Every year I take one week to choose all of the names, typically without input from anyone.
This year, I had a slightly different idea. I’ve really enjoyed writing about Cohen and Madison and Apple. I typically discover there’s much to love aboutanyname, even one that provokes strong feelings in others. And so I’ve decided to dedicate the week of July 23 to the Most Hated Names in America.
So far, the schedule looks like this:
- Monday, June 23 – Nevaeh
- Tuesday, June 24 – Jayden
- Wednesday, June 25 – Brooklyn
But then comes Thursday, and I’m stumped. There are plenty of trendy names that fall out of favor quickly, typically those borrowed from celebrities or infamous figures. That’s not quite what I have in mind, though. You might not call your daughter Kimora, but do you really loathe the name?
So which names completes the set? No fair saying Hayden or Zaiden – that’s too easy. And no geezer names, either – they have to be modern, trendy names, ideally ones heavily in use.
Any kid named after a day of the week, is silly.
Names of places, like London or Paris.
In England we have Morgan for a girl, which always sounds so masculine.
Don’t like Felix, Toby or Oscar
Emily S says
I dislike Madison, and I have a theory about its origin as a girl’s name and I’d like to know what you think.
Remember the 1984 movie Splash with Tom Hanks and Darryl Hannah? In that movie she picks out her own name off of the street sign for Madison Avenue, and Tom Hanks says “you can’t be named Madison, no one is named Madison!” or something like that.
Anyway, my theory is that a bunch of expectant moms in the mid-eighties watched that movie, thought Darryl Hannah was super-cute (also, Darryl?) and the name has been going strong ever since.
What do you think of my theory?
I’m totally shocked that you have not heard that before!
The title-giving names such as Princess or Sir actually have a very interesting history. They are a response to the racism of the Jim Crow era in the Southern USA.
During this era (1860s-1960s), most white people refused to call African-Americans Mr. or Mrs. So-and-So. Instead, they called African-Americans by their first names (which was very disrespectful in this era), or “boy” or “gal.”
To avoid this problem, African-Americans started naming their children names such as Admiral, so that white people would have to call them a title when talking to them. Pretty creative, isn’t it?
You can learn more about this in the book “The Warmth of Other Suns” by Isabel Wilkerson.
I think this is a fascinating piece of name history.
I had another thought about this — maybe you should do an old fashioned hated names week as well. For example, why does something like Mildred seem so completely undoable, even though it has an interesting ending kind of like Elowen or other names there is some interest in.
That is a great idea! I’m blocking the week of October 22. I’ll need to think about the criteria a little bit, but yes – that makes sense.
Charlotte Vera says
Ooooh, excellent idea! I personally love Gertrude but would never use it because I fear people would think I’m abusing my child (like my friend Buffy, who has heard on more than one occasion that her “parents must have hated her” when she’s introduced to people).
Perfect! The week of my anniversary – what a nice gift 😉
I’m really looking forward to this whole hated names week shin-dig.
Add me to the McVoters.
C in DC says
Edna! Melvin! Leroy! Will my grandparents’ names ever sound cool again?
*sigh* Cannon is my mother’s maiden name and I always planned to use it for a boy, but now it just gets lost in the “manly surnames co-opted because they sound cool and tryndy” genre.
Ditto Princess or Gunner/Hunter/Cannon – extreme gender role names like that seem to get people riled!
Please please please……definitely a MacKenzie or a Mc name! They’re just terrible, made up sounding names on girls. Such a wasted opportunity to name a daughter something beautiful and classic!
it has to be names that are cute on the small children but you know that when they are grown up they will never use it, my daughter goes to school with a poor child called pear and her sister (twin) Apple they take so much stick from the other kids
Definitely gotta go with Dakota. Having grown up around a reservation, I can’t even begin to describe how loathsome it is to hear parents call their son/daughter by this :/
Dakota is one of my favorite boy names, I love it.
Anyway, I’d suggest Semaj.
LOL, people love to hate. I dislike the very popular Avery and Addison; both drive me up the wall. Then there are many hated categories of names too, such as the -aiden/-ayden crowd or masculine names on girls (to say nothing of feminine names on boys).
I actually really like Mackenzie (love Macky) and many other suggestions (Cash, Jagger, Ryder, Gunner…). 😐 … 😀
Very true, Megalady. What inspires me to write about the names is that I usually don’t hate them by the time I’m done. Nevaeh, while still not a name I would use, all of a sudden made a lot of sense by the end of the post. And I could appreciate her sound on its own merits, too … Jayden wasn’t as much of a slam-dunk, but then I never really hated Jayden. I just find him overexposed.
Abby, I’m glad you pointed this out! Nevaeh does have a nice sound, and I’ve never hated Jayden either–in fact I’m looking forward to meeting a grown man named Jayden, because I think it would be kind of sexy. What I have a problem with is all the utterly unimaginative parents who seem to think a name is only good if it RHYMES with Jayden. I think what a lot of “haters” are responding to is broader trends, rather than any specific name.
Well, the Jayden lovers were initially copping onto the rhymes-with-Aiden trend, right?
I’m so sorry I’m late to this party 🙁 I’ve never liked Addison either. But I know some lovely people, friends and family who have named their daughter Addison. I’m not sure if I entirely hate Addison or just don’t understand its popularity. I find the name overrated. Maybe in my case “hate” is just a strong word for overrated.
Oooo Cash Jagger Ryder and Gunner somehow remind me of Maverick. I’m not a fan of that one either.
C in DC says
I’ll jump on the Mc- bandwagon. Michaela/McKayla seems to have started the trend, and it’s the corruption that bugs me.
My other pet peeve is that every other girl on TV seems to be named Rachel lately. Is there no other acceptable name? The worst case I’ve seen is a book made into a TV movie where they changed the girl’s name from Randi to Rachel. Why was that necessary?
It has to be Anniston.
Lou @ Mer de Noms says
New brainwave! What about Miley?
Campbell for girls. Absolutely loathe it.
Sounds like a Mc- Day and an -ayden Day is needed 🙂
And neeson not needing. Sigh.
* Bear it not beat it. Darn iPhone.
I really dislike Liam, to me it’s like the Bruce of today, really awful. Apologies to those who love it. It all started with calista flOckarts son , right? And Liam needing I guess. I also dislike the mckennas, but they are far from my style; Liam is nearer to it but I can’t beat it; perhaps I am alone in finding this interesting 😉
Looking forward to fright week.
I’m really excited for this week! Should be a good read.
I’ll second (or fifth, whatever), my bloomin’ surname on girls! MacKenzie sucks on a girl! And Addilyn (wtf is *that* exactly?)
For boys, I can’t understand the -ayden phenomenon nor do I enjoy hearing Flynn. yuck.
What about Cullen? 😉
So many great suggestions already on the list, but I will second all of the Mc-names and Maci, which I loathe.
Elizabeth W says
Oh please please don’t do JUST Jayden, hit that whole set.
I just saw a birth announcement for a Quayden — I kid you frickin’ not.
Any Mc… girl name as previosuly stated (McKenna, Mcayla etc etc)
Tyler, Kyler etc
Any abbreviated name (Josh instead of Joshua etc)
Any name ending in double E (Kylee, Ashlee, Destinee etc)
Title giving names (Princess etc)
Many more that I can’t think of right now, looking forward to reading these.
Also Hunter. I’ve seen it get rather heated debate on several forums.
My first thoughts were Mackenzie and Makayla, too.
Charlotte Vera says
I’m in favour of any Mc/Mac name being featured, particularly the vandalised McKayla/Michaela. Would you like any McFries with that McName?
I agree.. my vote is for the Mc names.. i really dislike those
McKennna, McKayla, McKenzie/Makenzie
I’ll second Chase. I also dislike Liam quite a lot.
British American says
From Emily’s list above, I’ll second Gunner & Cash.
Chase is another I’m not especially fond of.
Mc girl names aren’t my thing either.
Brielle, Cheyenne, Serenity, Dakota, Chase, Gunner and Tucker.
Oh and Landon!
Aww. I wish you had’t removed the Cohen post. I’ll second any of the McGirlsnames, Hailey, Caylee, or Caitlyn. For boys how bout Jackson, Logan, Greyson, or Zander?
Oops – didn’t mean to! It is just another post splinched in the site migration. I’ve restored Cohen … dozens more to go!
Harlow, McKayla and all variations, Peyton/Payton, and for boys, Mason.
Maybe Braylin (or Braelinn, or Brailynn, or….)?
Sarah A says
I vote for all forms of Makayla and all forms of Mackenzie. Destiny is also another good pick for this series.
I vote for Bentley and any/all forms of Makayla/Mikayla as well. Ullghh.
Madison, or any name used for girls that ends in -son.
Makayla/Mikayla is one that I hear everywhere and dislike immensely! McKenna and McKenzie are right up there, too.
Perusing the top 500, I think these would make good picks:
I agree with all of these…except for Trinity and Serenity. I wouldn’t use them, but I kind of like them.
How about Mackenzie?
Yes! MacKenzie! Ugh! The WORST.
What about Caitlin and its many variations?
What about something like Gracelyn or Ashlyn or place names like London?
Bentley is definitely up there thanks to Maci on 16 and pregnant.
Everytime I watch Toddlers and Tiaras I’m struck by the names—Ceelee, Sailee and other farfetched end in “e” names, McKenzie (ahhh!), Addison, just to name a few.
hmm… i can only think of the overused annoying ones in our neighborhood and they aren’t even that bad i mean, Brittany, Kaitlin, Ashley… i really don’t like Tammy either…no offense anyone! 🙂
I would agree with Bentley (especially on a girl – it represents a lot of other hated names. I recently met a baby girl Bentley). Oh, and maybe Madison?
I’m sad Brooklyn is so hated, though at this point it’s too popular for me to use. I’m wondering why Cohen is so hated?
Awkward Turtle says
Basically, for Jewish people Cohen is a significant surname showing relation to a kind of priest (or something similar) but most people who use Cohen as a first name aren’t Jewish. So some people think it’s just stealing part of a culture and some people don’t see a big deal about it and it can cause lots of arguments online.
It’s not really the name, it’s more the context it’s used in really.
Lou @ Mer de Noms says
Good question! My first thought was Kennedy, but it seems you’ve already covered him/her. Not sure about hated, but Suri was a controversial pick. Or maybe Bentley? Personally, I’m no fan of either Emma or Ella/Elle.
I suggest Kiley, Jaylynn or Paisley.
I agree with Kylee, Kiley, Kylie et. al. That name drives me nuts.