With a child who has recently left primary school, a job in another primary school, and a slightly unhealthy obsession with celeb-land, I have come across my fair share of unusual children’s names over the last few years.
Naming one’s child is obviously a very personal choice, but I often wonder if parents really think through the reality of their child having to live with that name for the rest of their life – a name should be able to stand the test of time and not be a potential embarrassment, as far as I’m concerned.
Here are some that don’t quite make the grade (in my humble opinion, and with apologies in advance to anybody I offend!)
1. Geronimo. My ex-sister-in-law seriously considered naming her third child this. I may have put her off by laughing hysterically for about 15 minutes, as she eventually named him Lawton.
2. Agatha or Gladys. If traditional names are your thing (and with a son called William, I guess they’re probably mine as well), there are lots of lovely ones out there to choose from. These ones, selected by a former neighbour of mine for her two daughters, are not lovely.
3. Zowie. Selecting a name because it rhymes with your surname is just WRONG, David Bowie. See also point 7 below.
4. Rooney. I heard a woman in the street yesterday (who inspired this post, actually) screeching ‘Rooooooney’!!!’ after her recalcitrant offspring. I despair. Truly, I despair.
5. Milly and Tilly. Lovely names, both – when you’re a toddler in a pink frilly frock. Not so much when you’re a 45 year old barrister. Both these names are diminutives of ‘proper’ names (Millicent and Matilda originally), and as such, if you want to call your child this sort of thing, at least give them the full name to fall back on in case they decide they want to be taken seriously later in life.
6. Jonty (see also: Monty and Hector). It just makes you sound like a pompous, public school arse, before you’ve even opened your mouth, doesn’t it? If I were a potential employer, I may not even read beyond the ‘name’ line of his CV. Sorry, Jonty.
7. Any ridiculous made-up name invented by a celebrity purely to get publicity. These include Apple (Gwyneth Paltrow & Chris Martin); Dweezil and Moon Unit (Frank Zappa); Bluebell Madonna (Geri Haliwell) – also see point 5; Sage Moonblood (Sylvester Stallone) and Romeo (the Beckhams).
8. Destiny, Chastity, Chanel, Charisse, Courtney, Britney, Jordan, Kayleigh and Charmaine. All real names that I’ve come across over the last few years.
9. Dodgy spellings. I once had a friend called Martine (lovely name), but spelled Marteen (uh?), because her mother had sent her father to register the birth and he didn’t know how to spell it. True story. Isn’t it funny how seeing it written down like that makes the name look so much uglier? Or is it just me? Anyway, recent examples of similar that I’ve seen are Kristofer, Kloee, Kaytee, Jaysun, Joesif and Chevaughn.
Have you got any more to add to my list?