When it comes to naming a new bundle of joy, many parents look for the same thing: they want to choose a name that is original or unique sounding. For some, this just simply means staying away from names ranked in the top 50 on the popularity scale and calling it a day. But sometimes, choosing an unpopular name can be difficult and other parents will go a little overboard. What do I mean by overboard? I mean stretching far beyond just “interesting” or “one of a kind” into a realm of just plain crazy!
We are well aware that parents are looking to be unique when it comes to naming a new arrival, but expectant moms and dads shouldn't take this decision lightly. The name you give your son or daughter might be super cool – or it might be just down right ridiculous, allowing for the therapy bills to pill up when he or she is older. There is such a thing as being too original, like when a name is pushed beyond the boundary of really being a name at all (like a lot of the names on this list). Most of the time this unnecessary! There are so many beautiful sounding names out there that could fit a similar meaning, and a lot of them are suggested as alternatives. So, without further delay, here are 20 baby names you should cross off your list ASAP and get out of your head completely!
Yes, it’s true that Elizabeth is a very popular name and maybe some parents are looking for more originality – but adding an “r” to the name Elizabeth does not make it original – it just makes it the name Elizabeth with an “r” thrown in! Elizabreth sounds ridiculous and I would have honestly chuckled if I heard the name said out loud. I am all for wanting original names but butchering an already beautiful name is not the way to do it!
The name Elizabeth (sans “r”) on the other hand is a name I love! I am also a fan of abbreviations, so even if you wanted to name your daughter Elizabeth and thought it was too common, you could use one of the many cute nick names such as: Liz, Lizzie, Eliza, Beth, Elyssa just to name a few!
Colon – it can be a body part that helps create bowel movements or it can be a punctuation mark ‘:’ that is follow by a list of terms. Colon, however, cannot be a baby name! Yes, maybe you are looking for something original or maybe you want a “c” name, but please avoid this name like the plague! Your poor child will be teased until the end of time!
If you want something with a hard “c” sound, there are many other better names to choose from! Some examples include: Connor, Caleb, Cameron, just to name a few! (Notice how I worked that punctuation into this sentence? Just to reaffirm Colon is NOT a name.) Do yourself a favor and cross this one off of the list. You will thank me later.
Yes, we all know that the name Olivia is too overused (and is also very beautiful sounding). According to BabyCenter, it was the third most popular name for girls in 2016! But just like with Elizabeth mentioned above, changing the spelling to try to mimic the name but keep it original is NOT the way to go!
The name spelled Aliviyah has way too many “i” and “a” letters and not to mention it looks extremely obvious that you are trying to mimic a name that already exists in another form. The “y” is completely unnecessary because the “i” and “a” together form the sound that the “y” makes! And also, let’s look at how the name Olivia starting with the letter “a” sounds a bit ridiculous. I know that phonetically it may sound like we are saying it with an “a” like Ah-liv-ia, but having it spelled out like that makes my skin crawl! Just stick with Olivia or choose another name.
This is yet another example of a wonderful name turned horrible with ridiculous spelling. I think these parents are trying to mimic the name Riley? An interesting spelling choice because upon first glance, it looks like it could be pronounced “Ree-lee”. Although the name Riley has risen in popularity and was ranked 7th in baby name popularity for girls and 220th for boys, there are nicer ways to spell the name if you are looking for something different. My favorites include Rylie or Ryleigh but the double “eigh” is completely unnecessary!
If you’re looking for another “r” name that is gender neutral, how about looking at Reagan, Robin or Rory – or plenty of others to give you that original “r” sounding name for your son or daughter.
This name is incredibly trendy right now but is becoming way too overdone. Nevaeh is “heaven” spelled backwards and was the 75th most popular baby girl name in the US in 2016. This name is essentially made up and has no historical significance because it did not exist beyond this decade. The name is pronounced “Nuh-vay-ah” but it is one of those names that looks different than it sounds phonetically, which fuels my general dislike for the name.
I understand wanting to give your child a name with spiritual significance but there are so many other names that are easier to pronounce out there that mean “heaven” or “divine”. Take Angela, Angelica, Celine or Celeste for example! These names offer great alternatives to a name that will surely go out of style in no time flat.
We’ve all seen Dirty Dancing and love Jennifer Grey’s adorable character Baby. But cute 80s movies aside, Baby is not a name you want to give your child. The name may be cute when your baby is, well, a baby, but when she grows up to be an adult, having the name Baby can have some big consequences. Everyone loves cute names when children are little but the reality is everyone gets older. That being said, Baby is not the best name when it comes to your daughter been taken seriously in her job or even amongst her peers.
Even Baby’s name in Dirty Dancing wasn’t actually her real name – it was Frances. The fact that she was called Baby was talked about in the movie, in her plight to be taken more seriously and respected as a young adult. Keep this name as a fun nickname when your child is little but don’t commit to putting it on a birth certificate – you’ll regret it if you do!
Another name in reference to popular culture, this name comes from the popular comic book series Batman and the countless movies by the same name. Gotham is the name of the city where Batman resides and is popular with the comic book nerds of the world. The city is corrupt and Batman often saves the day from the criminals who run amuck.
Gotham is a great name for a fictional city overrun with criminals but not for your baby boy. Yes, you may love Batman and be a “hardcore fan”, but even children of hardcore fans need names with more depth. If you’re in love with the comic or the Netflix series, why not choose a name from the plethora of characters and maybe one that’s less obviously iconic to the franchise? Some of those include John, Grayson, Robin or Bruce – names that still remain significant to the comic but that don’t blatantly register a bat signal to anyone to who sees or hears them.
Erika with an “m”? A Short form of “America”? I don’t really know what’s going on with this name but I am not a fan. If the intent behind this name is to be patriotic than I can appreciate that but there are so many better names to choose from! If we put on our American History hats we can remember a wide range of names from the illustrious high school history course.
There are plenty of women from the history books who have gorgeous names that would serve your daughter better. How about Abigail after Abigail Adams? Or what about Hannah after Hannah Arnett? Or you could choose Lydia, Harriet, Molly or Patience? All these would be excellent choices for beautiful names. And if none of this persuades you, just think about the teasing! “Make ‘Merika’ great again” will be a joke that never stops on the playground.
When I think of a Cannon, I think of “Bang!” Yep, stepping back in time, I think of great ships and solders and “arm the cannons”. I am sure we all remember learning about cannons as weapons of war? Well that is the first thing that will come to mind if you announce your little one has the name Cannon. I can understand the desire to use a name ending with an “on” sound, as they are a particular favorite of mine as well. But there are so many better sounding options to choose from that don’t make your child have to endure life being compared to an 18th Century weapon. Some examples that I enjoy are Brandon, Anson, Harrison or Jackson – they have a similar sound as Cannon but leave no room for negative interpretations.
Jessica? Erica? Was it not possible to choose one or the other, so they needed to be combined together? That’s what came to mind when I first heard of this name, although further research shows that it is in fact a German/Slavic name derived from the names Gertrude, Gera, Gerda, Gertrud, Gertruda and it was 'translated' into Slavic Jera, Jerca, Jerica, Jedrt because Germany occupied a lot of the Slavic territories. It is apparently also spelled Jerrica, which somehow makes the name look more pleasing to the eye.
Despite the name having a real history, it is still not a favorite because many people do confuse it with being a combination of Jessica and Erica, like I mentioned above. And to make things even more complicated the “j” sound is like a “y” sound in Slavic, so if you do decide to go with this pronunciation, your child will forever have a mispronounced name. Do yourself a favor and choose a different name to make life easier for your little one!
This name needs no introduction as to why it would be a bad idea. Unless you’ve been living under a rock or somehow slept through all of high school History, you know the historical figure that is famous for this first name. It is of course, none other than Adolf Hitler, leader of the Nazi party responsible for the Holocaust.
Even if you love the name, just please don’t do it! Think of how badly your son will be teased, not to mention the backlash you would receive from friends and family. If you love the name Adolf there are plenty of nice alternatives that don’t have a horrible historical connotation to them. Examples such as Adam, Alec or André would be wonderful alternatives for your beautiful baby boy.
When I picture this name, all I can think about are horses. That’s probably because the word Appaloosa is a type of horse breed best known for its colorful spotted coat pattern on its rear-end. The word is actually an Americanized version of the word Opelousa which is a First Nations tribal name from Indiana. It is believe the horse breed came from the American mid-west. With a definition that basically means ‘spotted butt’, it is no wonder this is a name to veto.
I understand the desire to name your daughter something majestic and unique but there are many other names that could fall under this category without having to name her after a horse. How about something like Anastasia or Ariadne? Or if you’re looking for something with a hint of Americana, I would even suggest Montana or Savanah. Toss Appaloosa into the veto list and dive back into your baby name research. There are plenty of beautiful names out there!
When I heard that this name was actually being used for a child I didn’t believe it at first. Upon doing some research, I discovered to my surprise, it is actually used and is growing in popularity! The name is apparently used more for boys than girls – although I don’t understand why anyone would use it at all. My main issue with this name is that it lacks originality and it has no meaning whatsoever. It is not even a word but the first 5 letters of the alphabet thrown together.
In my quest to understand why such a name exists, I have come to find that the people who like it tend to like its originality, making it an extremely bold choice. But come on, there are so many other bold names that would suite your child much better! How about Atticus, Jethro or even Hunter? Ditch Abcde and take a look at these (and the many other better choices) instead.
“La”? Why would anyone name their child a sound? And then I realized that the name is actually pronounced “Ladasha” and I just about fell off my chair. Yep, that’s right everyone: the dash isn’t silent. Seeing this name and then hearing how it’s actually pronounced literally makes my skin crawl. Not only do I think the name is ridiculous in itself but why would you want to put your child through having a name like that? Like myself, no one (and I mean no one) will know to pronounce the ‘-’ as the word “dash”. And for those of you not aware, the ‘-’ symbol is also called a hyphen. So really La-a could also be pronounced “Lahyphena”. The ridiculousness of this name astounds me! There are so many unique names out there that are significantly better. Please, I beg of you, choose something else instead – really anything that is not this name will do.
This is a great movie and a lovable character… but it is not a great baby name. Shrek is a fictional ogre character created by American author William Steig and he is of course the protagonist of the book and the movie series of the same name. The name Shrek derived from the German word Schreck, meaning "fright" or "terror".
Not only is this not an actual name used by human non-animated babies (it’s pretty much non-existent in the baby name databases), the name essentially means “fear”. I have no idea why you would want to name your baby boy such an ominous name. If you’re looking for something with similar features as Shrek, I like Kurk, Kurt or even Otis as a name choice. There are many names out there that are similar to Shrek that would be a wonderful choice (without the ogre sentiment).
Unless you got in a time machine and travelled back to the 1950s, I don’t know why you would want to name your daughter Edna. This name, once popular in the generation of our grandparents, is not so well received now. The name means “delight” and although that would be a great meaning for a baby girl name, there are many others to choose from with that meaning: Amanda, Joylynn and Aliza are beautiful alternatives. Edna is also derived from the Irish name Eithne, which is a lot nicer sounding. If you are dead set on Edna, chose the variation Eithne instead!
And if none of the above is convincing enough, Edna is the name of a Tracy’s mom in the Broadway musical Hairspray, and is often played by a man who portrays the character as ridiculous, obnoxious and over the top. You may remember Edna played by John Trevolta in the movie adaptation of this show? As this image solidifies in your brain, so should the decision to cross Edna off your list.
Although the meaning of Moose is “big and strong” it is not the way to go when choosing a name for your baby boy. This name is simply the name of a large animal turned into a baby name and it is for that reason I give it the “thumbs down”. Thankfully this name is not that popular, not even being ranked in the top 1000 in baby name popularity. But that being said, it does have several name variations that include Moos, Mooz and Mooze (neither of which are much of an improvement).
With so many baby boy names representing strength, it should not be too difficult to find a much better sounding alternative with the same meaning. Some options that I love are Aaron, Max and Zeke and any of these would fit a baby boy with so much more grace and class.
When I hear the name Bertha, a large unattractive woman comes to mind. It is for this reason that I suggest this name be vetoed as soon as possible. This name is of German origin and means bright. The German pronunciation is BEHR-tah, which I think is actually rather beautiful. But we must be mindful of how the name is pronounced in English and cross it off our lists.
Yes, it's a shame this pronunciation became anglicized so horribly, and we are instead left with a name that appears to be universally loathed, but there are other options available. How about spelling the name like Beirta or choosing one of the many names that also carry the meaning “bright”: Aileen, Helen and Ciana could do the job nicely.
According to the dictionary definition, the word “jackle” means a slender, long-legged wild dog that feeds on carrion, game, and fruit, often hunts and is found in Africa and southern Asia. So, maybe not the best name for a baby? When I recovered from cringing after hearing this name, I started to wonder if users were trying to anglicize the name Jekyll used for Dr. Henry Jekyll, the protagonist of Robert Louis Stevenson's The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. I then soon realized it wouldn’t be much better, as it is the name of a physician in the book who discovers a drug that separates off the evil side of his character into a distinct persona. Right… perhaps it’s time to go back to the drawing board and give Jackle the boot!
When I see the name Dorcas, I can’t get the words “dork” and “ass” out of my head and it is for this reason this name is on the veto list. Derived from the Greek dorkas (gazelle), this is a biblical name originally borne by a Christian woman of Joppa who devoted herself to works of charity. Through the prayers of Peter, she was raised from the dead. The interesting thing about this name is that there are so many variations that are much more beautiful sounding. I love the name Tabitha, which is derived from the same meaning. If Dorcas means “gazelle”, then why not use something similar sounding like Giselle? With a little bit of research and creativity, it wouldn’t be too difficult to find a much better name with a similar meaning that any girl would love.
Sources: CafeMom, BabyCentre, OurBabyNamer, Nameberry