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Jenny’s Life Klass: How to avoid giving your child a stupid name

Posted Aug 31 2012 8:22am

Welcome to Jenny’s Life Klass #5: How to avoid giving your child a stupid name! I am so glad you are still here along for the ride with me. You might want to put on your thick skin for this one, however.  If you haven’t been offended by any of my no-nonsense Life Klass lessons before this one, well…congrats.  I hope today is not the day I touch a nerve. Because you see, I am actually a very nice person.  And I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.  But a quick trip through my children’s yearbooks from the last couple of years has taught me one thing: Some of you are naming your children unforgivable stupid things.

I  want to help, America! feel it is my duty to try and slow this down a bit.  Because one day, fellow parents?  If we are lucky, our children will have the assertiveness to put his or her name on a job application. And if that name is STUPID? Your child could immediately be out of the running for that position.  I know this because I used to hire people.  And if I couldn’t say the name on the resume without laughing my butt off?  I didn’t make the call.  So, listen up mom and dad! If you care about your little darling’s future, you need to follow these three rules to avoid giving your baby a stupid, life-ruining name.  And remember! If you’ve already done this, you can always go to court and change the kid’s name. It’s never too late to do the right thing. So lean in close to the screen and take notes, people. Your decision to follow or eschew these rules is vital to your child’s success in life.

1) Apostrophes should NOT be used in first names.  Apostrophes are to show possession or be used in contractions.  If your child’s name is a contraction IT IS STUPID.  Sorry, but it’s true.  Maybe it’s a cute name when you pronounce it, but spelled out? It’s dumb as a doornail.  So don’t do it.  Sorry, pedigreed-ladies, this goes for “family names” too.  If your mother’s maiden named was O’Hara and you want to name your kid that, PUT THAT NAME IN THE MIDDLE. Apostrophes are okay in middle names if it is a family name and not a made-up contraction.  Sorry, I don’t make up the rules (oh wait YES I DO) I just enforce them! I know that’s a major bummer because you wanted to name your twins Court’nee and Can’dee but TOO BAD.

2) Do not take a “regular” word, be it noun, verb, adverb, or adjective, and turn it into a name. Do. Not. Do. It. If you are thinking about committing this tragedy, let me tell you about a little girl in Sophie’s preschool class  named “Honesty”.  Except it was spelled Honest’I.  WHICH ALSO VIOLATES RULE TWO.  And the capital I?  I should make another rule for that.  Poor Honest’I was a total cutie with an unfortunate name.  Because honesty is a character quality, not a name.  And I don’t know what the heck Honest’I is but it is not cute. The girl was darling, but she had both an unfortunate name and transient parents who only had her in the school for two months (start on Halloween, gone by Christmas break!)  so I fear for her future. If I were her I’d at least start spelling my name “Honesty” before it’s time to start filling out resumes and job applications. Sigh.  So if you are thinking of naming your kid after a trait or virtue, just don’t.  It’s kinda pretentious, and NO PRESSURE on little Excellence (but better than X’cellence) and Virtue, geez.

3) The third and final rule in this holy trinity is specifically for parents of boys.  Future girly mamas, you can breathe a sigh of relief, I’m not going to kill any more of your naming dreams. I have noticed, once again, leafing through my kids’ yearbooks, that there is a trend in naming boys things that end with the “In” sound. For example, Aiden, Jayden, Caden, Braden.  These are all perfectly great names.  UNLESS YOU SPELL THEM WRONG.  Hear me out people: because this is important.  ”Jayden” is a boy’s name (or a girl’s, heck, that’s fine!), but “Jaydann” is a GIRL’S name.  If you end your child’s name in “ann” you had better be naming a girl.  Do not ruin the “in” names by spelling them “ann”.  If that baby has a winkie, please, please, please, don’t give him a name fit for a vajayjay. PLEASE. I shouldn’t even have to tell you what the social consequences of an error in judgment such as that one will be!

Three simple rules, my fair klassmates.  You can follow them, I know you can!  And remember, don’t shoot the messenger. I’m not trying to rain on your creativity, I’m just trying to help your kid have a bright, taunt-free future.  Where he or she can get a JOB.  You are welcome! Now go forth and serve and don’t name your kids dumb things.  And also, don’t be mad at me.



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