Baby Names: Unpacking the “Youneek” Trends ;)

I have a kid.

Maybe, you have a kid too. ūüėČ

I am willing to bet you probably know a few kids.

If you are expecting, have had a kid recently, are around kids, OR are just a name-observer you probably have noticed that trends in baby naming have gotten a little out of hand. Unique names are pushing the limit of reality. Sure, traditional names like Emma and Jacob are still on the top 10 list year after year but somewhat bizarre names are out there too. Names like “ABCD” or “Pancake.” Or normal names that are spelled ridiculous ways.

What is in a name?

Does it matter what your handle is growing up?

I think it does. It is closely tied to your self-esteem, how people perceive you and even professional advancement.

We all want our kids to be unique and special and choosing a name is so hard! There are so many options! So many beautiful names out there. Ethnic, cultural or religious backgrounds to consider. Language trends. Regional trends. How it works with your last name? (Ex. Robin Banks would be a difficult name for some!) What kind of nicknames can come from it? Is it easy to make fun of? (Ex. A little boy I met at a conference while out of the USA, a very somber fellow, had the name of Richard Handcock. His parents called him Dickie. Dickie Handcock is going to be difficult in school.)

As a lover of traditional names, I chose one for my child that would be traditionally spelled, easily pronounceable in multiple languages and also had some meaning to me. I come from a Christian background and, being someone with a Biblical name, I wanted the same for my child. My child shares my middle name with me and I am excited to have that family name passed along. I liked some of the more “trendy” names too but ultimately I wanted to be discerning and choose the ¬†name I thought would be perfect for her. Is it especially unique? Nope. Is it easily¬†recognizable? Yes. Everyone has to go about their own process when naming a child. It’s a serious matter!

For some, the traditional names are not what they want. That is fine. ¬†Names like “Mary” or “Anthony” are not for everyone. But neither are names like “Axl” or “Bleu.” ¬†Names can make or break you. There is a difference between unusual, unique and¬†unilaterally¬†crazy!

Celebrities, in addition to collecting kids like accessories, are naming them bizarre things and perpetuating this trend. How can we forget such winners as “Apple”, “Kyd”, or “Tu Morrow”?

Not only that, but social research has come out showing that there are real concerns and consequences correlating how a name is¬†perceived¬†as “unusual” or even “ghetto” and crime/success in life. Research by social scientists at the University of Chicago suggested that names that appear to be “black”¬†received¬†less of a hiring preference over “white” names. Names, over and over again, have been proven to affect future career choices. In another study that came out, boys who had uncommon names or unpopular names were shown to have a higher rate of criminal activity than other teens who had names that were¬†perceived¬†as “popular” or “normal.”

Example time. 

I have some people in ¬†my life who have suggested that the name Kandi Kayne would be PERFECT for their little darling due in December. I was aghast. Kandi Kayne, spelled strangely and not even pretending to be the full name like Candace, sounds like the perfect name if you were a) some sort of musical performer for children that involved being dressed up like an elf or b) a stripper/porn-star. It’s cheesy. It’s tacky and I am sorry, that kid is going to suffer because of it. Another name that has been bandied about is: Frosti Laine. I am simply not a fan. God forbid she be pale or a little larger too. Frosty the Snowman jokes are going to follow her forever. Probably right into the club where she will then be renamed “Ice Queen.”

What are your thoughts? What are some weird names you have come across? Knowing that names can influence future success, do you believe it is unethical to give a child a purposefully unpopular or blatantly unique name?

Let’s make a list, this fine Sunday evening. ¬†I want to hear your stories! I want to hear the most unusual names you have encountered! Do you have an unusual name? What is your experience living with it? Let’s hit it, folks!¬†




4 Responses to “Baby Names: Unpacking the “Youneek” Trends ;)”
  1. Lisa says:

    I was in jr high with a kid named Dewey Porkipile. No joke. My mom taught him in special ed. My dear mom-in-law had the winning “hell no” suggestion for our youngest: Choushatta.

  2. I taught sixth grade for years so I have met lots of kids with lots of unique names like Charity and Alibi (I definitely developed a preconceived idea about Alibi). However, oddly enough, Charity and Alibi were misrepresented by their names as are most people (I’m not sure about this, but I think most kids are misrepresented by their parents’ notions of who they are going to be) . . . AND one of the BEST teachers I have ever known (seriously) is named, Candy Cane (yeah, it is a sucky name, but she is an amazing teacher).

    Thanks for another great post!

    • simply.bekah says:

      I think that is probably true. A name can be *just* a name if you can get past it. I think some of these kids are going to have a hard time getting over it though. There is a little girl in my daughters class whose name is “TanndeeliuhJewel” all one word and I can’t help but wonder what they were thinking… Oh well. That is awesome that there was such a fantastic teacher named Candy Cane! Thanks for stopping by again! ūüôā

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