Today it was announced that Isabella and Jayden are the most popular baby names in New York City for the third year in a row, which got me thinking once again about the baby name decision-making process. Parents tend to go for names that are unique (or sometimes yooneekly spelled), and they’re often fairly protective of them. Those names are a reflection of who the parents are, or who they want their children to be, or even just a reflection of their “taste” in something.
For instance, many of the parents who have chosen the name “Isabella” for their babies are no doubt Twilight fans who plan to call their daughters “Bella.” It’s a personal and momentous decision that I’m somewhat fascinated with, if only because so many parents give their kids such stupid names. Years ago, it was popular to give a child a traditional family name, but today, baby naming is more of an expression of self. And sometimes, those expressions make me wonder what the parents were thinking. Let’s take a look at some of the latest examples to hit my inbox.
I don’t really have anything against strippers, or the name Savannah, but I do wonder why Judy wrote this confession on Facebook. Does she want people to start associating her daughter with stripping, or is she just tossing out fun facts? “Savannah is named after a stripper. My pet turtle is named after my great-grandmother Maude. Oh, and I had a chili dog for lunch.”
2. Crunchy Names
I could certainly understand buying a patchwork dress from a dreadlocked Indigo at a Phish show, or perhaps consulting a Pyrus on his favorite vegan recipes, but outside of those contexts, these names don’t add up for me. Is Sarah just overcompensating for the fact that she grew up with such a common name? That seems a little unfair.
3. When Names Defy Logic
When a person feels compelled to write a status update about her coworker’s children’s names, you know they’re pretty bad. But in this case, I’d say they’re just terrible. Antione and Antione are destined to retaliate against their parents for this atrocity.
4. Lessons In Pronunciation
Katie may have no outward problem with the name “Neavh,” but I do. This is a name that truly makes no sense, because it derives (I think?) partly from the name “Neve,” and partly from the name “Nevaeh,” which is the word “heaven” backwards. Not that Google has all the answers, but typing “Neavh” into a search bar will produce the results, “Did you mean: beach.” No, Google. No, I did not.
5. Bad Names Garner Little Sympathy
Linkyn does have a point? No, he doesn’t. Dogs shit outside. Humans (tend to) shit inside. Beth’s comment does not win my seal my approval.
But beyond that, I have a hard time drumming up sympathy for Katy when she consciously named her children Bentley and Linkyn. It’s unpleasant enough to read about cleaning diarrhea out the yard, but having to take those names seriously, too? It’s all too much for my delicate sensibilities.
6. Generational Coolness
One of the naming trends I dislike the most is the “cool” generation of “cool” parents who give their kids names like Jagger and Steel. I thought only heavily intoxicated rock stars gave their children names like that. I guess now it’s just a hipster thing. If parents start spelling the “cool” names backwards, then my two least favorite name trends will have merged, and my brain will explode. If anyone out there named Reggaj Leets is reading this, I’m very sorry.