Kristin Prentiss Ott, M.D.

Baffling Baby Names (by Category)

Disclaimers:

1.  My husband’s name is Mickey (like the mouse & that great 80’s song). We named our children Kharis (Greek for grace) and Kai (Hawaiian for ocean). Kharis will be stuck spelling her name and having it mispronounced for life. And Kai’s namesake is Kai Otton (this guy):  

kaiotton

Because Mickey is a long-time wanna-be surfer.

Their grandparents would have probably preferred names like Sophia and Jackson (the top names in 2014), but Gary & Carol and Tim & Toni have recovered and seem to like their grandchildren just fine now – in spite of their non-traditional names.

My point is…it’s not like we’re superior naming experts. 

2.  This article includes some names that sound like they come from a variety of cultures. It is important to remember that naming stereotypes are narrow-minded. I know a blonde, blue-eyed Pablo and a statuesque, blonde, blue-eyed Dr. Takayasu.

3.  While people are traditionally more conservative with naming boys, male and female names (like Male (Ma-ley) and Female (Fe-ma-ley)) are as equal-ly represented as possible.

KEY POINT: This is equal opportunity humor.

badbabyname


When Gwenyth Paltrow named her daughter Apple, I was appal-led. But it wouldn’t flip my fruit basket to meet a little Apple now. I respect a parent’s right to name the fruit of their loins – even if that name is Fruit D’loin.

Despite the increasing acceptance of odd/unusual names, I think we can all agree that some names will make a kid’s life harder than others. Healthcare providers encounter a variety of unique and original names (including Younique and O’Reginal). And we sometimes swap name stories (in a totally HIPAA compliant kind of way).

What follows are examples of naming trends (by category) that are sure to raise some eyebrows, and elicit innumerable, “How do you say that?’s”

Medical Terminology:

  • Melena
  • Lochia
  • Candida

Respectively, these are the medical terms for bloody poop, post-partum vaginal bleeding, and the fungus that causes a yeast infection. I genuinely get that these names sound cool, but honestly, how would you like being named after bloody poop?

Alcohol/Drugs/Trouble:

  • Champagne/Chardonnay/Chianti/Jack Daniel
  • Mari Juana/Cokane/Extacy/Lucy Skye
  • Felony

These are actual, real names. But, contrary to popular belief, these names are not a life sentence. In Freakonomics, Steven Levitt relays the story of Winner Lane and Loser Laner (real-life brothers).  Loser went by “Lou” and went on to graduate from college and join the NYPD. Winner, well, he became what you call ‘a real winner’ (and a convict).

Backwards:

I can’t tell you how many times Ob/Gyn’s have heard their patients explain that Nevaeh is “heaven” spelled backwards. The backwards trend is continuing:

  • Traeh
  • Yenom
  • Remmus

Respectively heart, money, and summer. People are also doing this with parent names (James/Semaj) and commonly with twins (Aidan/Nadia, Axel/Lexa, Arik/Kira). Mickey and I get Yekcim and Nitsirk. This naming method is not universally successful.

Blending:

Babies are the perfect blend of their parents so it makes sense for parents to combine their names into a perfect new moniker.

  • Joary
  • Erilen
  • Markessa

These are good names. They are blends of Mary & Joseph, Eric & Ellen, and Mark & Jessica respectively. But this naming strategy also doesn’t work for everyone. Mickey and I get Mictin and Krickey. Not so good.

Car Names:

  • Elantra
  • Acadia
  • Bentley
  • Lexus

These names sound lovely, but they are bound to make people wonder if your child was conceived in a car.

As some of you know, I suffer from a chronic illness called “overshareatosis.” The original version of this post included what our children would be named if they had been named for where they were conceived. Mickey does not have the same ailment I do and he nixed it early in the editing process. He looked at me and said,

“Uh-uh.”

So… on to the next category!

Crazy spellings:

  • La-a/Ta-a/Ja-a
  • Sssst
  • Har$
  • Jk’mno
  • Abcde

These names are respectively pronounced:

La-dash-a/Ta-dash-a/Ja-dash-a, Four-s-t (Forest), Har-money, Noelle (No “L”), and AB-ci-dee. I do admire the cre8tivity.

Disney Princesses:

Most of us will meet a Jasmine, Merida, Ariel, or Tatiana. Fewer of us will meet a:

  • Cinderella
  • Pocahontas or
  • Snow White

But they’re out there. I met a Snow White. Her last name had like six syllables. So it’s good her first name is easy to say.

Names with Unfortunate Other Pronunciations:

  • La’dynasty (spells “lady nasty” without the apostrophe)
  • Theone (pronouned thie-on, spells “the one”)
  • La’stone (“last one” without the apostrophe)
  • Shames (looks like the tail between your legs kind but is intended to be pronounced like Seamus)

Names that sound like other words/expressions:

  • Jack Goff (a famous race car driver)
  • Mike Litoris (a real guy apparently)

You get the idea. Stephen Colbert (my favorite comedian) rarely broke character, but he couldn’t hold it together with names like the ones in these two clips. They are not real, but they are certainly laugh-worthy! Clips like this remind me how much I love people (and names). Enjoy!

PS – The second Colbert clip is sideways because that is the only version on youtube.

PPS – Welcome back to our DVR Stephen. We missed you!

PPPS – Who else wants more kids just so you can name them?! We would have added Neve or Dash. Still a little sad we’ll never meet him/her. You can read about that here.

Facebook Comments

Follow:

Kristin Prentiss Ott, M.D.

Author of the viral post: 10 Things to Know Before Your Next Visit to the Emergency Department. Board certified emergency medicine physician, wife, mother, aspiring novelist.
Follow:

Latest posts by Kristin Prentiss Ott, M.D. (see all)

5 Comments

  1. Kassi

    As Steven Colbert’s biggest fan, this was icing on a fabulous post! Many of us know familie’s from the South or West who read a name in a novel, and due to local accents, the name is spelled the same, but the accent is different. For instance, the name Sonya (in Russian novels, and most uses, pronounced SewnYa)….but can easily become SunYea!! if you are from Kansas! At least in my family! Love this post!!

  2. Tobin Collins

    I once had a student named Preg nancy! I tend to like androgynous names

  3. padrooga

    If you want to avoid a life time of computer and Medical record hell, avoid special characters and multiple apostrophe’s, especially in first names.

    1. Corrie

      That was great…all-around great! 🙂 I enjoyed a good chuckle at the Colbert videos.

      1. Kristin Prentiss Ott, M.D. (Post author)

        I have seen them both at least 5 times and STILL laugh!! Thanks for reading!

Comments are closed.

Share-on!