Category: bad boy names
That question summoned up an issue that simmers beneath many discussions on names: What’s the image that name conveys, and do we want to take that on for our child?
To put it more plainly, do some names carry stereotypes, positive or negative, that go beyond our individual expectations and experiences? Are you guilty of stereotyping people based on their names, and what names carry the strongest stereotypes for you?
Sometimes, despite our best intentions, we choose a name that’s just a – well, not a mistake, exactly. In many ways, it might be a perfectly lovely name. Except for that little black cloud hovering over it.
If you’re aware of the cloud – and by cloud, we mean things like an unsavory meaning or disreputable association – then fine. You’ve consciously considered the down side of the name and chosen to embrace it anyway. That’s cool.
The problem comes in if you pick a name and then find out three months or three years down the road that there’s something wrong with it. Something that makes people look at you – or worse, your child – strangely when the name is announced.
That’s when we call it a mistake.
Baby names that might elicit an Oooooops include:
The other day on the nameberry message boards, I heard tell of a little boy named Vandal. And then, the next day, one of the bandmembers of My Chemical Romance named his newborn daughter (yes, daughter) Bandit.
Are these parents masochistic? Gang members? Or do they just love the idea of launching a bad boy (or girl) into the world?
Vandal and Bandit aren’t the only hellions in the nursery these days. There’s Breaker, one of the seven children of Robert and Cortney Novogratz, hipster parents who own Sixx Design in New York. Then there are Racer, Rebel, Rocket, and Rogue, sons of film director Robert Rodriguez. (Survival tip: If you’re invited to dinner at their house, wear a helmet.)
RYKER — How many of the nearly 700 sets of parents who named their baby boys Ryker last year realize that, when spelled Rikers, it’s the name of the notorious island prison in New York? I’d hazard to guess not many, but maybe the association will sink in if I say it’s like naming your baby Alcatraz.
GUNNAR and GUNNER — I fully admit to being one of those wimpy East Coast liberals who’s in favor of gun control, so maybe it’s just me. But this name seems to go beyond the rabble-rousing Rockets and Vandals to some darker and more lethal level of badness.