What NOT to call your child…

Now, I’m not one to be judgmental, but…

Actually that’s a complete lie. I’m massively judgmental. I’ve written about my feelings about X-Factor fans, and you don’t want to know what I said this week when I noticed once of our neighbours has treated himself to a personalised number plate that says, “L-OVER”. But it certainly wasn’t, “Look at that! How fun.”

The secret to being judgmental and remaining a good person (which I am, considering I’m an Evil Overlord) is to ensure that your judgments don’t affect the way you treat people. So you can be perfectly friendly and respectful to someone all the while wondering how it is they manage to see well enough to tie their shoelaces in the morning through all those layers of mascara.

Nowhere am I more judgmental than when it comes to children’s names. This weekend, I was in a grocery store when I overheard a Mum shouting at her child.  Who was called… Boden.

Yes.

An actual adult named her actual child after a clothing store. Well, I hope it was the clothing store, and not the cafetiere. Although, actually, who knows? Maybe she just really loves glass teapots.

It’s almost as bad as the kid called Chilli, in the Beaver group I used to run (it was a boy, if you’re wondering).

I can’t help being judgmental when it comes to people who give their children QUIRKY names, presumably in a vain attempt to persuade the rest of us that they are somehow more fun, more creative or posher than us boring people who name our children after things you don’t find on the shelves at Spar.

I sometimes wonder if those kids will end up doing what I did the summer I was nine years old, when I told everyone I met that my name was Steve. Worked BRILLIANTLY. Although, I’d have got away with it for longer had my breasts not come in the next year.

What do you think – are quirky names a fun way to show individuality? Or will you join me at the judgmental jamboree and share your own worst overheard name?

About 

Sally is a full-time blogger and founder of the Tots100, Trips100, Foodies100 and HIBS100 communities, along with the MAD Blog Awards. She spends a bit too much time on the Internet. She's also a very happy Mum to Flea, the world's coolest ten year old.

130 Comments

  1. Nikki
    13th March 2012 / 10:20 am

    I just love your honesty Sally- brilliant. Although I bet you’ll get comments back on nicknames like “Flea” too as you’ve invited it now!!

    Top names I’ve come across recently are:

    Brothers called: “Bill and Ben” – oh yes.
    Lennon
    René – for a boy
    Fifi
    Poppy and any other flower/weed/herb derivative
    Jowan – totally made up I’m sure
    Plus a multitude of children named after cities they were conceived/born in. Classy.

    Our children – Jennifer and Matthew – boring eh but surprisingly unique in their school – hurrah!

    • 13th March 2012 / 10:24 am

      I allow a little bit of leeway if the name is retro or related to the family in some way – like I know a gorgeous little girl called Rene, because her Dad is French. Makes perfect sense.

      But Bill and Ben??? Oh dear. Talk about setting them up for a lifetime of grief…

      • Nikki
        13th March 2012 / 10:33 am

        I agree Sally, but there is no French relation there – at all. Poor lad.

        Yup, a lifetime of laughter/tears. I know a host of others but daren’t write them on here in case my friends are reading the blog LOL.

      • Poppy
        13th March 2012 / 11:20 pm

        You do have to wonder if the parents are having some kind of inside joke or if the honestly think that the names they come out with are a good idea! I have heard names I wouldnt use for a dog, the celebrity culture has a lot to answer for!

  2. 13th March 2012 / 10:21 am

    Im totally with you on this one ……………..Those poor children are going to have to put those names on a job application one day……… a names for life not just for christmas its good to be quirky and creative but not when it comes to childrens names. Save chill and Boden for the dog!
    Cat x
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    • 13th March 2012 / 10:25 am

      Boden would be an awesome dog’s name.

  3. Nicki Cawood
    13th March 2012 / 10:35 am

    Clearly I am not in vogue, I may have to change the kids to Washing and Housework in a vain attempt to convince my Monster-in-Law that I do take care of both of these.
    “I can’t sorry, I’m busy with washing and housework”. If you are going to choose *alternative” names for your kids you should at least make them work for you.

    What does calling your child Boden gain you?

  4. 13th March 2012 / 10:43 am

    I have a friend with a theory that if you can’t imagine the child’s name being the Head of the Bank of England then it shouldn’t be a name. I’m not sure I could ever imagine the following names I have recently heard falling into that category … Kel-Cigh (!), Cinnamon, Ikea, Armani, Skyler, Kendall – We get them all round here! I was in the bed next to a woman who had a baby Lennon, when I had my first daughter – I always wonder how the poor bugger is getting on!
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    • 13th March 2012 / 11:16 am

      Ikea? Actual lol.

      • Hayley
        27th March 2012 / 8:42 pm

        Ikea? No way?

    • 13th March 2012 / 11:16 am

      That’s the thing – there are unusual names that are just names, and then there’s naming your kid after a company that makes ‘flippy skirts’

  5. Bryony
    13th March 2012 / 11:01 am

    I have a name (Bryony) that sits somewhere between ‘What an unusual, beautiful name!’ and ‘Huh!?!’ so I would never ever ever ever EVER want to name my children anything to bizarre. I like to think Francesca is just the right balance, and hopefully she won’t have another one in her class at school!

    At a toddler group the other day there was a BOY named HALO? Incase you’re wondering he was anything but an angel…

        • Bryony
          13th March 2012 / 3:01 pm

          Now you’ve said that it seems a lot more likely that he was named after the videogame, seriously what were his parents thinking!?!

  6. 13th March 2012 / 11:08 am

    It does seem like it’s gone out of fashion to name your child anything sensible! Ours have Scottish names so not well known here in England but very common names up there. I’m not keen on these quirky names that people go for just to be ‘interesting’.

    My pet peeve is names that sound cute on a little child but may not suit your average 45 year old. Usually these are names that could have a sensible option but people have chosen the derivative – like Charlie, Alfie, Evie, Lulu, Ellie etc – when they could just as easily have put the proper name on the birth certificate, called their child the cutesy version and given them the choice when they’re older.

    I also am a bit of a stickler for a name that ‘sounds’ right, ie flows properly including middle names, but that might be taking it a bit far.
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    • 13th March 2012 / 11:52 am

      I think the cute names might be problematic if someone goes into a job where they need to be taken seriously – I agree.

  7. 13th March 2012 / 11:08 am

    Ah an evil overlord post I see…
    This made me laugh – you are going to just LOVE ours. All music related because we are just so cool of course. Kaya (girl), Marley (boy) and Baxter (boy). When my Mum found out about the last one she refused to tell her friends what we’d called him, instead mumbling something about not being sure if we had a name yet. But he suits it and we love it so….
    Finally – re. previous comment above – I used to work in banking and had a meeting once with the head of some UK bank. His name – ‘Piper North’. Quirky non?

    • 13th March 2012 / 11:15 am

      Tsk. Public schools are full of Pipers. It’s like John for posh people.

      * may not be true. I just made that up.

      • 14th March 2012 / 10:59 am

        *cough* … my daughter is a Piper. We’re totally posh we are.

        (Son is Xander, short for Alexander. Dear lord I named them to go to prep school didn’t I)
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    • twopointfourchildren
      13th March 2012 / 8:59 pm

      Butting in are they really your children’s names? we have a k a ya and never met anyone else called the same name!

  8. 13th March 2012 / 11:12 am

    You named your child ‘Flea’ so you can’t really judge can you? 😉

    (You should link to that letter – it’s one of my fave posts ever!)
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  9. 13th March 2012 / 11:23 am

    I did honestly think you were kidding about the Boden comment to me on Twitter the other day, but as I also named my daughter after a clothes shop (Biba), I can’t really judge can I?!
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    • 13th March 2012 / 11:53 am

      Nope. Not even kidding.

      Biba is cute and retro and most people wouldn’t immediately think of the shop, though. But c’mon. I hear ‘boden’ and it’s like a reflex reaction ‘hotpotch t-shirt’

      • Ella
        25th March 2013 / 1:29 am

        Right so you dont have a problem with Biba, which sounds like some sort of cutesy baby language name for a bib, and apparently is the name of a clothing store (I’m not from the UK so I’ve not heard of it) but traditional “cutesy” names….which are actually names..are silly.

        Is Biba only retro and cute because your friend chose it?

  10. 13th March 2012 / 11:26 am

    I must confess that I did make judgements about the parents of a boy at the geekdaughter’s nursery named Kamrhan (pronouced Cameron). But then we learned that his father is from Iraq, and when they were naming him they were looking for a name that would sound right in both languages. So then I felt bad for judging them.

    There really is no excuse for Boden though, is there? Poor kid.
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    • 13th March 2012 / 11:53 am

      No excuse AT ALL.

  11. 13th March 2012 / 11:48 am

    I met a little girl at the playground called Chardonay. She was a twin and I was desperate to find out if her sister was Chablis or Merlot. Sadly I never did find out. I think I named Squidge something timeless. OH has the Sainsbury’s test. If you can’t shout the kids name across a crowded car park without sounding like a tw@t the name is out. This is the reason Squidge is not called Liliana which I think is a nice name and is the name of my fav aunt but sadly if failed the Sainsbury’s test.
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    • 13th March 2012 / 11:53 am

      hahaha. Gotta love a child named after an alcoholic beverage.

      • 16th March 2012 / 3:00 am

        There was a bit of a fashion a few decades ago to name girls Brandi or Sherri. Same thing, I suppose. I’ve never met a Whiski, though.

  12. Nikkii
    13th March 2012 / 11:59 am

    We have a girl called Boden-Rose up here in Scotland – every year I download the full list from the registrar website and point and laugh my arse off.

    My favourites from 2011…

    Boys: Awesome, Bayliss, Batch, Boo-Tiger (US golf fan perhaps?), Charliedavid (all one word), Johnlewis (also all one word), Darn (makes it easy to chastise him I guess), Crusoe, Destiny, Cosmos (yup that “s” on the end is there), Diesel-Joe, Jesuslovesme (truly this is the winner), Legion (twins perhaps?), Prosper, Loki, Faust, Elvis, Decca, Xenon, Scotto (yup that “o” on the end is there), Bobbi-Don and Ding.

    Girls: Boden-Rose, Capitolina, Cassiopeia, Chanel (4 of them!), Echo, Tea, Ten, Saran (wrap!), N’eve, and finally there’s a poor girl baby last year whose parents thought it wise to call here REAM.

    At least there were no Anus’s this year…. one year we had an Anus and an Aanus.

    The worst is the mis-spelling of names, how stupid do they want their kids to look when it comes to writing them down?? I live in a town where a boy called Jaaxxson has appeared in the local press – WTF?

    Maksymillian, Roary, Cihan-Kayden, Breionny, Kaylob, Leahm, Steaphan, Hamysh, Dayzee, Brynie (another one), Jaymae and Daniyal are my favourite “you gotta say it out loud to get it” names of 2011, but there are many many more I can’t even pronounce.

    • Nikki
      13th March 2012 / 2:25 pm

      This is a champion reply…..Awesome and Anus – just priceless.

      • 13th March 2012 / 2:41 pm

        I love the idea of calling your child AWESOME. Talk about setting someone up for a fall!

      • 13th March 2012 / 8:58 pm

        Anus is actually a name used in Hungary – pronounced Anoosh. I am however not defending any parent who gives such a name. In fact parents, especially if they are multicultural, living in a different culture, who do not think through the meaning of the given name in an international context are just idiots! …immo.
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    • 13th March 2012 / 8:52 pm

      Always makes me chuckle when you get a family with 3 or more children where the first two have wild and wacky names and the next is called Dave, well maybe not Dave but a more ‘normal’ name.

      That name register is fab! Why on earth would you call your child bum hole though?!
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    • Jo
      13th March 2012 / 9:20 pm

      I know of an Echo born in Aberdeen last year, wonder if she’s the same one!
      Pheonagh is one of the misspelllings my Mum loves to quote from the births section of the local paper years ago!!

  13. 13th March 2012 / 1:41 pm

    I live in France and it is actually illegal to call your child a ‘stupid’ name. There is a French cartoon character called Titouf (a sort of French Denis the Menace) and the State recently took it to court to prevent the parents calling him that.

    • 13th March 2012 / 2:41 pm

      I approve of that law.

  14. 13th March 2012 / 1:42 pm

    Love this post. We have an Elpheen & Tabitha. We chose them because they were pretty but Pheeny certainly gets her fair share of “Uh? What?” when asked her name (she is four so people look at me confusedly!). It was also really bloody difficult finding a name that went with Elpheen!

    My OH wasn’t too keen on Moonshine or Beowulf. Sad times…

    • 13th March 2012 / 2:42 pm

      My best friend at sixth form used to say she was going to call her firstborn Moonshine. And her surname was Mountain. I was so disappointed when she went for Ella.

  15. 13th March 2012 / 1:47 pm

    My Mother went through a weird name phase with my younger brother & sister. She wanted my brother to be named river or forest and my poor sister Tuesday thankfully she was born on a Saturday though it is her middle name. She also wanted to name her Chelsea which would have been fine if her surname wasn’t Bridge. Thankfully more suitable names were chosen.

    My sister went to school with an Air who reversed her name and called herself Ria.

    My rule when it comes to naming children is it should suit them throughout their whole life not just as a child.

    • 13th March 2012 / 2:42 pm

      Chelsea Bridge? Brilliant. Just brilliant.

  16. 13th March 2012 / 1:50 pm

    Best names of children I’ve taught are Jammy Dodger – cant remember his surname but I think it was something nondescript like Smith. Also had a Jack, which is fine but not when you learn his surname was Daniels. Classy!
    The one which also makes me laugh is from another count where a couple named their child Like, as in Facebook like!

    • 13th March 2012 / 2:43 pm

      Jack Daniels. Tres classy.

  17. 13th March 2012 / 2:03 pm

    My eldest used to have swimming lessons with a girl called Ocean which struck me as quite funny – the water connection and all that.

    The names which wind me up are when girls are given ridiculous cutsey little princessy names and I know a few right now which I’m reluctant to mention as the mums might somehow find my comment (but they know who they are). It’s along the lines of Katie Price calling her girl Princess. It makes me mad, we’re going to get nowhere with equality if a whole generation of girls are named Cutesy Itsby Bitsy Bow Sweety Pie, bleugh. Who’s going to take them seriously in life? Will they ever be a CEO with a name like that? They’re cursed already to a life of being a fluffy accessory. It makes me fume…

    I like to think I don’t judge class-related names but I so do. My own children have ‘classless’ names, which is quite hard to manage when you really put your mind to it. That’s why they all spent the first few weeks of life nameless.
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    • 13th March 2012 / 2:43 pm

      I agree the little cutie names are great when you’re three, not so much if you’re thirty and trying to be taken seriously.

  18. 13th March 2012 / 2:21 pm

    Great post!

    Both of mine have names which aren’t common but they aren’t quirky either. It took us two weeks to name our son, but our daughter was named on the day she was born. I was really overwhelmed with the responsibility that we were choosing a name for a real person!

    Someone my Mum went to school with is called Alf Uck (say it out loud). He had a brother called Wilf. No joke!
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    • 13th March 2012 / 2:44 pm

      Flea’s real name is unusual but not weird. As in it’s a name everyone knows and would recognise but it’s not common enough that there are any other children in the school with the same name. Personally, I like that balance…

  19. 13th March 2012 / 2:29 pm

    When i started my first job in london i told them all my real name was Moonshine (as a joke) – but they didn’t believe i was joking, and it stuck. it sort of grew on me 🙂
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    • 13th March 2012 / 2:44 pm

      I could live with that.

  20. 13th March 2012 / 3:30 pm

    I’m not entirely sure I can comment on this as I have a Jasmine and a Sonny…but, to be fair, we only named the girl Jasmine as I’m Jen and Daddy is James and both names are within her name. And Sonny was the only boys’ name that we both liked. I should point out, however, that I stopped Daddy naming our son Kashmir, so in comparison, Sonny is traditional and lovely 🙂

    I have a cousin called Mulligan. Great stuff, eh…

    • 13th March 2012 / 6:25 pm

      Aw, they’re not too strange!

      • 15th March 2012 / 11:55 pm

        Was watching CBeebies earlier and they had the birthday time thing and someone had sent a birthday card in for their son, whose name was………Arsal.

        Totally thought of you. Well, I thought of your post not *you* per se 🙂
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  21. 13th March 2012 / 3:36 pm

    Yesterday in the playground there was a Neptune and on the train a while back I heard a girl say to her brother “stop it Keanu!” My real name is an unusual, foreign one so I can’t really talk.

    • 13th March 2012 / 6:25 pm

      Both classics. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  22. 13th March 2012 / 4:22 pm

    My daughter has a classmate named Tequila. And she’s not even from Mexico.

    • 13th March 2012 / 6:25 pm

      Snort. Properly, just snort. Why? Why would you do that?

    • 15th March 2012 / 11:56 pm

      I know a Tequila! I thought it was a joke when she was born…

  23. 13th March 2012 / 5:15 pm

    Names are a funny thing. Why is Dawn ok but Sunset positively bohemian? Heather, Rose, Daisy, and other flowers are fine but Peach, Apple, and Melon are celebrity whimsy. Melissa is a herb and so is Roesmary and Basil. However, call your children Sage, Dill and Chilli and Sally doesn’t like it. (Not just Sally, to be fair.) And why are Sunday and Tuesday acceptable but Wednesday or Saturday would be ridiculous? If your child is nice enough the name will catch on and be accepted I think.
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    • 13th March 2012 / 6:28 pm

      I think it’s probably just about heritage. Over decades and centuries, we become familiar with names.

      My issue with chilli is that it’s not really the same as calling your child Sage, or Primrose. Those are pleasant things, to look at, to smell, to taste. Chilli, on the other hand, makes people cry if they get it on their fingers, and causes a burning sensation. Not the name I’d want to saddle a child with, personally. But I do find the notion of naming a child after a commercial entity to be, honestly, just beyond bizarre – much more so than a plant or flower which is fairly innocuous, really.

    • Nikkii
      13th March 2012 / 6:58 pm

      Somehow I doubt Anus will ever catch on no matter how lovely the child is!

  24. Cornish Biscuit
    13th March 2012 / 5:59 pm

    My favourite ever ‘Why did you call your child that’ moment was when my daughter had a friend called Zebedee. I’d love to know how much his parents watched The Magic Roundabout when they were kids!
    I also know of a girl called Nike… Bleh.

    • 13th March 2012 / 6:28 pm

      Nike? Ugh.

    • Lucy
      12th February 2013 / 8:38 pm

      I know of three siblings called Tchiana, Demelza and Zebedee. I actually do worry for them.

  25. 13th March 2012 / 6:18 pm

    My real name is not typical and I love it. I know I use a pseudonym online but I can’t imagine being called anything else.

    That being said I hate names with random X’s, Y’s and Z’s to make them youneek (see what I did there?) My best-friend’s sister is a maternity nurse in the States and she was at the birth of a little girl named “L-ia” pronounce “Ladashia.”

    Check out American college football players for some awesome names like D’Brickashaw Ferguson and Muncie Legaux. Yup. Seriously–but they couldn’t crush you so be careful what you say….
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    • 13th March 2012 / 6:29 pm

      Presuming I know your real name, it’s unusual but not in the sense that people aren’t used to hearing it as a name – it’s just not common. Whereas the increasing trend for made-up names with random letters is just ARGH annoying *assumes best judgmental face*

      • 13th March 2012 / 6:48 pm

        You presume correctly but you’d be surprised how many people call me my middle name because they assume there is no way it could be what I go by. Or the amount of people who ask who to pronounce or spell my name.

        I know a girl with three children and all of them have either an x, y or z in their name that wasn’t in the original spelling–also one name is TOTALLY made up.
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  26. TheBoyandMe
    13th March 2012 / 7:11 pm

    Your first mistake is that they don’t wear footwear that has shoelaces when wearing several layers of mascara, they wear 5 inch heels.

    I am with you on the names front though and as a teacher I’ve worked with some flipping strange names or obscure spellings. I remember reading a few years ago that girls with double-barrelled first names often turn out to be naughty minxes; I’d agree. When I first started teaching I taught a Kylie and a Shanice (“I love your smile”). Some of the names in my school: Ossian, Blue & Ocean (brothers), Boe, Trixie, *Kobi* (WTF?!)

    I’ve got an ordinary name but a fairly unusual spelling of it (clearly I mean my real name!) and after a lifetime of spelling that and my surnames (both maiden & married), I decided that The Boy would have a simple and straightforward name to spell. Only thing is, I live in Wales and there is a Welsh version of the name: head ->desk.

    • 13th March 2012 / 8:24 pm

      Scuse me butting in again but Kobi is reazlly popular in Israel where it is the accepted nickname or shortened version of Jacob. #justsayingfyi
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      • 13th March 2012 / 9:43 pm

        But in the UK and US it’s a sort of steak.

        • TheBoyandMe
          15th March 2012 / 10:48 pm

          Had no idea about that either, I’m vegetarian.

      • TheBoyandMe
        15th March 2012 / 10:47 pm

        Thanks for that, had no idea! However, in south Wales where the family aren’t Jewish and amongst a certain cross-section of our catchment it is fashionable to make up names, it’s not a conventional name.

  27. 13th March 2012 / 7:13 pm

    Are you quite sure the child wasn’t Jonnie Boden’s grandson??
    When we were searching for names for the Bug we came across Bogdan and Bildad. Oh, how we laughed….
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    • 13th March 2012 / 9:44 pm

      Very Hobbit-like, I think.

  28. Nikki
    13th March 2012 / 7:32 pm

    Just remembered that “Blade” and Bonor” were also in our baby names book. Crikey o’reilly.

    • 13th March 2012 / 9:44 pm

      Boner. That’s what that kid is ALWAYS going to be called behind his back.

  29. Nikki
    13th March 2012 / 7:32 pm

    Just remembered that “Blade” and “Bonor” were also in our baby names book. Crikey o’reilly.

  30. Hatster
    13th March 2012 / 8:52 pm

    I was at school with a kid named after a football ground, Stamford Bridge. He didn’t wear that moniker well. The trend for ‘original’ spelling of traditional names is getting out of hand these days. But then I was going to be called Vashti if I was a girl as my parents were stoned when they thought up names so perhaps I am going down a ‘glass houses’ route here and should shut up.

  31. 13th March 2012 / 8:56 pm

    Im all for unique names as long as they’re not overly quirky and just plain weird. What I don’t understand is those who alter the spelling of a name to try and make it different when it only looks odd!!

    My children are Jake, Kyla and Abigail.
    Kyla is fairly unusual bug not overly weird. We chose it because it means Beautiful 🙂
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  32. twopointfourchildren
    13th March 2012 / 9:03 pm

    we have unusual names here but none are made up or called after a clothes shop:-)

  33. 13th March 2012 / 9:04 pm

    Hilarious! Some poor kids do get a raw deal. My favourite one was a little girl in a music class we used to attend, her name was “Kiki”. Everytime her mom called her over, I started to giggle. The rule my girlfriends told me when pregnant was to shout to the name out, like you were calling them for something, if it sounded wrong it was! Although when hollering for your 2-year old even “Emily” has a edge to it…

    • 13th March 2012 / 9:45 pm

      Try shouting ‘Flea’ in the park…

    • 14th March 2012 / 10:09 am

      Just to butt in, but I know someone who shortens Kristina to Kiki to fit across two cultures/languages. I have to say, I really like it, but maybe am used to it now. MyItchyBoy has husband’s traditional surname that has to be spelled several times everywhere we go and drives me bonkers, so I figured whatever we did for the first names didn’t really matter. I always go with the CEO/Sainsbury car park test too, but stick the others in middle names if you want to.
      Apologies for being a day late, but it’s cheering me up and distracting me from housework 🙂
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  34. 13th March 2012 / 9:08 pm

    I’ve got 4 boys…. Lewis, Ryan, Jamie & Steven & a girl called Isla, i think they’re pretty normal names & they actually stand out in their classes due to most of them having weird names :D……my 5 yr old actually has a friend called Toe & my 12 yr old has a friend called Tye?????
    Just a bit to out there for me haha

    • 13th March 2012 / 9:46 pm

      Toe? Awesome. Can you image the poor girl who dates that guy in later life? “Mum, Dad, I want you to meet my fiance, he’s called… Toe…”

  35. 13th March 2012 / 9:28 pm

    I’ve got a lot of sympathy for the foreign names that just sound wrong. My french exchange was called Marine Hazard. Really. Still makes me snigger.

    But there’s no excuse for the totally made up. I have lovely friends who are called (not really but you’ll get the idea) George and Mary. Their children have actual, for real, MADE UP NAMES with lots of zs and ys and xs in them. Why would you do that?

    That said, mine have a mixture of normal every day names and slightly more unusual (but still recognisable as names). Am sure some would think at least one of them is really a step too far….
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    • 13th March 2012 / 9:46 pm

      That’s really very funny. Marine Hazard??

  36. Claire
    13th March 2012 / 9:39 pm

    I know someone who just named their newborn son Herbie…. yes after the car in the film… stupid just stupid

    • 13th March 2012 / 10:20 pm

      I know a Herbie after Herbie Hancock – a lot more palatable a thought.
      Also a Ziggy named after her father’s boat. I sat opposite her working in a call centre for the whole of one summer and she had to answer questions about her name a LOT.
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  37. 13th March 2012 / 9:41 pm

    I kid you not, there was a boy at my daughter’s nursery 11 years ago called….. Xerox.
    I thought the label on the coat hook was for the photocopying OR SOMETHING!
    But nope, then I met him…
    Grazing Kate recently posted..The New Forge, Chagford: Cafe ReviewMy Profile

  38. 13th March 2012 / 9:47 pm

    The children have a friend called Star, which I think suits her.

    There is a child called Bootsy in school. And one called Axel.

    I used to read the birth announcements in the Telegraph. There were some classics. My favourite of all time and I swear it’s true was a baby girl called Hermione Popacatepetl. I feel it raises interesting questions about where she might have been conceived.
    Kate recently posted..Phone pasMy Profile

    • 16th March 2012 / 3:11 am

      I have a friend with a daughter called Star. When we first met, my son (aged about 4 at the time) said “Why’s she called Star? That’s not a name.” You can rely on a 4 year old to tell it as it is!
      Iota recently posted..Moving onMy Profile

  39. 13th March 2012 / 10:00 pm

    I can understand the theory that calling your child something unusual might make them stand out from the crowd, but many parents don’t seem to realise they may stand out for the wrong reasons.
    I once came across a Mingus. I mean seriously? A name with the word “Ming” in it is setting the poor boy up for a lifetime of abuse.
    I’ve also come across a Jorjah. Or Georgia as most normal people would spell it.
    And I knew some twins called Ocean and Breeze. They had an older sister called Summer too just to add to the hilarity.
    And also a family who let their three older children pick the babies name. The poor kid is called Boris.
    But I have to say, I also hate it when people spend nine months growing a baby and then call it something really dull and boring. You just have to strike a balance I guess.
    X
    Lucy at Dear Beautiful Boy recently posted..splodge and me at twelve weeksMy Profile

    • 13th March 2012 / 10:57 pm

      I know the actress in CSI changed her name from Georgia to Jorja at some point in her career, I wonder if that was the inspiration? One suspects the actress did it to avoid a duplication, though…

      And thanks for introducing me to what I will forever think of as “the fabric conditioner family”

  40. 13th March 2012 / 10:18 pm

    Someone once suggested to me that when thinking of what to name your child you should try out these three things, and if it doesn’t work for all three, think of something else:
    1) Hello, can *Firstname* come out to play?
    2) *Firstname*, I love you.
    3) Prime Minister *Firstname Lastname*.

    I did supply teaching a few times and heard of/met a few classics, such as the girl called Sinead but whose parents INSISTED that it was pronounced sin-nee-add rather than shinade. Also the girl called Tuesday who was actually born on a Sunday…
    Lucia recently posted..Nits and chicken pox and toilet trainingMy Profile

    • 13th March 2012 / 10:56 pm

      God that day of the week thing would confuse you forever, wouldn’t it?

  41. 13th March 2012 / 10:31 pm

    I rarely re-visit comments but these are hilarious!

    I feel honour-bound to point out that Boden is actually a real name, not just a clothes shop. It’s old Swedish or French or something. However, I only know this because my friend was thinking of naming her child this and came out with this fact indignantly as we all fell about laughing and saying things about the clothes shop. Her son is now called Alexander…

    I know a boy called Peregrine Falcon. First name Peregrine, middle name Falcon. I also know a Saxon, which is pretty weird anyway, but his is spelled ‘Saksun’. Give me strength. My husband has taught a Bier Khan, a Rick O’Shay and a Russel Sprout (bet all the other kids hated him) over his career so far…
    Eleanor Mum/Me recently posted..Say hello to BippityMy Profile

    • 13th March 2012 / 10:55 pm

      But then you have to question why people living in Lancashire would give their child an old Swedish name? Is that likely? Or are they naming it after the shop…?

      Saksun. That’s just wonderful.

  42. 13th March 2012 / 10:56 pm

    I live in a trendy and very cosmopolitan part of London and the names are wacky around here. My daughter is not even 18 months so we don’t know tons of kids yet, but the ones we know are called unusual names. G plays with Bodhi (sure Boden wasn’t Bodhi?), Rufus, Lazer, Fanny, Olive, Araminta, Indigo (boy), Rosebud, Hudson (we call her Huddie), Sorrel, Griselda, Koko and many other unusually named children. You know what? I think that these names are actually cool. Sure, they’ll have to spell them most of their lives, but these kids will not get lost in a sea of Johns and Olivia and is that such a bad thing, really? I don’t think the parents think that they were ‘being clever’ or ‘cool, original’ or whatever, I think they just heard/ thought of a name, liked it and used it. Some of these parents are my dearest friends and I know for a fact that this is what happened.
    from fun to mum recently posted..73/366My Profile

    • 13th March 2012 / 11:10 pm

      Ooh, I’m going to disagree slightly. Well, completely actually.

      I don’t think anyone chooses a baby name so carelessly as, “I heard a name and liked it”. I think those parents wanted a name that was unusual and suggestive of high status. Lots and lots of parents do – and it does tend to be middle class professional parents who introduce new names to society, and it filters down through the socio-economic table, so names lose their cache over time (if you haven’t read Freakonomics, there’s a fascinating chapter in there on this phenomenon)

      But actually, I’m not at all judgmental about uncommon names. Rufus, Olive, Araminta, Fanny, Sorrel – they’re perfectly normal, well-established names, just not currently common. Flea’s name probably falls under the same ‘uncommon’ category.

      My judgement is reserved for entirely made-up names that wilfully mis-spell a perfectly good, existing name, and those people who name their children after teapot makers or furniture stores. That’s just unkind, isn’t it?

  43. 13th March 2012 / 11:47 pm

    I am book marking this post to show my son tomorrow. He likes to constantly remind me of how awful his name is (Cameron) and about his plans to change it as soon as he turns 18.
    I originally chose it because I didn’t want my child to be lost in a sea of boring names that kids end up sharing with several other children at school. Unluckily for us, Cameron caught on as a popular name and it happened anyway! It’s extra-unfortunate that it turned out to be the PM’s surname but, reading this post, I think Cameron got off pretty lightly.

    • 14th March 2012 / 9:45 am

      Pah. My nephew is called Cameron, it was my grandmother’s maiden name so it’s been passed through the family in various ways. It’s a GREAT name.

      • 14th March 2012 / 10:15 am

        It’s my Granny’s maiden name, too. How funny!
        Hannah recently posted..La Pizza RossaMy Profile

  44. 14th March 2012 / 7:41 am

    I must admit I do like a lot of quirky names although some, I agree are ridiculous. I really wanted to call my Sons either Sam or Arthur. ‘Those aren’t quirky names’ I hear you mumble but they are when your surname is Syder! Lets just say Hubby put his foot down…especially with Arthur – gutted as I love that name! I personally think he was being unreasonable, lol!
    Mama Syder recently posted..Disney On Ice ReviewMy Profile

  45. 14th March 2012 / 9:46 am

    I can see why Arthur mightn’t be the best idea…

  46. 14th March 2012 / 10:08 am

    Oh this has made me laugh and laugh, thank you! Just what the doctor ordered.
    Our eldest has an unusual name but only because my husband is Welsh, we met at college in Wales and the name is Welsh. My boy is nearly 16 and he carries it well. Second born has a ‘normal’ name, DD has an Irish one (again because of family) and youngest’s is unusual but works.
    There is a child in youngest’s class called Elfin. He’s a boy.

  47. 14th March 2012 / 12:29 pm

    wow! so many replies, so apologies if I duplicate any names 🙂 My personal peeve is people calling their dog a name that one could possibly choose for their child, e.g. Sarah. Having said that a friend just called his child Riley, which is my dogs name (because he lives a life of…). The name I don’t get is Jordan for a boy, there must be some ribbing at school for that one being Katie Price’s alter ego.
    I chose a traditional name for my first child only to find several every where we went, now years later I had a second child & her name is my grandmothers & DH grandmother, we wanted to avoid all the Evie, Ava, Eva, Ellie, Isabellas (all very pretty names, even as adults!) that now fill the classrooms so hopefully she will have an edge being the only one.

  48. Pants With Names
    14th March 2012 / 2:12 pm

    One of my boys’ Bosnian classmates was called Denial. It made me laugh every single time I saw his peg in the cloakroom.

  49. Qlddeb
    14th March 2012 / 10:23 pm

    I know of a girl called Precious. Fair enough, her parents were on IVF for 10 years to have her, but still, this kid’s got to go through school! In rural Australia! Poor love.

  50. 15th March 2012 / 6:41 am

    I do believe for the most part, it’s down to the individual and why should parents conform to ‘Anglosized names’ for example if they’d like to reflect their ethnicity etc. Yes I agree Boden is a bizarre choice and I roll eyes at children named as fruit-why Gwyneth called her daughter Apple, I know not-let’s just hope they will always be rich and famous and populate schools and jobs will celebrate their ‘unique names’ as oppose to bully them for being named after the most common fruit in existence.

  51. 15th March 2012 / 12:56 pm

    The one good thing about having an unusual name, even if it’s horrible, is that people remember it. And please spare a thought for us adoptive parents who have no say in what their child is called. My son’s is a traditional name, I’m glad to say, but not what we would have chosen for him.
    Gretta @mumsdotravel recently posted..School trips for teenagersMy Profile

    • 16th March 2012 / 3:16 am

      Very interesting point. I have sometimes wondered how that feels. It could be that you have an adoptive child with a name you really hate. That would be hard.
      Iota recently posted..Moving onMy Profile

  52. 16th March 2012 / 3:23 am

    There’s a real fashion where I am to use surnames as first names (Aniston, Emerson, Peyton, Taylor, Kinsley, Tyler, etc etc). I know one little girl called Hampton. Her mother shortens it to “Hamps”, and it makes me cringe. I just think to myself “Of all the thousands of names you could have chosen, was ‘Hamps’ really the one that was your must-have? Did you lie in bed at night, stroking your pregnant belly, dreaming of your precious child, and conclude that ‘Hamps’ was going to be the name that suited her best?”

    There are a lot of names in this part of the world ending -yn, eg Jordyn, which I’m guessing would annoy you, Sally. I recently came across a little boy called Trityn (what?) My favourite is Brityn (being one myself).
    Iota recently posted..Moving onMy Profile

  53. 24th September 2012 / 11:17 am

    Just happened upon this post and had to share this hideous name I’ve heard more than once:
    Nevaeh.
    It’s Heaven spelt backwards, how lovely. Excuse me while I vomit.
    Aweeze recently posted..Couch to 5k – week 3 day 1My Profile

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