‘That’s not how you say my name!’ Bad Baby Names




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?







11 thoughts on “‘That’s not how you say my name!’ Bad Baby Names

  1. I HATE the whole spelling change thing. Heck, why not throw in a silent 5 for good measure. My name is Britt5aney… the 5 is silent.

  2. I knew someone in college whose name had a silent “L.” She was a bitter, bitter woman. Don’t do it, people! DON’T DO IT! 24 years of explaining your name sucks all the joy out of life.

  3. I agree with all of this. My first priority in naming my son was a name that everyone has said and spelled for over a century and there is only ONE way to spell it and no one will ever have to ask, “Pardon? How do you say that? How do you spell that?” I had a non-traditional name (not kerbey) and it was very alienating growing up. Makes you feel like a foreigner in your own land when all a child wants is to assimilate. My son’s school is full of Braidens and Jaydens, and I can’t keep them straight. Just like Barry and Larry and Gary, their names will date them and be immediately recognizably old in a few years.

    • So true about the ‘dating’ aspect. You can immediately tell an age on hearing a name eg: Sarah, kylie =usually an 80’s girl, Wayne and grant =typically 70,s/80’s, Britney, Miley= 2000….. The list could go on. I think the royals could be in to something with choosing just a selection of timeless names. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  4. When naming our daughter, we had to find a name that worked both in English and in French. We picked the English version although we were living in a French part of the world. Emily! In French it should be spelled Émilie. Em-ily in English or É-mee-lee in French. Em loves how the French side of her family pronounces her name. And I’m extremely happy with the name we picked for her.

  5. As a child I was amazed how a well respected teacher and deputy head could spell my name two different ways over and over again in my school report, which was of course a glowing report. I ask is it really that hard when your name is Steven, not the bloody girly version of Stephen.

    Oh and the only other time your child’s full name will be heard is when, as a parent, they are being a real sh%t and you have had enough and at the top of your voice is heard ‘North Wind South Breeze Smith get to your dam room and stay there’. Of course at this time the front door and windows would be fully open and there just happens to be several people walking past your house or so I was told by someone that did it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s