Wednesday, July 11, 2012

What We WON'T Be Naming Our Kid – Part I

Lately, my wife and I have been looking at baby name books and websites, as well as collecting a list of names that we've personally heard of and liked over the years.

Anyone who's in the same boat as we are, or has been, or plans to be at some point can attest to this fact: as many good names as there are out there, there are hundreds more bad names! I mean, REALLY BAD names!

A common trend among parents these days seems to be to make up names that no one has ever heard of before, all in the name of being "unique." What these parents often neglect to think about – in my opinion, at least – is that their kid is going to be stuck with this name, and will have to spell it – for everyone, everywhere, over and over and over again! – for the rest of their lives. It may be "cute" and trendy now, but in twenty years that kid's going to hate you for naming them that. Or they're going to have it legally changed.

Anyway, we've come up with a shortlist of names we like for boys and girls – and no, I'm not going to reveal those just yet! We don't have a "favorite" name picked out for either gender yet, but we're whittling the list down to just the ones we love.

However, I thought it would be fun to share with you a few of the truly horrid names that we've run across along the way. Names that we would never give to our own child. Names that no one, anywhere, for any reason, should ever give to any poor child.

But they do. There are census records to prove it. Poor kids!

Before I start, I would like to apologize for any names I may have picked to include in this list that you personally, as a parent, have used to name your own children, or any name that you yourself or someone near and dear to you has been given. If perhaps there is any overlap between these names and people I know, it is strictly coincidence and is not intended in any way to belittle you or your parents for using that particular name.

That being said, I hope all these names are as ridiculous to you as they are to me, and in no way ring familiarly with you or anyone you know.

Without further ado, the 10 names we won't be using for our kid...

1)  Hershelina Sugarleigh:  I don't care how much my wife (or I) may crave chocolate before, during, or after her pregnancy – we will not be naming a child after a popular chocolate candy maker or after its main ingredient (sugar). In all honesty, the name Hershelina did appear in a baby name list we were reading, but we made up the Sugarleigh part to scare my sister-in-law into thinking we'd actually name our child that. (She wasn't fooled, by the way.)

2)  Harshit:  Or its female counterpart, Harshita. This name may indeed mean "full of happiness" in Sanskrit. But I don't speak Sanskrit; I speak English. And this name sounds like anything but happiness, much less being full of it. (That didn't come out quite right, did it?)

3)  Pilot:  Is it me, or does "Pilot Hill" sound like a golf course and not a person? Many names actually don't work with our last name for the same reason. Since "Hill" is also a word and not just a name, almost any name that's also commonly used as a word either sounds like a golf course, a luxury resort, a small town, or a cemetery whenever you join the two words together. That's not gonna work for us.

4)  Oluwadarasimi:  This name may mean something really beautiful in whatever African language from which it originates. But it would be impossible to spell or pronounce for most American-born girls. In fact, she might would have to graduate from high school before she was even qualified to spell her own name. Can't do that to a kid.

5)  Manmeet:  You would hope that one day your daughter would meet a man who would love her and want to spend the rest of his life with her. But why would you name your daughter Manmeet? Just, why? Granted, it's probably an ethnic name which may indeed mean something far different than how it sounds, but still...

6)  Child:  This one shows up in both the boy and girl name categories, and is apparently used exclusively by parents with no imagination whatsoever. Why not just name your kid "Boy" or "Girl"? Maybe they were too busy with their own lives that they didn't stop to notice what gender the "Child" was? Who knows? Either way, that's SO not gonna happen.

7)  Huckleberry:  Believe it or not, people actually named their kid this. Not 150 years ago. The year before last. "Huckleberry Hill" sounds like a cartoon character. From the 1940s. I love Mark Twain, but that name is never going to be in any part of our kid's name.

8)  Duchess:  Same goes for Princess, Queenie, and even Precious. These are names for small dogs which fit into an heiress's designer purse – not names for children. I am not royalty, and neither is my wife. Our kid will be a kid, not a little bald person born with a title. For a boy, Sire, Majesty, King, Captain, and Major – real names, all of them – are also out. Additionally, the name Jesus (or Jesús) is also out. No kid needs that kind of pressure growing up.

9)  Jill:  Or Will, or Bill, or Phil, or Gil, or any other name that rhymes with Hill. There's absolutely nothing wrong with any of these names in and of themselves, but they absolutely won't work with our surname. My dad's name is William, and he's always gone by Bill. That's right: Bill Hill. While he doesn't seem to mind the "matchy-matchy" name, he has taken his share of ribbing for it over the years. It's not his fault – he can't help what his parents named him. But we can help what we name our kid. And it won't rhyme with Hill.

10)  Citlalic:  This looks like an ingredient in my shampoo, not a name for a pretty little baby girl. Not only do I not know how to properly pronounce it, I also couldn't spell it right consistently if I tried. And neither could she. So we won't be using that name, either.

I don't know about you, but I had fun with these. There are TONS more terrible names which I could have included, and about halfway through this post I decided that I would do just that – include more, that is. But not today.


1 comment:

  1. Just today Claire said that there was a boy in her VBS class named Jesus. I assured her it was probably a Hispanic pronunciation. I have heard of Princess often. Can't wait to read tomorrow's list :)