Each year, the Government of [name]Alberta[/name] (that’s in [name]Canada[/name], BTW) publishes a list of names given to all baby girls and baby boys born in the province. It’s much like what the Social Security Administration does in the States, although the SSA only publishes a list of the top 1000 names, while the Government of [name]Alberta[/name] list includes every baby name registered that year. It’s always fun to browse through this list to see the rankings of my favourite names and to search for new, creative name choices. Of course, all the usual, popular suspects are there: [name]Emma[/name], [name]Olivia[/name], [name]Emily[/name], [name]Isabella[/name], [name]Sophia[/name], [name]Liam[/name], [name]Ethan[/name], [name]Logan[/name], [name]Alexander[/name], [name]Lucas[/name]… (Yawn…) There are also a lot of ethnic names, understandably. And then there are those names that beg the question: “What were the parents thinking when they named this child? Were they thinking? What has this child ever done to have to go through life with such a name?”
[name]Just[/name] for the fun of it, I thought I’d stir the pot a bit and publish an unofficial list of the Top 20 Worst Names given to [name]Baby[/name] Girls in [name]Alberta[/name] in 2010. This list of 20 worst names has been selected and validated by a very subjective review panel – namely, me! That said, I tried not to let my personal baby-naming style preferences influence this list. If I went that route, I’d argue that the world does not need yet another [name]Jennifer[/name], I’d strongly advocate that the names [name]Britney[/name] and [name]Lindsay[/name] should be set aside for a few generations to let their infamous popular culture connotations be forgotten, and I’d question the practice of spelling “heaven” backwards and insisting that your daughter’s name is “Ne-vay-ah” when it reads “Ne-vay.” But I don’t want to defend my personal preferences here. I think this list hits on some universal baby-naming no-no’s which every parent would do well to avoid. Ok, here we go!
#20. Kamalakeiimalamalamaiaikanaau, also Aanuoluwatomilehin – These may well be ethnic names. While I respect ethnic names in general, these names look like someone fell asleep with their forehead on the keyboard. I totally understand giving your child a name that has cultural or family history significance, but one should also consider the society in which the child will grow up and how the name will be received in this society. No one will be able to pronounce, much less spell, these poor children’s names. These children will also have a disadvantage on all standardized tests – it’ll take them twenty minutes alone just to fill in their name on those multiple-choice test score sheets!
#19. Y – Here we have the opposite problem. Y is a letter, not a name. It’s a fine letter, it’s just as good a letter as the other 25 letters in the alphabet, but it needs to be followed by some other letters before it can be a name. Y don’t we just add a few of those here to turn Y into a name?
#18. [name]Isabella[/name]-[name]Coral[/name]-[name]Tiana[/name], also [name]Louisa[/name]-[name]Nora[/name]-[name]Yvette[/name] – [name]Don[/name]’t get me wrong, these would all be fine names on their own, but trying to squeeze three names into one is a little much. The challenge of naming a baby is that ultimately you have to decide on one first name. These triple-name combinations reek of parental indecision or lack of agreement. If you really can’t decide, at the very least, please remove the hyphens.
#17. Asly – Well, it could be worse. At least they didn’t spell it with a double-s. Nuff said.
#16. [name]Asma[/name] – No child should have a name reminiscent of the name of a disease or other health disorder.
#15. Aymen – Does this child have a prayer of not being teased on the playground? Perhaps as long as she doesn’t have a sister named “Hallelujah.”
#14. Clowee – Although I personally believe there’s a difference between a creative name and a misspelled name, I know that “creeatif” spellings of names are very much “in” right now. This one just seems particularly awkward.
#13. Gennafer – Again, although misspelled names have never been more popular than they are now, it’s particularly troublesome to misspell a name that is so widely associated with one “correct” spelling. This child will have to correct people’s spelling of her name for the rest of her life.
#12. [name]George[/name] – For a girl. Some names are just not designed for unisex use. Yes, I know that the 19th century French novelist [name]George[/name] Sand used “[name]George[/name]” as a pen name, but this probably had something to do with the fact that women had no credibility as writers back then. I’m ok with [name]Taylor[/name], [name]Harlow[/name] or [name]Piper[/name] as girls’ names (although those wouldn’t be on my list), but “[name]George[/name]” is just not meant to be a girl’s name, period.
#11. Kieret – This name may in fact be pronounced “Kie-ray,” but many people, including myself, would likely pronounce it as “Carrot.” I do hope this little girl doesn’t have red hair…
#10. Tallflower – This name sounds a whole lot like “Wallflower” and conjures up an image of an awkward middle-school dance – you know, before the boys hit puberty, when they’re often shorter than many of the girls… Yeah, happy times…
#9. Sensabille – Sensabille is just not a sensible name to give a child.
#8. Mama – This can get confusing. I can just picture the story on the [name]Maury[/name] Povich Show: “Yeah, my baby mama showed up on my doorstep with baby Mama…” I think I should stop right here.
#7. [name]Dolly[/name]-[name]Dawn[/name], also [name]Teddy[/name]-[name]Lynn[/name] – These unfortunate names suggest the “profession” these girls are being born into. We’d do well not to give our daughters names that suggest they are play-things.
#6. Destannie, [name]Destinee[/name], [name]Destinei[/name] and Dystiny – Here we go again with misspelled names. Although all misspelled names have dubious appeal, it’s particularly bad to misspell a name that has a meaning as a word. It just shows that spelling wasn’t your forte back in elementary school.
#5. J’[name]Lynn[/name], Mi’Yah, [name]Tai[/name]’Tum and [name]Zoe[/name]’[name]Belle[/name] – Are these Brats dolls? These names come across as cutesy and cartoonish. The apostrophe is very often used inappropriately in our language – and this is probably the best example of misuse there is.
#4. T-La – We have a similar theme going on here with the dash… and is it supposed to be pronounced “Tee-la” or “[name]Tay[/name]-la?” This name could perhaps work for an action figure or video game character…
#3. [name]Heaven[/name]-[name]Leigh[/name], and Heavon-Liegh – The latter is probably even worse than the former: it’s a pun on “heavenly” AND it’s misspelled! Ingenious!
#2. Gorgeous, [name]Precious[/name], [name]Princess[/name], and there was even a [name]Precious[/name]-[name]Jane[/name] (which presumably differentiates her from the Plain-[name]Jane[/name] down the street) – Seriously? These names would be pretentious for a dog, much less a child.
And the worst name given to a baby girl in [name]Alberta[/name] in 2010…
#1. [name]Gertrude[/name] – Yes, someone actually named their daughter “[name]Gertrude[/name].” I know it’s a real name, and it’s not even misspelled (brownie points there!), but there are some names that should never be given a child, and this is one of them. I suppose this little girl can get by as “[name]Trudy[/name],” but “[name]Gertrude[/name]” really is an unfortunate birthday present to receive from your parents. Sigh…
Now that I’ve gone through the countdown, I also have an “honourable mention.” I’m not sure how I feel about this name being given to human little girls, but there were three variations of it given to girls in [name]Alberta[/name] last year: Renesme, [name]Ren[/name]ésme and Renezme. Yes, some of us have been inspired by the Twilight series and are naming our daughters after [name]Bella[/name]’s vampire child. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised – one little girl was also named [name]Hermione[/name]. I read the books too and I liked them, but I just don’t know about bestowing this name upon a child… the jury’s still out on this one…
I hope you enjoyed my not-so-humble opinions! [name]Feel[/name] free to add your comments and critique…