Slog

Slog Music

Music, Nightlife,
and Drinks

Friday, November 30, 2012

What's the Second-Worst Baby Name of 2012?

Posted by on Fri, Nov 30, 2012 at 11:57 AM

I'm not even going to put this up for a vote: Hashtag is the worst baby name of 2012. But it turns out, ol' Hash had a lot of competition. BabyCenter has released their list of the most popular baby names of the year, and it's a carnival of pain. Speaking of pain: Did you know that some people are naming their babies Anastasia, after the heroine of 50 Shades of Grey? Here are some other egregious examples:

It seems space was a huge naming inspiration for parents this year: Sky, Star, Luna, Skylar, Heaven, Stella, and Mars all flew higher than last year.

POTUSes from the past are proving much more popular than the ones of today. The name Reagan increased a whopping 46 percent, and fellow past presidents Kennedy, Carter, Lincoln, and Nixon all jumped in the rankings.

The smart phone may just be the best parenting tool since diapers, and some moms and dads are paying homage to industry leader Apple in their choice of baby names. The moniker Apple, though still an unusual choice, rose 15 percent for girls, vaulting a whopping 585 spots. For boys, the name Mac jumped 12 percent. And parents sure like the sound of Siri: The company's voice-enabled personal assistant climbed 5 percent on the list of girl names.

Some of those are okay, but others are the equivalent of naming your son "Pet Rock" in 1975. So who will be the number two to Hashtag's number one? (Note: Due to space constraints, I had to leave some of the more "common" examples, like Kennedy, Carter, Skyler, and Lincoln, off the list.)

 

Comments (72) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
1
My wife is an OB/GYN and nothing sets her off into a rant faster than the popular redneck names: Jayden, Brayden, Treyden, and Kayden. Especially when they are used in combination.
Posted by Senor Guy on November 30, 2012 at 12:11 PM · Report this
2
@1 - It's funny those are considered redneck names now. Freakanomics had a chapter on baby names and the trends normally start with the affluent and work their way down. The first Brayden is surely an amazing specimen.
Posted by cliche on November 30, 2012 at 12:19 PM · Report this
Dougsf 3
I've always hated Skyler, but in fairness, it's just an American version of the Dutch name meaning "scholar." If we'll ever see it with the letters DR in front of it is yet to be determined.

Also, everything #1 said.

And really, how many of those Lincoln's do you think are named for the President?
Posted by Dougsf on November 30, 2012 at 12:21 PM · Report this
4
If babies are being named Siri, Apple, etc. why not Trojan or Durex for what might have failed resulting in said kid?
Posted by WestSeven on November 30, 2012 at 12:25 PM · Report this
AmyC 6
In fairness, the Apples are probably named after that actress's kid, and not the phone. And there could be a lot of origins for Mac besides the computer.

None of these names are great, but none are that horrifying. The real crime, IMHO, is giving your child a normal name with a completely obtuse spelling. Aarykah instead of Erica, for example. Fer crissake.
Posted by AmyC on November 30, 2012 at 12:30 PM · Report this
merry 7
What freakin' trogolodyte would name their defenseless baby "Nixon"???

Jesus H. McGillicuddy........
Posted by merry on November 30, 2012 at 12:32 PM · Report this
v-man 8
My daughter told me about coming across a mother who had named her kid Abcd. (pronounced Ab-sa-dee). Really.
Posted by v-man on November 30, 2012 at 12:33 PM · Report this
9
At least "Nevaeh" isn't on the list. It's Heaven backwards, you guys!!!!!! Barf.
Posted by JenV on November 30, 2012 at 12:41 PM · Report this
10
I just want to point out that it is a lot of pressure, choosing a name for a kid. Everyone has an opinion and, no matter what, someone's bound to think you made a terrible mistake. (My wife, for example, would have never accepted "Paul" - too common.) So while I don't like several of those names (I voted for "Nixon"), I feel kind of bad for any parents out there who did choose those names, and are now being judged here.
Posted by Jude Fawley on November 30, 2012 at 12:49 PM · Report this
11
The name Heather, not on your list, makes me think of places where wild animals go poop.
Posted by CommonKnowledge on November 30, 2012 at 12:49 PM · Report this
12
Heaven is the worst bc A: religious, B: stripper-y, and C: a character from a trashy VC Andrews novel.
Posted by Luckier on November 30, 2012 at 12:51 PM · Report this
13
I have a hard time imagining someone ever recovering from being named Heaven. Bond Girl names aren't this bad. It doesn't even shorten well.
Hev? Heave?

Nixon can at least be Nix.
Posted by dirge on November 30, 2012 at 12:56 PM · Report this
Dougsf 14
@9 - A friend of mine that is a teacher told me a second hand story of a student named L-A (pronounced La-dash-a). I want to believe this to be an urban legend, but given so many similar examples...

@11 - I don't think I've met anyone under 30 named Heather. Are people still being named that?
Posted by Dougsf on November 30, 2012 at 1:05 PM · Report this
15
NIxon? NIXON?!? I mean honestly, WTF? What gender does that go to, or is it ambigenderous? And why, For jumping fucking Jesus, WHY would you name any living creature NIXON? You might as well name your kid Pol Pot, for fucks sake.
Posted by Pol Pot on November 30, 2012 at 1:09 PM · Report this
16
If you want to name your kid after Nixon, why not go with Milhous?
Posted by jzimbert on November 30, 2012 at 1:09 PM · Report this
17
All of the apostrophie names; V'nisha, etc.
Posted by sarah70 on November 30, 2012 at 1:15 PM · Report this
Bauhaus I 18
These all sound like stripper names...like Amber.
Posted by Bauhaus I on November 30, 2012 at 1:17 PM · Report this
19
Madison.

Madison is always the worst baby name.

Unless you're really into Darryl Hannah in Splash.
Posted by j.lee on November 30, 2012 at 1:18 PM · Report this
20
@15: heh! Nicely done.

In defense of Siri...it's a good old Nordic name. One of my favorite cousins is a Siri. It's use in Norway began trending upward again in 2005...so long before Apple's Siri hit the market. But, yeah, if folks here are adopting it because of Apple that's just ill,

http://www.nordicnames.de/wiki/Siri
Posted by gnossos on November 30, 2012 at 1:20 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 21
What's the matter with Anastasia?
Posted by keshmeshi on November 30, 2012 at 1:21 PM · Report this
Mattini 22
Siri is the worst here. It's not even cool technology. The name will be outdated tomorrow and remembered as nothing more than a joke. It would be like naming your kid after that motherfucking paperclip that pops up to 'help' you in Microsoft Word.
Posted by Mattini on November 30, 2012 at 1:21 PM · Report this
23
I voted for Heaven because, as someone above said, it sounds strippery. Not that there's anything wrong with strippers. But you don't want people to think your 5 year old is one. And also because, I think you'd have to go with Heavy for a nickname. Poor Heavy.
Posted by aurora f on November 30, 2012 at 1:26 PM · Report this
LogopolisMike 24
Where's the option for "Hashtag is so bad it should be ranked #2 as well"?

Posted by LogopolisMike http://logopolis.typepad.com on November 30, 2012 at 1:31 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 25
What @21 said.
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on November 30, 2012 at 1:32 PM · Report this
26
As someone who remembers the Nixon years, I can't imagine saddling some poor kid with that name.
@15: I pretty much have the same reaction as you.

Although Reagan is almost as bad.
Posted by swing state voter on November 30, 2012 at 1:32 PM · Report this
Ginnnny 27
I named my cat Nixon in 1997. I find it's a good cat name. But I wouldn't name a human a good cat name. Cats don't have to introduce themselves or apply for jobs.
Posted by Ginnnny on November 30, 2012 at 1:33 PM · Report this
Wandergeist 28
I knew a 20-something named Anastasia; her name was inspired by the doomed Czar's daughter. By the time these kids are 20-somethings themselves, that's likely to still be a more readily-thought-of association than some mommy-porn book from decades past that has sunk into obscurity. (There may be girls about to turn 40 named for the character in or author of "Fear of Flying" but does anybody make that association with Isadora or Erica today?)

Also, #14 I know two Heathers under 30, and one works at a bar on the Hill. I was really surprised to run across a Maggie in that age bracket, however.
Posted by Wandergeist on November 30, 2012 at 1:34 PM · Report this
Wandergeist 29
Siri will be an amusing name as those kids go through the stage where they misunderstand or ignore everything their parents say, however (ie ages up to 6 and then 13 to 30)
Posted by Wandergeist on November 30, 2012 at 1:36 PM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 30
I can't believe you left out Barack!
Posted by Pope Peabrain on November 30, 2012 at 1:47 PM · Report this
31
@19: After I saw Splash, I declared that I wanted to name my future daughter Madison. Of course, I was in junior high at the time.

My friend named the puppy she got shortly thereafter Madison. Dog grew up to be a hellion.
Posted by MLM on November 30, 2012 at 1:49 PM · Report this
Dougsf 32
@28 - Odd. Next thing you'll be telling me you know someone who still goes by "Chrissie." I do, she's over 30 and it strangely works for her, but I can't imagine another exception.
Posted by Dougsf on November 30, 2012 at 1:54 PM · Report this
lizlemon 33
@22 Ahem, he has a name. It's Clippy.
Posted by lizlemon on November 30, 2012 at 1:57 PM · Report this
Jenny from the Block 34
Acquaintances from high school have recently named their kids Adele and Miley. *shudder*
Posted by Jenny from the Block on November 30, 2012 at 2:06 PM · Report this
35
I have to get this off my back and this seems like the appropriate place.

I have friends who named their little girl Ellse (sounds like Ilse). I nearly laughed out loud since that name immediately brought to mind "Ilse, She Wolf of the SS". Doesn't help that they're both of German descent ....
Posted by maeveh on November 30, 2012 at 2:07 PM · Report this
36
@1 My friend the OB nurse just treated me to the same rant about the -ayden names + Nevaeh. Let's just say the parents of those babies never, ever have to worry about winning a MacArthur genius grant, but they'd do well to keep the name of a bail bondsman handy.

@3 True. Some of them could be named after the Mark VIII.

I voted for Reagan, not because the political implications are disgusting although they are, but because the all-time trashiest naming trend is the last name as first name. I know it's supposed to be about passing on the mother's last name, but as far as I'm concerned it's pure ethnic/racial snobbery. You never, ever hear of a child being named DiBenedetto Jones or Ling Smith. It's always a whitebread name. The saddest to me is non-WASP children being named Bennett and Madison (let's not even get into the creative variations like Mykynzi). And even if your mother does have a WASPy surname to pass on, there's the pressure of carrying a family name. Don't do that to your child.

First names first, people, and do try and come up with fresh ones (not made-up, just relatively baggage-free) for each generation. Your child deserves it.
Posted by Prettybetsy on November 30, 2012 at 2:10 PM · Report this
37
I have a 35-year-old cousin named Apple. Her twin sister's name is Dimple.
Posted by nakedtongue on November 30, 2012 at 2:35 PM · Report this
Reverse Polarity 38
I remember watching the Nixon Watergate hearings as a kid. All of these names are bad, but why on earth would anyone name their kid after the most discredited president in US history? I understand the appeal of some of the others, even if I think they're stupid. But Nixon? Why would anyone even consider that? I don't get it.

*head desk*
Posted by Reverse Polarity on November 30, 2012 at 2:48 PM · Report this
treacle 39
@34, I have a good friend named Adele, she's awesome. Fuck you.

I don't know what you people are bitching about. YOU don't have those names, and you likely aren't about to name your sprog one of them either.

As for me and Ms. Treacle, we're going to name our children: Tuesday, Ham Sandwich, and Poor Drunken Sex Decision. But we're stopping after three, so the fourth one will have to be nameless. Ooo! "Nameless", that's a good one! Ok, maybe we'll stop after four.
Posted by treacle on November 30, 2012 at 2:48 PM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 40
Can anybody please tell me why hipsters are so obsessed with criticizing parents?

Is it baggage from whatever was wrong with your own childhood? Is it jealousy or anger at fellow hipsters who have kids and stop hanging out with you? What is the deal? And by "hipsters", I mean you, Paul Constant. If you're busy Bethany or Dominic or Cienna can answer. I really want to know.

Also, why do hipsters always call kids unique (or special) "snowflakes" when you're trying to dis their parents? Is it because in your own childhood you didn't feel special? Do you think it makes you seem more, well, hip? What? I want to know.

Also, I'll say again. Humans everywhere give their kids novel names. The practice has been around for a thousand generations and for a thousand generations smart asses have bitched about it, long before you came along and made baby name sneering the new fixed gear bicycle.

(Since you're about to ask, I named all five of my kids Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn. I got the idea from George Foreman.)
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn http://youtu.be/zu-akdyxpUc on November 30, 2012 at 3:05 PM · Report this
ScrawnyKayaker 41
You forgot "All of these are horrible. I hate everyone, forever."

That said, Nixon? NIXON?? People are doing this??!?? Madness.

I met someone years ago who named his kid Mars. Can't recall specifics, but I know the guy was a tattooed redneck. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
Posted by ScrawnyKayaker on November 30, 2012 at 3:33 PM · Report this
ScrawnyKayaker 42
Wow. I should read the comments before writing. Hey, @15!
Posted by ScrawnyKayaker on November 30, 2012 at 3:35 PM · Report this
TVDinner 43
Totally on the Nevaeh bandwagon. Totally.
Posted by TVDinner http:// on November 30, 2012 at 4:24 PM · Report this
RainMan 44
@21: I have a Russian born coworker named Anastasia but she shortened it to Stacy. It's apparently fairly common over there. And I'm with @6 on giving kids normal names but with a weird spelling. The kid will spend his or her life correcting people who mispronounce it.
Posted by RainMan on November 30, 2012 at 4:31 PM · Report this
45
You realize we all have "old people" names now.
Posted by mint chocolate chip on November 30, 2012 at 5:28 PM · Report this
MacCrocodile 46
@35 - I used to have this girfriend known as Elsie with whom I shared four sordid rooms in Chelsea. She wasn't what you'd call a blushing flower. As a matter of fact, she rented by the hour.
Posted by MacCrocodile http://maccrocodile.com/ on November 30, 2012 at 6:19 PM · Report this
Free Lunch 47
I love the name Mars. I wish my name were Mars.
Posted by Free Lunch on November 30, 2012 at 6:58 PM · Report this
48
I had a female friend named Reagan in the 80s, who was most definitely born before Reagan was named president.

I suppose she could have been named after him while he was an actor, though.
Posted by wingedkat on November 30, 2012 at 7:22 PM · Report this
beatgrl 49
Mars is just a Scandinavian form of Mark. It's also the name of my former bandmate, one of the world's most awesome people, IMHO. When I think of Mars, I think of this (trombone):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ShBKE00zZ…

By the way, I voted for Nixon. WTF?
Posted by beatgrl on November 30, 2012 at 7:53 PM · Report this
balderdash 50
I feel cheated that I was not allowed to vote infinity times for "Nixon" and "Reagan."

At least Reagan has a history as a real first name. Nixon, though? Is that for real? Are people naming their babies after modern America's biggest sweaty greasebag?
Posted by balderdash http://introverse.blogspot.com on November 30, 2012 at 7:56 PM · Report this
The Wild Sow 51
@19 -- Thank you for sharing my Madison-hate! And boy, did that stupid name ever take off.

@48 -- Could she have been named for Regan MacNeil from The Exorcist? Actually that might be even worse than the POTUS!

I named my oldest Megan -- fortunately, she was born in the early 1970s when the name was just barely beginning to move up the charts, so she's a "cutting-edge Megan" rather than a "jumped-on-the-bandwagon Megan"! Had I known her name would rise like it did, I might have chosen something different. But when she was born, I'd only ever run across that name twice, one a childhood acquaintance and the other a character on Dark Shadows!

Posted by The Wild Sow on November 30, 2012 at 8:03 PM · Report this
The Wild Sow 52
As for Hashtag -- well, Heloise and Abelard named their son Astrolabe after the scientific instrument (all the way back in the early 12th Century!) Le plus ca change, etc...!

Cotton Mather....Increase Mather....Peregrine White....all real early Americans with real weird (to our ears!) names.

Names go through cycles. I was born in the 50s and I didn't have a single contemporary named Hannah, Sophia, Jacob, or God forbid, Ethan. Jacob & Hannah were our old great-aunties and uncles, very old-fashioned and out of style. Then in the 80s, a TV show called Thirtysomething had a little boy character called Ethan. I remember thinking "WTF, is he a Green Mountain Boy or does he sell furniture?!" But Goddamn if it didn't take off. I was flabbergasted when my peers and younger friends started naming their kids things like Sarah and Hannah and Jacob.

Oh well. I have 5 granddaughters, all of whom have very unusual "virtue" names (think Faith Hope and Charity, but less common!) and one grandson with an uncommon Biblical name. And then there's my other grandson...whose name is JOHN!

People are funny old things, aren't we?
Posted by The Wild Sow on November 30, 2012 at 8:23 PM · Report this
very bad homo 53
I know a 40 year old goth who named her daughter Morticia.
Posted by very bad homo on November 30, 2012 at 8:27 PM · Report this
The Wild Sow 54
There's always the "Supreme Court Test," i.e., would your child's name sound ridiculous if he/she grows up to be a Supreme Court Justice!

Hmmmm....I dunno. Sandra Day? Always made me think of Sandra Dee (♫ Lousy with Vir-gin-ity! ♪) Antonin? Looks like it's misspelled! Condoleezza? Also looks like a typo, and like it ought to rhyme with "pizza."

Posted by The Wild Sow on November 30, 2012 at 8:39 PM · Report this
55
How many boys with J names now in their early 30s. Justin, Jason, Josh, Jeremy ? I get them all confused. Also girls born in the 80s named Brianna, Kaitlyn and Madeleine. Too many. Now all boys get last names like Conner, Harrison, Parker or Tucker. Yuck. Why can't people think for themselves when naming an individual. Trendy is fine for fashion or slang, but not for your children's identity.
Posted by randomitis on November 30, 2012 at 10:20 PM · Report this
Steven Bradford 56
What's so bad about naming a kid after a watch brand popular with skateboarders? (Nixon)
Posted by Steven Bradford http://www.seanet.com/~bradford/ on November 30, 2012 at 11:21 PM · Report this
Free Lunch 57
@52 - Names do go through cycles. It's funny how rarely I meet another Joe or Joseph. My previous company had 1000 employees, and I was the only one. I'm guessing its use as a generic (Joe Blow, Joe Schmoe, Joe Sixpack) has something to do with it.
Posted by Free Lunch on December 1, 2012 at 12:08 AM · Report this
58
A friend of mine, who is a teacher, had a student named Sh'Foxy. This was in the Midwest.

Painful, but kind of awesome.
Posted by Dod on December 1, 2012 at 1:53 AM · Report this
59
WTF? Skylar has nothing to do with space (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skylar). People are naming their kids after the wife of Breaking Bad's Walter. Duh. BabyCenter is stupid.
Posted by idaho on December 1, 2012 at 10:43 AM · Report this
60
Mars is the worst name in an aesthetic sense, but I also feel for the poor child whose parent would decide to name them after Nixon.
Posted by Whoop Di Doo on December 1, 2012 at 5:29 PM · Report this
Chelydra_serpentina 61
Let's none of us forget the twins, Vagena and Vadgesty, who apparently really exist. Though at age 2-1/2 years, the mother seems to have at least considered changing the names. Although she still loved the names and thought they sounded so beautiful, people were always making "rude jokes." Google it if you don't believe me.

@52 - In the last Anne of Green Gables book (set in the WW1 years), Anne's teenage daughter grouses about the name everyone has called her since she was a baby: Rilla, short for her middle name, Marilla. Rilla/Marilla are just so ridiculous and old fashioned, while she has a perfectly lovely, sensible first name that no one will use -- Bertha.

How tastes do change.
Posted by Chelydra_serpentina on December 1, 2012 at 5:47 PM · Report this
62
Personally, I like Anastasia. I'd love to see a return of some other old classics like Irene, Agnes or Olivia. They're due for a return.
Posted by Corydon on December 1, 2012 at 7:35 PM · Report this
63
Mabel, Gertrude, Patience, Penelope, Bertha, Lottie, Florence............All names of people I grew up with and loved...........but to stick a kid with those names now would be cruel.....
Posted by ginnyj on December 2, 2012 at 1:20 AM · Report this
sissoucat 64
Reagan is much worse than Nixon. A demented man who obeyed his wife's fortune teller's every whim ? Even someone evil is a better model than that.

As for the most discredited US President in history - Dubyah comes to mind.

A truly horrible baby name is Trig for a trisomy G child.
Posted by sissoucat on December 2, 2012 at 8:54 AM · Report this
65
@ 49 Neat, I used to live 1/2 block away from that record store. You go to Humboldt St.?
Posted by bassplayerguy on December 2, 2012 at 9:32 AM · Report this
66
@63: You hit several of my great aunts' names in that one. I do think one of my grandfathers' names, Burl, should have stuck around but apparently it hasn't. (Nor have the others: Elmer, Sybil and Ida.)

And for what it's worth, I knew at least one Braeden in the service some 20-odd years ago.
Posted by DonServo on December 2, 2012 at 10:08 AM · Report this
67
When I was a boy, I hated my name. All the other boys were named John or Bob or David, and I was the only Clayton. Years later, I later learned to love my name, because it was different; everybody else was named John or Bob or David.

People often ask me if Clayton is an old family name. Nope. My parents were watching television when Mom went into labor, so I was named after the actor who played The Lone Ranger.
Posted by Clayton on December 2, 2012 at 6:09 PM · Report this
68
Girls' names are more subject to trends than boys' names, probably because we strive to give girls "pretty" names, and our idea of what qualifies as pretty is always changing. For boys, biblical names never go out of style. David, Matthew, John, Daniel and Jacob will always be popular, while girls will continue to suffer under whatever the Madison of the minute might be.
Posted by Amanda on December 2, 2012 at 6:35 PM · Report this
The Wild Sow 69
@68 - Jacob has had a huge rise. I can't think of a single guy my age with that name (when I was born it was in the 300's of most-popular) -- now it's # 1, while James and John have fallen a lot. Jacob = James, just like Sean & Ian = John, right?

My older grandson has a rather uncommon Biblical name, Elijah. When he was born in 1996, that name was #81 -- last year it was #13 so maybe not so uncommon nowadays? Interestingly, he was named after his mom's much-loved great uncle, who was born in the 1920s. When the name Elijah was way down in the high 300s.

@ 62 - Olivia has had a huge rise in the past few years! It was #4 last year. Maybe we can thank Law & Order SVU? I remember taking driving lessons with an Olivia in the 1970s and I thought it was a neat, rather old-fashioned name. But she was the only one I ever met.

Hazel, another lovely name, is making a comeback too. But anyone my age or a little older who hears that name unfortuately thinks "Maid!"

Because it can't be said enough -- Madison = Blaaarrrghhhhhhhhhhhh!
Posted by The Wild Sow on December 2, 2012 at 9:08 PM · Report this
70
My stepmother taught a number of students apparently named after their parents' social lubricant of choice: Tequila (pronounced Ta-kwile-ah) and Jack Daniels were her favorites.
Posted by Justus on December 3, 2012 at 9:49 AM · Report this
71
@Wandergeist- I am a 20 something named after the last Czar's daughter... hmmm maybe you are talking about me?
Posted by nastynastya on December 3, 2012 at 10:59 AM · Report this
72
Furthermore, not only am I named after the last Czar's daugher, I now live in a country that was part of the former Eastern Bloc. However, the tsarist name is not a problem. What is a problem is being from Seattle and that Fifty Shades of Grey book...
Posted by nastynastya on December 3, 2012 at 11:08 AM · Report this
MythicFox 73
@6 -- I once saw someone on a game show whose name was spelled 'Quris,' pronounced the same way as 'Chris.' He explained that his mother deliberately started his name with a 'Q' to make it stand out... and then put the 'u' after it because a 'Q' is always followed up with a 'u,' am I right?
Posted by MythicFox on December 3, 2012 at 10:43 PM · Report this

Add a comment

Commenting on this item is available only to registered commenters.
Advertisement

All contents © Index Newspapers, LLC
1535 11th Ave (Third Floor), Seattle, WA 98122
Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Takedown Policy