OT: MGoParents, why did you give your kids an unusual name?

Submitted by 1989 UM GRAD on May 29th, 2015 at 7:49 AM

In the thread about Daxx Garman below, someone wondered why a parent would burden their son with the name "Daxx."

It got me thinking back to the naming rules my wife and I followed when our kids were born 13.5 and 11 years ago...

1.  Must be the most common spelling of the name.  In other words, Kelly is "Kelly," not "Kelleigh."

2.  Must be able to discern the sex of the child from the name.  Eliminated Jordan, Taylor, Dylan, Avery, etc.

3.  Must be an actual name.  So Keyden and all of these other newer names were eliminated.  As was Marvcus and Plaxico.

4.  Must look professional on a resume or a nameplate.

Not going to give the specific names that we ended up with, as it would make me too identifiable to anyone on here knows me, but our daughter's name has been in the top 20 for at least a few decades...and our son's name is less common and slightly Jewishly-ethnic, but still would be recognizable to everyone.  There might even be a character on "Entourage" who has the same name.

So, my question to you, MGoParents, is why did you select an odd name or unusual spelling for your children?  Did you have any naming rules?  Years later, do you regret giving your child a less-common name?

I've wanted to ask people these questions in person, but obviously you would risk offending them...so I thought the anonymous nature of this forum would cause more people to provide explanations.

I do realize that the nature of this post creates a large opening for snark and smart-assery.  Hoping it'll be kept to a minimum.

EDIT (five hours or so after OP):  Just had my first opportunity to read thru some of the comments here.  While the vast majority of you are participating in the discussion as I intended, it appears as though a few of you (MaizeJacket, BornSinner, DanWillhor) were offended by the post and/or thought it was elitist and/or racist.  While I think you may be reading more in to the post than is there, I'd like to nonetheless sincerely apologize for upsetting anyone.  It was not my intention to do so.

EDIT (six hours or so after OP):  I just found this posting by MICHGOBLUE.  He/she more eloquently summarizes the point of my OP.

"At first I saw the same thing, but if you read his message, he isn't singling out names that are traditionally "ethnic," but rather made-up names. For example, Esteban is a typically Hispanic name and Shaquille is a typically African-American name. Based upon the OP's post, I don't think that he would have a problem with either, as the names are traditional (in each of their respective cultures), discernible by gender and spelled in the traditional manner. What I took the OP as having a problem with was simply stringing together a slew of letters and calling it a name or taking an existing name and just mis-spelling it to be unique.

One other point: on the issue of being "professional" sounding, as much as people should be hired based purely upon merit, it is a reality that people end up being discriminated against for just about anything in the hiring process, and a name - being one of the first things that a prospective employer sees - could create a negative first impression. Note that this is not limited to "ethnic" or "racial" sounding names. How well do you think Spike, Bruiser, Mercury or Venus would do interviewing for a major investment bank or law firm? Not everything is about race."


The Mad Hatter

May 29th, 2015 at 8:35 AM ^

But only because the spelling of my Polish last name is unusual.  Dad's family "Americanized" it.

Both my kids have common and traditional names.  I read that study several years ago where resumes were rejected at a 6:1 ratio based on the submitters having black or non-white sounding names.

My kids might as well be called whitey white girlski and paleface boyski.


May 29th, 2015 at 8:19 AM ^

when Chevy offered a few of their models in turquoise blue?  A friend of mine had a Cavalier in this obnoxious color.  He later admitted that it seemed really cool when he bought it but within 6 months the novelty wore off and he couldn't stand it anymore.  He had to sell it deeply discounted because everyone else had apparently become sick of it too.

Creating your own name for your child seems to share this type of risk.  You might nail it and your child might grow up to really appreciate their unique name, or you might get the "What the hell were my Mom and Dad thinking?" response.  As for me, I picked names I thought my children would appreciate as adults, not cutesy names that are better suited for the playground.

Space Coyote

May 29th, 2015 at 8:24 AM ^

My wife also already nixed naming my kid after my first dog. I said it would be like Indiana Jones. She said that made it even worse.

So we're still in the deciding phase. It's ok, we still have time, my kid is only 14.

Also, apparently naming your kid after great Vikings isn't looked highly of. I know, it's crazy.

Space Coyote

May 29th, 2015 at 8:31 AM ^

He also was a short, 5'6"-ish guy. He was also Korean. He was adopted by German parents and they named him Leif.

When my wife had told me about him (a guy she worked with) I always pictured someone very different, and then I met him...

But yeah, Leif was one of the (serious) names taken off the list. I actually really like the name, she's not a fan. Oh well.

Space Coyote

May 29th, 2015 at 1:04 PM ^

I know a lot of Chinese people select an English speaking name (typically very American names like "Bob", "Bill", "Frank", etc, which I kind of find a little demeaning to their own heritage and name, but I digress), and recently, either from ignorance or because they want something more unique, they've been selecting a lot of rapper names and the such.

So you get these pretty respected business people coming into American offices and introducing themselves as Ja Rule and Ludacris and Cash Money. It was pretty interesting.


May 29th, 2015 at 2:01 PM ^

Her mom was Carol Connors who was in Deep Throat with Linda Lovelace (and with Thora's dad for that matter).  Sad that I know this.

Her dad was her manager and insisted on attending filming of a sex scene that Thora was filming.  Creepy.  She has since been fired from an off-Broadway production of Dracula.


May 29th, 2015 at 8:25 AM ^

My wife wanted a French name for our daughter, and to include the name "Marie" (my wife's maternal grandmother's name). We went through a lot of permutations before settling on a name more common in Quebec and Ontario than here in Michigan.

For my daughter, it has meant being disappointed every time we are at an amusement park or major tourist destination and looking for a souvenir with her name on it. They simply don't exist except occasionally in Canada.

My wife almost went down the same path with our son a few years later. She wanted to name him "Etienne" (French for "Stephen"). I put my foot down on that idea. I explained that he would get the living shit kicked out of him every day of his life and burn with hatred for the both of us with the heat of a thousand suns. We settled on a common name, but not too much so.


May 29th, 2015 at 8:38 AM ^

Names are hugely important.  Along with some of those rules in the OP we played the 6 year old rhyming game.  So names like Rick (Rick the Dick etc) were eliminated.  Being unique is all fine and good but damn some of these names are getting ridiculous and obnoxious.


May 29th, 2015 at 8:59 AM ^

for non-white people. Your name is part of your culture and it's fine to have a common Bible name, if that's your background or belief system. 

Take a name like Ashish (or any from this list). It's a very common Indian name and due to the sheer number of boys born in India, likely as common as any name in the world. Any of those names are going to be unique in the US, but I don't think any are ridiculous or obnoxious, since they are legitamite names from another culture.

It's why when I initially hear names like LeMichael, I initially think, that's a dumb name that will not be taken seriously, but then I realize that maybe it's from a different culture, just like any of the Indian names on that list.


May 29th, 2015 at 12:17 PM ^

Lol MGoBlog being known for cultural sensitivity outside of middle/upper class white people? Nah. 

As an Indian person I find this thread stupid. Just ask for a Eurocentric name and state where your family is from. 

Stop giving these bullshit bullet points that just sound racist/xenophobic. 

Blue in Yarmouth

May 29th, 2015 at 1:13 PM ^

I live in a place where people of every color live in relative harmony and haven't witnessed what many people on this board have in my life so maybe I'm just naive or ignorant, but because racism here is so rare I don't even know the real definition of it.

My question is if you state something that is based in fact is it racist? I mean, at least where I'm from, no other ethnic group names their children things that seem to have been pulled out of thin air other than African Canadians. I'm sorry but I don't think acknowledging that is racist, its just the way it is. 

Of course there are silly names in all cultures, but they are generally considered names like Peabody or Gaylord or Garfield...That is different than someone simply throwing a bunch of letters together and calling it a name like Rontavius or JaMicheal (and those are actually pretty tame. My wife works for an OB/GYN and the names people come up with are incredible).. Look back through history and see when this phenomenon of crazy names began and it wouldn't be until the last 40 years, so saying they are part of their culture is a very big stretch. 

I want to be clear that the last paragraph was more to the guy above you and not in relation to your post.


May 29th, 2015 at 8:50 AM ^

The abuse kids take with dumb names is unnecessary, but happens. Your kid having a unique name isn't loved by most. They aren't going to tell you a name is stupid, just as they won't say your baby is ugly, which it was in the first picture (mine were gorgeous, but not to others).