Avoiding Names Your Teenager Will Hate

Try Bay for Babe, Franny for Fanny, Joy for Gay

By Nicole Aube

Sometimes parents can’t help but love names that could prove difficult for a child to wear later in life. Of course, it isn’t easy to find a name that absolutely no one will have a problem with. But don’t give up! Even names that aren’t generally recommended have alternatives you might find to be not only suitable, but lovable!

Here is a list (selected from the past blog post 50+ Names Sure To Make Your Teenager Hate You) of some problematic names along with their more well-behaved relatives.

Babe – if you like the sound, try Bay. Short, sweet, and a double nature name being both a body of water and an herb. If Babe has special meaning for you, then you can try pairing Bay with a middle name that also begins with ‘B’, for a subtle nod, e.g., Bay Beatrice. If you like the idea of calling your girl by a term of endearment, both Honey and Darling are slightly easier to wear.

Beyonce – to honor your favorite artist, what about Sasha, the name she picked for her alter-ego “Sasha Fierce”? It’s simple, strong and a bit exotic. Consider also Bey’s pretty middle name: Giselle. If you simply like the sound of Beyonce, you could try the rare but pretty Benicia, or Bianca.

BluebellBluebell can certainly be used as a middle name. As a first, Blue might make an intriguing, jaunty first name. You could even consider Blue Annabel, Blue Mirabelle, Blue Isabelle. If you’re just wanting a rare, sweet flowery name, consider Blossom, or Rue. Other subtle soundalike options might include Lucille, Sybil, and Arabelle.

ChastityVirginia, Angelica, Celestia and Christiana are some other names with meanings that lean towards the ideal. There is also Faith, the root of all virtue. Snow is a delightful, surprising name that represents purity. If it’s the sound of Chastity you like, consider Charity, Astrid or Felicity.

EuniceEunice has a soft sound, old-fashioned charm and it’s nearly completely unheard of these days. For something equally rare try Eulalie or Eulalia. If that’s too strange, Eugenie/Eugenia might hit your mark. There is always the underrated Berenice. Try keeping Enid in mind, too, if you like “geek chic”.

Fanny – Given its status as one of the sauciest vintage baby names, it’s too bad that Fanny isn’t advisable. Luckily, it can rather easily be replaced by Franny. If that doesn’t appeal to you, what about a combination of Ann and Fay? Annie Fay, Faye Anne. Nancy could also be a suitable stand-in.

Gay – in earlier times, this name was full of life and gentle charm. Joy, which is more acceptable now, has the same positive qualities. Fay, May, or Bay can be used instead if you’re looking for that long ‘A’ sound. Is Gay the name of a family member you love? Trendy Gray, or even Gail, can easily be used to honor her.

Jezebel – I knew a woman who went by the double barreled name JessieBelle. Everyone loved her name and so did she. Jessa Belle could work nicely as a first and middle. If it’s the ‘Z’ you like, what about Zoe Belle, Zara Belle, Izabel, or even Yzabel.

Nicole Aube is a piano teacher, musician and writer from Toronto, who loves making lists!

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7 Responses to “Avoiding Names Your Teenager Will Hate”

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SimoneKadele Says:

October 1st, 2015 at 11:38 pm

Good list, but as a teenager, I really don’t see how Enid is any better than Eunice! Eulalie is gorgeous, though.

AldabellaxWulfe Says:

October 2nd, 2015 at 5:32 am

I’m going to be honest by saying that I don’t understand this post.

I agree that it’s important to keep in mind the way a name might make a child feel in future years. However, I don’t think it’s important or relevent to consider what a teenager might like because… it’s a teenager.

I’m 21 now but, as a teen, I can specifically remember when one of my friends wanted to change her name from Autumn to Rayvenstar, when going through the goth stage. The point I’m trying to make is that the wants, desires and general likes of teenagers switch every three seconds. So catering to that, especially when choosing a name that your child is going to have for life, makes no sense and is also absolutely impossible. And don’t forget, being a teenager makes up a very small part of our lives on the whole, so what a 16 year old might hate, a 26 year old might love. Again, it just doesn’t make sense to cut down your list, tossing perfectly decent names aside because you’re worried that a child that hasn’t been born yet might grow to dislike their name between 13-19 years of age.

My personal advice is to exercise general intelligence when naming. Don’t pick something cutesy and childish, don’t pick a boy name (if you’re naming a girl), spell it properly and make sure it doesn’t have any bad connotations such as Jezebel or Lamia. It’s as simple as that.

lesliemarion Says:

October 2nd, 2015 at 8:57 am

“It’s” a teenager? I teach teenagers and while they can be challenging, they are far less challenging than a number of adults I know and they are never an “it”!

Teenagers are great for having their fingers on the pulse. Mine tell me that Sapphire is a call girl name. To me it was just pretty, but I acknowledge that they are more in the current culture than I. So not only should we consider how our teens might feel about their names once they get to adolescence, but we should talk to actual kids and teens about how they feel about certain names, just to get their input.

This might help the Oh, but I must name my daughter Bluebell or my son Wrecker contingent.

PS I do agree with Aldabellax’ final paragraph thoroughly. When I mentioned to my students that some parents are naming their daughters John or Harvey or Charles, their faces were horrified!

gmdx Says:

October 2nd, 2015 at 12:56 pm

How is Berenice better than Eunice?
And for that matter, how are Bay (Bae), Honey, and Darling better than Babe? (Plus, ever never seen anyone mention liking the name Babe.) Pro tip, if you’d be uncomfortable with a 40 year old man calling your daughter Babe, Honey or Darling, don’t use it!

southern.maple Says:

October 4th, 2015 at 9:56 am

I’m a bit confused as to how Bluebell is on the same level as Gay and Fanny. But okay.

anatoliabrooke Says:

October 4th, 2015 at 10:55 am

I don’t understand how Bay is better than Babe. Bay is identical to “bae” which is the new slang for the word babe and extremely popular.

anyagreenwich Says:

October 10th, 2015 at 7:31 pm

I think Berenice is better because it won’t remind anyone of the word “eunuch”. As far as Bluebell goes, I’m pretty sure it’s too close to the gross term “blue balls”.

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