Study Ranks Most Controversial Names
They’re being called “Marmite Names,” with marmite referring to the British spread that people either love or loathe.
Chloe leads the list on the girls’ side, with parents arguing over whether it is “sophisticated” or “downmarket.” Jaxon and spelling variation Jaxxon were most controversial for boys. Parents in favor claim the name is “sharp and contemporary,” while critics assert it’s “not spelled properly.”
The UK’s Most Divisive Names
These are the Top 10 Marmite Names, according to the study:
Chloe, Stella, Scarlett, Jaxon, and Henry all rank among the US Top 100 Names, while Chloe, Lola, Margot, Scarlett, Jaxon, Felix, Harrison, Oscar, Alfie, and Henry are among the Top 100 Names in England.
Some see names like Lola and Scarlett as being lush and gorgeous, while others deem them too sexy for everyday use. Nickname names such as Emmie and Alfie might be seen as fun or slight, while Leonard and Agnes might be viewed as cool hipster choices or ugly and old-fashioned.
Nameberry’s Most Controversial Names
We polled our readers and came up with our own list of divisive baby names.
The top choices include “uber-cute names” such as Minnie, Pixie, Honey, and Dolly, which @leafsgirl44 calls “highly polarizing”. Supporters claim these names combine vintage charm with modern informality, which naysayers feel these names don’t give a modern girl enough to live up to.
On the boys’ side, @namefan” identifies Cohen as a very divisive name, noting, “Some see it as just another surname-name, while some don’t like it because of what it means in Jewish culture.”
Some vintage or traditional names inspire extreme reactions.
“Is anyone lukewarm on Ruth? I feel like it’s either your dream or you can’t stand it,” says @Kaylah, while @bonhomieconsomie claims, “I have found Maude to be the most polarizing. No one seems neutral on this name!”
Here, the full roster of controversial names nominated by Nameberry visitors:
What do you think are the most divisive names? Tell us the names you hear the most split opinions on!
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on December 2nd, 2019 at 9:33 pm
I actually love a lot of these! I love Ruth, Stella, Margot, Winter, Olive, Henry, Minnie, Alfie (though I prefer Archie), Rupert, Bellamy, Delilah, Maude, Violet, Harriet (a recent interest of mine, I used to hate it! I love Hattie), Rosemary, Casper, Milo, Ophelia, and Rowan. Most of these are absolute jems! But I agree, when it comes to old fashioned names like Ruth, Maude, and Olive, people either love them or hate them. I can’t say I’m a real big fan of Pixie, Thatcher, Cohen, Rex, Neveah, Maverick, Wisteria, Salem, Edna, or Honey, which are more of what I’d expect for controversial baby names. I think names that are spelled weird, like Khloe or Jaxon or Emersyn, or word names like Dream or Sir or Fuschia are stranger than Henry or Olive, which are both pretty well established these days. I for one wish Bellamy was more widely used, for both genders, though I prefer for boys.
Erin Beth Said
on December 3rd, 2019 at 1:20 am
I might have thought Poppy would make the list, simply because it seems to have a similar sound and vibe to others that were nominated.
on December 3rd, 2019 at 9:42 pm
It was surprisingly hard for me to play the game of making first/middle combos with these, giving myself the rule of “one name I really like, one I don’t.” I think it’s because they’re almost all two syllable names, so the flow isn’t quite correct.
…And I liked a shocking number of the boy names, haha! (The names I don’t like are names I wouldn’t use as firsts, I really don’t care what people give as middles.)
Agnes Scarlett (It breaks the rule of names ending and beginning on the same sound, but something about this one hit me as pretty)
Scarlett Ophelia (so dramatic!)
on December 4th, 2019 at 3:56 pm
Funny a lot of these names are on my favourites list! 2 definite choices include Eden and Juniper.
In the UK Thatcher was a tyrant politician. Was hated in the North but loved in the South, this is definitely a marmite name.
on December 6th, 2019 at 6:45 pm
Personally, I think most of the names on the list are perfectly fine but some of my pet hates are the too, including … Neveah, Ruth, and Casper.
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