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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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883685-Longueuil_mullet_haircut-Longueuil

JILL BARNETT turns her sharp eye and keen name sensibility on names that you love but just, because of bad associations, can never use.

As a style-conscious four-year-old who knew that lime green bellbottoms and patchwork Holly Hobby skirts were cutting edge chic, I had recently grown tired of my boring shoulder-length locks. Unable to think of any glamorous looks aside from a pageboy, life took a seemingly fortuitous turn one day when my mom took me to Friendly’s for a five-star grilled cheese sandwich and fries. Our server’s name was Claire, and in addition to having a name I absolutely loved, she sported my dream hairstyle at the time: a ponytail in the back with feathered chunks of hair resembling earmuffs on the sides, likely held in place with a jug or so of glistening Aqua Net.

After returning home from lunch, I did what any logical preschooler in need of a classy coiffure would have done: I found a pair of scissors, crawled up onto my bathroom counter so I could be closer to the mirror, and tried my best to recreate the glory of Claire’s ravishing 70’s hairdo. Becoming a hairstylist clearly wasn’t in my future, however, because I somehow managed to give myself a raging reverse mullet, complete with a multitude of stray vertical tufts.

In a panic, my mom quickly took me to the hairdresser, who was thankfully able to even out the ends, but for a good three months, my hair resembled a cross between Austin Powers and Friar Tuck. To this day, while I love the name Claire, I sadly know I can’t bestow it upon a future daughter because it’s too connected to my childhood hair trauma, and because I’ve long since referred to my unfortunate bowl cut as “The Claire.”

And while Claire was the first gorgeous name I realized I could no longer use due to a negative association, it unfortunately wasn’t the last. Please join me in paying tribute to some of my favorite names that have committed the dreaded crime of guilt by association:

ALICE: As I was paying my bill at a diner, a customer approached the woman named Alice who was working behind the cash register, politely saying, “Exuse me, ma’am. My turkey sandwich doesn’t taste right. I think it’s spoiled.” Not missing a beat, the woman, who had used self-tanner to the point of resembling an Oompa Loompa, grabbed the man’s sandwich from his plate, took a huge bite out of it, and said with a snarl and a mouth filled with food, “It tastes fine to me!” Clearly hoping to be named Employee of the Month, the woman returned the sandwich to the customer as he stood in disbelief, and then promptly shooed him on his way.

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Twin Names: The Best and The Worst

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We wrote this week in our new column in the online edition of UsMagazine about Max and Emme, the names of JLo and Marc Anthony‘s twins.

Max and Emme, who turned two on Monday, may not have the most original names on the block, but they’re compatible and make a fine twin set.

Funny that the most popular twin names in the U.S. are still what we’d call too matchy-matchy, with the same first initial and separated by only a letter or two: Taylor and Tyler, for example, or Ethan and Evan.

On the other hand, you wouldn’t want to give your twins names that seemed as if they came from different planets.  A pair like Kaylee and Eleanor sound like a cheerleader and a valedictorian, while Theodore and Logan might have been born centuries rather than mere minutes apart.

Since choosing twin names is among the most baffling tasks for parents, and present one of the most fun challenges on our message boards, we thought we’d make this the topic of our next group-produced blog.

What’s the best set of twin names you’ve ever heard — or that you can dream of — and what’s so great about it?

And what’s the worst?  Over to you….

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funnyhatcrop

Guest blogger JILL BARNETT discovers that yooneek names are more prevalent than she’d realized. And every bit as confusing.

On a beautiful Saturday in July, I found myself where most people would love to be on a beautiful Saturday in July: sitting in a painfully boring continuing education seminar, hopelessly trying to remain awake. The air conditioner must have been set at a brisk 52 degrees, and after catching a glimpse of my now cerulean blue toes, I wondered if my lips had suffered a similar fate. My chattering teeth thankfully prevented me from entirely nodding off, but I was in need of a more cerebral distraction. Desperate for entertainment, I decided to count the goosebumps on my lower left arm, first by twos and then by threes.

As the counting fun began, I happened to glance at a piece of paper in front of the 20-something-year-old woman sitting to my left, and I realized that she had written her name in the upper right hand corner. Ever the name nerd, I simply had to take a peek, and after a lingering glance, I discovered that her name was Mykailah. Figuring it was code for Michaela, I naturally wondered about my other neighbor’s name. Pretending to do some right arm goosebump counting, I quickly looked at her paper, and was pleased to meet Tyffani. Mykailah and Tyffani? Tyffani and Mykailah? I was now the official filling inside of a yooneek name sandwich.

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Celebrity Baby Names

The celebrity baby-naming year got off to an exciting start with the birth of Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck’s second daughter, whose name remained a mystery for more than a week.

When it was finally announced, it was so surprising and lovely that it made the long wait worthwhile: SERAPHINA ROSE ELIZABETH, a shoo-in for one of the Best Celebrity Baby Names of the year.

Our other nominees for Best Celebrity Baby Girl Name:

MABEL PAINTERChad Lowe’s little girl’s name is a charming, quirky vintage choice, with an original artistic middle name from the hot occupational genre.

HELENA GRACE – The classic Helena is a name just emerging from the attic, chosen by Gossip Girl’s Kelly Rutherford.  Its originality makes up for the lovely yet somewhat standard-issue Grace in the middle place.

PALOMA LOUISEAna Ortiz chose this exotic-yet-familiar name for her daughter, with the original Louise, tres chic in Paris, in the middle.

PHOEBE MARGARET Phoebe is a mythological and biblical name that’s newly finding favor, chosen for her newborn daughter by Julianne Nicholson.

For boys, our nominees for Best Name are:

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