Fifi Trixiebell. Satchel. Blue Ivy. Kyd. Celebrities can get away with a lot, including picking unusual baby names that stray way left of traditional. And if celebrities can do it, so can we… right?
Wrong. Just like wearing a hat on your hat, some things are best left to the tried-and-true paparazzi magnets, not those of us just trying to get every last spaghetti-crusted sippy cup into the dishwasher before bedtime. I’m not saying you shouldn’t name your kid something off-the-wall just because Beyoncé did. I mean, follow your dreams and all that. I just urge you to carefully consider the long-term ramifications for the actual living human being who is your child.
You love your kids, right? And you want them to be happy? Of course you do! So please, for the sake of your future children, stop and think twice before choosing one of these 5 kinds of unusual baby names they’re basically guaranteed to hate.
The Syllable-Heavy Last Name as First Name
There’s been a recent trend of baby names that would be more at home as the surname for a British viscount: think Hunter, Cooper, Addison, Clark. Some of these names are straight-up cute, but the trend toward more syllables is troubling. Just try getting picked for Red Rover when your name is Cottswaldingham — and imagine how tough it’ll be for little Averleighnaughton to spell his name in the first grade.
So by all means, pick a (brief) last-name-as-first-name if you must. Just remember: Beef Wellington is delicious. Naming your daughter Wellington is not.
The Controversial Public Figure
Famous people (both real and fictional) make mistakes. Now that you’ve watched the last season of Game of Thrones, would you really want your daughter going through life as Daenerys Targaryen Rosenblatt?
Sure, it can seem cool to name your kid after someone you admire. But to err on the safe side, maybe wait until the series is over, the sequels have stopped, or the real-life person has proven the test of time. Otherwise, your daughter will have to spend the rest of her life explaining to everyone that Stormy isn’t her personality, she was named after a courageous woman who spoke up during the Trump administration… and also happened to be an adult film star.
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The Awkward Name Mash-Up
You couldn’t decide whether to name her after your husband’s grandmother or yours — so why not both? Name mash-ups can be super cute: just ask Caitlyn or Rosemary. But you can’t just jam two syllables together and call them a name. Otherwise, you’d get a bunch of Jackthony’s and Evelrude’s running around. So yes, try a name mash-up! But make it a good one: if you want to name your precious bundle after Aunt Annette and Uncle Raymond, go with Rayanne, not Netmond.
The Name That Is A Thing
This is another one best left to celebrities. Sure, Gwyneth Paltrow can pull off Apple, but then again, she also sold Chrissy Teigen on vaginal steaming. If your baby-naming strategy consists of looking around the room and listing every object you see, please stop and consider the effect this can have when the third-grade bully keeps sitting on your kid because his name is Couch.
Of course, some names-that-are-things are actually quite lovely: from Amaryllis to Zinnia, there’s almost no such thing as a bad flower name. But strategy is key here, and time is your friend. Unless you want a kid named Sitz Bath, don’t save the decision-making for when you’re deliriously post-partum and looking for inspiration in your hospital room.
The Name That’s Normal, But Spelled Weird
Don’t you hate it when the Starbucks barista spells your name wrong? Imagine going through your entire life with that feeling. From minor inconveniences to massive headaches (think unattributed utility bills or misfiled tax forms), a name that’s easy to misspell is a recipe for disaster… and one that will stay with your kid for his or her entire life.
Yes, your kids are special. Of course you want your kids to be individuals and stand out from the crowd. But let them do it on their own terms, by differentiating themselves in ways that are personally satisfying and meaningful to them, instead of by making them spell “Aydan” or “Naincee” a half-dozen times for every appointment they’ll ever make.
Do you have any unusual baby name pet peeves? Sound off in the comments!
YA author, freelance writer, fan of books, beats, babies, Brooklyn. Check out my latest YA novel, When The Beat Drops, out now.
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Baby Name Generator
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