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What Not to Name the Baby

disney

By Pamela Redmond Satran

If you look at the very bottom of the Social Security name records, you’ll find plenty of ill-advised baby names that people actually choose, and really really shouldn’t have.

The baby names here were gathered from names given to five children in 2012.  To protect privacy, the government only records names used for five or more babies each year, so chances are there are even worse choices out there that didn’t make the official statistics.

Here, what not to name your baby, and why:

girls

Ahmiracle and Dmiracle – There were nearly 800 girls named just plain Miracle, and then you’ve got your Jamiracles and your Lamiracles.  But we draw the line.

Assia – You just can’t give an American baby a name that contains the word “ass.”

Beautyful and Pretty – She better be.

Disney – Product placement?

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babyfruit

Today’s guest blogger, novelist Joanne Lessner, author of Pandora’s Bottle, collects names — the more ridiculous and hilarious, the better.

Nothing makes my family giggle more than a funny name. We collect and pass them around like prized truffles. My sister and I have practically memorized John Train’s Most Remarkable Names, and right up until my uncle died two years ago, he and my mom would mail each other the choicest newspaper clippings. My dad is content to just make them up, baiting unsuspecting wait staff by tryingto  order non-existent cocktails named after his creations. “I’d like an Irving Gafoofnick, please. You know, it’s like a Harvey Wallbanger, only different.”

We retain a healthy appreciation of the difference between first and last name humor, understanding that no matter how silly a last name may sound, it’s asking a lot to turn one’s back on one’s heritage and change it. But even though those names engender a pained “There but for the grace of Ellis Island go I” sympathy, the comic element can prove hard to resist. Consider a recent wedding announcement, in which the groom’s last name was Alternative. Our compassion didn’t stop us from quipping, “The bride, whose first choice was unavailable…”

But we are less inclined to be charitable when there is clearly an element of free will. It’s hard not to smack one’s head in wonder at misguided hyphenates (Scubbley-Butts), ethnic mash-ups (Hadassah O’Donohue), inadvertent descriptors (Rosie Rottencrotch), and encoded sentences (Dorothy Ada Mellon – and boy, was she hungry).

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siblings4

We’ve talked a lot here about sibsets—those hopefully harmonious pairings of the names of the brothers and sisters in a family, and the elements to consider in order to achieve that harmony—sound, tone, style, syllables….matchy-matchy or not for twins…

Taking all that into consideration, the question of the week is:

What is the best sibset you’ve ever heard—and/or- -if you’re so inclined– what’s the worst? (Twins and other multiples included.)

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Unique New York Baby Names!

derek-jeter

We got a call yesterday from Don Kaplan, a reporter for the New York Post, who’s doing a story about unique New York (remember that tongue twister?) baby names.

Don spent the past week poring over a quarter million names — yes, many of them pretty crazy — given to New York babies over the past few years. Examples include, with a New York theme, Harlem, Manhattan, and Bronx; with a sports angle, Jeter and LeBron; and with a religious bent, Rabbi, Priest, and Jesuskingoftheworld.

You’ve got your Sully, after the pilot who successfully landed a plane in the Hudson River, and your Matisyahu, after the hip-hop star. There’s a Royalty, a Success, and a Winner; a Tolkien and one poor boy whose name is Mudd.

And now Don is reaching out to find out YOUR unique New York baby name. If you are a New York City parent who’s given your child a distinctive baby name with a pop culture inspiration, Don wants to hear what it is and how you chose it. You can tell your stories here and/or contact Don directly at dkaplan@nypost.com, 212-930-8656.

And sure, if you want to tattle on your neighbors who named their baby Keeno or just share a crazy New York baby-naming story, tell us that too.

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Worst.Name.Ever

renesmee-cullen

Okay, we want to say right up front that nobody should get insulted here. One person’s Myrtle is another person’s…..Helga. Or Taffy. Or Renesmee.

A very entertaining name game on our message board challenges players to pick the worst name ever from a series of pairs.  Irma or Moxie?  Hortense or Murgatroyd?

What do YOU think is the worst name ever, and why?  One of my worst-evers is Bertha, maybe because my poor misguided grandmother changed her name to that from the lovely Bridget because of anti-Irish prejudice.  And to Linda, almost any sound with the -erv sound is like fingernails on a blackboard.

C’mon.  Hit us with your worst shot.

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