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Names No Girl May Be Cool Enough For

You have to be pretty darn cool to name your kid Hortense, cool in that I-like-it-and-I-don't-care-what-the-world-thinks kind of way. Except you're not the one who's going to have to deal with having the name Hortense when you play soccer. You're not the one who's going to have to introduce yourself as Hortense to boys at parties. In fact, if you think it's so cool, maybe you should change your own name to Hortense rather than laying it on a poor little kid. The point: While we can appreciate the contrarian cool inherent in these clunky names, we fear that few children at this point in time are cool enough actually to live with them.
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  • Bertha

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    Ever since the enormous German cannon was dubbed by Allied soldiers "Big Bertha" in World War I, this name hasn't worked for a sweet little baby girl. But this was not always so. Hard as it might ... Read More 

  • Beulah

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    Poor Beulah was a victim of racial stereotyping as a black maid's name in countless movies and TV, shows, all but obliterating the valid credentials of this biblical name. In the Bible, Beulah is a... Read More 

  • Brunhilda

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    Sounds like what it means--and any little Brunhilda better be armed for battle, out on the playground. Equally problematic: BRUNHILD, BRUNHILDE, BRUNNHILDE. Though the heroine Brunhilda of Quenti... Read More 

  • Doris

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    Doris had long been on our so-far-out-it-will-always-be-out-for-babies list, and seemed to be written there in indelible ink. But there are signs of a sea change, that Doris could profit from the r... Read More 

  • Edna

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    Edna is one of those names that, until what it seemed like a few minutes ago, felt so terminally frumpy that no one could imagine a parent choosing it for an innocent modern baby girl. But with th... Read More 

  • Elberta

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    The great-great-aunt in the purple hat, singing jazz.  Read More 

  • Ernestine

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    Joke name, à la Lily Tomlin's bossy telephone operator.  Read More 

  • Ethel

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    Ethel is a name we once declared as 'So Far Out They'll Probably Always Be Out,' but with the return of other names on that list and with its new starbaby cred via Lily Allen, its soft sound and ad... Read More 

  • Eunice

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    Eunice is a New Testament name that sounds terminally gawky.  Read More 

  • Fulvia

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    This name of the wife of Mark Antony (no, not Marc Anthony) in ancient Rome sounds a tad too anatomical for a modern girl.  Read More 

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