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Inappropriate Names

One of the first and most important things a person will have to do as a new parent is to name their child. As you know, my wife and I recently did this. So, I'd like to go over some pet peeves of mine that rose to the surface during this process. Naming a person is obviously an important task. There are so many things to consider and many more things to avoid when coming up with a name.

#1 - This is a person. While you think that your little one may be cute like a puppy or beautiful like a swan or whatever, your baby is not a pet and should therefore not have a pet name. Do NOT name your child Otis.

#2 - The picked out name may sound great alone but you should say it with the middle name and last name in every possible combination to see if it is still as great as it was by itself. For example, my mother used to work with a woman who had the last name "Bush". She named her daughter "Rose" and , yes, I agree that there could've been worse names. However, you're just giving ignorant people material to use against your kid.

#3 - Do not spell your child's name like an idiot. Sarah is spelled S-a-r-a-h, NOT C-e-h-r-a-a. Spelling your child's name in a unique way does not make your child unique. It makes your child hate you.

#4 - Coming back to #2, also shorten the proposed name in different ways to see if it can be used against them. Catherine Paulsen may at some point be called "cat pee."

#5 - Does the proposed name's initials spell anything? While this may not seem important to you, it will certainly be important to the recipient.

#6 - Be aware that if your child's name rhymes with something it can and will be used against them on a playground.

#7 - Don't name a girl George. And, don't name a boy Susan.

#8 - While Hollywood seems to glorify the lifestyle and more and more Americans are tolerant of them, do not name your kid "Gay". One of two unfortunate things will happen: Your child won't live to see his/her 18th birthday or he/she will personally make sure that you don't live to see it.

#9 - Names like Richard have proven to be great names throughout history, but seriously people, think.

#10 - Last, but no less important, do NOT name your child the same name as a celebrity. I've known or met people with the following names: Michael Jackson, Tina Turner, James Dean, Mike Meyers, and Jack Daniels. It can't be helped if the person rises to fame after the naming of your child, but all of these names were well known by America before the naming of these chilren with the exception of Mike Meyers.

I also knew a Kellie Kelley. She just so happened to fall in love with and marry a man with the last name Kelley and that's how that came together. So, I suppose she could have avoided the situation, but her priorities seemed to be in the right place. Another example of an unfortunate name happening without fault to the parents is a guy named Thomas Crapper. He's the guy who invented the modern toilet. We all take advantage of his genius several times daily and we reward him and thank him by using his name as if it's equal to poop. It's apparent that his unfortunate name couldn't be avoided. I wonder, though, if his name had been something else if it would've so easily been used as slang for poop as well.

In closing, when choosing a name for a person remember that it is a person who will have to wear this name. They will have to walk through a playground. They will have to turn in a resume for a new job with their name as a heading. While we can't protect our children from everything, we can sure protect them and ourselves from a lot of unwanted scrutiny with just a little consideration.


I work with a guy named Shannon Michel (pronounced /meh shell/) who married a Michelle. Michelle Michel - at least that sounds French - and the Beatles wrote a song by that name.

I went to school with a guy whos initials were P.M.S. (Pedro Miguel Segura). I know a guy Robin Robins. I've known guys whose names were Shannon, Sandy, and Ashley.
My husbands initials are A.T.M. He one time wrote a bank saying they owed him money for using his initials when he was younger. Now that's funny.
Some parents just don't think. You guys did good.

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