I was aware that there is a segment of the population who prefers to scar their children for life with ridiculous names. There's no better reason to start paying close attention to baby names than if you've got one on the way, and since becoming pregnant I've been doing just that. When I first started paying attention to what other people were naming their children, I immediately noticed that there are more of these "unique" names out there than I previously believed. Now, six months later, I've come to the conclusion that it's not just a segment of people doing this-- the vast majority
of new parents are going for these names that are, well, bad. It's completely tolerable when you hear a "unique" baby name here and there, but it's another when 98% of the baby names you hear are of the "unique" variety, and if I hear one more person announce the impending arrival of a kid whose name is a completely random arrangement of letters, my brain might short-circuit.
I know it's not polite to make fun of other people's kids' names, and the fact that so many people are using names that I consider to be bad almost guarantees that I'll offend someone with this post. But it's my blog and I'll be a bitch if I want to. It's not my fault you named your kid Teutonia, umkay? And by the way, Teutonia's gonna get on crystal meth and steal your identity by the time she's 19, and you have no one to blame but yourself, because hard drugs will be the only way for her to deal with the never ending playground torture that a kid named Teutonia will inevitably be subjected to.
There's a difference between a bad baby name and a f*cktardian (or really, really, inexcusably bad) baby name. Let me explain.
First, a word about names of the plain old "bad" sort. There are certain rules to follow and mistakes you know to avoid, and when you fail to follow these rules, you risk choosing a bad baby name. For example, you want to pay attention to the initials to make sure you're not going to have a little F.A.T. or a P.I.G. or a N.U.T. or a D.I.K. This is common sense.
Another bad baby name characteristic, in my opinion, is having the last letter sound of the first name be the same letter as the first one in the middle name or the last name-- especially if the letter in question is a soft consonant, such as "L" or "S." Will Lewis, for example, or "Willis Smith." Say one of those out loud. It sucks, doesn't it? It's a bad baby name.
Bad baby name characteristic number three-- the first name is the same as the last name. William McWilliams. Now, William is a perfectly respectable name, as is McWilliams. But William McWilliams is going to grow up to be a car salesman or a radio personality. Robert Robertson is going to be the assistant manager at the local Save Rite-- not that there's anything wrong with that, mind you. I just think you should give your kid options.
There are many more examples of bad baby name characteristics, but I think you get my point.
Now let's talk about baby names of the f*cktardian variety. These are just really, really bad baby names. Just as there are rules that can prevent bad baby names, there are rules that can prevent reallllly bad (f*cktardian) baby names.
F*cktardian naming characteristic #1-- Using a last name as a first name. Smithington. Brooks. Kennedy.
F*cktardian naming characteristic #2-- giving your kid a random word for a name because you think it's pretty. I like words more than your average person. I am an appreciator of language. I have fallen in love with certain words, had affairs with them, and then left them for newly discovered ones. So I get it. I get hearing a word and wanting to use it in every sentence. But you must remember that your love affair with a word will not last forever. Your child's name, however, is forever. Examples of this f*cktardian naming characteristic include Poppy, Kevlar, or Maximo.
F.N.C. #3-- Bad spelling. The spellings of English words and names have evolved over hundreds of years, and had countless influences from other languages, cultures, etc. There's history there. A name is spelled a certain way for a reason, so have some respect for the language and don't go throwing in random letters because you think it looks cool. Cole is spelled C-O-L-E. Not C-H-O-L-E. Congratulations, your kid is gonna be called C-hole. Just as Cole is Cole, Alexander is Alexander. NOT Alecksander, or worse yet-- Aleckzander. That's just silly, and I don't know what else can be said about it.
F*cktardian Naming Characteristic #4-- Place names, especially for girls. Little Savannah is going to grow up to smell like stripper poles and broken dreams. Welcome to the stage, Savannah!
F*cktardian Naming Characteristic #5-- Your child's name should not require punctuation. This means no apostrophes, dashes, or umlauts. If your kid's name is Caitlyn, just spell it that way. You don't need the two dots over the a or the i. Besides, nobody's ever gonna use it. Ever. And she'll probably be relieved to be called "Katie." Apostrophes are worse. If you want your kid to be called "Lil' Terrance," just put Terrance on the birth certificate. We can see that he's little. Lil' is not an appropriate first name. The apostrophe doesn't help.
Last but not least, FNC #6-- Putting "Mc" or "Mac" in front of the name. MacKenzie. MacKayla. McKenna. Unless it's a family name (more on that in a minute) this isn't cool. Mc and Mac mean "son of." Would you name your kid Kenzie? No. So why would you name her "son of Kenzie"?? Mc is not a fix all. Would you use McKracker? I think not.
So my advice on baby names is to stick close to the safe zones. Safe zones include family names as well as names that have stood the test of time. A tiny bit of creativity is fine. Just do us a favor and follow the rules. Bend 'em. Just don't, you know, rip the rules off the wall so you can add your own punctuation and spelling or rearrange the letters however you want.