• Fri, May 23 - 11:15 am ET

STFU Parents: The Future Of Baby Names Is Increasingly Yoonique

It’s that time of the year again! The Social Security Administration recently released its comprehensive list of baby names for 2013, and the consensus is that yoonique names have continued — and will continue — their rise to baby name domination. Sure, the Emmas, Avas, Liams, and Jacobs aren’t going anywhere, but more parents seem to be looking around and saying to themselves, “You know what this world needs? More human children named after fantasy/sci-fi/animated characters. Or obscure towns or cities, but spelled with different letters. Or just a sacred word like “Angel” spelled backwards. This world needs yooniquely named babies!

While news and gossip blogs traditionally reported the most popular names of 2013 (Sophia and Jacob), most outlets honed in on other details, too. NPR wrote, “You might also be running into more kids named Jayceon and Daleyza, two names the SSA says had the biggest gains in popularity among the top 1,000.” io9 titled its post, ‘Popular New Baby Names Of 2013: Vanellope, Kaptain, Tuf, And Kyndle.’ Today noted the “kree8tiv spellings of more conventional names: Finlea and Massyn, Elynne and Karsan,” and CNN helpfully pointed out that “the names tend to reflect pop culture’s influence on trends. The fastest riser for girls in 2012 was Arya, the name of a beloved character in the “Game of Thrones” series on HBO.” In other words, yoonique names with kree8tive spellings have actually gone pretty mainstream.

Soon, these STFU, Parents columns about baby name trends won’t seem remotely absurd, because everyone will already have or know a child with a similar (but not TOO similar!) moniker. It’s all fun and games until you have a niece named Nevaeh and a nephew named Anson. Or, perhaps you’ve always wanted to name your own child something like ‘Saylor’ or ‘Kamdyn,’ and you no longer find the mockery of such names to be funny. Once enough people adopt the yoonique name sensibility, the ones left standing out in the cold are those who didn’t initially embrace the trend. Much like the habit some parents have of creating Facebook pages for their babies, “wacky” baby name trends are becoming rather commonplace and therefore far less wacky. I’m anticipating future pushback from readers who, over time, have come to accept and welcome names like ‘Brayden’ and ‘Kaidence’ into their lives. But until that fateful day arrives, I’m sticking to my belief that yoonique names are usually more effective at confusing teachers and government workers than they are at ensuring greatness and instilling confidence in kids. Let’s check out a few (more) examples of these current naming trends — and don’t forget to check out the SSA’s list of names that have increased in popularity from 2012 to 2013. You may as well get comfortable with the names of our future leaders, doctors, and celebrities now. President Lloyal, anyone? Oh, and speaking of presidents, if you’re going to give your kids “themed” names, don’t do it like this:

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My message to parents: JUST SAY NO.

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  • gillyo

    I’m a huge believer in family names, not made up ones, (they make me crazy…so pretentious and “look at me, I’m special!”). We had two sets of names picked out for our child: Julia Rose and Sean Ross, all family names.

    Now that my father Ross is dying from Alzheimer’s we’re so happy that he has a grandson named after him. He was so thrilled when he found out, and my son is proud to bear his name.

    People who think a weird spelling or made up name makes their kid special are delusional. They become the kid that other kids make fun of, and spend way too much time being offended by mispronounciations or misspellings of names that make no phonetic sense. I think that’s too much to put on a kid. Give them a name that won’t drive their teachers and coaches crazy and their lives will be a lot easier. If you must get creative, make it a middle name. They can use it later if they want to.

  • Rowan

    Holy khrap!

  • Rowan

    Posting FAIL! (guest comment below was me)

    • RW

      No name should be brought to you by the letter ‘y’.

      “But swapping another vowel out for a y makes it speh-shul!”

    • Rowan

      Bets on her changing her name to Jane Smith the moment she’s old enough…

    • MissM

      Holy.Shit. There’s so many Ks and Ys and freaking hyphens in there, I don’t know what to do. *curls up in a corner to cry*

  • Maria Marry

    No no I am not agree with that because of http://bit.ly/1tFDwSM

  • angelina ♥

    My 5yo son’s middle name is Bowie. I get a sense of How Dare You if ever (and it isn’t often) I hear of anyone else using it.

  • Kelsey

    Anyone else notice in #4 that she tagged someone named Bowie? I’m going to give her the benefit of the doubt and assume that the child’s father is also named Bowie, because I don’t want to live in a world in which there are Facebook pages for babies that are literally hours old.

  • http://www.twitter.com/horridbabynames Horrid Baby Names

    Oh, this is great blog fodder for my Twitter feed.

    On the other hand, I weep for the future with kids named Zeus and Xsavier.

  • JayNormalName

    I suspect she named him ‘Zeus’ so that she could change her own name to ‘MotherofZeus’.
    She is the absolute worst.

  • http://abrightcontainer.tumblr.com/ manybellsdown

    I knew a girl in high school named Regan. Like, from King Lear. Unfortunately for her, this was the late 80′s so everyone assumed she was actually named Reagan after the President.

  • Lexi

    I went to school with a girl named Tequilla (yes, just like the alchohol).

  • morri

    people if you want to give silly names play pokemon. over 600 mons to give a name .

  • Betty Martin

    Well, very soon Jacob and Emma will be the yoonique names…and then the folks who didn’t jump on the yoonique bandwagon will BE the bandwagon.