Eric D. Snider

The Nayme Gaimme

Snide Remarks #342

"The Nayme Gaimme"

by Eric D. Snider

Published in The Daily Herald on January 19, 2003

If you're like me, you think it's funny that a lot of people have goofy names. If you're not like me, you're one of the people coming up with the goofy names. One of us needs to change his ways, and I think it's you, JuDee.

I write this with the knowledge that I am in danger of offending people I know and like. I have friends with absurd names, and some who have given their children absurd names. The extraordinarily snobbish diatribe that is about to follow should in no way be construed as evidence that I have less than warm feelings for these people, or for the children whose lives they have ruined with cruel names like "JayceSun."

Now, I like fun as much as the next guy -- unless the next guy is Pete Townshend, because hoo-boy, I can't keep up with him! -- but I draw the line at making child-naming time wacky creative fun time. Certain activities are meant to be boring. It means you're doing them right. These include school plays, service projects and naming your children. If fun should break out during any of these undertakings, you should stop immediately and start again.

You see, one of the goals of parenthood -- I am generalizing here -- is that your children will live into adulthood. And if that should happen, and you've saddled him or her with an absurd name -- one that you made up or intentionally misspelled -- then what have you done to his or her chances of being taken seriously? Would you trust a doctor named Kaytelynne? Or a lawyer named M'Kaee? Or a senator named Orrin? (Seriously: "Orrin"?)

The two best places to find ridiculous names are Utah and the National Football League. I don't know why this is. Those two groups have little else in common.

In Utah, there are names like these, all of which I got from the single best silly-name source, the obituary pages: Vonda, Julaine, Luray, Ferral, Ardath, Shyrel, Artell, Gerial, Zelma, and Elna. (Utahns 90 years ago were apparently still a little punch-drunk from the trek west.)

From elsewhere in the paper, I find these actual names of non-elderly Utahns: Jefra, Eunhi, Chanthy, Shurron, Chaulyn and Lyndell.

In the NFL, there are these names, all of which belong to men who were born on Earth: Edgerton, Adalius, Peerless, JoJuan, Canute, Artrell, Ligarius, KaRon, Jashon, Earthwind and Plaxico. (How does someone come to be named "Plaxico"? Did his parents follow the Utah practice of name compromising, where Dad want to name him Plate, while Mom wanted to call him Mexico, and they combined the two?)

Do you notice that the names of the mostly white Utahns are very similar to those of the mostly African-American NFL players? Perhaps there is common ground between our cultures after all.

I present these rules in naming your children:

1. Don't make up a name. You have to give your child a name that already exists and is a commonly accepted name. That may sound restrictive, but there are literally thousands of perfectly good names to choose from. We don't need any new ones. Civilization is more than 6,000 years old; the brainstorming session is over. I'm sorry you didn't live 200 years ago, when exciting new names were still being forged. But now, in 2002, or whatever, WE'RE DONE. No new names.

2. Don't misspell your kid's name on purpose. Seriously, what are you trying to pull? Violation of Rule No. 2 is usually an effort to circumvent Rule No. 1: We can't make up new names, so we'll misspell an existing name, thus, in a way, making a new name!

No. You can't do this. It's not clever; it just looks like you can't spell. It also does not distinguish your child from the other children with the same name. When the teacher calls on Michael, it will sound the same as if she is calling on Mikkal, MyKle or Mighkull. She should not have to differentiate between traditional-spelling Michael and all the train-wreck-spelling Michaels in the class.

3. You are entitled to one capital letter per name. Do not deplete our nation's supply of capital letters by wedging two or more of them into one name.

4. No one takes women seriously whose first names end with two e's. I'm sorry, but it's true.

5. You have a friend who says he or she once encountered two people named Lemonjello and Oranjello. But your friend is lying. Those people exist only in urban legend. Stop saying you've heard of them, because you haven't.

Stumble It!

Notes:

After this column appeared, I received three e-mails from people claiming to have known someone named S***head (pronounced "Sha-THAYD"). This is untrue, of course; S***head is another urban legend, and if I had been allowed to say S***head in the newspaper, I would have mentioned it in the column. Anyway, I wrote back to these people and let them know they were lying about knowing S***head, and none of them wrote back to insist they were telling the truth. So I'm glad we settled that.

Years later, this column still gets referenced a lot. It's linked to from various baby-name sites. In 2005 I ran into an old acquaintance I hadn't seen in ages, and he said whenever a relative is pregnant, he sends her a link to "The Nayme Gaimme." It's one of the more enduring things I've written, which is nice.

About a year after this column ran, I received this e-mail from a woman named Mary Thompson. It starts out OK but then turns bad:

Hi, I just read your article about baby names on the web and I couldn't agree more. I've been keeping a list of true baby names for awhile. These names are names I've seen in print in the local papers or witnessed by a trusted friend or family member or even at my kid's schools (this is metro Atlanta). And yes, they do include Lemonjello and Orangejello (deputy sheriffs in Clarke County, GA), S***head, A**hole, Diarrhea, Phenomena, Vagina, Sensuous. The rest of the baby name list are just the usual, inane unpronounceable black baby names. It's not urban legend, but completely stupid parents, or single mother. Mary

I never thought to blame stupid names on single mothers. Is Mary's reasoning that without the sensible influence of a husband, women go pig-wild and name their kids whatever the heck they want? Hmm.

Anyway, I wrote back to her and said this:

"Thanks for the e-mail, but until I see a birth certificate, or a valid newspaper mention, I'm not going to believe anyone is named Lemonjello, Orangejello, S***head or A**hole. You definitely didn't encounter these people; a friend or relative said THEY did, but they were kidding or lying. Sorry."

Mary replied with this heartwarming tale of faith:

Dear Eric,

Thanks for the quick reply regarding inane baby names. When my husband's 65 year-old aunt says that she typed up deputy certificates with the names Lemonjello and Orangejello on them, I'll believe her. Our pastor's wife worked with someone named Diarrhea. Sometimes in life you have to take some things on faith. I haven't seen Jesus or Muhammad. but I tend to believe that they existed from what others have said (or written). I haven't met S***head or A**hole, but I know they're out there!

Mary


I've met a lot of s***heads and a**holes, but never anyone who was actually NAMED that. It's good to know that someone so dismissive of "inane black baby names" and single mothers is simultaneously so devoted to her religious faith. Makes you feel good inside.

Anyway, regarding Lemonjello and Orangejello, I got a few e-mails from people doggedly claiming to have encountered them once. Some more people posted comments below saying the same thing. If all of these people are telling the truth, then the Jello twins are both male and female, anywhere from 5 to 30 years old, and live all over the country. In other words, they're an urban legend and you're all liars.

After this last letter was posted, I received the following e-mail:

Dear Eric,
I think you should get a life. [You and me both!]My name is Vonda and I'm only going to be 30 in a month. I'm not from Utah, but from New York. You said you were not trying to offend people, well I'm very offended. [Actually, all I said was that I knew I was in danger of offending people I knew. Offending strangers was not a concern for me.] Yes my mom was a single mother but she did not name me. It was my grandmother who did and let me tell you, I'm very proud of my name. Do you know how many people actually say to me "wow, that's a beautiful name"? Alot. I'm a single mom and my son's name is Joshua. So it has nothing to do with single mothers. [Nor did I say it did, of course; that was the previous letter-writer, whom I made fun of for suggesting such a thing.] Do you know that there is a singer out there named Vonda Shepard? She doesn't seem to mind her name and she is younger then me. With the money she makes, she could have changed it along time ago. There are so many more names out there that are ridiculous then ours.
Can't you find something else to do with your life then to pick on others names. [If that was a question, the answer is no.] Are you jealous because you got a plain old common name?
Vonda

If I parse this letter correctly, Vonda's complaint is that I suggested Vonda is 1) a silly name and 2) a name for old people. I stand by both statements.

This item has 100 comments

  1. Chrystle says:

    I say if the spelling is different, but at lease is pronouncable(sp?) as such it's fine. My dad actually made a spelling mistake with my name, and it's become a good ice breaking joke. However, if you need revelation in order to be able to decipher it, then you have way too much time on your hands.

  2. Chrystle says:

    oops. I meant least. I work as a leasing agent, so guess which word I type more often.

  3. John Doe says:

    The most recent offense I've seen against rule #2 is someone on the news. Name is Arrika (pronounced Ericka). None of us knew how to pronounce it until the other people said her name. Then we knew she was of Utah. Parents, don't make your kids have to get exasperated at people who don't know how to spell their name. If you spell it wrong in an attempt to make them unique, it only makes them unique in the sense people know their parents are dumb, while we can usually only assume such things.

  4. Happiness says:

    I once knew someone named McElla. Always felt sorry for her.

  5. Anne Tenaglia says:

    I am a teacher in Philly and I have taught kids named, Lady, Princess, Baron, But the best ones were a young lady named Tueasy (pronounced too easy) and a young man named Mister and his younger brother, Shadow. Unbelievable!

  6. CeCe says:

    you are very ignorant and i could care less how old you are. you apparently have grown up in a world full of squares and are un-exposed to the lifestyle on many african americans. Names are names "trick" and i do not appreciate under any circumstances your imput on the matter. I personally think the more interresting the name or the spelling the more beautiful and unique. Im sorry but i dont want my georgous daughter walking around with the same name as some other ugly chick whether gretchen or alicia and i resent my mother for giving me a "respectable" (in your opinion) name. I think you should mind your buiness because what are you going to do except introduce yourself to more square living people in your square mindstate of a life. No disrespect and i hope you take into consideration the opinion of a 13 year old as deep as you would with somebody of an older age.

    =]] but also please keep in mind children these days make fun of names less unless their parents grew up teasing kids with beautiful names and while some names are rediculus (my bad i spelt it wrong) baby naming should be fun. And school plays. Boring people do boring things to make it boring therefore creating a boring square world. This generation needs better. im sorry.

  7. Hallie says:

    I can say that I have met twins Yellowjello and Orangejello. So, it's not exactly like lemonjello, but close enough.

    Yes, these names really do exist.

    And you have no right to tell people what names are ok and what names arent. It's not your decision, it's theirs. If you don't like the names, then don't use them. It's as simple as that.

  8. Eric D. Snider says:

    Hallie, why must you turn my Web site into a HOUSE OF LIES??!

  9. Eric N says:

    Vonda, FYI - your name could be Flargagna and guys would tell you "oh that's a beautiful name". It doesn't mean it's true nor a valid basis for your claim - they have ulterior motives.

  10. LYNSEY says:

    I have a son named Orrin and find your comments funny, this is mainly due to the fact that i'm laughing at you and definantly not with you. Orrin in my opinion is a respectable name and i'm sure many names that are in common use now were frowned on once upon atime untill they became acceptable. i agreed certain names are just cruel to inflict on children and the name maybe quite resonable on its on but once combined with a certain surname can become absurd, obviously this needs to be carefully considered before deciding. Some names also grown on you so donot be so quick to judge. i would love to know what you consider a reasonable name.

  11. melissa says:

    I agree, and disagree. Yes, people go overboard with silly names for their kids. But at the same time you want to be unique, and want your kids names to be unique .What you name your child is completely up to the person having the child, it is a very important thing because it is something they will have. For God's sake, remember that poor child has to live with it. I have met children named Tuesday, McHail, Blaze, I could go on and on. I thought I heard it all til I recently found out a girl I know named her son, Only. Only?- What kind of crap is that? Anyways, people just need to use common sense. Please don't embarras your kids with some off the wall name, life is hard enough.

  12. Gwyn says:

    How do you feel about Brighamina, DeRalph, and Nephi Anakin? All Utah names, I assure you.

  13. Hendrice says:

    How dare you. You can't tell people what to name their kids. Most unique and different names have a special meaning to the parents. This is just stupid saying "we don't need new names". Get a life!

  14. Devin not Devn says:

    I was talking about people misspelling my name with one of my friends. His name was Kyle, a fairly ordinary, normal name. He said people ask him how to spell his name all the time. "Is it K-Y-L-E or K-I-L-E?" I mean, honestly how can you spell Kyle any different?

    The epidemic of misspelling on purpose has spread out far and wide. I hate when I meet girls and have to make an extra effort to remember there name.

  15. Michael says:

    NEWSFLASH - It is not the child's name that makes them unique. It's is who they are as a person. Believe it or not millions of people with familiar names spelled in conventional ways turn out to be quite unique, interesting and fascinating people! Imagine that! When parents make up new names they are guaranteeing their child a lifetime of having their name mispronounced and misspelled. The worst offenders, in my opinion, are the parents who choose a familiar name but misspell it. With much more of this, no one will ever know how to spell any first name (is it Jason or Jayson; Chris or Kris, Jane or Jayne?). I rather like not having to tell everyone I meet how to pronounce my name or how to spell it. Please, prospective parents, please do not ruin that for me and everyone else who is fortunate to have a "boring" name. There are literally 1,000's of names - some of them very rare - that we can all spell and pronounce.

  16. kt says:

    Lemonjello (pronounced La-Mon-Ja-Low ) and Orangejello (pronounced Or-Run-Ja Low ) are twins that grew up here in Dallas.

    All I can say is, "It's very different!"

  17. Eric D. Snider says:

    KT, why must you turn my Web site into a HOUSE OF LIES??!

  18. Yellowjello says:

    "you apparently have grown up in a world full of squares"

    Yellojello is a very common Navahoe name

  19. Alison says:

    I am an ER nurse and when I worked in Mississippi, there was a set of twin boys 5 months old that were registered to be seen. Their Mother told me their names were Orangejello and Lemonjello. I crap you not. I did not see a birth certificate, but she did hand me her "green credit card" (her medicaid card). Seriously.

  20. angela says:

    umm, actually, to be fair, the football player's name is "plaxico", not "plexico".

    http://www.nfl.com/players/plaxicoburress/profile?id=BUR595691

    there's also one named "atari".

    http://www.nfl.com/players/ataribigby/profile?id=BIG264860

  21. Thomas says:

    I have a friend named Evajuani, a beautiful name for a beautiful person. Her mother's two best friends were named Evelyn and Jaunita which was combined to form Evajuni, a beautiful new name.

  22. Pumpkin says:

    I agree with Eric 100%. People who make up stupid names for their children are either, 1) losers, or 2) don't realize they're not being creative, they're just causing trouble, and I say that having great-aunts (born in Utah) named Una, Verba, and Rema. Made-up names are not beautiful, unique, or special. What makes a person special is their personality and accomplishments. Joseph Smith had the two most boring names a man could have, and look at the legacy he left behind.

  23. Zack says:

    I have an uncle Clermandale who married Cletus and a cousin named Prince Albert, all from Arkansas. Utah doesn't have the corner on the market.

  24. Sharon says:

    There was a little boy in my daughter's day care class...back in the '80s. I still remember his name--SarNicolas Jones.

  25. Jen says:

    Eric,

    I so agree with you. I could not have laughed harder just now reading your hilariously written and more brilliantly named "Snide Remark# 342" You are awesome. I found your link through my brother's blog, (you know him from BYU, I think) I have always noticed stupid names, but I started getting extremely annoyed while going to school in Utah, when i saw names spelled (ALOT) like....Cadee, Kady, Cadie, or... Kaylee, Caylee. Gimme a break on the ee's -like you said. Some others that really bug, are Mckayley, Caiden, Brinlee or Brinley, JaNiece, Haydee, Coby, dude I could go on all day. Purposely misspelled is super annoying, but the worst are these young utah mothers who want to be super unique and "cutesie" with their damn names. So barf.

  26. HENRIETTA says:

    yes Sir the names Lemonjello and Orangejello do exist. i live in cincinnati, and worked as a M.A. 18 yrs ago. i had the pleasure of having to (mis)pronounce the names of the twin boys. the mother had the nerve to get upset because i pronounced the names as they were written. AA-Duh, Right?

    i've can give you a Great name try "VAGINA" yes VAGINA pronounced with a B and an E saying Ba-gee-na

  27. Pumpkin says:

    I'm a bit confused, Zack #23. An uncle who married someone named Cletus? Where I come from (Oklahoma) Cletus is a man's name, and they don't look too kindly on men marrying men.

  28. Logan Rollo says:

    Lemonjello and Orangello exist. My wife worked for a local bank here in Prattville, AL several years ago, and remembers cashing checks for Orangello. They lived here for a short time and then moved to the Dothan, AL area around the late 90's. In October 2001, while working a sales route, I ran into Orangello who was working at the coffee shop next the Bruno's Grocery store on the west side of the "circle" in Dothan. Lemonjello had moved back to Mississippi in '99 and then back to Texas in the summer of 2000.

  29. Leah says:

    Evajuani!?! Hilarious! I love how people get so offended over HUMOR! Chill out, people. Laugh a little and think of the truly stupid names you know. I love the mash-up names the most, like these from my neighborhood: Jorgen, Carsten, Cacia, Daven (pronounced Day-vin), LaVoice...I could go on as well. Here's a great comprehensive website of Utah names: http://wesclark.com/ubn/

  30. john joyce says:

    The problem with these idiotic parents is the problem with all Americans these days. Everyone gets worked up about their "rights." "Who are you to tell me what to name my kids?!?!?!" "I have the RIGHT to name them whatever I want?!?!?!?!" Ok, granted. But you sound like a spoiled a**hole. My tip: Everytime you want to make an important decision, try substituting RESPONSIBILITY for RIGHT. The bottom line is any child who is unlucky enough to have a parentillogical and uneducated enough to endow a foolish name has much bigger problems to deal with than the foolish name. The good thing is they probably won't have to worry about the probability of someone being putt-off by a doctor or lawyer named out of a sci-fi novel..... they'll probably be scrubbing the floors of some warehouse at 2am wondering why their parents never put aside money for a college education.

    And for the 13yr old that wishes here mother would have given her a cooler name..... When I was 13, I probably would have thought it cool to be named Baetron, or Zelda, or somesuch. Then we grow up and realize our parents aren't stupid afterall. Good luck with that.

  31. Paige says:

    I just ran across this column....I must say that I agree wholeheartedly. I have 2 cousins named Macen and Cassidie and an uncle named Jathan, so I know firsthand how rough it is when people can't spell your name. I still can't believe my aunt would condemn her daughter to have that saccharine name all her life. I myself am only 16, but am planning on naming my children somewhat unique names. However, insteadof making bizarre new names, I choose to look into the history books. There are many good names that have passed out of use that can be utilized. These names don't particularly have to be unpronounceable or spell-able either. I would hope that people would return these (and sense) rather than perpetuating the growing "weird name" trend.

  32. Kourtney with a K says:

    Great article, especially the proposed "Plate" and "Mexico" marriage. (If it were my baby, I would have fought tooth and nail for "Plate.")

    Back when I was a nametag-wearing waitress, a very concerned patron once asked if I had had a rough life due to the unique spelling of my name. Um, really, Sir? I just want to deliver your french onion soup then head back to the kitchen to flirt with the chefs. Still, I let him know that my life was just peachy despite my outrageously wacky name. As it turns out, his wife was pregnant they were legitimately concerned that their child would have a more difficult life (not just a minor hassle, but a truly lower quality of life) if they didn't use a standard name spelling.

    And just for the record, my name would have been Andrew if I was a boy. Not Kandrew.

  33. kris with a k says:

    S***head seen on a standardized testing document, in a room of over 100 educators in a large city. Girl's teacher confirmed. It was pronounced Shu-TAYD. As in Sinead. How many witnesses do you need?

  34. brandi says:

    I am a teacher and we come across lots of "unique" names. There are two sisters I had Royalty Knight and the little sister Ya'Hinnis Knight is in pre-school. I have had a Scipio, he was from down south ( I teach in MO) There is a Fuchsia!! I could go on as well but I want. It isjust interesting to me to each its own. As for the changing the spelling I am guilty myself with my own children. My daughters' names are Kaprice and Kamryn i wanted to stick with the K's

  35. Michele says:

    When I was a resident at Children's in Dallas, we did indeed have a patient with the first name Sh**head. He had asthma and was in the ER fairly regularly.

    I have seen a newborn girl named Douche, pronounced "Doo shay", of course.

    My favorite was a newborn named "Jarvia". I entered the room as a nervous intern, trying to be culturally sensitive, saying "Is this Jarvia's room?", to which the woman present shot back "It's Jourvoisier, like Courvoisier." I must have looked genuinely striken, because she replied "Oh, his momma can't spell." I mean, the name was missing entire syllables!

    Perhaps another rule that should be added to the above is that certain names really do spell doom for the child's future health. Miracle (or Milagro) and Precious always mean the child will have a serious chronic illness. The names should be outlawed.

  36. Michele says:

    ugh...i know what you mean by spelling names differently being a pain in the butt. i encounter problems with people trying to put 2 "L's" in my name and spell it "michelle" instead of the "correct" way to spell it "michele." i always found it annoying as a kid that i could never find my name on keychains or name plates because it was always spelled "michelle." i do like the way my name is spelled and i'm glad it doesn't have 2 "L's" in it. and i also like the reason it is spelled "michele." if it was spelled "michelle," then i would have the word "hell" in my first name, which my mom didn't think worked well since i have the word "angel" in my last name...haha. by the way, i have a funny name for you...and i SWEAR TO GOD it is a real name. it isn't just a funny first name though, it is a first/last name combo. my mom worked for an older german man (had to be in his 60's or so when i first met him back in the early 80's) who was named "Seymour Weiner." he went by "Sy (pronounced sigh)." i didn't even know his real name until years later when my aunt was joking around and said to me, "i see more weiner than you!" i had no idea what she was talking about until she told me that "sy" is a nickname for "seymour." haha...

    and as for the name "shi'thead," he does exist...at least as a mii character when i play my wii video games...haha...but you would think that some parents would be smart enough NOT name their kid something like THAT even with different weird pronunciations...because anyone who sees the name "shi'thead" is NOT going to automatically know that it has some pronunciation other than exactly what it looks like. anyone who names their kid THAT name is just dooming their kid to a lifetime of torture and they should learn to spell before naming their kids!

  37. Jenn says:

    FINALLY!! Someone else besides me sees the insanity in messing up names!!!! I'm all for unique names, having grown up with the most popular name in the world, but it's the spelling that drives me crazy!! I couldn't believe my sister when she started naming her kids. I have nephews named Dayvid and Maycen. When I asked her why she spelled them that way, I got the whole "Well, it's different.." explanation. I told her almost word for word what Eric said. "When the kid is on the playground, the teacher is not going to be yelling "Dayvid! Dayvid with the Y!!!" One of my friends at work just had a granddaughter named Payten Miley......what?!?! I also know a Boston, Teagan, Karsen, Cedar, Navin, Madisyn, & a Mahonri. Although, I did know a girl named Gennifer once, & always thought that was kind of a cool way to spell it......

    Oh btw, when my sister had her last baby, she named him Anthony......I think the sickness has left the family now.......

  38. Phyllis says:

    When I was in the hospital 17 years ago for the birth of my child, I shared a room with a very young mother who, while watching cartoonsand breast feeding, shared this exchange with her own mother:
    Grandmother: So, what you gonna name the baby?"
    Mother: "Juh-koy-a" (pronunciation)
    Grandmother: Juh-koy-a?! What kinda name is that for a baby? How you spell that?
    Mother: J-E-Q-U-O-I-A.
    Grandmother: Well, if you think that's best...

    Come on!! Leave some vowels for the rest of us!!

    And the vowel-hogging continues:
    In March of 2008, I received a call from a lady named "Kee-On-Tay" (pronunciation). I asked her how to spell it, and she said "Q-U-I-E-O-N-T-A-E."

    Bless her haaaart.

  39. Christi says:

    Michele,

    I feel your pain. My name comes with a variety of spelling options, and I don't think anyone's ever gotten it right on the first try. ("Is that Christi with a "y" or an "ie"?" "Um, neither...") Heck, I have an aunt who, despite thirty-plus years of evidence to the contrary, still insists on tacking an "e" to the end of my name.

    I'd also like to chime in on the general dislike of "creative" name spelling. I've seen this a lot in popular names, as if parents think spelling their daughter's name "Madysson" will somehow separate her from the sixty-five other Madisons (and Maddisons, Madysonns, etc.) in her grade level.

  40. Savvy Veteran says:

    I did a Google search for "Mighkull" (why I did this, I have no idea), and noticed that someone had posted rules 1-4 on an internet message board type thing http://bbs.clutchfans.net/archive/index.php/t-101772.html

    They acknowledged that they did not make it up themselves and found it while surfing around the internet, but apparently had no intentions of telling anyone where exactly they found it.

  41. Jarekhye (pronounced like Jarek+kai) says:

    When I was younger I wished I had a name like John,Bill, Tom because I wanted to be like everyone else. Then in the 2nd grade a teacher wanted to protect me from being teased (which I never was) and started calling me Jarek, I honestly did not mind this until I was in the 5th grade and we got new kid named Jarek Anderson (not his real last name but it started with and A.) and I was then told I had to go by Jarek C. as my last names starts with a C. Well I did not like this at all, I realized that me name was my own and I actually liked my name it made me unique so I quickly told everyone I was to be referred to as Jarekhye from now on.

    I junior High and high school, I was teased being called Jherico,Jhericurl, Malachi (thanks to a late night showing of children of the corn) and who can forget the all endearing Jamiroquai. I think it was a good thing, I liked my name so the teasing did not bother me and it helped my to develop my razor sharp wit.

    Sure if I wanted to blend in I could have simply stayed Jarek or gone by aerk (eric) or rick or kai but I love my name. I love the I am the only one in the world with my name I no one will ever in history have my exact name. How many people can honestly say no one else in the world has their name.

    My point you ask, sure people will judge you by your name. They will see Lemonjello or Lamisha and assume ghetto and black (as if the two always go together) they will look at Jesus or Juanita and think Mexican( cause u know all Spanish speaking folks are Mexican) I could go on but my point is aren't those assumptions based of stereotypes and prejudices? also children don't any better but as adults shouldn't we be beyond making fun of someone for something as personal as their name. Or judging someone by their name?

    My experince taught me that I really like my name a lot, Can you say the same ? Do u really love the name Eric? or did u just get used to people calling you that?

  42. ElHuevon says:

    Hers's some names for your rant:
    Heva
    Belva
    Dorccas
    Adam Eve Cain Abel (mexican family in California)
    Guys named Maria, ladies named Jose or Jesus
    (apparently some mexican states outlawed boys named Jesus or Jose and girls named Maria because overuse and religious reasons. They figured out a way around the law.

    DeVerl
    LaDerl
    Both Utahns
    Canyon for a girl

    And I know that you will call me a liar but our secretary's niece has twins with the Oranjelo and Lemonjelo names. What stood out was the fact is they dropped the double L, because they thought it was redundant.


    I agree with the author, stop misspelling names to make new ones.

  43. AWOL says:

    Eric- I'm so dissapointed that you mentioned people from Utah and football players but not the children of celebrities. Who names their kid Apple or Pilot Inspector? I'll tell you who... Crazy famous people. On a more personal note my grandmother is named W... That is her full first name. Her parents wanted to name her William after her grandfather but surprise wrong gender! So they decided the easiest way around this would be to name her W.

  44. JeremyB says:

    I think #15 nailed it perfectly. It is who you are that makes you unique, not the number of vowels and capital letters in your name. Just one example: Michael Jordan. How many Michaels are there in the world? That man took an average name and became someone so great his name will go down in the history of the world. His greatness came from within, not from constantly having to tell people the correct way to spell/pronounce his name. It's hard enough having a semi-normal name ("Jermy Jeremy"), why subject your child to a lifetime of correcting people? Life is hard enough without having to stop and explain how to spell/pronounce your name to every person you meet. Your child should not be ashamed of his or her name.

    My all-time favorite: Latrina (The cutest name ever derived from an outdoor public toilet hole).

  45. Becky says:

    My mom teaches outside of Atlanta and has had some pretty incredible names--my favorites are Aquanetta, Shikita (pronounced Chiquita, like the banana brand), Sharrdonnae "like the wine", and El Rio. I have seen the class rosters for all these names, but unfortunately the evidence is gone at the end of every semester.

    What say you to dilemmas like Sara vs. Sarah? Is there a "correct" one, or are the names and alternate spellings so mainstream that it doesn't matter?

  46. Michelle says:

    I know a mother who named her child Helaman's Warrior (yes WITH the apostraphe).

  47. a fan says:

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. You're a voice of sanity in this crazy, sick world of made up stupid mispelled names.

    We're having our first baby in a couple of weeks. A little boy. His name will be Joseph after my husband. His middle name will be my maiden name.

    Boring? Maybe. But he will be able to buy his name on a wallet or a pencil. People will know how to spell his name. People will know how to pronounce his name.. It's a good strong, normal, name. And that's what I want. A good, strong, normal child.

  48. Seripa says:

    "Mighkull" reminds me of someone I met working at the local Wal-Mart, by the name of..

    Kreg

    Which I can't help but think sounds like the caveman/tarzan version of Craig.

  49. Chuckwagon Breakfast says:

    For a few cruel names, see:
    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,390028,00.html

    Brief summary:

    The name about which the article is written is "Talula does the hula". She is from Australia. A judge there made her a ward of the court so he could change her name into something that was not abusive.

    I mean seriously, how bad must postpartum depression get before naming rights are taken away?

  50. Chuckwagon Breakfast says:

    I'd like to apologize, I reread the article. She's from New Zealand and her name is actually "Talula does the hula from Hawaii". The substance of the article was right, the details were inaccurate.

  51. Erica says:

    Well, I am several years late commenting on this article, but it looks like people are still fired up about it. The celebretards in the media and self proclaimed "hip" parents that name their kids unique names are living in a bubble. There is probably a bubble in their brains too, taking up valuable thought and logic processing space. I do however, think the names in the obituaries are interesting to read. Did people really find it normal to have a first lady named "Ladybird"? What about Rock, Buzz, or Mitzie? I think these strange names are really cute for old people- but pretty obnoxious when they are for babies. If you have survived the ridicule all your life w/o hanging yourself and managed to not be incarcerated for patricide, you deserve to be an old person with a cute weird name.

    By the way, what's with the number of people offering "strange names" being educators with the writing skills of a middle school drop out?

    I don't mean to single anyone out, but if you are an educator, you should understand that being "unique" doesn't mean you can type just like the way you speak. That requires no unique skill. And no, I'm no better than you- being able to put people down for their ignorance requires no unique skill either.

  52. Latedra (La-te-dra) says:

    I totally agree with #51 about how the educators have awful writing skills, especially #34. How could you possibly be a teacher?

    I have an "unique" name, and I love it. It doesn't make me upset or bothered when people misspell it or mispronounce it. That just means that they do not know me or my mother, and that is not their fault. I wanted to name my daughter something a little more common, Madisen, but it is spelled differently.

    The reason I wanted to name my daughter something more common, is because of the ignorance of this country. I didn't want employers to know exactly what race she is when she becomes older and wants a corporate job. We as African-Americans have to think about these things.

    One day, a name will just be a name, and people will not have to have long conversations such as this one. Allow people to be creative without dumping on them.

  53. Janice (the "nice" way to spell it) says:

    I went to college with a girl from West Virginia named "Chrystall" (pronounced "Crystal"). She had a son who she named "Mar'quix" (pronounced "Markie"). Yes, with an apostrophe. She is not of African ancestry but perhaps her son will make it to the NFL anyway.

  54. Ziggie says:

    Yes, Ziggie is my real name. The girls thought it was so cute all through school. :) Anyways, Yellowjello and Orangejello really do exist. Yes, they live in Alabama, and I happen to know Orangejello. He was at Saint James Baptist on Vaughn Road in Montgomery Alabama once.

    Anyways.

    My aunt named her frigging kids "Karsyn" and "Dysyn" (Kar-sin) and (Die-sin).
    I just looked at her and said "Are you retarded?". Those kids are 6 and they're already nearly in counseling for being made fun of.

  55. susan - nice and normal says:

    I think it's funny that someone mentioned Joseph Smith as a normal name, applauding Lucy and Joseph Sr. Apparently they didn't pay attention to the rest of the family: DonCarlos and Sophronia? Looks like Mormons were giving their kids weird names before the LDS church was even started!

    I'm also glad that people mentioned weird Hollywood names (Chastity Bono, Apple Martin, Zowie Bowie, the entire Jolie-Pitt clan...) and the penchant of Southerners to go to the dark side (typical southern names: Billysue and Billybob, Beulah and Remy, need I go on?).

    My point is that this name game isn't just played by Mormons, who have only been around for 200 years after all and so can't be held responsible for *all* the madness. It seems that giving children weird names is just one of those quirks of humanity. Better blame God!

  56. Mona says:

    #52 has a good point which extends to more than African-Americans. Every name gives an impression, and though we call it racist, unfair, prejudicial, etc., it will always be that way. A girl with a cute-sie name like Kylee will probably always be thought less intelligent than she is. A name like LaQuisha will always say 'ghetto'. A train-wreck spelling of any name will unfairly brand a child as having stupid parents, and he/she will be at a disadvantage because of it(Khevahnn rather than Kevin, for example, is going to have a hard time rising above the judgment of others).

  57. L says:

    Actually, "Plaxico" as a given name may sound odd, but "Plaxico" as a surname goes back in America to at least 1790 (see the 1790 Federal Census, York County, South Carolina).

    Plaxico Antonio Burress, the football player to whom you referred in your article, was named after an uncle of Woodbridge, Virginia - though I don't know whether the uncle's given name or surname was Plaxico.

  58. John (pronounced "John") says:

    I have long thought that at least one influence in this naming madness, at least for girls, is porn. It almost seems like young new fathers are hearkening back to their bachelor days by suggesting their old favorite porn stars' or strippers' stage names for their kids, or the young mothers (or both parents) have their heads stuck in "what would your porn name be" game mode.

    Just a pet theory of mine. What do you think?

  59. Records Keeper says:

    West Montgomery High had Lemonjello and Orangello in the late 80s or mid nineties. Here is their contact info. Ms. Blake the main secretary can probably verify this or have this verified. Mrs. Sanders/Saunders taught one or both of them English. She retired around 2003.

    West Montgomery High

    147 Warrior Rd

    Mt Gilead, NC 27306

    (910) 439-6191

  60. Daniel says:

    How about this one. A girl's name of Le-a, complete with the hyphen in the middle. Mom became indignant with Le-a's teachers because they kept mispronouncing it. Mom insisted it be pronounced "La dash a." Give your kid a stupid name and then get p.o.'d because no one can pronounce it the way you think it should be pronounced. She'll probably file a lawsuit alleging a violation of her right to have her kid be called a stupid name that doesn't follow basic rules of punctuation and pronunciation. Besides, it is a hyphen not a dash. Moron.

  61. Sarah says:

    I've always been really annoyed at having the name Sarah. Not only it is INCREDIBLY common, I go to a Christian college and I have a Bible name...awesome. I'm 1 of about 100 Sarah's I personally know. HOWEVER, I do NOT think that having an overly common name is grounds for naming my children something insane. My roommate and I have joked that we're just going to name our children whatever we're craving during pregnancy. Jello and lasagna? I shall call her "Jellagna!" So, yeah, it's sad. My personal favorite strange names include:

    Pr'phec (pronounced Perfect)
    Corian and Coriann (twins, a boy and a girl pronounced Cory-ahn and Cory-anne)


    Also, you should listen to the Brian Regan bit on "Hooked on Phonics" he mentions names spelled strangely. Such as "Amy" spelled "Aymie"

  62. Dawn (no double n or e) says:

    Jon & Heather "Dooce" Armstrong are bloggers in Utah and Jon linked to the Utah Baby Name page today, which led me to this article.

    My husband and I are about to have a baby boy. We are considering all names from our family. Nothing spelled funny or "uniquely" because honestly, as a teacher (with good grammar thank you) I am sick of trying to learn how to spell kids names. And I live in Vermont.

    Over the years I have had 4 different spellings of Caitlin; 3 of Mackenzie. This year we have a Jaxon, but in the birth announcements I saw a Jaxson (which I would say Jacks-son). An Alexus and an Aleksander. It does no good to give your child an odd spelling, as you pointed out, they all sound the same. Best "odd" name? Krystal Blue Waters. It is common enough to spell right, but different enough to be unique.

    I have always liked my name, because it is common enough that people know how to spell it (occasionally I get "Donna?"), but is not so common I know a million.

  63. Bree says:

    Hilarious, although I'd argue with the double e rule. As Dr. Bree J----, I've never had any problems being taken seriously.

  64. Palad says:

    "In March of 2008, I received a call from a lady named "Kee-On-Tay" (pronunciation). I asked her how to spell it, and she said "Q-U-I-E-O-N-T-A-E." "

    The first time I saw this name at a school, all I could thing of was 'Fava beans and a nice...'

  65. Mellissa says:

    Eric, do you really think, with the way that people are nowadays, that there is NO WAY some crazy person out there would hear the story of lemonjello and Orangejello and name their kids that just to be funny? Really? In the day of names like Espn and Apple? Sadly, I think there probably are a set of twins out there who have been saddled with the unfortunate name.

  66. John V says:

    Wonderfully clever! As the lucky recipient of a very normal name, sometimes I bemoan it, but then again, I'm glad that I'm not name, Albertus, Cornelious, or Barton, which are all common male names in the family.

    The reality is that few things will impact your child more than their name. If you look at the names of many of the worlds most powerful, famous, and trusted people, they frequently have tried and true, usually even boring, names. So, for the love of all that's holy, do your kids a favor and pick relatively normal names with normal spellings. There's absolutely nothing wrong with it, and your kid will thank you later.

  67. Bree says:

    Honestly, the best part of this website is how upset and angry people get. They demand that you stop telling people what to do, and obey their opinions on random names.

    ...Really, they're voicing their opinion exactly as you are. Except you're being witty.

    So for putting up with all the crazy ragers, namers and other -ers, cheers to you. Please keep being awesome and opinionated.

    --Bree

  68. Chelsea says:

    It's funny - my name is pretty common and ordinary, but I still get the random people who call me "Chelse-uh" for some reason...and if someone write's my name down, I've seen at least five different spellings, in addition to mine.

    Names are an interesting thing, indeed....

  69. Joss says:

    Wow...I know some of the names I like are kind of odd but that's because a vast majority of them are very gaelic. After hearing that someone is named Shyrel...kinda blows my mind. Suddenly liking names like Kieran, Aden and Kael don't seem so weird.

    As for Orrin? I dunno, that sounds just ok enough to work. And it is based off Orin which is based off Oran. Just don't go too overboard.

    Oh and if you spell it kinda differently, I think it's ok but JuDee is ridiculous.

  70. Brian says:

    What about the famous Texas socialites, Ima Hogg and Ura Hogg?

  71. Ghoti (pronounced "fish") says:

    Conversely, how do you feel about standard names that are spelled conventionally, but pronounced unconventionally, or vice versa?

  72. Wyrdfayth says:

    The word "trolling" comes to mind. There is certainly a line that shouldn't be crossed, such as obvious object names, titles, or completely unpronounceable gibberish. (See "Brfxxccxxmnpcccclllmmnprxvclmnckssqlbb11116". Yes, this DID happen, in Sweden, though fortunately the government refused to accept it.)

    The line is most certainly -not- at "traditional", however, especially given someone clearly did not do his research. Which name would you rather have- "Geevarghese" or "Jax"? "Svarog" or "Roan"? In both cases, the prior is an actual pre-existing name, and the latter is not.

    My name is "Alicia", and I hate it. It has a completely normal spelling, and this has never stopped the majority of people from mispronouncing and/or misspelling, so clearly that theory doesn't work either.

    My daughter is named Ember. It sounds -somewhat similar- to Amber, but is not homophonous, so it does sound different when the teacher calls it. But it is not so different as to sound alien as a name. She does have a thing-name, but what bad could come of this in particular? That she'll be 'hot' when she's older? That she has a hot temper? (Likely with her parents, heh.) That she has a spitfire personality? Good puns far outweigh the bad; she's honestly got better odds of avoiding embarrassment than a "Duncan" (Donuts; believe me, it was my maiden name) or a "Thomas" (the Tank Engine; Doubting Thomas; and many more) or a "Britney" (Spears, and more; compare ANY 'traditional' name that's fairly likely to coincide with a celeb and often an undesirable one).

    I'd honestly like to name a future son "Alaric", which is in fact an existing name, after my favorite historical figure. He would have higher odds of "what?", but if he grows up and doesn't like it, guess what? He can call himself "Al", as easily as a "Thomas" goes by "Tom". For that matter, a "Kaytelynne" can still go by "Kay". Or "Lynne". Or "Kate" for that matter. "M'Kaee" can go by "Kae" or "Kay". .... Meh. I -like- Orrin.

    Not to mention in the age of the internet, more and more diverse names are arising. Many like to have a username no one else ever will. Such as my friend Tenmashi, also known as Ten. (I also have a friend who goes by Nine. xP Yes.) On a forum I run, the current newbies are Auxitan and Absesas. I haven't found these odd from day one, and have no trouble pronouncing them allowed. This, of course, coming from someone who in real life answers to "SG", and whose husband and in-laws answer to "Fayt", "Cyan", "Niji", "Araris", "Darklight (or DL)", etc. So yes, perhaps there's a tad more tolerance here than conventional, but I have never gotten an odd look for saying "Hey Cyan" to my mother-in-law in public, either.

    Inverse! Traditional names can be great. Don't get me wrong. But when there are eight different "Matt"s in a high school with only around 200 students? Did I mention three were Matt M. and three were Matt W. at that? True story. And all eight of them were annoyed by this.

    --

    Point of the matter-

    Whether or not a parent decides to be creative is his or her own business. So long as there is a bit of thought toward both ends of the scale, why NOT have fun, especially where the parent disliked his or her own common name for the sake of being common and dull?

    Ensure the name is more or less pronounceable (accent errors may still be possible, but try to make this the only way) and sounds nice as a word and a name. And ensure it has a reasonable and relatively common diminutive just in case. (The Greek name "Timaeus" easily gets shorted to the Boring name "Tim", etc.) When using one inventive name, do try to be more mild with the other as well.

    Even going way out and naming children after fictional characters can be fine following those rules. For example, using World of Warcraft lore.
    "Jaina" (recommended respell to "Jayna" just in case people mispronounce) flows well and is short on its own. Sounds a lot like boring "Jane" and can be reverted to such in the unlikely event it's not close enough as-is.
    "Arthas" is a little trickier, but used well (I mentioned what I'd -like- to name a son before, but we've actually agreed on "Thomas Arthas") can sound nice. In worst-case, could be reverted to "Arty" or "Art"; also can switch at any time to other name, here "Thomas".
    "Alexstrazsa" is.. bearable, but for God's sake, CALL her "Alex" from the get go if you must do something like this.
    "Onyxia" is more a no. It sounds sort of interesting, but not as an adult human in the working world. "Ony" sounds no better. So no.

    ---

    TL;DR?

    Originality is just fine so long as common sense is used too. Traditional is cool and all, but has its faults just as much as unorthodox does.

  73. Linards says:

    Here in Germany, you'll have to prove that something is actually a name that has been in use before, if you want to give an unusual name. Also it must be immediately clear to a reasonable native speaker whether the name is male or female. This stifles creativity a bit and it might be considered infringement of rights, but it also prevents much of the madness and saves the kid from endless teasing. I personally believe there is such a thing as a right of the child to have a decent, non-ridiculous name. And, as the original author says, there are quite enough existing names to suit anyone's taste. I think unusual, but historical names are much more appropriate than newly made-up ones. So I would be fine with Cornelius or Alaric, or a traditional African name for that matter. It's the let's-draw-letters-from-a-bag names that bother me.

    The disadvantage is that if you really do have an unusual name, nobody will ask you how to spell it, and if you tell them, they'll still misspell it. They guy who put up the name plates at a dorm where I lived during uni took 5 (yes five) written corrections until the name plate was correct.

    In case you wonder about my own name, there's some leeway in the law for immigrants and their descendants. So Hispanic people can name their boy Jesus, but others can't. My own name is Latvian for example. But you still have to prove that the name exists in your culture of origin.

  74. Veronica says:

    I once knew a girl named Tam's Pride, because her mother's name was Tam. So, yeah, names should definitely be handled with care when preparing one's child for life.

    Mostly I just wanted to say that it's really ridiculous how many people are so offended by this. Really, it's hilarious.

  75. SapphireMind says:

    Some of the names mentioned are valid names, just perhaps not in the culture the writer is most familiar with.

    Una for example - yes, it is the spanish word for one, but it is also an Irish name for a girl, taken from the Queen of the Fairies, Oonagh, (same pronunciation, just different spelling) who married Fionn MacCumhaill (fin mccool). My childrens' names are unusual in the US, but our family is strongly irish and so they have traditional irish names: Declan (deck'-lan) and Ciarraí (Kerry).

    I don't mind unusual names as long as there is a good reason for it besides stringing a bunch of random syllables together.

  76. FDEL says:

    Nice article. Though regarding Lemonjello and Orangello... If you haven't seen evidence, it's not a black and white thing. Your choices aren't only limited to saying "no, definitely urban legend" or "I will believe they exist." Instead, a third choice is simply to wave it off as "I don't know, not enough information" which would seem to other people as much more open minded (and I'd say more objectively correct) a reaction.

    Tons of strange names can also be found from foreign people adapting English names for business or cultural purposes, often because without enough knowledge of western culture, they simply don't see the unfortunate/silly implications. Someone from the company I used to work with was called Captain Chen. Yes, Captain was his first name (Imagine what his boss calls him). He was from the company's Shanghai branch. It can also be amusing sometimes to see a "Mario" and a "Luigi" (both perfectly acceptable names) working on the same project together.

  77. Chrissy says:

    It's even worse for people whose names are spelled normal (like Michael), but they have to be asked how to spell their names because of the sheer number of train wreck spellings that exist in the world. You would not believe how many weird spellings I've encountered just with my name.

  78. Shiroi689 says:

    I live in Italy, here there's not much mispelling madness as, luckily, italian is a language when a single word will be always be spelled and pronounced in a single way, and the opposite.

    Though it seems that giving a child a unusual name is still something parents always try to do. But luckily that wasn't my problem.

    My problem is that we've got a family history of naming sons after their grandfathers.
    Thus I got named Pompeo, which is not such a bad name, and is even the name of a fairly successful roman political figure.

    Except that, following the way diminutives are chosen in italian, mine should be Pompino.
    Which is the same word as "b***job"
    The fact that my family used "Peo" didn't change a thing.

    Do you even believe what I went through? Being constantly picked at school? Losing all confidence in myself and becoming a borderline shut in?

    Seriously, I see people saying having a unique name will name them unique.
    Wake up, they already are, if they have to demonstrate it, it'll be through their actions, not name.

    If they become a public figure, they ALWAYS have the option of picking a more remarkable art name, in the opposite case, even if they do, they'll be known also as someone who picked an art name cause of their original, embarassing, one.
    But, seriously, a public figure should be remarkable through his actions, not name.

    Another point is that a common name may be too common, and so leading to confusion over multiple issues of it...
    The problem is that, this is at most an annoyance, not big deal, and it can easily be solved by picking up a nickname that will be chosen by the child, and so he'll be proud of it whatever happens.
    Compare that with the chance of serious psych problems, and need of counselling, and suddenly the idea of an uncommon name doesn't seem so happy, does it?

    It's only a suggestion, so, do whatever you want with it, but... yeah, I hope you realize a common name isn't such a disgrace to have.
    A weird one may be...

  79. Dennis says:

    It's funny how everybody who claims the Oranjello and Lemonjello have the same story of two twins being named that but they all say they live in a different place.

  80. Tim says:

    My wife works in a public school and has students enrolled that are named Lemonjello and Orangejello. I can't vouch for the others, but I know those are names people actually gave their kids.

  81. Eric D. Snider says:

    #80: That's easy, then. Just tell us the name of the school and it will be easy to verify.

  82. Danielle says:

    Great article. When I see a misspelled version of a legitimate name I don't think "Wow! How unique! That child must be soooooo original", I tend to think they have illiterate parents. The book 'Freakonomics' has interesting things to say about this as well.

  83. dddrum says:

    My cousin lives next door to a school teacher, whose chiropractor had a patient whose name (honest injun as God is my witness I overheard the entire phone conversation) was Lemongelatindessert. Interestingly, after a half dozen spinal adjustments, the man's name reverted to Frank.

  84. Philomela says:

    Wow, so many haters in the comments! My name is Philomela, and if I can get a good laugh out of this witty article, anyone can.

  85. Becky says:

    I love weird names! I come across good ones a lot. Some of my favorite caucasion men's names, "Baldy (named after his father), Vartis (a middle name, but still), and Kenshion." Women's names, "Varina, VaGina, Florinda, Wose (evidently mom had a speech impediment and tried to name her "Rose"), and Mavis." There are too many good African American names I run across, but can't spell. I've heard rumors of being named "Female" (pronounced fuh-mall- ay), but never met one, so I can't say for sure, I just know I like it! :)

    One of my favorite people used to tell moms having babies, "Remember that your child is going to have to spell this name in 1st grade, and will be called this when he's 7 and when he's 70." I think she is responsible for a bunch of John and Jane's in our area.

  86. Laine. says:

    I love this article, especially when people use phrases such as "how dare you". The world we live in now is one where everyone gets a trophy because everyone is special. While still in high school my sister Tiffany swore she was changing her name to "Typhphanniee" which I believe is a name candidate for this years tropical storm roster. I tell my children they are not special, because they aren't, they are just like everyone else, well except that they are named Ubiquitous and Enchantress. Thanks for the enjoyable read Eric.

  87. Christy (one of 6 where I work, spelled in various ways) says:

    Oh, the ubiquitous Lemonjello and Oranjello. Is there anyone, in any county, school district, or public health clinic in the country who doesn't know someone, somewhere who taught, delivered, treated, or babysat these two? Seriously. These boys(?) are the most famous non-existent children to ever grace a bad baby name comment section. Now, of course joined by their pals Shatheed, Ladashia, Abcedee, and A'sholey.

    Seriously people. Time to stop laying claim to those. I wish, as an L&D nurse here in the south, I could read our entire delivery record book to you. I can assure you the dessert twins are no where to be found. But, let's just say, there will be no shortage of kids named Maddox, Jolie, or NaVaeh. Any and all derivatives of Trace, Jace, Braden, Bralen, Braylynn, Baelin, Jadyn, Jaden, Jaelyinn, Rilen, Rylin, and Rylynn will be prominently displayed in the coming years of our preschool classes. As will Kaelyn, Kaylynn, Brycen, Bryson, Anzlee, Caden, Kaden, Kadence, Cadence, and Kaydance. Seriously, Cadence? As in,'I don't know but I been told...eskimo.....'.

    Let's now add the new batch of goofiness, Edward, Bella, Izzabella, Izzabellah, Esme, & some other trendy book characters I try and avoid. These are the new Muhkinzie, Mckenzie, MacKenzyis of our next generation.

  88. Bethany says:

    Well, Mark Lemongello was a pitcher for the Houston and Toronto in the 70's. I don't know if he has a twin, though.

    I'm surprised you didn't mention little Le-a from Louisiana in your list of urban legend names.

  89. Cyrena Pelèman says:

    Everyone, listen.

    I am a child in the 8th Grade, 15 years(yes I failed once, and my birthday was this September), but for YEARS people have mispronounced my name.

    My name is Anh-Thu(ing with strong 'I' tuh with strong 'U') My parents are from Vietnam, and all three of my sisters have Vietnamese names. You should add hyphenated names up there too, Eric. Here comes the issue.

    My name got BACKWARDS when I entered school! So it became ''Thuanh'' with EVERY SINGLE teacher pronouncing it wrong! I went by ''Anh''(pronounced Ann) in school, but you can IMAGE how bothered I get when a schoolmate asks ''What's up with your name?'' because the teacher always calls out your name on the first few days of school, always saying it wrong!

    Oh, here comes the best part. My dad put me as ''Thu'' when I entered kindergarten, but I never responded to such. So when it got ''corrected'' with ''Anh'' added, THATS how it got backwards!

    This possibly attributes to why I'm 15 and have already decided to never children, and if I did I'd name them ''Anna Marie'' and ''Joshua.''

    As you can see, I don't HATE my name, I just hate the history it's given me(People, reread that line.) I like unique names as much as the other person, but think of your children's future! I just like Anna Marie because it's unique, short, but still common and understandable. Joshua's simply because of the same reasons. It's unfortunately a hopelessly common name where 5 other Joshua's will be in his class. I still have a favoritism to the name, however. It's timeless and meaningful.

  90. Cyrena Pelèman says:

    Hello, I just wanted to add something.

    I plan on becoming a game designer when I grow up, so I've written lots of stories and created many characters. Of course, I also did the research and I know parents often like naming their children things(or characters) they wish to aspire too.

    I bet someone has named their kid Naruto or Gaara... Yeah, your kid will grow up all alone with the only attention they can have being drawing all over Mt. Rushmore, or becoming a bloodthristy pyschopath. Yeah, I want my kids to grow up like that!

    Also, just think about how your kids have to grow up. Some of those cruel little kids are more willing to scorn another any chance we have. I'm seriously NOT going to myself a respectable game designer when kids named Benedict Bacon, Apple Fritz, and Princess Cheese are playing my games!

    I myself am a victim of this. I know fully well I've picked odd names like Cyrena(see my name) and Sulia... Look 'em, they actually exist. Cyrena is my stage name people.

    Oh, and then you have people trying to be ''Fun with Foreign!'' Thinking it sounds unique and different. I have characters named ''Svetlana Pyotrvicha Samarina'', ''Dmitry Aleksandrov Volkov'' and his sister ''Nadia Aleksanderova Volkova.'' These are RUSSIAN CHARACTERS with RUSSIAN NAMES! It's different for them, people. In fact, theres probably a Russian or Ukrainian with these names somewhere! Their perfectly common there.

    And people... Please do the research. My research has rewarded me with knowing how Russian names work... I'm sure in the deepest, darkest depths of the internet... Your child will not be subjected to being scorned or... Being named Toilet...

  91. T the B- says:

    As I live and breathe, I just got a phone call from my wife's optometrist's office, and the caller's name is Heaven. How's that for serendipity?

  92. Lillian says:

    Hehehehehe! God bless you, Eric. My name is Lillian. With two 'L's (because I was made to believe it's more elegant than Lilian). But I know it is a derivative of Lily. So some people's shortnening my name to Lilly makes no sense to me. At all. It is Lillian -- meaning 'of the lily flower' -- and the short form is Lily. Period. Plus, I agree with you a zillion times!

  93. Me says:

    Here it is. The winner. Beezow Doo-Doo Zopittybop-Bop-Bop.

    And Wisconsin. Really?

    Now, I knew a family who loaded all the uniqueness into the middle name. Like Nucanshishungupag. That's fine. Keeps the telemarketers confused, and avoids day-to-day misery. :)

  94. Beth says:

    I never knew names would be more of a sensitive topic than politics.

    I guess I just don't understand when people take a stranger's opinion more seriously than their own, to the point that they have to energetically (angrily) defend themselves, and blame it on the stranger.

  95. Joanna says:

    I had a patient while in residency. Her name on the door (her given name) was Asiashanicolette. I went in the room tried out her name, but the family said, Oh, just call her Nikki

    Hmmmmmmmmm

  96. Cristen says:

    It's obvious why these "creative" namers/spellers have resorted to making things up, they can't even spell normal English words or form sentences correctly as demonstrated in their disgruntled comments.

    Living with a weird spelling of a name hasn't always been "creative" and "unique" mostly it's been annoying always having to spell my name fifteen times and hear it butchered when someone sees it for the first time. (And it's not even that complicated, just a C instead of a K but it puts crazy pronunciations in peoples head apparently)

  97. Libby says:

    I recently became pregnant and when I told a friend that my husband and I didn't like weird names or weird spellings, he sent us a link to this page. This is absolutely hilarious. I was smiling through the entire thing and laughed out loud several times.

    Well done, Eric!

  98. Shester says:

    Don't forget Dweezil, Moon Unit, etc. Especially Dweezil.

  99. Clella, pronounced Kle 'luh says:

    My first granddaughter is named Emmaleigh. Since I knew they took the name from "Emma" and "Leah", I didn't even realize her name sounded like "Emily". No one mispronounces her name, but the kid struggles writing it on her papers in kindergarten. I have an unusual name, but my parents didn't make it up. It's simply a woman's name from years ago, and never a common one then. I am half-Hawaiian, so my daughter (and all my nieces and nephews) have Hawaiian names. As my husband says, Hawaiian is a language in need of some consonants (per Hawaiian grammer/spelling rules, you can't have 2 consonants together, but multiple vowels are fine). People immediately recognize Hawaiian names, though, and don't try to pronounce them.

  100. Bob says:

    Jarekhye #41. This is not aimed at the individual but rather the sentiment of the post and many others that support this new-fangled ideal that a uniquely named child will be a more useful member of society. This comment in particular though goes to show how having a unique name can be a very very bad thing in today's virtual world. A few keystrokes and a little investigation later I was able to ascertain Jarekhye's full name, address, educational history, a handful of friends and acquaintances (including some addresses), several family members (including some addresses), a whole bunch of photos, many many sites that Jarekhye uses and a nice stockpile of comments dotted around the web.

    As someone hinted at earlier while rights are a justifiable cry of the offenders, responsibility has to take precedent and I think failing to take into account even the easily overlooked, not immediately apparent, things like your child's future safety, both on and offline, is failing to meet this responsibility.

    Go ahead name your kids Applied Phlebotinum MacMcStrayngeLurve The Ninth but don't be surprised when they encounter problems that you didn't have the common sense to foresee. At least you weren't denied your 'right' right? Cue hand meets face image.

    As an afterthought the claim to the 'right' to name your child anything you see fit (within the law of course) is quite, in of itself, hypocritical. Consider that you are choosing something permanent for another human being to be quite literally branded with for the rest of their life. It automatically assumes that the person you are choosing the name for has no right of their own to any name but the one you decide upon, outside influences no matter how sensible and/or well intended are dismissed as a denial of your rights while you are for all intents and purposes denying the person the right to a 'name based technicality free existence', to not quite coin a phrase. Kettle, Pot and Black may be the names of the triplets you are expecting hmm?

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