Every good parent will insist what matters most is that their baby is happy, healthy and loved. But you secretly want your kid to be cool as well.
Hence why so many children are toddling around in Toms shoes, spitting up on Ed Hardy onesies and dumping applesauce on quiff haircuts. Sure, dressing your youngster in designer apparel might elicit a few eye-rolls from the Target-shopper moms.
However, there are other ways in which a well-meaning quest for cool can accidentally backfire and brand a kid a loser for life. Or at least until he’s old enough to take matters into his own hands.
Shakespeare argued that “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet” but colloquial wisdom openly states “kids can be cruel.” Due to the latter, any child with a name weirder than Rose risks a less-than-sweet elementary school experience. When it comes to baby names, the strongest ones have staying power. Remember: Gertrude used to be chic, too. While that doesn’t necessarily bind you to timelessly classic yet tediously common names like Elizabeth and David (apologies to any Liz or Dave readers out there), it does mean that a name should be based on more than what’s hot this season.
Below is a list of ridiculous hipster names guaranteed to land you in the crappiest of nursing homes one day:
John Deere hats and mounted animal heads are admittedly in vogue in an ironic sort of way. However, there is nothing witty about bequeathing your darling infant with a name that’s better suited for a potbellied trucker. Or a potbellied pig
Unless you’re Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow, it’s a bad idea to name your child after fruit. Even they shouldn’t have done it—but people tend not to argue with a couple that beautiful.
Fortunately, daughter Apple was not followed by son Cantaloupe or baby Kumquat. Martin and Paltrow obviously didn’t consider that when she’s a grandmother, she’ll be known as Granny Apple.
And though the “apple of your father’s eye” jokes may be cute, the inevitable “your father’s seed” comments are presumably far less welcome. Now that her parents are divorced, there will almost certainly be utterances of “doesn’t fall far from the tree” whenever she misbehaves.
Something about Kai makes it sound more like a sashimi option than a baby name. Though it can be translated as “victory” in certain Chinese dialects, it also means “dog” in Cornish. If you are determined to call your son Kai, be sure not to spell it Ky. After all, nobody wants to go through life sharing a name with a prominent sexual lubricant manufacturer.
10 Michael (for a girl)
Gender has never been more fluid than in the 21st century. Nowadays, many progressive parents are going beyond the pink-or-blue boycott and allowing their children to fully sculpt their own identities.
That said, forcing a girl to bear a stereotypical boy’s name (or vice versa) is just as pigeonholing as obliging her to play with Barbies. For a neutral option, consider Alex.
Palindromes are fun but you wouldn’t call your kid Racecar—and naming your son after the stoned bus-driver from The Simpsons is just as bad. Even if the cartoon is cancelled by the time your child reaches elementary school, his teachers were probably ’90s kids and therefore know every classic Otto line by heart. “You know those guitars that are… like… double guitars?”
This female equivalent of Cooter is an adorable name… for a Holstein. In fact, some critics are hailing it as “the new Bessie.” Okay, maybe not. But that doesn’t make it appropriate for your bundle of joy. Moooove onto the next option.
Is it a first name? A last name? A manufacturing company? A satellite city? The given name Vaughn will keep people guessing—and not only because of its pretentious amount of silent letters. With a lingual interchangeable fore- and surname, you are destining your child to a life wrought with clerical errors
There is no denying that some national founders boast a more robust sense of lyricism than others. Yet regardless of how tempting it may be to name your daughter India, it is no more logical than calling her Uruguay.
Furthermore, there are unsavory connotations associated with place-cum-female names. It may not be statistically proven that Brooklyns are more likely to jump out of a cake than Sharons… but that’s not a stigma you want to bestow upon your little girl.
Sit. Stay. Good baby.
Perhaps Rihanna’s hit “S&M” encouraged your sexual liberation. Or maybe you love dancing along with the video for “Single Ladies.”
No matter how much their music spoke to you, you should nevertheless resist the temptation to name your child after your favorite pop-star. As countless Madonnas and Elvises will attest, the coolness of a celebrity name is directly correlated to the coolness of that celebrity.
While Beyoncé may be the reigning queen of pop, there will come a time when the crown is passed and she is reduced to a botched plastic surgery/prescription drug overdose scandal. If it can happen to Whitney, it can happen to anyone.
With its gravitational pull that yanks lethal asteroids off-course from Earth and its avant-garde red spot, Jupiter is arguably the coolest planet in our solar system.
Oh yeah, and the upcoming Mila Kunis/Channing Tatum movie doesn’t look too bad, either. But unless you’re raising Sailor Moon’s entourage, this baby name is a little too “out there.”
1 Any name spelled with an apostrophe or schwa
When the artist formally known as Prince changed his name to a symbol, he probably didn’t consider the nuisance it would be for government officials, telemarketers or the receptionist at his dental office. Besides, you don’t want to deny your kid the joy of buying a novelty keychain with their name on it.
- S. Bedford