Category: forbidden baby names
A friend jokingly asked me the other day if I had ever come across the name “Bourbon” in my name studies. At this point, I’m far less surprised at quirky names than I used to be, so I offered to look it up for real. Despite its similar sound to Brandon and Brayden, Bourbon has not surfaced as a name in US records. But it got me thinking – what other alcoholic names are on birth certificates?
Below, I’ve included a list of names and the number of babies born with the name in its most popular year.
It’s as scandalous a choice in French as it would be in English, and the fellow guests are aghast.
The party goes downhill from there. Other guests are criticized for their children’s “pretentious” names: Myrtille and Apollin.
Such scathing comments are usually reserved for gossip, or maybe anonymous online forums. Can you imagine yourself in a social setting, hearing your child’s name ripped to shreds? Let’s hope the movie – and the play it is based on – are pure fiction.
Then again, even if Adolf is your beloved grandfather’s given name, I would think long and hard about giving the name to a son. It’s one of a very few names, like Lucifer, that strike me as off limits for good reason.
This week’s baby name news has me wondering: what makes a name truly off limits? I don’t mean names that just aren’t your style, but names that actually strike you as inappropriate, even unfair, to give to a child.
It’s a tough line to draw. Some names are fine until they’re paired with a specific surname, like famed Texas philanthropist Ima Hogg. Others have associations that are difficult to shake, be they positive or otherwise. Would you name a child Elmo? Adolf seems like a burden, but what if your beloved grandpa was an Adolf?
Creative respellings put many parents off, while others have negative reactions to surnames, invented names, place names … the list is endless. But when does it cross the line from not for me, thanks, into who does that?