Good Names with Bad, Bad Meanings
Names with bad meanings: what’s your take?
For example, longtime Top 20 favorite Emily (and its stylish variant Emilia) mean “rival”, from the Latin aemulus. Kennedy means “misshapen head”, while Cameron means “crooked nose”. And Calvin may be one of the coolest classic boy names of the moment, but its meaning is decidedly less appealing: “bald”.
Do Bad Name Meanings Matter?
Berry @lucyxo asks:
Do you think it’s important to consider meaning when naming a child? I’ve heard plenty of people say you shouldn’t give your child a name with a bad meaning, but do you think it really matters?
Beyond that awkward moment in fourth grade when Kennedy’s teacher decides, as a “fun” activity, to have the whole class do oral reports on the meaning and origin of their names, does a negative meaning carry any deeper power?
Or, like @beynotce, do you feel that personal meaning trumps literal meaning of a name?
I feel strongly that the meaning the parents intend when they choose a name overrides the linguistic history of the name… For example, my middle name, Rae, is typically seen as a derivation of Rachel, which means “ewe.” However, my grandmother chose it as an alternate spelling of the word “ray,” as in a ray of light. So to me, my middle name means “ray of light.”
Over to you! Tell us what you think below.
40 Good Names With Bad Meanings
There are plenty of popular and stylish names with less-than-appealing meanings, which would suggest that most parents either don’t care or aren’t aware of the negative connotations.
Even James and Mary – two of the most popular baby names of all time in the US – are usually said to mean “supplanter” and “bitter”, respectively. (Although the true meaning of Mary is up for debate.)
Here is a selection of good names with bad, bad meanings.
Acantha: thorn, prickle
Campbell: crooked mouth
Kennedy: misshapen head
Lilith: night monster
Malala: sad, grieved
Persephone: bringer of death
Ares: bane, ruin
Brennan: wet or tearful
Byron: place of the cow sheds
Cameron: crooked nose
Casimir: destroyer of peace
Colby: coal town
Gideon: feller, destroyer
Huxley: place of scorn
Jabez: bringer of pain
Discover many more unfortunate name meanings in our list of names that mean trouble (literally!)