Advice Type #10: Should You Name Your Children Unique Names?

I’ve been around enough people and worked enough jobs to know parents definitely name their children crazy, weird, and unique names. They name them after celebrities and stars they admire. They name them after fictional characters they like. They name them after athletes and musicians. I digress but the funniest sounding name for a dog I heard was Todd. I know a few Todds, but I’d pick a different name for a child. There really isn’t a funniest name for a person but I do think there are names you should not name your children such as Mary Pat or Harold. Call it a preference but I think Mary Pat sounds like she belongs in a nunnery and Harold belongs on a farm. There are old timey names with a nice ring to them and French names roll off the tongue nicely as well. There is a preference for me when choosing a name for any four- legged animal and use the same principle as I would if I was in charge of naming a human being.

First of all, because children are cruel even when they enter high school as teenagers, I would not use an unusual name as the first name unless it sounded absolutely beyond radically cool. The second thing I would do is express my originality in the second or third name. I wouldn’t do what Donald Sutherland did and give my child more than two middle names. There is nothing wrong with that but that tends to be a mouthful. Case in point: Kiefer William Frederick Dempsey George Rufus Sutherland. Can you imagine filling that out each time you have a job interview? Good thing Kiefer’s career as a musician and actor is well-established that he doesn’t need to apply to a job every few years. The other thing to keep in mind is if the child doesn’t like the first name, s/he can use the second name instead if it’s decent. It’s good to give your child options.

I’m not particularly fond of my first name. It’s rather bland, which is good in some ways. It’s common too. I do think family name traditions passed down is nice such as using your first name as the middle name of your child. I also think changing your last name to a completely different name is good option when getting married. I’ve never really dug changing a person’s name when you get married. I get it as it’s tradition, but I know women whose identity remains their first and last name (despite it being their father’s last name). They don’t take their husband’s last name. I also know of couples who use both their last names and incorporate a hyphen in it. There are some who believe marriage is not that important and see their name as only a name. Is the person going to change once they get married and adopt a different last name? I’m not sure although divorce will never be a possibility if you never get married.

It’s the choice of the parent(s) to name his or her child whatever they desire although I would not name them after a fictional character no one’s going to recognize except a few. I would also not use spellings so obscure that people aren’t sure of the pronunciation. Sure, spelling your child’s name Madyson instead of Madison is fine although that name has been used way too many times now. However, just my personal taste I would stay away from names like Princess or Duchess for either people or four legged creatures. I would also not do what Frank Zappa did and bestow names such as Dweezil or Moon Unit to your children. Sure, middle names fine but first names? That’s just me. One of my pet peeves is naming your children after cities or state variations when you haven’t visited or have no history with name. Just saying. Whether you want to name your children after vegetables and fruit, great historical figures, or combine personality traits with your name, so be it with the realization there should be some names off limits. Here is a short list of names I would never use.

  1. Jeffrey because it reminds me of Dahmer.
  2. Adolf because everyone knows about Hitler.
  3. Vladimir because now everyone knows about Putin.
  4. North, South, East, West because it’s stupid.
  5. Ikea because it’s a store you browse and shop.
  6. 15693 because again this is stupid.
  7. Jesus, God, Allah or any variation because humans are mortal beings.
  8. Socrates because there can be only one.
  9. Gandalf because your child is not Sir Ian McKellan.
  10. Gizmo because your child is not a make-believe fuzzy creature.
  11. Eminem or M&M because it should be quite clear to you.
  12. Daenarys because it didn’t end well for her in the show adaptation.
  13. Kim because it’s too common and use your creative brain a little bit.

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