What not to name your kid


My friend Mel is an English teacher. As such, she has met a lot of kids and has a healthy respect for the Queen’s English.

She wrote the very entertaining essay below based on her experiences. I asked her about the worst names she has come across and she said, “A few stupid names for you; KIIIVlyn (pronounced Kaitlyn), – (pronounced Dash), Le-ah (pronounced Le Dash Ah). I would give you names for an article of terror but I’d worry about offending people. Brody can get a bad rap, as well as Kieran, Connor, and Timothy. And any ghetto names – especially when they are not from the ghettos.”

Here’s what she has to say about naming your child:

Message to parents

When you are thinking of names for your impending bundle of joy, have scoured baby name books, searched the Internet – including putting random names in Urban Dictionary to check ‘their meaning’ – please, please stop and ask a teacher.

If you’re lucky enough to know one, have one in the family, or have an acquaintance you nod to  on the bus every now and then (on side note, if they are ignoring you every so often, be aware they are probably smack in the middle of report season and are considering all of the comments they want to write on a child’s report, but can’t), stop them and ask.

Beg them for a list of What Not To Name My Child. It may seem endless when you receive it but it will become a valued document.

Please ponder, if you will, what you dream for for your child. Where do you want them end up in life? Consider what is popular now may not – probably not – be popular in 25 years’ time. If you are heavily into a type of music or actor with a stupid name, perhaps think about where that name could be in the future. Imagine someone being named after a very famous Beatle drummer. Or walking through a shopping centre and someone starts yelling out  “Shakira, get your arse over here,” at the top of their lungs. (Yes, true story, with a high pitched and very bogan voice)

Please reconsider adding punctuation in place of syllables. Or Roman numerals in place of syllables.

Think about the child having to explain – once again – how to pronounce their name. And in all honestly think about how a potential employer is going to view them one day when they only have a resumé to judge them on. Are they going to write it out phonetically in brackets after the name space?

Teachers have to deal with every type of name. They legally have to call a roll out for each class. They have to learn each pronunciation quickly. And they start to see a pattern with certain names. Some names become synonymous with greatness. Some names get the sign of the cross made each time that child is about to enter the classroom. And some names wake a teacher up in middle of the night screaming in terror.

So it begs the question – how do you want your child to be remembered after they have left the school halls? How do you want your child to begin their life in a big person’s world? In a workplace, what is your first judgement when you see a name that has to be deciphered. It’s not about conformity, it’s about giving them a good start to their life.

If you need help, ask a teacher. It’s guaranteed that the conversation will be hilarious, with many anecdotes about each name, but it will also be very helpful.


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