Category: bad baby names
True confession time: What name do you, did you, have you only pretended to like?
Maybe it was the name chosen by a family member or friend.
Or the name selected by a neighbor or someone you met online.
Or you might pretend to like a name that everybody else seems to like….except you really don’t.
Here’s my true name confession: We almost named our youngest son Pike.
So sue me.
I still like it. Sometimes, about as often as I miss that bright orange sweater I gave away in 1994, I wish we’d actually named him that. We like fish! In fact, little coulda-been-Pike grew into a boy who loves to fish!
But we chickened out, and Owen he became.
I could confess to other name indiscretions I contemplated but now it’s your turn to tell all.
Did you spell your name with an i at the end with a little heart drawn over it when you were 13?
Attempt to change your name to Sigourney when you were in college?
Did you contemplate a baby name crime: name-napping, perhaps, or….well, I can’t think of any other baby name crime, but maybe you can confess to one anyway.
A berry named Iamamiam gets credit for this question: What are your favorite unusable names?
Reasons people wouldn’t use the names they love? Association with a tragic story or character is one problem. Difficulty of spelling or pronunciation is another. And then there are those high-drama names that feel like they wouldn’t fit into the modern world.
What are your favorite names that nevertheless can never be used?
Bonus points for telling us why not.
While such monikers as Handy, Spurgeon, Icy, and Toy, culled from the bottom of the Top 1000, are indeed laugh-inducing, it may be even more remarkable to consider the baby names that were equally unpopular back then that went on to win widespread favor.
Whose name is worse than mine? Almost no one’s, by my lights. I’ve spent decades looking, and 99 percent of the names I hear are better than my own. Once in a great while, I do come across a name that I actually think is worse, and I view such names with both pity and awe–but more on this later.
What’s so bad about my name? I come by it honorably enough; I was born in Chadera, Israel, where the name Yona was perhaps not so common as the Susans or Debbies that populated my grade school classrooms, but neither was it freakish. Then my parents moved back to the United States and it did not occur to them to Anglicize my name, which was always confused or mangled: Yola, Yoda, Ona and Zona were a few of its many ungainly permutations. And coupled with my unusual last name, Zeldis, made for an even more confused reaction.
When I entered a new school in fourth grade, my teacher looked at the class list and said, “What is Yona Zeldis?” I had to raise my hand and say, “It’s me.” She thought it was a misprint and that it should perhaps have been Zelda Yonis; no such luck though.