 12:58 PM on December 11, 2002


like goneill, i enjoy having a different name - but mine also has an story more interesting than "i like Jamie but changed the i to a y and the a to...". and my husband has no problem with his unusual name. but i am quite tired of being introduced and having the other person say, 'what an unusual set of names! however did you find each other?'

baby name popularity (as with many things) goes in cycles - Mildred, Opal, Bernice were popular once, and will be again. i can only hope that all of these Mackenzies and Jaykobs will name their children Joshua and Elizabeth.
posted by rhapsodie at 12:59 PM on December 11, 2002


Growing up in ye olde Wilde Weste (Colorado and Wyoming), having the last name "Cody" always guaranteed a comment or two about either Buffalo Bill or the town of Cody. (I still get comments all the time, except from people who aren't quite as clever as they think they are -- "hey, you related to Wild Bill, heh heh?" "No, no relation to Wild Bill Hickock, why do you ask?") I've always liked having Cody as a last name, but I absolutely hate it for a first name -- I've never met a kid named Cody that wasn't a mean little eight-year-old boy knocking something over on purpose at the grocery store.

In fact, I despise all these faux Wyoming cowboy names like Laramie, Saratoga, and Cheyenne for kids (and their sidekicks Dakota, Montana, Sierra, etc.) -- hey, I've been to Laramie and Saratoga and Cheyenne and Cody. They're not cute kids -- they're wind-scrubbed settlements of hard-livin'! (Rule of thumb: people who name their kids Laramie couldn't actually survive a winter there to save their tiny lives.)

Besides, if you really want to sound like you come from Wyoming, name your kid Bud. Take it from the woman with three Uncle Buds.
posted by scody at 1:02 PM on December 11, 2002


Orange jello; vagina

(my only chance this week to use both those words in the same sentence)
posted by ook at 1:04 PM on December 11, 2002


One of my friends growing up was apparently named by robots from the 1980s. His name was D.R.E.W., standing for David Robert Edward Woodley. His last name was Woodley, and thus redundant, though I secretly think his name is pretty cool. It's just a shame he didn't develop the super-human math powers his parents must have thought he would.

Another example from my neighbourhood was Paul Sporin. It must have been a joy sharing a name with a popular cold-sore medication.

I wish I did have an unusual name. In most of my grade school classes I was one of between 4 and 6 Daves. Teachers would often resort to numbering us in order to keep track.
posted by UncleDave at 1:05 PM on December 11, 2002


OK this is too bizarre

The hands-down worst names I have ever heard were for two twins who went to my high school. Their names were pronounced Ah-RAN-geh-low and Leh-MON-geh-low.
They were spelled Orangejello and L'monjello.
Apparently, their mother was quite fond of the dessert.

Rainfallsix - My wife had dealings with their mother once and has been telling that story for many years. Too funny.

Htuttle
I think the world needs another few zillion kids named Dylan.
We named our first child Dylan, sorry that offends you. Of course, she's a girl...
posted by Windopaene at 1:05 PM on December 11, 2002


Growing up with a three-syllable, vaguely girly name like Julian, I used to get a new nickname bimonthly: Juliet, Julie, Jules, Dr. J, "the Jouge" (pronounced like Zsa Zsa). Having a middle name like Snell made it even more fun.

Now, at 30, I can appreciate its unusualness, and I dig it. Especially having the country's most common last name (my parents, honest to God, are Jim and Jane).

I still get called Jason and Justin a lot, though.
posted by gottabefunky at 1:09 PM on December 11, 2002


she wanted to name her daughter "Vagina"

this is third-hand, but from a very reliable source: my friend's sister is a nurse. she worked at a busy outpatient clinic in greater Boston where the patients would be called in the waiting room by first name and last initial. looking at the next name on the list, she was aghast: "Vagina H." she tried to sneak it through with a latino inflection: "Va-hee-nah H.? is there a Va-hee-nah here?" no such luck: a loud and corpulent woman stood up and boomed, "My name's VAGINA!!" true story.
posted by serafinapekkala at 1:10 PM on December 11, 2002


I went to a restaurant a few weeks ago and was served by a man whose nametag read "Hymen."

Now that's just cruel.
posted by lilikoi at 1:12 PM on December 11, 2002


My sister knew someone who named her children Faith, Hope, Charity, and Darryl. I guess they couldn't think of a masculine sounding virtue.
posted by teg at 1:14 PM on December 11, 2002 [1 favorite]


Hee! "Morgan." "Big M, little organ." Betcha never heard that one before ...
posted by grrarrgh00 at 1:15 PM on December 11, 2002


worst names I have ever heard were for two twins

another second-hander: friend from Atlanta went to school with boy twins, Harvard and Penn. yup, their parents' alma maters. summary execution would be too good for these people...their last name: Whipple!

THAT kind of environment

finally first-hand: my friend has a son named Jazz and a little daughter named Wolf. luckily they are very cute...
posted by serafinapekkala at 1:17 PM on December 11, 2002


eh, I named by daughter Genevieve.

i fucking hate when people call her "jen-a-veev". i correct them when i can. i hope she'll do it when she gets older and doesn't resort to just saying "whatever".

it's "zhahn-vee-ev"...it's french.

great nickname, though..."Evie". she'll thank me when she gets older, i'm sure.
posted by taumeson at 1:18 PM on December 11, 2002


I went to elementary school with girls named Angel Fish and Charmin (the toilet paper). A delicious twist of fate was that the meanest jerk in our class who made fun of everyone elses names was named Lumiere, the candlestick from Beauty and the Beast. Once that movie came out in '91 he had to shut his mouth.
posted by gatorae at 1:18 PM on December 11, 2002


Vidiot: You don't have to go to Europe to find name-oversight committees. In Quebec there's a body that does just that. I remember reading a story a couple of years ago about parents who wanted to name their daughter "Jusque-une-Ange": Almost-an-Angel. That didn't sit so well with the authorities in a Catholic province, though I can't remember how the legal appeal turned out.

Does the state have an obligation to protect children from the idiocy and vanity of their parents? I'll bet that in thirteen years Angel-baby would say so.
posted by Dasein at 1:18 PM on December 11, 2002


We gave our baby girl an unconventional name: Jasper. I'm sure she'll experience folks who encounter a moment of gender confusion on first meeting her, and I'm sure it'll cause the phone solicitors no end of trouble (so sorry!). Frankly, I'm not so concerned -- she's got a more conventional middle name to fall back on if it becomes a serious problem, and as anybody who's grown up can attest, there's no end of ways to make fun of names, so not too much point in trying to avoid it by blending in with the croud.

As it stands, She'll probably be the only Jasper in any of her classes (not a popular name since 1920 or so), and probably the only Ms. Jasper anybody's ever met. I expect she'll develop a bit of character in responce to some small amount of confusion her name causes.

Besides, there are plenty of gender neutral names, you just didn't know this was one.
posted by daver at 1:23 PM on December 11, 2002


grrarrgh00

Are you sure you didn't go to college with me? That was the first one I heard...

Don't for get the laughs I got when I mumbled 'hugh johnston'
posted by KnitWit at 1:24 PM on December 11, 2002


Ynoxas: I am aware of the book. Those guys did go to my high school though- I have the yearbook to prove it. :) One has changed his name to his middle name- Martin.

An odd boy's name that pops up in my family is Burr. What makes this especially odd is that it is not taken from anyone's surname, but rather a first name that appears in our family for at least five generations.

I have no intention of continuing that tradition, should I ever have children.
posted by rainfallsix at 1:29 PM on December 11, 2002


Personally, I think it's a lot more offensive/inconsiderate to the offspring for a parent to saddle a child with a mundane 19th-20th century name. Haven't we suffered enough "Bills" and "Toms" and "Jennifers" and "Susans" (no offense to any bearing those names...substitute any others as you see fit)? Give the kid some encouragement to be a little bit original, for cripes' sake. Help him/her stand out above the crowd. Bowing to peer pressure to be "normal" is very weak. Sure, some names are just patently ridiculous--so use a little creativity to find one that's different-yet-cool.

But then, as a "Michael," I may be just a tad bitter. Heh. Of course, my mom considered naming me "Yancy," and I'm not sure how I'd feel about that.
posted by rushmc at 1:33 PM on December 11, 2002


I went to college with a guy named Nemo. He was next to last of eight children, and the older ones got to name him. Seriously dangerous proposition if you ask me.
posted by me3dia at 1:38 PM on December 11, 2002


me3dia, i begged and begged my parents to name my little brother Herschel. I was about 10 at the time. I've thought up worse names for him since then. ;)
posted by jbelshaw at 1:51 PM on December 11, 2002


I agree rush. In my family it's; Susan-Jane, Mary, Katherine, and Richard. My children will have unusual names so they are not surrounded by children of the same name.
posted by SuzySmith at 1:58 PM on December 11, 2002


Some members of my wife's family (Filipino-American) tend to give nicknames of two flavors to kids. Some nicknames follow them into adulthood.

Both my sisters-in-law have nicknames unrelated to their "real" names, which we never use. The story is that the father, a Navy cook, would arrive home between tours and give the newborn daughter a new name.

A younger-generation device is to take the first syllable of the first and middle names. For example, "Jessica Louise" becomes "Je-lo", pronounced "Jello." (We stay away from "J-Lo"; she's only 7.) I'm wondering when Jessica or her parents will decide to retire "Jello."

Her sister, Melissa (4), is for unfathomable reasons named "Ching-ching."

Thankfully, my wife's not into that, and when Samantha or Samuel comes along, the nickname will be simply "Sam."
posted by kurumi at 2:03 PM on December 11, 2002


At my kids' cross-country ski races, it was always interesting to listen to the crowd cheering on the racers during the girls' race: "Go, Kaitlin" "Go Rachel" "Go Ashley" "Go Rachel" "Go Kaitlin" "Go Sue" "Go, Kaitlin" "Go Jessica" "Go Kaitline" "Go Ashley" "Go Kaitlin" and so on.
posted by beagle at 2:07 PM on December 11, 2002


It sounds like there's a whole lot of Orangelos and Lemonjelos out there, as well as Vaginas (no, silly, people named Vagina).

I'm not sayin' anyone's lying, I'm just sayin', is all.
posted by yhbc at 2:08 PM on December 11, 2002


i named my little sister. i went with the conservative choice, and she's still mad at me for not choosing aisling.
posted by goneill at 2:09 PM on December 11, 2002


I tend to put a lot of prospective parents off when I let them know their chosen name sounds like a stripper's stage name. Hunter, Cheyenne, Britney.....I could go on.

Amen, and don't forget to add Brook to that list.
posted by Beholder at 2:14 PM on December 11, 2002


And if I ever have a son, I'm gonna name him Sue.
posted by COBRA! at 2:17 PM on December 11, 2002


My father wanted to name me Aloicious Jedediah (!) if I had been a boy. Thank goodness I had the good sense to be born a girl and get a name that is somewhat uncommon but not annoyingly so: Kathleen.

My gf's kids are named Gray and Carbon, but she gave them both more common middle names so they could use their middle names instead if they so choose. They love their first names, though, and neither of them has encountered much teasing in school, but they go to school in a suburb of Los Angeles, where half of the class has a trendy or "different" name.

I've got a few friends with some other names I don't like so much, though - I have a friend with 5 y.o. twins named Dream and Rayne. (Acid trip, much?) My cousin named her baby Felicity (after the TV show - if it were a boy she was going to name it Dawson). The TV trend is apparently quite popular in her small town - there are three other girls named Felicity that were born in the same year. I'd love to see their kindergarten class in a few years - even though Felicity and Dawson's Creek will have been off the air for a while, their character's names will live on!
posted by bedhead at 2:17 PM on December 11, 2002


Ooo, could I also mention around the house, I, being the second son, was called "two" while my other brother was called "One" If my father wanted both of us to come running he'd shout out, "THREE!"

When finally asked, my father patiently explained that his number was the square root of -1
posted by KnitWit at 2:18 PM on December 11, 2002


My niece is named Mackenzie, but she's 6, so I guess her parents got in at the start of the trend.

My name, Natalie, is fairly unusual for someone my age--it seems to be gaining in popularity now, though.
posted by eilatan at 2:22 PM on December 11, 2002


Someone posted the urban legends link, so I won't mention my old friend Ima Bigg Kok. But seriously, another grad student here was E just the letter, we didn't call him Eonly, but just "E". Is this maybe an east coast thing?
posted by Wood at 2:24 PM on December 11, 2002


rainfallsix: you should make a scan of that and send it to the people at snopes. Folklorists would get a big grin out of that. I'd be willing to bet that the legend predates these kids, so it could be an example of life imitating art so to speak.

Some of you are missing the point... the giving of the super trendy names *HAS* become the norm. Kaitlyn is more common than "Jennifer" was in my day, and that's saying something.

The only difference is, they have added the additional step of having 23 alternate spellings. We had 12 Jennifer's but no Jenifurs or no Jinnephurs or no Genniffers.

So, if you truly want to buck the trend and be original, then name your girl Sarah. It'll really stand out at those soccer games when she's 7.
posted by Ynoxas at 2:25 PM on December 11, 2002


There was a professor at a college in my home town named Nunemacher - I may have the spelling wrong, but it was pronounced noo-neh-mahk-er. He named his child Knickerbocker Nunemacher. It's a mouthful, but rather fun to say.

A print sales rep named "Thankful" used to call on me, and I found that name rather ghastly. The first time I encountered it was on a phone message slip and it really confused me.

Dejah420 - congratulations! And a warm welcome to Thomas David - he certainly looks like a sweetie.
posted by madamjujujive at 2:26 PM on December 11, 2002


Does the state have an obligation to protect children from the idiocy and vanity of their parents? I'll bet that in thirteen years Angel-baby would say so.

No. If Angel-baby wants to, she can change her name, but the state no more has a part in baby-naming than it does in reproductive control. Sure, parents should do a bit of thinking and research before naming their children, so we don't end up with any more Dementias or Wombats (I've always thought that a kid should have a "normal" name and an "unusual" name, that way they have a choice), but I don't think it's the state's job. Ick. If I have a child, I'll name it Boris, even if it's a boy.
posted by biscotti at 2:26 PM on December 11, 2002


Oh, and I met a guy once named "Skeeter Head", I saw his driver's licence and everything.
posted by biscotti at 2:27 PM on December 11, 2002


*still waiting vainly for "Murgatroid" to make a much needed comeback*
posted by UncleFes at 2:31 PM on December 11, 2002


He hasn't posted it yet even though he's a member, so I'll say that a friend was doing some manner of public-health survey work and went through one questionnaire with Glory Be Free Salvation Holly Hazel Basil Brown, who of course went by none of those personal names.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 2:31 PM on December 11, 2002


My name couldn't be more unusual, and I was the subject of much scorn as a wee one. But I think that kids who look down the barrel of other kid's cruelty for years have a great deal of backbone to show for it later in life. I was from a hippy hollow, and most of the kids who were given unusual but not absurd names turned out to be rather interesting adults; I can't say the same for the super hippy-dippy named kids, most of whom turned themselves into "Janet" or "William," and who tried very hard to turn into their best representations of completely normal "Father Knows Best" clones.

Worst hippy names in jr. high were a sister and brother team: She was "Fyre Genie" and he was "One Free." Get it? "Buy one Fyre Genie, get One Free?" It got a laugh, I tell you. She changed her name but amazingly, he kept his for a while, at least. I also knew Liberty, who was friends with Justice, and there were no shortages of Sunny, Summer, Rainbow, Sky, Flower, etc. Thanks be that I was saddled with something unusual but not intolerable....
posted by readymade at 2:31 PM on December 11, 2002


Reading this thread, I'm reminded of a quote from Terry Pratchett. Let me dig out my Discworld Companion (yes, I know, its sad, hush)

Ok, not an actual quote from the book Lords and Ladies, but here's a quote from the Companion

"Bestiality Carter - His parents...got the wrong end of the stick when it came to naming their children. The first four children (all girls) were called Hope, Chastity, Prudence and Charity; then the boys were, with a misplaced recognition of the need for balance, called Anger, Jealousy, Bestiality and Covetousness"
posted by Orange Goblin at 2:33 PM on December 11, 2002


My girlfriend's name is Cinnamon.

I know a woman who works in the industry as a dancer and goes by cinnamon on stage... a real spice girl. Her real name is of african origin & recently trendy.

Original names appeal to me; when I was growing up my sister & I used to argue over who had the more rare name. The thing is there seems to be a certain amount of zeitgeist with names. People think they're being original but they're fitting right into a trend (using last names and place names that at least sound gender neutral as names for girls is a recently popular one). So the hard part is finding something interesting and original that your entire generation didn't think of at the same time. As goneill said above, something with a history is a good place to begin, something that means something to you personally, not just something that sounds neat (though sounding neat is important too...)

I think there's a class issue when it comes to names, too. The mackenzie / madison crowd is one group, and then there are the Z / X name (zoe, max, zachary, xander, etc) crowd, and also the grandma name crowd (going back to beatrice and ruth, etc).
posted by mdn at 2:36 PM on December 11, 2002


Hey! Kids! We're eatin' dinner tonight!

Tiffany, Heather, Cody, Dylan, Dermot, Jordan, Taylor, Brittany, Wesley, Rumer, Scout, Cassidy, Zoe, Chloe, Max, Hunter, Kendall, Caitlin, Noah, Sascha, Morgan, Kyra, Ian, Lauren, Q-bert, Phil!
posted by Skot at 2:38 PM on December 11, 2002


we didn't call him Eonly, but just "E". Is this maybe an east coast thing?

In the south you will sometimes find people with names that are initials, except the initials don't stand for anything. My grandfather had a lifelong friend named "T.M." and those initials stood for nothing.

There also seems to be several people in the 60 and over range here that don't have middle names. Is this common other places?
posted by Ynoxas at 2:41 PM on December 11, 2002


I'm really wondering if I should mention what I consider to be the ultimate name, my friend's old schoolmate Semon Kochluf.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 2:44 PM on December 11, 2002


A friend of mine has sworn that if he ever has a son, he'll name it "Arson." A daughter will be "Felony."

"Names should be easy to spell, even for people who have never seen them. " -- You'd be amazed how many people either mispronounce or misspell "Nick Mark." There's just no way to adequately prepare for human stupidity.
posted by nickmark at 2:45 PM on December 11, 2002


Are parents naming their kids in preparation for their future porn careers?
posted by lsd4all at 2:47 PM on December 11, 2002


I'm really happy with my unconventional name: Emanuel Krishna Siddhartha. I've never disliked it, and in recent years have really come to like it, since I feel it reflects me.

The spelling of the my name tends to be a problem: Emmanuel (Christian spelling), Emanuelle (female), and Emanual (??) are common. Doesn't bother me much though.

Back in grade 4, a Turkish kid started calling me Manny, which a pretty common nickname for Emanuel in the middle-east. It cought on, and since I still hang out with and work with a lot of people from school, Manny has stuck, but I usually refer to myself as Emanuel. Unfortunately, not many people know the connection between the names so it often leads to situations where people don't realize both are referring to the same person.

A nice thing about "Emanuel" is that it is a relatively common name throughout most of the world (anywhere that has been touched by Judao-Christian religions), and variations on the spelling of Manny (Mani is my favorite) are common or at least easy to pronounce in every place I've ever been to. So, oddly enough, when I'm travelling I'm more likely to use my common nickname than I am at home.

In India I often go by Krishna around Hindus (though Mani is very common there as well) but Emmanuel around Muslims and Christians. I expect that I might use Siddhartha more in Buddhist places.

In Quebec people call me Manu, and this has rubbed off on people I know here. At the moment Manu is my favorite version of my name.

How many other names are there that you can have so much fun with?
posted by Emanuel at 2:48 PM on December 11, 2002


I knew a high school student whose mother obviously wanted to name her baby girl Tiara, but, unfortunately, couldn't spell. So, on the birth certificate, she wrote "Tire."

This girl had a temper, and when a sub or a first-day teacher, taking roll, would call out "Tire Johnson," she'd get mad as hell.
posted by kozad at 2:53 PM on December 11, 2002


As long as we're on the subject, what goes well with Oissubke (pronounced, roughly, "Wuh-SOOK")? The wife and I are expecting, and I'm open to suggestions....
posted by oissubke at 2:58 PM on December 11, 2002


How you gonna be able to spot the trends without some historical data and nifty bar charts? Take a look at popular names throughout the ages (well, at least the last one hundred years).

Are the Madisons and Caitlins of today nothing more than the Gertrudes and Mabels of yesteryear? Were your grandparents' goofy names just as goofy sixty years ago, when every other kid had the same name?
posted by RKB at 2:58 PM on December 11, 2002


My mom claims to have had a client who named her sons Orangejello and Redjello.

My aunt and uncle are big on unusual names. They named their third child Mikaela, sure that it would set her apart. When her birth announcement appeared, though, they were chagrined to discover FIVE other Mikaela/Micheala/MaKaylas born at the same hospital that week. Their fourth is Declan. My father was hoping they would spell it "DeKlan," so he could grow up to be a white supremecist rapper.

(From the laugh-or-cry department:) Several years ago, a girl in my town gave birth to a premature baby with severe birth defects, including near-acephaly. She named him Prodigy.

My very favorite story, though, is that of a guy I went to high school with. His parents were very big on giving children control over their own lives, so they decided to let him name himself when he came of a reasonable age. At age four, he picked PeeWee. They named him Angus.
posted by hippugeek at 2:59 PM on December 11, 2002


rushmc: Personally, I think it's a lot more offensive/inconsiderate to the offspring for a parent to saddle a child with a mundane 19th-20th century name. [...] Sure, some names are just patently ridiculous--so use a little creativity to find one that's different-yet-cool.

But Yancey (!), the problem is that most of the people who seem to want to be "creative" clearly can't make the crucial distinction between the patently ridiculous and the different-yet-cool -- thus leading to criminal mischief like Teairreauny or whatever the fake Gaelic spelling of Tyranny the idiot woman on the website wanted to use. (I'm just waiting for one of the geniuses to come up with Krystyllnacht.) And honestly, which is more inconsiderate for a little boy: Thomas, or Toolio?

Having said all that, I do admit to a weakness for ultra-old-fashioned boy's names ("Ulysses! Ezekiel! Dinner's ready!"). I am convinced that they are uber-cool, but perhaps this may be an indication that I am more well-suited to be a doting aunt rather than a mother.
posted by scody at 3:02 PM on December 11, 2002


Just me, but I can't stand the name Shannon for a girl - I always want to ask if her brothers are called Dogger, Fisher and German Bight.
posted by tabbycat at 3:03 PM on December 11, 2002


what goes well with Oissubke (pronounced, roughly, "Wuh-SOOK")

One of my life's great riddles has been, roughly, solved.

Oh, and the answer to your question is: Farooq
posted by samuelad at 3:05 PM on December 11, 2002


Another example from my neighbourhood was Paul Sporin. It must have been a joy sharing a name with a popular cold-sore medication.

"My name....is NEO."
posted by oissubke at 3:07 PM on December 11, 2002


The name of my first born will be Seven.

Or Pepsi.
posted by DakotaPaul at 3:10 PM on December 11, 2002


You may think strippers' names are bad, but strippers' kids' names can be even worse; I knew one young dancer who named her son "Chaos" because of all the difficulty she had while pregnant with him.
posted by TedW at 3:12 PM on December 11, 2002


My grandfather's first and middle names were Arley Columbus. My dad's first and middle names were Arley Francis. Thankfully the tradition ended there. (My grandfather went by Buck and my dad went by Tom.)

My first year of college I worked as a clerk typist for the Department of Labor and ran across this name in some paperwork: Froimlee Wirtzman. I had no idea of the person's gender. (A couple of years later, a friend of mine ran across what I have to assume is the same person's paperwork in a law office he worked in. It's a woman.)
posted by kirkaracha at 3:12 PM on December 11, 2002


The TV trend is apparently quite popular in her small town - there are three other girls named Felicity that were born in the same year.

Sigh. I'd long told myself that if I ever reproduced and the resulting kid was a girl, that Felicity would be a good name. There are a couple ancestors way back there, and I thought it was a pretty name, and different without being truly weird.

Then the damn TV show came around and wiped out any chance of that...
posted by Vidiot at 3:15 PM on December 11, 2002


What about stage names? I mean, even though some lady may be walking around named Vagina, at least she didn't name herself Vagina, right? However, there are people who, for the sake of their careers, will take a perfectly good name like Stephen Morrell and change it to Aesop Acquarian. When he came up with that one, I'll bet he was thinking, "This'll stand the test of time."
posted by samuelad at 3:16 PM on December 11, 2002


Name fashions are cruel - when I was a child (in the 80s, in the UK) no one was called Jack, except for elederly men. As soon as I'd come round to the idea that having unusually retro nomenclature was pretty cool after all, it became the number one name for boy children, and has remained so ever since.

The worst parental gaffe I remember was a girl at primary school called Sianne - her parents had to adopt the spelling when they discovered you don't pronounce Sian like that.
posted by jack_mo at 3:17 PM on December 11, 2002


I remember a girl in high school named Virginia. We called her Virgin for short but not for long.
posted by zebval at 3:18 PM on December 11, 2002


I like the section "Part VI: When You're in Love, The Whole World's Welsh". Having a mom who's Welsh, I can attest that many Welsh and Gaelic names should be severely anglicized before attempting use in our modern English.
posted by Salmonberry at 3:25 PM on December 11, 2002


From IMDB, regarding actress Poppy Montgomery. "Sisters are named Rosie Thorn, Daisy Yellow, Lily Belle and Marigold Sun. Poppy and her sisters were named after flower fairies in a children's book, while their brother, Jethro Tull, was named after the rock band (which, in turn, was named after the 17th/18th century agronomist and inventor of the seed drill)."

I met a girl named Libertie once. She said her sisters were Egalitie and Fraternitie.

And one of my RAs in college was named Rainbow.
posted by jengod at 3:46 PM on December 11, 2002


I knew a kid in Atlanta named Vu Du...

But the one that cracked me up the most was related to me by a friend's father. During his ER residency in Boston, a woman came in to give birth. She named the girl Clamydia. They did explain it to her, and she did stick to her guns on this one.

poor kid.

"Hey Kent? Can I name my first kid after you? I think Dipshit Knight has a nice ring to it."
posted by Team_Billy at 3:54 PM on December 11, 2002


As long as we're on the subject, what goes well with Oissubke

Thanks for the pronunciation guide, I thought it was oss-boo-kay. As for what goes with it, that depends on what you mean. If you mean, a name that relates by sound, Isaac is complementary (and it complements your religious tradition too- Hey.). Then again, maybe first and last names that rhyme are kind of weird (julia goolia). If you want a name that relates traditionally, then I'll need you to tell me the mysterious origins of the last name oissubke. At first I was certain it was asian, but then I saw your name was Carlos, and then I imagined it sounded kind of Aztec. That's the best I could do with limited clues.
posted by dgaicun at 4:15 PM on December 11, 2002


I thought it was oss-boo-kay.

Though, now that I'm looking at how it's spelled I'm not sure why.
posted by dgaicun at 4:17 PM on December 11, 2002


My girlfriend and I want to name our future kids (as long as we have two boys and one girl, or one boy and two girls) Topher (like Dave Egger's little brother), Remy, and Sloan.

We decided that Remy, although it's usually short for Jeremy, would fit a girl nicely.

What do you guys think of these names? (Kabalarians says my name means I'm stubborn, so I probably won't listen to any suggestions you give me anyways, but still...)
posted by premiumpolar at 4:20 PM on December 11, 2002


Back in high school, an under-18 girl named her kid Abcde. You know, AB-se-dee. Everytime I heard someone talk about her I'd think of Ernie singing "Ab-ka-def-gahijamanop..."
posted by Tacodog at 4:26 PM on December 11, 2002


"what goes well with Oissubke (pronounced, roughly, "Wuh-SOOK")?"

Duke or Luke, of course.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 4:39 PM on December 11, 2002


Fun names of people I have known (not including fun foreign/ethnic names):

Jeohn (jee-on)
Jaxxon
Jimbo
Townley (female)
Harding
Hampton
Teal
Bridge (male)
Hastings (female)
Gatewood
Lanch
Sarci (sar-see)
posted by superfem at 4:39 PM on December 11, 2002


Tacodog: It was big bird who sang that song. Sorry, but I must defend the tall yellow bird's honor! :-)

For your listening pleasure:

abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz - Big Bird

Geocities, tread lightly.
posted by Ynoxas at 4:52 PM on December 11, 2002


As long as we're on the subject, what goes well with Oissubke (pronounced, roughly, "Wuh-SOOK")?

How about Patchouli? Patchouli Oissubke. And it can be shortened to either Pat, if it's a girl, or Patch, if it's a boy.
posted by Silune at 4:54 PM on December 11, 2002


the giving of the super trendy names *HAS* become the norm

There is a lot of truth to that, although it's all "weird" and weirdly-spelled names, not just the trendy ones. I don't think there's a single kid with a "normal" name in my nephew's entire 1st grade class (except him, poor lad).
posted by rushmc at 5:07 PM on December 11, 2002


As long as we're on the subject, what goes well with Oissubke (pronounced, roughly, "Wuh-SOOK")?

How about "Nixon" for a boy or "Annette" for a girl?
posted by rushmc at 5:11 PM on December 11, 2002


I am glad that I have the honour of mentioning the first Thai name here: I once new someone from Thailand with the name Tittiporn. Needless to say, she prefered people to call her by a name of her own choosing- Pam.

Other Thai names I have heard of are similar to Tittiporn, (such as the name Minitampon (sp?)) so I suppose it's not an issue while in Thailand. Unfortunatly, Tittiporn lived in Canada.
posted by dazed_one at 5:23 PM on December 11, 2002


What's funny is people think that giving their children an unusual name will make them special. Your name isn't important. Don't pretend that naming your child something will change his life.

Ask yourself why you are choosing a particular name; if it is because you want your child's name to reflect something about you or your tastes, then you are vain.
posted by Hildago at 5:40 PM on December 11, 2002


I grew up with a Kiss family in the neighborhood. Mom's name was Cookie, and she had two daughters: Candy and Tiffany (who went by Taffy).

Oh, and I went to prom with a boy named Sue.
posted by pfafflin at 5:40 PM on December 11, 2002


As long as we're on the subject, what goes well with Oissubke (pronounced, roughly, "Wuh-SOOK")?

Spiro Nixon for a boy!

Reagan Quayle for a girl!
posted by Pancake Overlord at 5:42 PM on December 11, 2002


Imagine my disappointment when my wife suggested Lily for a girl, and I loved it...Until I remembered that my surname is Tomlin...Dammit. I really never would have thought that would come to haunt me....
posted by Richat at 5:44 PM on December 11, 2002


I have a niece named Ealish. I like that name. Two of her brothers are named Jonathan Reilly and Reilly Joseph. I don't understand that. I think my brother needs to name his next son Joseph Jonathan. Or Reilly Reilly.
posted by djeo at 6:05 PM on December 11, 2002


When I first attended the Evergreen State College, I was told of a former student there by the name of "Marijuana Money." Whether the tale is true or not, I do not know, but the teller believed it.
posted by litlnemo at 6:06 PM on December 11, 2002


I think a lot of this can be explained by the immaturity of the current crop of a significant portion of the child-bearing populace. Children are not baby dolls or toys.

Amen to that. Take a look at girlmom and see what names are popular with the teen mamas these days. It will probably be a rude shock for the 13-year-old when she realizes there's more to motherhood than picking out a fluffy name for your baby.

Growing up with a name like Oriole was no picnic, either. It quickly gets changed on the playground to "Oreo" to "Cookie Head." I resorted to using my middle name for many years. These days, with all the Bayleighs and Rhiannons and Tenzins walking around, my name rarely gets a second glance.
posted by Oriole Adams at 6:06 PM on December 11, 2002


Er, I forgot: My sister's names are Joy and Hope. Yes, it was planned, but my mother lost the Faith.
posted by djeo at 6:17 PM on December 11, 2002


I'm a Jennifer from the generation where every classroom was overflowing with Jennifers. I think my fifth grade class had five Jennifers, so we all got stuck with cutesy nicknames. Most people call me Jen, which I don't even really like, but have come to accept, as I'm in college and college kids are notoriously lazy for wanting to shorten names.

As a Jennifer, I'm all for unusual names, though not TOO unusual, especially if the names could come back to haunt the kid later. I had a friend freshman year named Happy who was anything but.
posted by Zosia Blue at 6:21 PM on December 11, 2002


Also weird is how some of these names have been around forever...Riley is #442 in the 1910's according to Social Security. Not very high, but I wouldn't have thought it even existed as a given name that long ago.

Dallas is #336. Some of the names make me chuckle...Buford...Laverne as a boys' name...

Sorry for all the ellipses...
posted by Richat at 6:29 PM on December 11, 2002


In the south you will sometimes find people with names that are initials, except the initials don't stand for anything.

There is a somewhat known actor named A Martinez. (LA Law, The Profiler) And let's not forget President Harry S Truman, whose middle name was S, just S.
posted by Dreama at 6:43 PM on December 11, 2002


Not long ago at JFK, I was issued my boarding pass by a very friendly African chap whose nametag identified him as HIMMLER BRUTUS. Out came the Palm Pilot, in went the name: preserved for posterity.

Whatever happened to the fine West African tradition of day-naming? "Himmler"?!
posted by adamgreenfield at 6:58 PM on December 11, 2002


I got a normal name. Not too popular, not too random, from the list according to the popular names of the 70's. Always wanted to know the origins, but nothing came to mind other then "it sounded good."

Mike, Pat, Scott, Anne Marie, Anne-Marie, Alex, Elmer, Mary, Anne, Walter, John, Elaine, Sharon, Steve, Tristian, Troy, Todd, Duncan, Drake, Trevor, Jim, David, Bill, Roxanne, Ron, are all other names family members go by.

I never really figure to go by what people call themselves, most of the time the personality will dictate the name. Such as "Wally" where the last name is shortend. Other cases a person may remind you of someone else, and or they know another (insert name), but they are nothing like the other. That usually happens to me a lot. For knowing people with odd names I did go to school with a Joe Cool and met an officer Scott Scott Scott.
posted by brent at 7:07 PM on December 11, 2002


Ynoxas - we named our daughter Sarah, and the only difficulity she has is with people leaving the 'h' off the end.

My brother is adopted (he's half Vietnamese) and while our parents gave him an American name (Andrew) he decided to take a Vietnamese name - Minh van Nguyen, which is pronounced MIN van WIN. Telemarkters love to try and say his name properly: "Hello, is Mr. En-GUY-ne there?" "Nope!!" *click*
posted by jazon at 7:13 PM on December 11, 2002


Oh yes, and on the Southern initital thing - my great-grandmother's name was V. Didn't stand for anything and she was (as is the rest of my family) very Southern.
posted by Zosia Blue at 7:35 PM on December 11, 2002


If you want a name that relates traditionally, then I'll need you to tell me the mysterious origins of the last name oissubke. At first I was certain it was asian, but then I saw your name was Carlos, and then I imagined it sounded kind of Aztec. That's the best I could do with limited clues.

Good guess, but it's actually African, with the spelling corrupted by French and the pronunciation corrupted by English. "Carlos" was the name of a priest who helped my mother when she first came to the U.S., so she named me after him.

Reagan Quayle for a girl!

Actually, this may forever brand me as being predictable, but "Reagan" (yes, that Reagan) was already a contender if it's a girl. :-)
posted by oissubke at 7:38 PM on December 11, 2002


rainfallsix, I have a cousin named Burr, which also goes back through his family several generations - maybe we're related?

One of my best friends in junior high was named Tuesday, and another friend in high school was named Sanna-Rae. For some reason I never thought to ask the stories behind the names.
posted by desertmama at 8:31 PM on December 11, 2002


I work with a guy who's business card gives his name as "Hitler". I shit you not. Apparently, frequently chinese folks take english names to prevent us from embarassing ourselves trying to pronounce them. Not sure how he arrived at his...
posted by daver at 8:35 PM on December 11, 2002


Meconium is the term for fetal feces.

Wasn't "Meconium" the name of that Led Zeppelin tribute album a few years back?
posted by notsnot at 9:09 PM on December 11, 2002


That would be Encomium. Also not a good baby name.
posted by Dreama at 9:22 PM on December 11, 2002


The funny thing about most funny names is, they cease to be funny pretty quickly after you interact with someone with the name for a while. Which makes it much ado about nothing in most cases ("Ima Hogg" type names excluded).
posted by rushmc at 9:45 PM on December 11, 2002


We decided that Remy, although it's usually short for Jeremy, would fit a girl nicely.

Remy is usually a boy's name and not necessarily short for anything (if you're French, anyway). But don't let that stop you.
posted by biscotti at 10:15 PM on December 11, 2002


Another "swear-to-god" moment. My mom once did a stint as a census taker. The woman at one house, illiterate, had wanted to name her baby girl something sophisticated but that sounded pretty, so she asked the nurse for a suggestion. Guess the nurse was in a sadistic mood that day. Little girl's name: Syphilis.
posted by dharmamaya at 10:33 PM on December 11, 2002


One year in college one of a set of identical twins lived on the same floor as me. I never met the other one, nor asked her name, but the one who lived down the hall was named Deja. It makes me wonder if she was the second of the two.
posted by ArsncHeart at 11:18 PM on December 11, 2002


I have a friend whose name conjures up "porn star" -- to protect his identity I'll give it in synonyms: Spear, er, Schlongy. Yeah, that's it: Spear Schlongy.
posted by Dick Paris at 11:48 PM on December 11, 2002


I'm Gael, as in the Gaelic people and language, but I can spell my name ten times and the clerk will still smile blankly and write down either Gail, Gayle or Gale. But that's OK, none of them have a quote as cool as I do:

"For the great Gaels of Ireland,
Are the men that God made mad
For all their wars are merry,
And all their songs are sad." (GK Chesterton)
posted by GaelFC at 12:30 AM on December 12, 2002


My Grandmother had 16 children and was very very Southern there are some real interesting names in the bunch, Velma Jean, Navassa (pronounced with STRONG southern accent: nah VAH sell) and I also have an actual "Uncle Bubba". I have a cousin named Adline (pronounced AD line) because she couldn't spell nor pronounce apparently Adeline.

I had a student registered in my class me last semester named Lazagna. Never showed up for class I was thankful as I was afraid I wasn't going to pronounce that one correctly.

My favorite name happened in High School where I had the dubious job of making the afternoon announcements. We had a student in our classes (back in the late 70's) who was 21 yrs old and only attended classes as a requirement from court, never carrying books, pencils or paper. Anyway he was well known for being the biggest pot head and a rumored dealer. His name came up on the list of students being called to the principles office. You should have heard the roar of laughter that went up when I called his middle name "Headly". I could hear the laughter even in the office.
posted by SweetIceT at 12:50 AM on December 12, 2002


Actually, having rethought it...He went by his middle name. Headly was his first name.
posted by SweetIceT at 12:51 AM on December 12, 2002


Good choice deja420 - we just named our latest Thomas Norman. We agonised over the name and I think it is much more important for boys than girls. Girls can get away with a "cute" name, but boys just end up with bloody noses.
posted by dg at 1:27 AM on December 12, 2002


In France the law prohibits people naming children outside a prescribed list of biblical/saints names. I have a French friend of Vietnamese origin and she has an official name, on her passport, which no-one uses, and her real name.

Premiumpolar - Sloan, in Britain, is a term for the braying unpleasant rich. Thought you ought to be aware...
posted by prentiz at 2:11 AM on December 12, 2002


I think it's a shame all the old Saxon names were replaced by French names after the Norman invasion. Only a few survive (Edward, Ethel, Edith, Alfred, Audrey, Avril, Mildred). Come on, call your children Cynewulf and Elfwynn. Or, even more amusingly, Cnut.
posted by Summer at 2:47 AM on December 12, 2002


My father's side of the family is Welsh. I had great-aunts called Morfudd and Llewen. My grandfather was Alwyn, my brother is Aled and my name is Huw. I hated it once. I don't now.
posted by salmacis at 3:16 AM on December 12, 2002


I'm surprised that no one else knows a Xochitl (pronounced zo-shill), after the Aztec calendar day. I have known two, both interesting people (and both nurses, if I recall correctly).
posted by TedW at 4:39 AM on December 12, 2002


We gave our baby girl an unconventional name: Jasper.

Hey, that's my son's name...
posted by adampsyche at 5:51 AM on December 12, 2002


In Denmark, too, there's a huge list of approved names. It isn't too difficult to get a new name approved, however. "Christophpher" was rejected, though.

Parents who give their children names they'll have to spell out for the rest of their lives are daft. I say, give the kid a name people can spell, and give them a name that reflects where they're from: If you name your kid Mario or Giovanni people will assume they are Italian. I lke the tradition of giving your father's name as your kid's middle name.
posted by cx at 6:11 AM on December 12, 2002


I have family who are under the mistaken impression that French use an apostrophe and not an acute accent to indicate pronunciation of certain vowels. So I have cousins with names like, Shane'. That's right. Not "Shané." It's pronounced "shuh-nay." There are at least three of them with names like that. I just keep my mouth shut.
posted by Mo Nickels at 6:48 AM on December 12, 2002


About TV names -- I know a woman who named her daughter Darla. That's a fan.

Of course, the husband and I always say we're going to name our firstborn son Jeffrey Sinclair, so I sure can't talk.
posted by Katemonkey at 7:06 AM on December 12, 2002


When I used to work in a pharmacy, I remember seeing many stupid baby names. The worst of the worst was Vagina. The dumbassed parents pronounced it as "Va-Gee-na" but it's obvious that this kid is going to have problems later on.
posted by drstrangelove at 8:14 AM on December 12, 2002


Meconium was a band cited in a Spinal Tap TV special a few years ago.

I always thought Euglena would be a nice name for a girl. Is she animal--or plant? Her sister could be Chlorophyll. Or Chloro and Phil for twin boys.
posted by Man-Thing at 8:17 AM on December 12, 2002


I have a friend whose name conjures up "porn star"

Is that friend's name Dick Paris?
posted by dgaicun at 8:34 AM on December 12, 2002


Remy is usually a boy's name and not necessarily short for anything

Also possibly short for "Remington," I should think.
posted by rushmc at 8:52 AM on December 12, 2002


My name is Joe. Quite bland eh? I'm named after my uncle, and my grandfather and his uncle, etc... although going back that far, it was Giuseppe. Hopefully I can shake things up, but not before naming my first Joe Jr ;)

I often wonder if I can get away with naming using traditional Italian names in America. With such an ethnic last name, it's difficult to get most english names to sound good. On the other hand, it be tough growning up named Giacomo (which I think is a fantastic name)

My fiancee's name is Miki'ala, which is pronounced Mickey (like the mouse) and a la, like (a la mode). It's hawaiian and so is she. With some of the first names in her high school being up to twenty letters long, I can't imagine many names get made fun of there. Still, even when she introduces herself on the mainland and says her name, people resond with "Oh, Mikaela is a lovely name" Egad, she just pronounced it for you!! she's not asking you to spell it!
posted by devo at 8:58 AM on December 12, 2002


"Hi, Terror ... "

*earnest look* I'm no Terror. I'm Tara (pronounced Tah-ra) *grin*

It still tickles me to be called "Terror", even at the worst moment. Family members & friends call me Tah-ra, although at times of exasperation or displeasure they let slip "Terror". But then again, I've also been called Terror in a most affectionate way ;-).

So, what's in a name anyway ? It seems the Brazilians like to have fun, not just at the beach, but also when it comes to name choosing.
posted by taratan at 9:20 AM on December 12, 2002


The other day, at the local Starbucks, I was served by a kid wearing a nametag "Jihad." Man, he's gonna have a hard time at the airport, I thought.
Btw, I named my youngest Hendrix-got a problem with that?
(And yes, I am hoping that the "nomen est omen" thing is true.)
posted by Finder at 9:24 AM on December 12, 2002


I was served by a kid wearing a nametag "Jihad."

Eek. I was served by a woman at the local movie theatre whose nametag read "Yeti".
posted by biscotti at 9:53 AM on December 12, 2002


Summer: I like your idea, and I think Elfwynn may be the perfect name for these Tolkien-obsessed times, but I have to nitpick: Cnut (Canute) is Danish, not Saxon; it's from Old Norse knutr 'knot' and was apparently originally given to short, squat men. It's still popular (as Knut or Knud) in Denmark and Norway (which was ruled by Denmark for a long time).
posted by languagehat at 10:16 AM on December 12, 2002


Hey Adam, I remember!
posted by daver at 10:49 AM on December 12, 2002


A note to those served by people with weird nametags: That doesn't always mean that that is the person's name. When I worked at a pizza joint in high school, we had the non-engraved nametags that would be done with one of those label makers, so we always fucked around and put weird names. I had a cool manager, so she didn't care too much so long as what we had on there wasn't too crass.
posted by Ufez Jones at 11:21 AM on December 12, 2002


Here's one of those unfortunate foreign accidents...
posted by swank6 at 1:13 PM on December 12, 2002


This post (#190) serves no purpose but to put this thread on the top 20 most frequently commented on MeFi boards.
posted by dgaicun at 1:38 PM on December 12, 2002


about the most utterly distressing name i've personally heard was "storm" for a girl. wondering if there was a "drizzle" in the family to compete with.
posted by moonbird at 1:39 PM on December 12, 2002


My name really is Seneca. I, however, have always liked it and have yet to actually meet anyone with the same name though I have heard that they do exist.
posted by St Seneca at 2:37 PM on December 12, 2002


I thought that sounded familiar...
posted by adampsyche at 2:51 PM on December 12, 2002


Hey, one of my best friends is named "Storm" and let me tell you, she fits the name. A tornado on two very long legs. But no Drizzle or Sleet in the family.

I did know a Drizzle once; no relation and I think she adopted the name, which doesn't count.
posted by readymade at 5:42 PM on December 12, 2002


My family has a bit of a history with odd (or at least oddly-spelled) names. My mom's name is Selinda, but everyone's always called her Sindy. I'm Emmalee - the spelling is unusual partly because my cousin's middle name is Emily.

I've come across some interesting kids' names over the past couple of years, with my favorite (in a sense) being Valkyrie. I guess the perk there is that she has her own theme song. Honorable mentions go to a girl named Shardenay, Random (his middle name is Alibi), and a sweet little girl named Larsen.
posted by emmling at 7:40 PM on December 12, 2002


but I have to nitpick: Cnut (Canute) is Danish, not Saxon

Damn you languagehat. I knew someone would pick me up on that.
posted by Summer at 2:02 AM on December 13, 2002


Silly cnut...
posted by salmacis at 2:08 AM on December 13, 2002


How about the Lane brothers, Winner and Loser?
posted by me3dia at 9:25 AM on December 13, 2002


There was a great line at the beginning of E. Annie Proulx's Shipping News that went something like..."In the prairies, all girls are named Wavey"

Anyone remember the proper quote? I really liked it, and it was interesting insight into both regional differences, and the hopes we put into our children's names.
posted by Richat at 5:45 PM on December 13, 2002


Rush said it. I can't help it. This is just about as distressing as it gets. Apparently tho, she didn't mind.
posted by Quixoticlife at 4:52 PM on December 16, 2002


Hmmm.....
posted by Quixoticlife at 4:59 PM on December 16, 2002


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