Making fun of Baby names is like bullying the baby

Katherine - posted on 05/11/2011 ( 90 moms have responded )

65,420

232

5195

With the tons of chatter about the emerging trend of supposed horrific baby names, I can't help but wonder WHY? Why does anyone really care what someone else names their child? Don't like the name? Don't name your kid that. Simple as that.

Perhaps I am a wee bit defensive since my son's name -- Hunter -- landed on the most hated baby names list. Bear -- what Alicia Silverstone named her son -- was up there on my favorites list, along with the names Otto and Wolf for my son. Nova and Sunshine were names I liked for my daughter, who ended up being Penelope.

When we, as adults, make fun of the names people give their kids, it feels so mean-spirited. Here is a woman, having just birthed a beautiful life, being verbally assaulted because of the name she has given her child. It's also mean to the kids -- they are the ones with the name!

Think about this: little Bear grows up, googles his name, sees all the hate spewed, and it's like he's being bullied. And who is behind the bullying? Moms. Not so cool. The kid instantly feels like an outcast and then blames his parents for naming him that, which causes a rift in their relationship ... which could lead him to do bad things to escape the pain from the bullying ....

You get the idea. Adults have no business teasing kids.

And for those of you who say, Well if the parents didn't name the kid that to begin with, he wouldn't be tormented ... I say oh that's where you are wrong. The reality is that kids are going to make fun of other kids no matter what. My name is Michele -- one of the most popular names on the playground during my time as a tot, and I got made fun of. Michele, you smell, go to hell Miiiiiiiiiichele. That was a fun one. I also got teased about my teeth -- the term bucky beaver still makes me cringe.

If a child wants to target another child, that kid will find something to make fun of whether that child's name is Aiden or Hunter or John or Bear. Now if you name your kid Maxipad or Condom ... that's a whole other story.

Can we just stop with the making fun of kids' names already? Or will you continue the sport?


PUHLEEAAAAAASE!!!!!!!

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Iris - posted on 05/14/2011

1,993

29

51

I guess it depends on where you're from.

To me the name Wolf is normal, it's a fairly common name in Iceland "Úlfur" it's our word over wolf and we give it to children. Same with Bear, that is actually a very common Scandinavian name "Bjorn or Björn" translation: Bear. So no, I don't see them as horrible names. Another common name where I'm from is Erlendur=foreigner, that one has been in my family for centuries and we are no foreigners, we can trace our line back to the first settler in Iceland ;).

Mary - posted on 05/17/2011

93

15

0

Just as I have a right to my opinion about a child's name, the family who named that child has a right to not be harrassed or bombarded with everyone else's opinion of their baby name choices. Someone else's poor choice of names does not justify one's poor behavior.

PS: Kids will always bully other kids regardless of names, attractiveness, intelligence, etc.; because kids who bully learn bullying from the adults around them. If an adult bullies, their kids will do the same.

How about teaching a little common courtesy or basic respect for the feeling of others, through good example?

Mrs. - posted on 05/13/2011

1,767

6

30

Hey, I wanted to put Hunter on my baby list, but my fiance had a dog called Hunter and said, "No."

I truly think it is just poking fun at the parents.

I'm reminded on how Joaquin Phoenix's parents named him 'Leaf' and he later changed it (not to mention they named his brother River). I don't think he changed it because he was bullied by adults. I think he changed it because it was outdated and odd after the 60's hippy commune living thing was over.

A good friend of mine grew up in BC and we used to giggle at all the hippy names her friend had growing up. You know, Snowbird, Owl, Peace and the worst....One (because when the parents had her, they had become "one").

Really these names seem a bit selfish, full of an agenda or point of view instead of a name picked for a child that they can be proud of and use in all settings (When they grow up and interview for a job, for instance). That's when I have no shame picking on the parents for naming their kid "One" because it has more to do with some ideology than with the future of their child.

Alicia is a well known animal rights activist and vegetarian. I actually really dig her book, The Kind Diet...despite eating meat again, I use it quite often. However, this is an example of an agenda coming before the welfare of the child. That name says...I LOOOOVVVEEE animal SOOOO much, I named my child Bear. It doesn't say, I just had an amazing baby who's future will not be limited by some symbolic name with an agenda.

[deleted account]

Why does anyone really care what someone else names their child? Don't like the name? Don't name your kid that. Simple as that.

Don't want to hear other people's opinions? Don't read Internet message boards. Simple as that.

Sorry, had to be said.

(Just for the record, I don't make fun of baby names -- at least not publicly, Internet or real life, and certainly not to the child.)

This conversation has been closed to further comments

90 Comments

View replies by

~♥Little Miss - posted on 11/22/2012

21,273

9

3058

*****Old thread, locking it. Feel free to start a new debate*****



~DM MoD Little Miss~

Barbara - posted on 11/21/2012

155

0

12

Parents should think of the child when naming them. I remember when having the boys I would say the name out loud to see if it had a nice ring to it. More attention is needed when thinking of a child's name after all they will be using it all of their lives. Like you stated you had a common name and was still made fun of. Kids will be kids and there is always going to be teasing. Why are you so upset about this, it will only be a phase they go through and eventually will go away.

Sal - posted on 07/16/2011

1,816

16

34

iris, i love saga for a name never heard of it but i love it, here i wouldn't suggest frigg as a name as it is commonly a swear word or cuss....

Sal - posted on 07/16/2011

1,816

16

34

my daughter is ursula and we call her bear as it means female bear or little bear in german....how ever i think maybe we should tease earlier and meaner at the names of babies i don;t know how many time a parent hears their child be teased and states they never thought the name would be a problem.....someone i know just had a baby milla ester....doesn't sound too bad say it out loud a few time quickly....mum laughted it off but never occered to her it would happen....also i have seen a trend for using a - (dash) in the middle of a name, as in la-a (pronunced ladasha) yep maybe someone should of teased her for a few weeks in the pram and saved her a life time of hassle...

[deleted account]

A lot of German baby names mean "Bear" or "Brave as a Bear". One name specifically is "Ber" meaning "Bear". Also, think of Bear Grylls - of Man vs. Wild... What an adventure he takes all of us viewers on during each episode.
To make fun of a name really puts a person down. If that person is too young to realize it - it does upset the parents greatly.
I have heard that someone makes fun of one of my children's names... and it angers me. My #1 instinct is to lash out right back, but how mature would that be?
Some people just need to abide by Thumper's mother's rule: "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all."

Sherri - posted on 07/16/2011

9,593

15

391

Actually I know 2 one who I am friends with Sharmaine and one I know casually Charmaine.

Sherri - posted on 07/16/2011

9,593

15

391

Sharmaine your name is actually pretty common here. Heck I actually have a friend that is Sharmaine.

Sharmaine - posted on 07/15/2011

123

1

1

My son has a very Unique old Italian name. I love it and many others probably dont. His name is Crossifixio(Cross) but ya know I see the children he will be in school with and they have names like.. Riot, Havoc, River, Wolfgang, Wrangler etc. So these days just about everyone is trying to name their child something unique and unusual. But like michele said the adults who pick on the name are a but immature and are teaching their children that it is ok to bully someone because they have a unique name. My name is Sharmaine. I was dont squeeze the Charmin. I have a unique name and Love it I never saw myself coming and being teased well it didnt phase me.

Kellie - posted on 05/17/2011

1,994

8

175

I agree with what Lori said.

Sherri, I personally think that article is more racism than name prejudice. The message is name your child a White name so he can get an interview so he can get discriminated in person for his colour or ethnic background instead.

Sherri - posted on 05/17/2011

9,593

15

391

Lori Odin I thin is pretty common as well. However, know this research has been done and there are several articles out there. The articles have found that people with extremely unique names or ethnic names are most often looked over for job interviews Where common names are called far more often. Here is just one article I found on the subject.

http://www.blackradionetwork.com/ethnic_...

Merry - posted on 05/17/2011

9,274

169

263

In 1900 John was the number one boys name, 6.0628% of boys born that year were named john.

Now in 2010 Jacob is number one, but only 1.0756% of boys were named Jacob!

This tells me that we are already using a much wider variety of names and spellings for our kids, which is good and bad, I wonder if we added up all the Jacob spelling variants if the percentage would be as high as the standerd John of 1900.

Merry - posted on 05/17/2011

9,274

169

263

I love unique names, but I also love traditional names. I just wouldn't use them because I feel there's enough people named them already! I adore some of the most common names, Elizabeth, Emma, Isabelle, Sophia, Kathryn, Mikayla, etc, but I feel like I wouldn't name my daughters with these names just because they are used so much. I can find less used names I love too so I'd go with those over the common ones. Anica, Esme, Yvonne, and of course Fierna :)

I do hate the way lots of people put down the common names, it's not fair, they are common because they are good names! But we can broaden our preferences and get some new names circulating!

Lori - posted on 05/17/2011

9

0

0

Iris- it is great to know that my hubby and I aren't the only ones out there using Norse mythology as a source for great names. thanks for the support.

Iris - posted on 05/17/2011

1,993

29

51

Lori, Odin is another name that is common to me. We frequently name our children names from the Norse mythology. My daughter's name is Saga, which is the another name Frigg, Odin's wife went by. I have cousins and nephews named Þór=Thor, Baldur, Freyja, Hulda and Njörður. All from Norse mythology.



Unique names don't bother me and I don't see why they bother other people. We don't always know the reason behind why certain unique names are given to children, but is that enough reason why parents shouldn't use them, because strangers don't know? I think that's a very weak argument.

Lori - posted on 05/17/2011

9

0

0

I gave my son a unique name -Odin, and plan on giving the one I am pregnant with an equally unique name, not because I want to live out some fantasy about being unique myself but because they are names that will link my boys to their family history. Sure some names are odd sounding or seem "unfair" but who wants to be the third Jason or Chris in their class. My children, as all children, are individuals and I believe that by giving them "normal" names only hinders them. Who is going to look at an application and forget the name Odin? No one. How many John, David, Mark of Chris' get remembered?
I also think that if you think that kids are going to bully another child because of their name, you should teach your own children that bullying is wrong. Saying every kid does it isn't an excuse anymore. If a child is bullying, they need to be taught differently.Change begins at home. Uniqueness isn't something to be mocked, it is something to be nurtured. If you have an issue with a name, don't use it. I know I won't.

Marylea - posted on 05/17/2011

236

3

35

Has anyone else noticed that those who support unusual names often put down typical names by calling them boring or unorginal. I'm not speaking about anyone in particular here or trying to generalize but I've come across quite a few debates where the use of unorthadox names is questions and it seems that everyone is a critic. A name is a name. I think there's a point where people definitely take it too far, for instance a couple who wanted to name their child Metalica after the metal band but they weren't allowed because the name is copywritten. But honestly in today's day and age with all the multiculturalism in our society as well as a need to be different there are alot of names that seem strange to some yet are normal to others. Although I understand people's concern that children with unusual names will be teased, kids are going to be teased no matter what. If you name your kid John he'll get teased for his freckles and if you name your kid Bear he'll probably get teased for his name from time to time. That's kid stuff and sure its mean but a child's name has nothing to do with it. Also if some one isn't willing to hire an employee because they have an unsual name than they aren't a very good employer. I've never heard of a boss discriminating because of a person's name.

K. - posted on 05/17/2011

188

18

9

I hope that you really don't think that it's out of jealousy Natasha, and that was just sarcasm.

Mrs. - posted on 05/17/2011

1,767

6

30

Yeah, all names have an origin...but some names are straight out awkward if the person isn't American Indian or Icelandic, like Bear. Meaning, that person may spend the majority of their time in the society that accepts that name as the norm. If not, in other communities, it is a given, if a Native American tells you their name is Bear, that it is a cultural thing.

I gave my daughter a French name because her father is half French Canadian. Her name is Vivienne or Vi for short. I did this as an homage to her grandmother. If this was not the case, I might have anglicized the spelling to Vivian or something.

Although, I think anyone of any descent can name their child from any culture they like...or just make up a name. I still maintain that it is a selfish gesture to put one's desire to name their kid something very unusual or making a political statement (such as animal rights) above the future career/school/life path of the child saddled with the name.

However, most kids with names like that, not unlike Leaf Phoenix, change them when they are adults. The girl I mentioned named One, I think she changed it to Ann.

Natasha - posted on 05/17/2011

63

85

8

My sister and I named our children with original names and as they are getting older, they like being the only one in their classes with that name. My girls are named Aria Oona and Symphony Love while my niece is Sunshine Alexis and my nephew is Cash Anthony. I've laughed many times as people constantly ask my 7 year old niece if that's her real name and her now sarcastic reply of "Yes, because I bring happiness like sunshine." I believe that if people are going to make fun of their names, it's only out of jealousy because they have an average name.

Christina - posted on 05/17/2011

25

4

0

I think you should name your child a name that they'll be able to use in their career. I once met a little girl who's name was "Shithead" it was pronounced shi-thead. I couldn't believe it, who does that? You want your child to succeed in their career and they'll need a good name to do that. No one will take "Shithead" or "Bear" seriously, unless they change their names when they are older.

Tara - posted on 05/17/2011

2,567

14

114

Pie is my 11 yr old daughters nick name, since she was a brand new baby. Her name is Alyssa and goes by that now, but until she was about 8 she went by Pie.
No biggie.
My kids have some unusual names
not all though.
Jaeli -made that one up from two names we liked.
pronounced like Kaeli or Haley.
Aila- Finnish means bringer of light. My dad was born in Finland and I liked the name. Her middle name is Freedom, she was born on May 7th, which is V-E day.
Devin while not an uncommon name he does have the middle name "Tecumseh" he was born the only night comet Hayukutake was visible above our town. Tecumseh means "Panther in the sky". No we're not native, only by distant relation, but I love the name, and I loved the message that Tecumseh had for all Natives. And I love his connection to Canadian freedom from the Americans, and general brock.
He loves having this unique name and it has led him to study more about native history.
I think that as long as the name can be pronounced fairly easily based on the spelling, it doesn't really matter. Our world is full of so many different cultures with so many different naming traditions and rituals that we're bound to come across a whole slew of names we don't "get" but honestly I don't see making fun of a baby's name as bullying the baby.

Kellie - posted on 05/17/2011

1,994

8

175

LOL! well i can understand the reasoning behind Like even if I wouldn't name a child that, but i think Pie crosses the line.....Maybe.....hehe

[deleted account]

Those parents Kellie should be beaten without mercy for being stupid. Sterilization should follow.

Kellie - posted on 05/16/2011

1,994

8

175

that's fair enough but offensive.
How do u know i haven't studied it, researched it etc?
I have a respect for it too.
also never said i was going to or planning on naming my child a native name. just merely pointing out if i did my child or myself should be persecuted if i did.

Sharon - posted on 05/16/2011

11,585

12

1315

I'm part Native American and frankly I think everyone who tries to lay claim or feels an affinity to Natvie American culture - are all just posers if you aren't squating in a teepee with roast rabbit on the spit out front.

1/4 cherokee from my fathers' side. I studied the culture, I have an appreciation for it, but I don't lay claim things that aren't mine. I wasn't raised in it. So I didn't lay traditional names on my kids, whom I have ZERO intention of raising in the indian way. So stop posing and let it go.

Tyrae - posted on 05/16/2011

609

10

112

I named my daughter Brooke Olivia. I had some problems with my name growing up. Tyrae got turned into Tyson and Tyler somehow, and with my last name everyone was "You're so OVERDONE your hair is red!" UGH I hated that one... I wanted something not extremely popular and I really love the name Olivia but thought it was a little old to have as a first name. I think if someone wants to go with a crazy name or something of specific meaning than use it as a middle name if its really "out" there. Therefore you can call your child that growing up as a nickname, and they can use whichever they chose when they are older. OR if you give them a crazy first name give them a more regular middle name so they can go with that one if they so choose. Now that I am older I love my first name, I definitely could have gone with my middle name Elizabeth if I chose to, but I didn't FEEL like an Elizabeth, I felt like a Tyrae. And it's hilarious when I start a job to see everyone surprised that I am a pearly white red head and not a big black woman as a lot of people have thought I would be LOL

Kristin - posted on 05/16/2011

17

1

1

Serious names. Well, for starters, I wanted them to have names that an employer could pronounce if they wanted to call them for an interview. The names that are trending right now and the ones that have been the most popular in the last 10 years have been fairly easy to pronounce. Our kids are more likely to work for an Emily or a Jacob than a Mhy'qhayliuh, just looking at the trending baby names from 10 years ago. I certainly don't have a problem with the name "Mhy'qhayliuh" but unless that particular spelling becomes mainstream, I think that child is going to spend her whole life correcting people. As long as a parent considers what the implications of any name are, go for it. But don't get mad at me when I can't pronounce Mhy'qhayliuh or do a double take if you name your kid something like Moon Unit.

Kellie - posted on 05/16/2011

1,994

8

175

no no i'm not upset, just merely pointing out that the meaning I found for it told me it was french in origin and meant Queen. I was confused when you said it wasn't so I looked it up again.

Lesa - posted on 05/16/2011

150

6

6

Ok, sorry. I guess I don't know much about French or the pronunciation seeing as I am bilingual. I didn't mean to upset you, just that it is not how we say queen in our language. I also pointed out that I do like the name.

Lesa - posted on 05/16/2011

150

6

6

When I looked it came up as Scandinavian and a form of Rayna. Just that the pronunciation of the two is very different.

Kellie - posted on 05/16/2011

1,994

8

175

you've totally got my interest Kristin. What's a 'serious' name? While you have a point about Resumes, by the time my child is old enough to work and start her career her employer is most likely going to be a "Mhy'qhayliuh" and therefore not predisposed to name prejudice's so i doubt it will be an issue for this generation.

Lesa - posted on 05/16/2011

150

6

6

Rayne is not a French name. The French word for queen is Reine and it is pronounced like Wren. Not to be rude but I am from French Canadian background and just thought I would point that out. Sorry. I do like the name though... :-)

Kristin - posted on 05/16/2011

17

1

1

When we named our sons, we went with serious names. Their nicknames are ours to choose, but we wanted to be sure that when they put their name at the top of a resume that they would be taken seriously. I think it's important to give your child a name that will serve them well beyond childhood. Sure, some of these more out there names are funny and cute and meaningful to the parents, but potential employers aren't going to have the story behind the name. While a name SHOULDN'T make a difference, and hiring should be based on skill, we all know that an employer might come across a resume with a funny name and pass it right on by.

Kellie - posted on 05/16/2011

1,994

8

175

but what if you still have a spiritual connection to that culture Rebecca? i am a white Australian with no ethnic ties but I LOVE the Native American culture and belief system and feel a strong connection to it. I believe in reincarnation so baring that in mind would it then be ok for me to call my child Bear?

Why do you think or rather why would society ridicule my child for his or her parents recognition of another culture? I named my daughter Rayne it's french, by your reasoning I have no claims for naming my child a French name. Or if I had another girl and named her Freya would it be too far out of my white aussie culture to name her a swedish (?) name?

Merry - posted on 05/16/2011

9,274

169

263

See I agree alot of the weird spellings look nice. I think the point is, if you want a unique name, search for a REAL unique name, don't try to make a normal one into a unique one. Small changes are reasonable I feel, mikayla or makayla not a big deal. Jakob Jacob not so bad. That's just personal preference. But don't try to make the name unrecognizable! All the extra h's bug me :)

Mrs. - posted on 05/16/2011

1,767

6

30

Alright, but what is that person has no ties with the Native American, German or Icelandic community...is it then a little dicey to name the kid Bear?

It is totally the parent's choice, I agree. I just think it is a bit of a selfish choice considering most of these names we are talking about are kids who have to grow up in a mainly English speaking, North American, Brit or Aussie community, where most kids and adults will not think about the distant cultural connection the name has and pigeonhole the kid/adult as an odd ball for the rest of their lives.

Kellie - posted on 05/16/2011

1,994

8

175

bahahahaha and I just totally spelt Jacob 2 different ways in that last post! another reason not to name a boy should I have one, Jacob. I'd never get the spelling right every time! LOL

Kellie - posted on 05/16/2011

1,994

8

175

LOL nice compromise! I kinda like Jakob spelt that way though it appeals to me..... although I probably wouldn't name a boy Jacob in the first place if I had one.

Merry - posted on 05/16/2011

9,274

169

263

I'm hoping they are one of a kind spellings :) jhaikob I saw here on com, the mom wanted unique, the dad wanted traditional so this was their compromise. Ooookaaay!

Kellie - posted on 05/16/2011

1,994

8

175

I saw you write that somewhere else, or was it here? never seen that spelling before nor Jhaikob. The unusual names I get, the way out there spelling such as above I don't.

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms