10 Reasons to Reconsider Naming Your Kid Something Awkward

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babynamesWhen you bring a new life into the world, you’re charged with a host of very serious responsibilities that will impact the happiness and well-being of that child well into the future.

One of the first and arguably most important of those tasks in the earliest moments of your little one’s life is the choosing of her name. You’ll want something that’s unique enough to allow her to be an individual, but common enough that she won’t be forced to answer a laundry list of questions about the origin of her moniker.

Before saddling your little bundle of joy with an awkward or bizarre name, consider these ten reasons why it may not be the best thing for her.

  1. Kids Can Be Cruel – While a mean-spirited classmate will find a way to turn even the most unassuming name into something cruel, there’s no point in giving little bullies fodder for their torment. Keep in mind that your child will have to tell others her name at some point, and that overtly strange or awkward names will cause her some grief.
  2. Connotations Do Carry Some Weight – You might be thinking of your beloved great-uncle when you saddle your child with a name like “Adolph,” but that will not be the thing that comes to mind when your child introduces himself. Realize that the connotations of your chosen name will have an impact on how he’s perceived.
  3. Awkward Spellings Count, Too – Spicing up a common name with a completely bizarre spelling may seem like a way to ensure that your little one is able to blend in with the crowd while putting her own stamp on her homework, but it will only leave her correcting the spelling every time someone else tries to write her name.
  4. Matching Names Are Also Awkward – Two or three perfectly serviceable names become awkward when they’re matched to a sibling. Sharing a first initial or rhyming names strips your kids of their individuality, and will induce a covert eye-roll or two from nearby adults.
  5. The Name That’s Cute for an Infant Can Be a Nightmare for an AdultFifi or Mimi might be a downright adorable name for a puppy or an infant, but an adult forced to introduce herself as such will curse you every time a business associate asks, “is that your real name?”
  6. Pop Culture References Will Become Dated – Cullen and Katniss are popular fictional characters and have made a showing among name lists since the releases of their respective pop-culture phenomena novels, but the hot references of today will become dated and outmoded much more quickly than a classic name, and are surefire indicators that their parents reached for inspiration from young adult novels.
  7. You Could Be Dooming Him to a Life of Crime – A 2009 study out of Shippensburg University showed a correlation between uncommon names and a propensity for landing behind bars, so that awesome and unique name that you’re sure will set your little guy apart could do just that. Set him apart from society altogether, that is.
  8. Difficult Pronunciation Creates a Host of Problems – When your child’s teacher isn’t comfortable pronouncing her name, she doesn’t get called on as often in class. When a prospective employer feels that way, she doesn’t get the callback for an interview. Realize that your bizarre name choice will affect your child from childhood throughout her adult life.
  9. First Impressions Matter – The first impression that a person makes on the world is shaped by his appearance and the name that he gives during the introduction. Fighter Pilot Brown might be the hit of the playground, but adults will struggle to take him seriously as a colleague, friend or partner.
  10. Don’t Forget to Factor In Initials – Even the classiest, most well-heeled name in the world will suffer if your child’s initials spell out an awkward three-letter word. Make sure that you consider the initials your child will carry so that his monogram isn’t a humiliating one.

Thanks to Jacqui Barrie

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