Warning: This post may offend some readers (Apologies in advance)
As a teacher you could say that I am in the know when it comes to names. I know stupid, I know common, I know naughty, I know cute. During my time in the classroom I have witnessed the good, the bad and the downright ugly when it comes to this legalised form of lifelong punishment. Baby Naming. Yes parents, what starts out as a cutesy, unique name ends up an absolute nightmare for anyone else who ever has to read it aloud. Ignore what the family has told you, they also hate the name you have chosen. Will they grow to love it? Well, yes of course they will, so I’ll be brutally honest and give it to you straight with some easy Naming Rules for you to follow. These are just some of the things that have really urked me over the years.
Naming rule #1
Alise, Elise or Aleeyce? Anais or Anay? Do not choose a traditional name and try to add your version of a modern twist by changing the pronunciation. No one cares about how you want the name said out loud. Unless you plan on being with your child to tell the story of ‘how you actually say it’ for the rest of their lives…..stop being silly. You can also bet your bottom dollar that your Indian doctor will also not consult you on how to say this silly name when shouting it out in the waiting room. On a Tuesday I teach 6 children with the name spelt ‘Maya’ half pronounced MY-A, half pronounced May-a. To be honest every time an adult reads this name aloud it will most definitely be said the ‘wrong way’.
Naming Rule #2
There is not a chance in hell that we will NOT be calling Thomas; Tom, Benjamin; Ben, Alexander: Alex or Matthew: Matty. Surrender and give up. You are not in control of the abbreviation rule. The kids and their peers are in charge here. Stop fighting it, you will not win. Think footy field, think lunchtime, think again precious mums.
Naming Rule #3
Changing a ‘y’ to a ‘ee’ is not okay…ever really. The letter ‘Y’ has done a great job for years so why all the sudden hate? Natalie or Natalee, Riley or Rilee, Bailey or Baylee? Britney or Britnee? The best part is watching the parents get narky because you have spelt the name incorrectly. ‘Oh I ‘m sorry, I was never good at spelling make believe words, you’ll have to help me and the rest of the world out a little’.
Naming Rule #4
With the exception of a Christening, the back of the school ruler, a graduation or a police citation, you will rarely see or hear your child’s name said in its entirety. Why do some parents get so hung up on what the middle name sounds like by reciting it over and over with the given and surname?
‘We’re thinking Britney Jade, Tiffany Jade or Ava Jade, which one do you like better?’ errrm… does it really matter? It is a beautiful idea to honour a loved one by using their name but as long as you and your partner love the middle name why does it matter? No one will EVER hear it unless you tell them.
Naming Rule #5
Unless you are from Byron Bay, Nimbin or a similar hippy, peace lovin’ town, please refrain from calling your child any of the following: Rain, Rayne, River, Reef, Lake, Star, Snow, Wave. Not so pure and ‘at one’ with nature when they are wearing Nike’s, buying meat pies from the tuckshop and living in high rise apartments.
Naming Rule #6
This of course is completely ‘unfounded’ and not proven but ask any teacher and they will agree that for some bazaar reason a large proportion of boys with names beginning with ‘J’ and to a lesser extent ‘B’ have been among the most unforgettable students. I’m thinking Justin, Jayden, Jordan, Jake, Jenson, Jarrod, Jaxon Jay etc etc and Ben, Bradley, Brayden, Bailey etc etc etc. Not always in a negative way, but let’s just say we will always remember a boy beginning with J.
Naming Rule #7
Please stay away from ‘celebrity’ name unless you can pull it off. It is not okay to call your child Nash, London, Cruz or Mariah if you can be found most days cruising the the local shopping centre barefoot and shouting under toilet cubicles and looking for your lost child while referring to them as a ‘little sh*&t’.
There are many, many more naming no no’s, I could go on for years. I am also frequently asked about names that are overly popular and of course this list changes yearly, but here are some of the top names right now in the 5, 6 and 7 year old age range
Girls: Ava, Grace, Maya, Mia, Lily, Lucy, Kate, Scarlett, Georgia, Isabella,
Boys: Jack, Oscar, Seth, Ben, Luke, Nate, Flynn, Finn, Jake, Alex
For the record I absolutely adore most of these names, but as anyone who works with children would know…it is VERY hard to choose names for your own children.
So now it’s your turn…..What really gets on your nerves when it comes to baby names? Or maybe you disagree with some of my rules?