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
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.
The name Elim could be a nod to the son of Ollum, an Irish king, or perhaps in reference to Elim Garak from "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine," and I'm assuming the name Romulus was taken from Roman mythology. None of those fun facts raises my confidence or enthusiasm for the name. I used to love the musical CATS, but that doesn't mean I'm going to name my future kid Rumpleteazer or Grizabella.
3. The Stupid Hurts
When parents pair wacky names with toddler anecdotes about drinking from "boobies," I reflexively reach for my headache medicine. Also, in case you didn't know, the name Bronson is on the up and up. I've been seeing a LOT of Bronsons come through my inbox. To those parents who believed their children were different for having this name: Your plan has backfired.
4. Soft G, Hard G
I know the name Jacari is somewhat common, but switching up the "J" with a "G" isn't necessarily a good idea. Doesn't anyone remember those Electric Company songs about hard and soft letters? If you're going to give your kid a name with a "J" sound, just write it with a "J." We should all try to spell made-up names correctly.
5. "Shenanigans" (thankfully not a child's name...YET)
I can hardly concentrate on this story, which could be summed up by saying, "A kid peed in a cup in the bath," because the names are far too distracting. It took me two reads just to figure out that Jeron is the father who, along with Rebecca, willingly named his children "Grayson," "Makyna," and my personal favorite, "Lybdzy." I think peeing in a cup is probably the least of their problems, but hey, what do I know? I'm just a blogger who doesn't know how to say "Lybdzy."
6. Reality Bites
Last but not least, here's the Reality, er ... reality of the situation: Unconventional baby names are going to continue to be a trend, and not everyone is going to like it. Some may even publicly express their disapproval over a name like "Reality" simply because that name is fucking dumb. Parents who give their children random names like Random are likely going to experience some push-back, but I think those parents anticipate a little criticism. We can all live together in harmony even if there are a bunch of babies being named Harmony. So let's try to set aside our differences and accept that while all names weren't created equal, a kid named Eekwal probably won't ever know the difference. Especially if he's born in 2013.