Learning you’re going to become a parent brings a whole new world of anxiety and stress. Every decision you make seems like The Most Important one of your life.
Will you co-sleep? Will you breastfeed? Will co-sleeping and breastfeeding make your child a narcissistic sociopath? Will you cry-it-out? Will crying it out give your baby a lifelong gaming addiction?
Forget it all. None of it’s important. Your kid’ll be fine. Probably.
What chance does Number 16 Bus Shelter have in life? How does one even pronounce Abcde?
This, right here, is what will make your children hate you. Burdening them with a name they’ll spend their life spelling/ explaining/ correcting for people. It’s a lifelong blessing or curse, so take it seriously.
But but but… I can name my kid whatever I want, you whine. It’s MY choice! Yep, it sure is… and won’t affect you in the slightest. Your little Mg’winni Bear, however, will crawl through her life in shame and embarrassment before she turns 18 and changes her name to Jane.
Your child is not a pet. Your child is a human being who will suffer the consequences of your decision. Welcome to the
jungle playground, dude.
Here are some ways to help you choose a baby name that won’t make your offspring hate you for the rest of their life:
1. Imagine them as Prime Minister.
You’ll never see the headline “Wizdom has been elected Prime Minister.” You need to be able to take your PM (semi)seriously. Give your child a fighting chance.
2. Visualise their job application.
Even if you don’t have aspirations for your child to run the country, I’m assuming you want them to be employed at some point in their life.
Imagine a recruiter flicking through job applications. Do they stop at the application of Glittyr Faery or do they keep going?
Try to imagine the job opportunities for Sparrkyl Dusst. Where’s she headed?
3. Yell it loud and bogan.
You’re going to need to say this name A LOT. How does it sound when you scream it across the playground in your best bogan?
“FERRARI-LEEEEE get here NOW!!!”
Seriously, get your list of baby names and start screaming them out. You’ll cull that list quick smart.
4. Pretend they are your boss.
Does the name command respect? Would you be able to take direction from a person called Peace Pear Moonharvest?
Can you imagine this? “Oh bloody hell, Miaow wants me to stay back tonight to finish that report….” yeah, I don’t think so.
5. Say it over the phone.
If your child had to make a doctors appointment or book a table at a restaurant, would the person on the other end know what they were saying? How many times would they need to repeat themselves? Would they need to spell it out over and over?
I know a Lance. It’s not the most common name but it’s also not weird (Lance Armstrong? Lance ‘Buddy’ Franklin? DJ Lance?) But every time he says his name over the phone it makes me laugh.
“My name is Lance… no not Jason, Lance.”
“No, Lance, not Matt. Not Blaine either, LANCE. ”
“No I said LAAAAAANCE, not Francis.”
“Seriously? Who’s called Bang? Is that more likely than Lance???”
So how hard do you think it’s going to be for Semperton or Quazhanie?
6. Do the kindergarten spelling test.
When you’re feeling creative and decide to throw a bunch of letters together to invent that special one-of-a-kind name for your little darling, just try and give some thought to that poor child once they hit school.
Try to imagine those pudgy little fingers wrapped around the HB pencil, trying their damnedest to spell out Zynfendanee. It’s just mean.
7. Will they spend their life spelling it for people?
You might be thinking you’d like to give your child that extra edge by giving them a normal name with ‘innovative’ spelling.
For the love of all that’s good and holy, please spell your child’s name correctly.
Don’t condemn your child to a life of saying to people “No, it’s Catherine with an X” or “That’s Jayden with an H” or “It’s Tiffany with three i’s”
I mean, my name is Lauren which is probably one of the most common names in the history of the world and I still need to spell my name to people sometimes (seriously, how many Lorens are there?). So spare a thought for Whendhi and Djohnn.
Same goes for kids with names that are spelled correctly, but pronounced creatively. … Why would you do this to them?
8. Do the schoolyard challenge.
As your final step, ask a teenage boy for his opinion. Challenge him to do his worst with the name, as if he’d just encountered little Quinoa in the playground. If only the parents of Drew Peacock had done this…
What did you name your kids? Did you have any tests or rules when you were deciding? What’s the worst name you’ve heard?
This post originally appeared on Essential Baby