STFU Parents: Yoonique Baby Names To Avoid In 2013

If there’s one thing we can all can count on in 2013, it’s the continued rise of absurd baby names. We’ve already taken three looks at some pretty “yoonique” names in this space, and yet the hits just keep on coming to my inbox. Several times a week I get emails with subjects like, “Horrible baby name,” “Don’t name your child this,” “The Strangest of Names,” and, “The latest in a long line of parenting fails.” (Those are all emails I’ve received over the last few days.)

Let’s face it: Today’s parents are officially obsessed with giving their children “special” or memorable names. Of course, the names may be perceived as memorably awful, or memorably unpronounceable, but no one can dispute the fact that they stand out, which seems to be the parents’ ultimate goal. It’s kind of like those Head and Shoulders commercials that warn, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” Do you want your child to have an impact when he meets classmates, teachers, and employers? Well, then, name him something no one’s ever heard of or seen before. Don’t force him to rely on his personality or his natural talents; give him a name that really gets people talking! Whether they like it or not is irrelevant, because everybody knows that Rome wasn’t built in a day. His name may be yoonique now, but just wait until he’s President Jerzey or President Wrydon. Then everyone will know who the real trendsetter is!

With this sad state of affairs in mind, it’s time to highlight several more names that make me feel like day-drinking. Be they due to a confused origin (or lack thereof), scary spelling, or sheer brazenness, the following names should be avoided at all costs in 2013:

1. The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far From The Coventree

baby names 2013

I’m not sure if Coventree is a play off the English city OR if it’s supposed to mean “a gathering of witches around a tree,” but the way Chanci (“Chance-y”? “Chauncey”?) says it’s her “final name” reminds me of those sad clips of people missing obvious answers on “Who Wants To Be a Millionaire?” After all of the options that baby name books have to offer, Coventree has emerged as the clear winner. I think Chanci should’ve phoned a friend first.

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  • Ashley

    I went to my best friend’s house the other day and there was some kind of preschool diploma in a frame for his five year old sister. He calls her Katie and I didn’t think anything of it until I read that her full name was Kateland Kaitlyn. That is a first and middle name…. There are pronounced the same…

  • Brandy

    Xavier is actually a perfectly normal name–a Roman Catholic saint and a respectable Jesuit university.

    • Hannah

      Blair already commented that she wasn’t hating on Xavier, just the other names in that post.

  • mdmommy

    Who/What determines what a “regular” name is? I’m sure there are lots of names that are pretty regular in different cultures that aren’t regular here. In addition, there are lots of names that we accept as “regular” now that at one point were actually pretty bizarre. The name Lindsey for instance was a last name for a long time, a boys name for a long time, and only gained any popularity as a girl’s name until the 70s. Realistically a lot of today’s “normal” names would have been ridiculous 50 years ago. Not saying that I like many of the names mentioned, but who are we to judge?

    • Rawrseal

      Naming your kid an unusual/’non-regular’ name like Erzsebet for your Hungarian grandmother is one thing. Torturing the poor letter Y (one of the letters most abused by yoou’n'quiee parents) by throwing it randomly into a name like Lybdzy because you don’t understand how your own alphabet works is another thing entirely.

  • Alice Longworth

    I’m thinking that “baby girl” is going to have an opinion about what name is final. Does make me wonder if she has a couple of ugly sisters who enjoy cooking outside.

  • Alice Longworth

    Shouldn’t Rebecca change the spelling to something like Reighbexxah so she isn’t the only one in the family with a non-unique name?

    • Ses

      I know a guy who named his daughter Reabequeah. Pronounced Rebecca. His other kids have normal names, with normal spellings.

  • Anon13

    As someone with a common name spelled in a really stupid way (because my parents wanted it to be yoonique), can I please just say STOP THE INSANITY PEOPLE? Your child is not an accessory or an extension of your personality. Your child is a tiny person, who will grow up to be an adult, who will never be able to order a latte, have his/her utilities turned on, or order anything over the phone without spelling his/her name at least 10 times. Your child will grow up into an adult who will someday have to send out resumes to employers. Your child will eventually go to school/maybe college and will constantly have to correct his/her teacher, professor and classmates. Yes, that is my name. Yes, that is how it is spelled. OR they will someday have to pay hundreds of dollars to have their name legally changed to something that is not vomit inducing. If you name your child A’Million or Ayydyn or Storielee or Talyn or Meeka, you are not doing them any favors. You are not making them a Speshul Snowflake. You are causing them a lifetime of annoyance and inconvenience, all because you want to show the world what a beautiful and yoonique Speshul Snowflake you are. (And yes, those are all real names. All of them. The last two are boys. I suspect that they will grow up to be male strippers. ) So just, really, fucking stop it already.

    • waffre

      I bet “Talyn” is a Farscape homage.. BUT THAT DOESN’T MAKE IT RIGHT.

  • Kathryn Mackenzie

    I know a woman who named her daughter Kelsei and her son Rhylee, and constantly gets mad at people for spelling both their names wrong, thinking Rhylee is a girl, if they just see it written down, and thinking poor Kelsei might be dyslexic when they see how she’s written her own name down.

  • Isobel_A

    Ha! I read Gacari to rhyme with daiquiri…

  • Claire

    I actually like the name Grayson, and am considering it if I have another boy. But my maiden name was Gray, so I figure it’s actually appropriate.

    I’d be interested to know what you all think of my son’s name – it’s Cabhán (which is actually the name of a town in Ireland) and pronounced ca-VON. Our surname is Lee – not Asian, but of Irish heritage – which is partially while we chose the name but also because we just liked the way it sounded. And I can imagine him introducing himself in a boardroom when he’s 40 and not sounding silly. We decided to keep the original spelling of the name, but I guess he can change it if he wants to later. Plus his middle names are John Gregory in case he really hates it.

    • LInn

      It’s a nice name but I’m sure you realize he’s going to be called Cab-Han all the time. As long as you’re not offended by citizens of a non-Gaelic-speaking country’s inability to pronounce Gaelic.

    • BarlowGirl

      Nobody will never be able to pronounce it unless they’re Irish/Gaelic-speaking and the accent will make fill out forms a witch so he’ll get it mispelled a lot.

    • Leigha7

      I don’t know, more and more people are learning how to pronounce Siobhan. If they can handle that one, they should be able to get Cabhan.

      However, as Katherine pointed out, it is actually spelled Cavan in Ireland (and pronounced CAV-in, as far as I can tell).

    • Katherine Stephens

      You are aware that even the Irish spell it “Cavan” right?

  • Katie

    Grayson, Jeron, Makyna, Lybdzy… I got halfway through her story and was convinced she was having a stroke.

  • Victoria Panda Chatham

    Elim Romulus sounds like the name of the test tube baby of Sheldon Cooper and Amy Farrah Fowler. Gender irrelevant. Ultimate….. bazinga? o.O

  • Abrajade

    I have a pretty different name:
    Pronounced aubra…. And that’s usually how people spell it….
    Thankfully people tend to like it rather than think my mom who was a crackwhore while pregnant :)

    • viridis

      Were you named for the Steinbeck character? I think it’s a lovely name, though always thought (having read it) it would be Abra with a hard “a”

    • Leigha7

      I like Aubra well enough (kind of like a cross between Aubrey and Audra?), but I’d expect Abra to get a lot of “abra cadabra” comments. I’m surprised you don’t mention that happening.

      My name is Aurora, and I swear I can’t go a month without hearing “aurora borealis?” Yes, clever, ha ha. It’s my only complaint about my otherwise awesome name.

  • morri

    I like that germany has naming laws. still some names go through but the worst are kept at bay that way.

    • morri

      Names have to be approved by the local registration office, called Standesamt,
      which generally consults a list of first names and foreign embassies
      for foreign names. The name has to indicate gender, it cannot be a last
      name or a product, and it cannot negatively affect the child. If the
      name submitted is denied, it can be appealed; otherwise a new name has
      to be submitted. A fee is charged for each submission.[2]

    • Bubble

      Yes, we have laws like these in my country, too. I like it. It protects the child’s interests, which for me is the most important thing. A child should not have to act as an extension of their parents’ weird personalities, children are little people who have rights and a personality of their own, but parents all too often abuse their duty to look after them as a means of showing off their own (usually not-really) ‘yooniqueness’. I think it’s perfectly within the state’s right to say “Stop” when this goes too far. No one needs to name their children after a product, and no one needs to make up their own spelling. The only thing I disagree with is the fact that the name HAS TO indicate gender – perfectly fine unisex names do exist, after all – but I’m pretty sure they’ll change that sooner or later. It’s still better than letting parents name-abuse their own children.

    • morri

      you can gveyour child a unisex name (like Kim) but it needs a middle name that indicates gender.( for example I have known a Kim Pascal, (male) and a Kim Anna.

    • Claudia

      My college roommate was named Devon. She was female, but for most of of her life she’s had to deal with people assuming she’s male. Her middle name is Christie.

      Because it was her father’s middle name.

    • Leigha7

      I’ve met three Devin/Devyns, and they have all been female. One was a 30-45 year old woman (I was a teenager, so I have no real frame of reference for exactly how old she was) about 7 years ago.

  • Simone

    I love how the only sane person in all the messages, the only one stand-up and regular enough to call people out on utter crap, is a woman called Peggy. PEGGY. Eat that, idiots.

  • Ally

    My top 3 WTF names:
    1. While working as a check out chick, I heard a woman calling out to her son “Arlington”, as in the cemetary.
    2. Cougar, named after a brand of bourban.
    3. Makybe (a boy) named after a Melbourne cup winning racehorse (a mare).
    I’ll admit, I am quite harsh on name choices. Not just stupid made up names or crazy spelling of normal names, but when people give their kids nicknames as names. Give the kid a normal name and then use the shortened version as a nickname. Otherwise, they’ve got no options when they’re an adult.
    However, I don’t think I’d ever bag out a name to a parent’s face, I’m more likely to just not mention it. A bit how when you see an ugly baby and comment on its hair or something to avoid lying through your teeth when saying “Oh, isn’t he/she adorable”.

    • Edify

      I worked in a place where I dealt with teenage girls regularly once. I came across sisters called Tia & Maria

    • ATLWmn

      My favorite is from a P.A. friend of mine–she had a pregnant woman come into the ER. They asked if she had any names picked out and she mentioned that she saw a beautiful name on a poster in the hospital: Chlamydia. My friend pointed out that it was actually an STD, only for the woman to reply, “well no one knows that”. Poor kid.

  • ferngilly

    A dear friend of mine is a nurse at a hospital here in Boston, and has an arsenal of absurd, yet true, anecdotes. The most well received cocktail party story concerns a patient named “La-a”. The doctor came into the room and said, “Hello…Laa Ah? Am I saying this correctly?”. He was corrected with a sassy “LA DASH AH”.

  • Zoe

    These things probably go in waves. I think some of the more old fashioned names are coming back. My cousin’s work partner named her twins Mabel and Margaret, which is lovely.

    There may be a backlash when this unfortunate generation starts breeding. I read a Neil Gaiman book once where a friend of the main character was named Tinkerbell. She had a baby and called her Susan. The main character mused how natural it was that “Tinkerbells name their daughters ‘Susan’.”

  • Marrnne

    I’m betting that “Lybdzy” is a typo of “Lyndzy.” Not that it makes it any less revolting.

    I don’t judge people on their horrible, trendy, made-up names, I mostly just their parents. They’re invariably stupid teenagers who made idiotic decisions and felt like their offspring should carry that burden too.

  • noa

    I lived in Georgia for a couple of years and the names I heard around there were astounding. Examples:
    My mother knew a woman who had her son but was unsure what to name him. The hospital happened to serve her dinner in the midst of her name deciding and with dinner came orange jello. So what was the poor lad named? Ornello.
    My father worked with underage sex offenders and had two that were named Shithead (pronounced shi-tea-yed) and another named Diarrhea (pronounced duh-rear-ee-u [u as in shut]).
    I went to school with a boy named Sexona. Middle name Table. His sister’s name was Pleasure. That is inappropriate beyond belief and yet I am not making it up. Ironically another student had the last name of Hofocker. That always elicited a snicker out of everyone in gym class because the teacher insisted on calling everyone by their last name.
    I also knew a boy named Truly which always made me want to break out in the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang theme song because I always thought of Truly Scrumptious.
    My sister goes to school with a boy named Baby. And I know someone named Jeep.
    Lastly I know someone who named their child Emry. It was going to be Kindle (sp?) but people kept asking if her child was going to love reading.

    And lastly my parents saddled me with Shenoa. Pronounced shi (as in ship), know, u (as in cup). Once people hear it pronounced properly they coo over how pretty it is but I am constantly having to spell it out for people. The nicknames I get are even worse: Shayshay, Shonono (to go along with Shayesyes), Shenandoah (Valley), Shaniqua, Sheshe… the list goes on for miles. I was 18 when someone finally pronounced my name correctly the first time and I was so shocked that I literally stopped dead in my tracks and looked around in shock because I genuinely thought I was hallucinating.

  • guest

    What is the hoped-for effect of replacing every other vowel with a ‘y’ in a child’s name now? I guess, I’m trying to ask, why is the ‘y’ such a big deal right now? Do people think it seems expensive or something?

  • Horrid Baby Names

    Absolutely horrible. And i see bad baby names every day on my Twitter feed. Reality? Are people seriously this messed up in the head to do that to a kid?

  • TheSeize

    What happened to the days where middle names were where you were a little crazy and dumb? Really, if you just can’t help yourself, that option is way less damaging.

  • TheHappyPappy

    I was reading a story online recently from a guy who went to school with a kid named Patches. Shockingly enough, by the age of ten he began insisting on being called “Peter”. When asked for a reason for the change, he reportedly responded with “Because Patches is a really, really stupid name.”

    And I personally know a kid whose idiot druggy hippy parents christened him Odin. He was in the second grade when he changed it to Adrian. And yes, he and the rest of his moronically named siblings absolutely resented their parents for it. So Tuesday is absolutely right… Just give them something normal! Chances are they’ll change it themselves once the wedgies start to set in.

    • Oz

      I have a friend that named their son Odin! But his big brother’s name is King…. Yeah, King and Odin…. :/

  • Miranda

    Posts like this always remind me of the news article I read about the couple who named their baby girl “Hashtag.” Why would you do that to a kid?! But maybe I’m just not yoonique enough – I did name my sons Alexander and Jesse, after all…

  • Harry

    No….no, Romulus is ALSO a Star Trek reference.

  • sfphilli

    I have a serious question. I want to name my daughter Aoife, to recognize my gaelic ancestors (only a few generations out of ireland), expecially since she’ll have my wife’s very italian surname. where is that name on the yoonique spectrum? surely not as bad as Reality?

    • whiteroses

      I’m not trying to be offensive- but how on earth would you pronounce that? I wouldn’t even begin to know where to start. And it’s going to be incredibly difficult to spell. I have a friend named Aisling (ASH-leen). Her parents came straight from County Mayo and had no idea that people would end up pronouncing their daughter’s name “Ass- sling.” After YEARS of being teased, she now goes by her married name- Jones. She has a beautiful Irish name that she loves, but she can’t use.

    • Victoria Wickham Spain

      I believe Aoife is pronounced “ee-fah”

    • Leigha7

      It’s EE-fa.

    • Leigha7

      I have no idea if you’ll even see this, since your comment is 5 months old, but my personal thoughts: An unusual but real, normally spelled (for its language of origin) name is pretty easy to explain. Even if people have no idea how to pronounce it when they see it (which will probably be the case most of the time), or how to spell it after hearing it (which will almost certainly be the case 99% of the time), they shouldn’t need to be told more than once or twice. Having to tell people how to spell your name isn’t that big of an inconvenience, as long as there’s some logic to how it’s spelled (I say this as an Aurora–for some reason that u is really difficult?).

      As long as there’s no reason why a foreign name would be awkward in English (like the example of Aisling, which is unfortunate), the only real issue is whether you’re okay with you and them having to spell it a lot. Don’t worry too much about pronunciation. If they say it wrong after hearing it a couple times, it’s their problem, not yours (unless–and this is a big one, though not relevant to Aoife–there are sounds in the name that don’t exist in the language you’re going to be using). My best friend in elementary school had a hard time with the r’s in my name and always said it A-wor-uh, especially when she was upset. I barely noticed after awhile.

      There is one other concern that is very relevant to you. Irish names are pretty popular in the US right now (I’m assuming you live either here or in Canada, since I’d guess you wouldn’t be as concerned if you were from the UK…not sure about Australia/NZ, and can’t help you if you’re from a non-English-speaking country). If you use an extremely Irish first name with an obviously non-Irish last name, people might assume you’re using it to be trendy, not because it’s your heritage. From the way you phrased things, I’m guessing you probably have an Irish last name, though? If so, it’d probably be relatively obvious to anyone who knows your last name. Otherwise, it might raise some eyebrows.

      But if you love the name Aoife (even if you weren’t Irish), I say go for it. Just be prepared to explain it often.

  • M917anchu

    We went with Jane and Amelia for our twins. In the hospital the nurse had me spell Jane. I know, so difficult. Way traditional and bet we’ll have the only Jane in preschool (a little annoyed that Amelia has made such a comeback, but it is a family name. Also, we call her Lia, and I’ve found that a lot of people with Amelia’s go with Mia because it’s more ‘yoonique.’) Also, quit putting an apostrophe in there! There’s no reason for it. Sometimes when my husband and I are feeling adventuresome we’ll refer to the girls and La’Jane (pronouced La’JanEA) and Ja’Lia. Only in the privacy of our own home, of course.

    • Leigha7

      I’m not sure how Mia is a unique nickname for Amelia. That’s the name and nickname of the main character of Princess Diaries, for goodness sake.

  • Stephanie

    My parents’ realtor was given the name Gina by her parents, only it’s pronounced “Jenna.” She laughed it off by saying that her parents were hippies. I don’t understand why she doesn’t just stop correcting them and go by how it’s spelled.

  • Lizzy

    Conventree stupid

    Gacari wtf?

    In the unneccesary status update about Grayson peeing in the cup I thought Jeron and Lybzy were the t wo worst names. The dad had a worse younique name than his own kids.

    Did that bitch name her kid REALITY?

    Peggy was dead on. That’s a stupid name.

    All these kids will have to get jobs one day and support themselves and be taken seriously in a professional world. And your resume is the first impression a boss gets. Sorry people do judge by names

    This one girl in college was named Rana

    The instructor pronounced it “Ray-Na”

    She said “No its pronounced RENEE”

    and had an attitude. I’m like “Bitch its not the instructor’s fault your mama can’t spell.”

    My dad’s niece’s name is Lynzy and she’s a total bitch. Younique name for a very ditzy, stupid and plainly ignorant girl. On top of all that ignorance shes’ a bitch.

  • Caralee42

    Parents should imagine what they/a sane person would think if they met a 20 year old with the name they are about to give their child

  • Oz

    My daughters are named Charlotte Irene (Irene is my middle name and my grandmother’s before me) we call her Charley; and Aidynn (Aidan/Aiden) Leanne Michelle. Charlotte and Aidynn were both chosen because of their meanings, not just the way they sounded. Unfortunately, Aiden/Aidan has yet to be used popularly as a girl’s name, so I went with a more ‘feminine’ spelling. I’m completely happy with their names, and they really are starting to live up to the meanings. My sister and SIL hate the name Aidan for a girl or a boy, but I don’t really care. Addy will be just fine. I prefer them to have names that don’t sound alike (my brother’s name is Christopher and mine is Christina).

  • Rachel Sea

    Oh please let “Lybdzy” be a typo.

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  • Aaron Schulz

    Romulus founded rome and is the name of the romulan homeworld in star trek, based on the Cardassian first name i wouldnt be surprised if the middle name is also more a nod to star trek.

  • Jen Clark

    I remember telling my mother about how the baby names just kept pouring in from my friends, and some of the names they were suggesting were Gretchen, betty, and some other ridiculous names, some of the names were so ridiculous i thought they were names for medical conditions or STDs. My mom looked at me and said, I swear if you try to name your child any of those, I will snatch that birth certificate and run off so you can’t name her that. lmao

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  • Kenzie Donovan

    In high school gym class, the girl sitting in front of me didn’t come in for the first three weeks. But my gym teacher read her name out loud at roll call every day. “Sandy butts” she would call out to everyone’s laughter… “Sandy?” During the third week when a blonde girl showed up, I introduced myself. But then she told me her name…. Sandy. Seriously. Not even Sandra with an unfortunate nickname. Her parents named her Sandy with the last name as horrendous as Butts. I shit you not. My mouth fell open in shock. She existed. Suddenly the realization that someone hadn’t tampered with the roll all sheet was realized. When roll call was read that day, to her credit, no one laughed. But no one spoke to her either. We were all too stunned she really existed.

  • BubbleyToes


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  • Jenna

    Omfg. I personally know these people. I know exadtly who they are and am friends with Natasha on facebook.

  • phil

    I happen to know the person who named their daughter that and you think stealing a family members status is acceptable? What does their childs name effect in your life? Nothing. Get over it. Btw. My daughter is named Rebekka. Yes she’ll always be explaining it’s with k’s and not c’s but I think it looks better and fits her shortened name ‘bekka’ as I am not keen on the name ‘becky’

    • wmdkitty

      Truth hurts, man. These are stupid-ass names. Get the fuck over it.

    • phil

      I think it’s you who needs to get over it. What concern of yours is it?

    • wmdkitty

      Hey, if you name your kid something stupid, it’s your fault. Deal.

      We reserve the right to mock, ridicule, and otherwise make fun of your kid’s dumbass name.

    • phil

      Lol, a parenting blog that encourages the bullying of children. What a pathetic bunch of weak minded losers you are. Well done.

  • lostinlodos

    Lybdzy = lib’s zee.
    not common but not rare either.

    oh. and no it’s not my real name but Lost In Low DOS.

  • Kristin

    I went through student teaching and discovered the world of poor name choices for children. Here’s a list: Surprize, Princess, Infinity, Diamond, Yourhighness, Moses (kid used a nickname if that says anything) and Sierra. There’s more but these are the ones that stood out to me. I especially feel bad for the kid named Surprize.

  • Mattie

    I’m almost certain that Lybdzy is a typo for Lyndzy. B is right next to N on a keyboard. Not that Lyndzy’s any better.

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