This week, the internet proved once again that mocking stupid baby names is the lowest common denominator of online humor (aka my comfort zone). TIME published the (questionably accurate) post 'Parents Are Naming Their Babies After Instagram Filters,' and the internet took off re-posting. By the end of the day, everyone was cracking jokes about babies being named X-Pro II, and I was reminded that no matter how dumb we think baby names have gotten over the years, they can always get dumber. Some people even pointed out to me that they've heard worse. (I can't say I disagree.) What I took away from this piece of news-bait is that popular culture is still as much a motivating factor behind trendy baby names as it ever has been. If anything, we shouldn't be surprised when parents name their babies "Facebook" and "Like." We should anticipate it.
For some parents, looking to pop culture is actually a preventative measure to help them determine what NOT to name their baby. A quick Google search reminds people why no one is naming their baby boy 'Cosby.' And sometimes historically uncommon names turn out to be exceedingly popular, forcing parents to accept that they're not the only ones who want to name their daughter 'Hermione.' These are the people who narrowly try to avoid naming their kids after pop iconography so their kids will presumably stand out from a crowd. Of course, this mode of thinking is futile, since you never know when there'll be a new shift in name trends due to a Kardashian having another baby. It's impossible to predict popularity blips, so in a sense, doing research is pointless. That's probably why some parents just give up and go with something more common and traditional, modifying their child's name with a yoonique spelling:
Ah, remember the days when baby name jokes centered around variations of 'Aidan'? Those were simpler times. Now, we're joking about babies named after photo editing software filters. Are we getting much dumber, or is naming a baby 'Valencia' essentially the same thing as my mom naming me after a character from 'The Facts of Life'? (If only she'd gone with 'Tootie'!) It's hard to say if one era's pop culture trends are superior to another's.
On second thought...yeah, these trends are probably dumber than naming a kid after a character on 'General Hospital.' Especially when they hardly make sense:
So they gave their baby a yoonique name that phonetically plays off an acronym? Whoa. I think we can all agree that the worst trend of all is the yoonique name trend, which continues to present itself in absurd and/or depressing ways that feel distinctly 2015 (note: the child below was found safe...if that's even the first thing that comes to your mind):
I don't know if I can say that a kindergarten class with six kids named Daenerys is better or worse than this headline about Twinkle Twinkie Twilight, but both are gearing me up for whatever names are store for 2016. In the meantime, for all you yoonique parents out there who insist on your kids' names being "completely original," here are some ridiculous options that have already been taken.
Remember, parents: It's okay if your kid's name isn't 100% original. Even Instagram filter names aren't original. Don't set us up for a President named Subtweet. Or Cviiilin. Please, just don't.
1. AATF (Acronyms Are The Future)
Well, at least it's been simplified. And if I *had* to have a name based on an acronym, like everyone apparently will in the future, I think I'd rather it stand for something cool than something totally cheesy:
Ugh. No, I hadn't. I received this tweet back in February and I've been shuddering ever since. Next up: Babies named 143.
2. Traditional Names With A Twysst
Is it 'all', or is it 'aall'? I think everyone knows the answer to that. PS: What's worse: Aabbee, or Abcde? One is the worst 'variation' of a traditional name that I've ever seen, but the other makes a mockery of the alphabet. Oh hell, they both make a mockery of the alphabet -- it's a tie! Or should I say 'tyye'?
Don't do this to your poor child. It's like when Google Maps tells you the longest possible route to get to a place that's a mile down the street. Absolutely NO ONE will know how to spell or pronounce this name, and once they do, they won't be impressed. They'll just be relieved their parents didn't name them 'Knatalye.' (Side note: 'Natalie' was also a character on 'The Facts of Life,' and I feel like this is a pretty good example of how far we've strayed in our pop culture name references so a child can feel "speshul." Why not just name the baby Ms. Garrett and really give her something to brag about??)
3. Sounds Horrible, Actually.
I like how the only person who finds the name 'Shay'Lenn Heaven Nevaeh Hope' aurally and visually pleasing is Josh's cousin who prefers to go by 'Princess Lora' on Facebook. That should tell Josh everything he needs to know, but just in case, he also has the chorus of Summer, Crystal, Rachel, Jennifer, Christine, Britney, and Desarae to bluntly tell him how long and dumb his unborn baby's name is. My favorite comment is Desarae's, because she's just like, "No really though: Think about it this, dude. Bad ideas abound." Way to go, ladies. You're all winners in my book.
4. Soooo Cute! Except, What?
I appreciate this cordial exchange, mostly because I, too, was curious about how the hell you say 'Tianalysia.' It's actually pronounced differently than I would've thought, so props to Dark Green for asking the question on everyone's mind. I wonder how many times Tianalysia will correct her name for people before just giving up and calling herself Tiana? Starbucks will still screw it up when she orders, but it's doable. By the way, I looked up this name, actually hoping that it has a formal origin, but no...it appears to be just as made up as it looks.
5. Really, Very, Extremely, Absolutely, 100% Legitimately Registered Totally In Full
Um, I'm sorry, what? This status update looks mighty confusing, so lemme break it down for y'all real quick: Hayden registered her daughter with the longest, most hilarious name in the history of baby names posted on Facebook, and she's tagged six of her friends and relatives to give them a li'l heads up. Still unsure about what's happening here? Maybe you're thinking that Hayden is just proposing a "Facebook name" for her child, a la Princess Lora? No, friends. She's not.
Legit as fuck. We're talking about a baby with approximately 18 first and middle names, including her own mother's name, as well as the classic trifecta 'Goodgirl Ninny Dolly.' Personally, I would've been happy with the addition of any one of those names in my own name, but Tigerlily-Carlena gets to have all three, and on her birth certificate, no less. Nice one, Hayden. Parents in the UK really know how to supersize a baby name. Don't worry, though: Americans like me are taking note, and we're not afraid of a little supersizing ourselves. Can we say...ONE HUNDRED first and middle names?!?? Can it be done??? Until next time...