We get it: you don’t want to name your baby something really common, like Robert, Michael, Sarah, or Mary. And you also don’t want to jump on the latest trend bandwagons for names like Lucas, Madison, Sophia, and Logan.
Naming a child can be one of the most difficult first decisions you make. It’s a name this little person will take with them into adulthood. It will inspire nicknames, be turned into short-forms, and can reflect who they are. It can cause embarrassment for a child in school if they don’t like it, or confusion if your child is in a class with five other Masons. So you want to choose carefully to make sure you find something perfect and unique.
That said, sometimes people go a bit too far off in left field and choose some terrible names that, let’s face it, could scar their kids for life. Here are 10 of the worst, thanks to a heavily-cited list created by Parents.com.
Talk about giving your child a superiority complex. This name, a combination of the words “king” and “messiah” suggest that you have big plans for your little one. A king, of course, is the person who reigns over society while a messiah means someone who has been “anointed” in Hebrew.
That’s some pretty big expectations to place on a baby. And even bigger ones to place on someone once they group up and feel like they have to live up to this prestigious and royal title.
On the complete opposite end of the spectrum, this one-syllable name can suggest that the child is bashful and not really great in social situations. Shy literally means “being reserved or showing nervousness or timidity in the company of other people.” Why would you want to put this burden on your child?
What’s more, how awkward would it be for them to introduce themselves to people saying “Hi, I’m Shy!” Um, thanks for telling me. Hopefully you’ll come out of your shell one day.
Cub might be a super-cute pet name for a kid. One you call them at home when it’s just you and the family. Or maybe even a cool nickname their friends call them, or a pet name by a romantic partner. But as a given name? No thanks.
Imagine 20 years down the line, this child filling out a resume (or rather submitting one digitally) with this name? Or trying to be taken seriously in a courtroom or some other high-profile position while being referred to as Cub? To each his own, of course. But Cub just doesn’t scream success.
A term typically related to math and an imaginary line on which the body rotates, naming your child this is pretty much suggesting to them that the world, or whatever they want, will revolve around them. If there was ever a way to create an entitled child, giving them this name might set them up for that before your over-protective, out-of-womb parenting even begins!
But if you want to take things even further, the Axis were also one group fighting in the second World War, led by Germany, Italy, and Japan. Do you really want the connotations around your child’s name being that of war?
There are so many examples of perfectly good names being purposely misspelled. The problem here is that when they are, it causes a lot of issues for the person. They have to constantly tell everyone how to spell their name the "right" way, or correct people when they spell it wrong. Then deal with the puzzled looks when they do.
Xavier, which means “the new house,” is a logical way to spell this name. Adding the extra “X’ and “Y” only suggest that either you don’t know how to spell or you’re using phonetics because you think people will have problems pronouncing the name without them. News flash: they won’t.
This could be a great name, meaning “called forth” in Greek. However, parents who name their child this might be a bit out of touch with popular culture. Since it’s a fairly uncommon name, likely the first person that comes to mind when you think of it is Cletus Spuckler. Who is he? A supporting character on the animated sitcom The Simpsons. He’s a stereotypical redneck, so it’s almost certain that your child will come across someone through his life, likely multiple people, who have seen the show and laugh when they hear his name. “You mean Cletus, like on The Simpsons?”
Kids with names like Damien, Esther, or Hannibal, probably have the same issue, being associated with pop culture characters as well. Luckily, Cletus is not as menacing as those ones. But it could still set the child up for being the butt of jokes later on in life.
Unless you have a path set up for your child to be a rebel, outlaw, or action movie star, naming them Danger might not be the best idea. Not only will it make teachers and classmates automatically think this child is going to be trouble, but it might make them uneasy about it.
The dictionary definition of danger is the “exposure or liability to injury, pain, harm, or loss.” This isn’t really what you want people thinking of when they see your child, nor for your child to think of about themself.
Naming your child after any type of liquor isn’t a great idea. Sure, some wines get better with age which is a perfect thing to say about your child. (Of course they’re also absolutely perfect from birth!) But Chardonnay, while pretty sounding, is just odd as a name for a baby.
Sure, people might think of lavish dinner parties with adults sipping on white wine when they hear the name. But wine names have no place on humans. If you wouldn’t name your child merlot or cabernet, don’t name them chardonnay either.
What a perfect way to give your child the reputation of being a party animal before they’re even old enough to party! Vegas is a cool nickname, but not one you want to bestow on a child from birth and have appear on their driver’s license and passport.
There are some cool city names for kids, like Brooklyn, Charlotte, and Jackson. But Vegas just suggests flashy lights, gambling, drinking in excess, and trouble. It’s not the city you want to associate with a child and an adult with such a name will have trouble being taken seriously.
Er, have you followed popular historical events? Charles Manson is the well-known criminal and mastermind behind the cult that murdered several prominent people in California, including pregnant actor Sharon Tate, back in the late '60s.
Is this the type of despicable person you want your baby to be associated with? Probably not. If you want to be unique, maybe go with Hanson instead so people think of the adorable Hanson brothers who had a wonderful music career back in the ‘90s. One letter can make a world of difference.