I’m a Hater.

No joke, one of the first things that I started worrying about after getting pregnant was names.

Seriously.

I Hate Your Kids’ Names  (I originally wanted to use that for this post title, but didn’t want to outright insult anyone.)

I hate most names. Either they’re just stupid (Axel! Nevaeh!), or trendy (Brayden and all its rhymes; Jackson; Madison), or kriaytyve (Braidynne, Madissyn, Jaxson).

Hate!

Baby’s Named a Bad, Bad Thing

I occasionally visit the Babycenter.com message boards, and once spent a few hours trawling through the name boards. One mother proudly proclaimed her baby’s future name: Paityn. Pages and pages of other posters saying, basically, NO, that is a stupid name, don’t do it! And every once in a while, the original poster would pop in and say things like, It’s my baby, I’ll name her whatever I want to, you’re just jealous, I really like the name, etc etc etc. That post and even all the other ones, with their names that are So Precious and So Unique That All Sound the Same….I just can’t roll my eyes hard enough.

I told you I’m a hater.

Utah Names

The worst thing is that I’d bring this up to people who asked if we had names. I would sigh helplessly, ‘No, because I hate all the names.’ And every.single.time, they would proceed to begin rattling off names. Depending on how close I am to them, I would vary my responses from a headshake to a polite ‘no’ to an eyeroll to an emphatic ‘UGH’.

American Baby Names are Somehow Getting Even Worse

The other major problem is that I’ve taught about 500 kids. Which means that any name from that pool is going to conjure up memories–mostly bad ones, for boy names.
Plus one has to cross off names of former peers, colleagues/coworkers, family members, and babies/children of people you know well.

STFU, Parents: The Future of Baby Names

Thankfully Andy didn’t have any names he loved already–you can figure out that I sure didn’t. Neither of us have traditional names to choose from (his dad’s family had a tradition, but it’s a terrible name that has now ended its reign, thank goodness), neither of us has a culture that might be a good inspiration. Neither of us has any favorite author/artist/literary character that would make a good name. Neither of us is religious, so the traditional Bible names aren’t meaningful for us.

Horrid Baby Names (twitter)

I made sure to bring a baby name book with us on our road trip this summer, because that would force us to find some time to work on the options. A part of me was truly worried that we would never find a name–let alone two!–that we liked enough. One day driving through Ohio, we took turns going through the sections. Most of the time was spent eye-rolling or groaning.

Seriously, choosing a name for a human being to wear and use and be for the next eighty years or so…that’s a big deal. We have to live with it, and they have to live with it as small children and as grown adults, they will hope to avoid bad nicknames, they have to job hunt with it and fill out a lifetime of paperwork. Why burden someone with an annoying name that people can’t pronounce or spell correctly? Ugh.

Happily, after a number of hours of reading and considering, we did come up with a list of names that we didn’t hate–less than twenty. And we actually narrowed it down to two full names that we like pretty well. We haven’t told anyone, partly because we may change our minds, and partly because we don’t want to deal with other people’s opinions–and it seems like when people share their baby names, the other person feels compelled to share their experience or opinion of that name. And this is a hard enough decision without other people’s input!

So when these babies make their way into the world, we will introduce them to everyone for the first time, with names that are real names, solid names, that will hopefully grow with them into adulthood.

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19 thoughts on “I’m a Hater.

    • Heh, love it. Your kids have unusual names for sure, but I love that you stuck with a theme. Also, that they’re all actual names, and they’re all spelled correctly. 🙂

  1. Love the rhetoric…and every teacher out there feels the same about names of former students (except for Julie…there were only a few of those, and they were all pretty special…especially YOU!)

  2. I still like the name we chose for our first child, but we’re definitely having a harder time coming up with an as-good name for our second, especially since we’re not finding out the sex. I can’t imagine having to choose two names (or is it four? I can’t remember if you found out the sex of the twins?) plus middle names. Names ARE hard.

    Will you reveal the names after the babies are born?

    • Yeah, you did what seems impossible–a lovely name that’s not popular/trendy but not weird (and of course, spelled correctly! :D). And then to figure out a companion/sibling name, I’m sure that’s a tough follow-up!
      We did find out the sexes, partly to make the name-deciding process easier! And yeah, I think I’ll call them by name on here, or at least do an intro post with their names (not last names though, of course).

  3. I’m a hater too =D Our “short list” is, like, two names we don’t hate for each gender. My family finally stop suggesting things when the only reaction they got was “No. No. NO! Ehhh. No. No…”

    It’s extra tricky trying to come up with girl AND boy names that don’t suck!

    • Ha! So glad that I’m not the only one who reacts like that to name suggestions! Some people can “know” what name their baby looks like once they come out. I’m kind of jealous of those people.

  4. I have a weird middle name and I think that is an excessively awkward thing for a child. But I think any good, solid, traditionally spelled name works out. It is a disadvantage to have been a teacher. Students certainly do ruin a lot of names for you. Without regard to their ancient origins, I think many Biblical names are among those that are associated with people of strong character. My only advice is not to strive for uniqueness or creativity. Good luck with everything that is coming up for you. I’ll be thinking about you.

    • Well, at least the weird one isn’t your first name! Picking a good middle name is a whole other challenge–you want that one to be nice and maybe meaningful but it has to sound ‘right’ with the first and last names. And oh no, the creative/unique names are the most annoying ones!

  5. 1) You don’t necessarily have to rule out names that have been “taken” by people you know. My mom tells the story of how she wanted to name one of my younger sisters Courtney but couldn’t because her neighbor friend had just named her daughter that. Of course we ended up moving less than a year later!

    2) Even though this is my 8th year (!!!) teaching I don’t think too many names have been ruined for me as the first 5 years most of my kids had ghetto-ish names or normal names with weird spellings, and the past 3 years most of my kids have Arab names (so while I really don’t like the names Karim, Mohammad, or Rami anymore I wasn’t likely to name my kids that anyway).

    • 1-Yeah, I think it’s a tough balance of how well you know the person and how long you’ll know them. But you also don’t want someone to be annoyed that you ‘stole’ their name–seems like it could be a weird dance. Do you bring it up and try to explain, or just not care and not mention it?

      2-Me too, with the non-‘traditional’ names. Most of my difficult kids had names I would never ever use, but a few of them did have ‘normal’ names. That’s a good side effect of teaching abroad–you won’t be tempted to or away from those names!

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