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Unusual Baby Names Can Sometimes Do More Harm than Good

Updated on July 26, 2014

Names used to be plain and common

When I grew up, everyone had common names. Nancy, Sue, Bob, Bill, John, Debbie, Karen, Jim. Boring by today's culture, but I like them. But the names really did get over used. I ask you, how many Bob's, Bill's, Debbie's, and Sue's have you known in your lifetime? Don't get me wrong, Bob, Bill, Debbie and Sue are fine names, I like them a lot (I love my Bill friends here on Hubpages and in my personal life). It was rather challenging in school when three girls were named Karen, and two named David. My name is Lori. I like my name because although there are plenty of Lori's in the world, it's not as common as Sue and Debbie. I like the spelling because it is short, but I think Laurie is so much prettier. But I'm happy. I have had times when there was more than one Lori in a class or group and it got confusing. Especially when they were spelled alike. But in the vast scheme of things, it is insignificant. My self-esteem is intact.

My mom wanted to name my sister Clarissa Louisa. Dad wouldn't have it, so they named her Christy Louise. A fine name, and pretty common. My younger sister was named Jamey Joy. Also fairly well used name, although a bit different in spelling. But I like our names. And my sisters are happy too.

When the 60's came around people still named their kids with common names, but when the hippie movement started, some people, particularly celebrities, started naming their kids unusual names. Names like Moonbeam, Sunshine, Rain, etc. You're not going to believe the names you'll find among the children of Hollywood stars.

Family nicknames

We had a few nicknames floating around our family. My paternal grandmother, Marion, was known and called by all, Boo Boo. The origins were a secret for many years. She finally gave me a story, but I don't know if it's the real story. As she told it to me, they were in a bar once and Bing Crosby was on the radio. Apparently when she was lit, she liked to sing along with Bing with kind of a boo boo wording. So my grandpa dubbed her Boo Boo and it stuck for her whole adult life.

When my mother Marilyn was born her dad used to throw her in the air and call her his little honey bunny boo. She was known as Bunny for the first forty some years of her life. Then she switched back to Marilyn.

When my father was a little boy, they called him Pee wee. Thanks be to God it didn't follow him into adulthood.

Speaking of my father and mother, they had this habit of calling my sisters and I nicknames that somehow included our first name, or part of it, or with a mispronouncing of it. My sister Christy was Christopher Loo Loo, Chrissy Loo, and Christy Pisty (that was my invention, payback). Over the years we have given Christy lots of nicknames - Crusty, Crust meister, Muff, and Muffy (her husband came up with those, don't know why).

I was Lawrence of Arabia, Lor-i frump (a name I grew used to but truly it wasn't good for me), and Lori Pori Pour down rain. In school a classmate called me Klobo to deliberately butcher my last name (Colbo).

My youngest sister Jamey had one nickname that my uncle created and my mom used but for the life of me I wouldn't know how to spell it. I don't believe it's a real name but it has a french sound to it.

My brother-in-law Steve is Beaver because my oldest called him Uncle Beave when he was little. I took off on this and started calling him Beaver and Beaver Cleaver. Steve is only called Uncle Beaver by my kids who are now adults. He now calls me June (Beaver's mother) for what reason I'm not sure but it's his name for me and he's my buddy so I own it.

I call my son Troy, Froy, once in a while because when he was a teen a neighbor's little daughter couldn't say Troy so called him Froy. I found it rather endearing.

When my youngest was very small he called his older brother Scott, Gott Gott (not sure why the extra Gott is there).

My sons have the last name Warkocki. So glad I went back to my maiden name after the divorce. I won't go into some of the nicknames they suffered from peers, but we got the funniest names on our mail - Warkooki, Warnock, Warlock, Warhocki, and Warnookie, to name a few. It made for some good laughs.

Nicknames can sometimes be a scourge in a person's life. We need to be kind.

A Boy Named Sue - Johnny Cash


Celebrities gone mad with naming their kids

As time wore on the names became very unusual or down right weird in the Hollywood community. Take for example the following:

Franks Zappa/Adelaide Gail Sloatman: Dweezil Zappa, Moon Unit Zappa, Ahmet Zappa, and Diva Thin Muffin Zappa

Jason Lee/Beth Riesgraf: Pilot Inspektor Riesgraf-Lee

Sylvester Stallone/Sasha Stallone: Sage Moonblood Stallone

Rachel Griffiths/Andrew Taylor: Banjo Patrick Taylor

Forest Whitaker: Ocean Whitaker

Michael Jackson: Blanket Jackson, Prince Michael Jackson

Bruce Willis/Demi Moore: Rumer, Scout and Tallulah. With Emma Heming: Mabel Rae (with wife Emma Heming)

John Mellencamp/Elaine Irwin: Speck Wildhorse Mellencamp

Jessica Simpson: Ace Knute

Kim Kardasian/Kayne West: North West

Jay Z/Beyonce Knowles: Blue Ivy

Jermaine Jackson/Alejandra Genevieve Oaziaza: Jermajesty

Rob Morrow/Debbon Ayer: Tu Morrow

Jamie/Jools Oliver: Buddy Bear Maurice

Bob Geldof/Paula Yates: Fifi Trixibelle

Woody Allen/Mia Farrow: Satchel Ronan O'Sullivan Farrow

Gwen Stefani/Gavin Rossdale: Zuma Nesta Rock Rossdale (that's one name)

Jon Davis/Deven Davis: Pirate Davis

I think the name Speck is really terrible (John Mellencamp's child) for a kid to carry around. I don't know the story behind the name, but the children at school will not have the benefit of knowing it before they hear it for the first time and decide to tease.

Pilot Inspektor (Jason Lee's child)? I hope these children are able to get through life without too much bullying and teasing over their names. Some of these are not bad names, just unusual. Tu Morrow will get wise cracks from teachers and peers and many others. Silly.

The fairy tale Rindercella

"There's no name on this gravestone. That's odd."
"There's no name on this gravestone. That's odd."

The man named Odd

There is a funny story (fictitious) about a man whose parents named him Odd. All his life he got teased about his name.

"What's your name?"


"Odd is your name? That's odd."

Hardy har har.

When he got older he told his family "When I pass away, do not put my name on my headstone as I don't want to always be remembered as a joke."

The day came when Odd passed from this world to the next. The family granted his wishes and put a headstone with no name. People passed by often and commented, "Look, this grave marker has no name, that's odd."

Put your child's well being before unique and clever

There is nothing wrong with choosing a unique name for your child. But I think it important for parents to be careful with being too cute, clever or weird. Kids have to live with those names for the rest of their lives. If you give them a name that will draw lots of jokes or negative comments, they will live with that stigma throughout their life. Why put them through that?

I think sometimes parents who name their kids bizarre names like Speck and Pilot Inspektor are focusing on themselves and their ability to be clever, cutesy, and unique, totally disregarding the possible negative effects on their children. Hopefully, some of these parents will raise their children to be confident, secure, and loved. It will help in coping.

The Name Game - Shirley Ellis


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    • lambservant profile imageAUTHOR

      Lori Colbo 

      6 years ago from Pacific Northwest


    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish MS 

      6 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      I like the name "Jake."

      Yes, "English" all the time, but that is not so bothersome to me since it's an odd spelling that trips people up. It was an old tradition in England for anyone named Englishm when they moved to another country, to change the spelling to "Inglish" to indicate being in a foreign land. I hear that it was particularly a tradition when moving to Ireland. Not everyone changed it by 20th century, tho.

    • lambservant profile imageAUTHOR

      Lori Colbo 

      6 years ago from Pacific Northwest

      Patty (not Patricia) how frustrating. You'd think those people would give you credit for knowing your own name. My youngest son's name is Jake. Not Jacob. A lot of adults called him Jacob growing up and it drove him nuts.

      Curious, have people spelled your last name as English?

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish MS 

      6 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      My, my, my. North West? Jermasjesty? These names could keep a young adult from getting a job. Of the two, North West has a better chance.

      I had trouble all my life because "Patty" is my real name and not a nickname. School teachers, principals, professors, and employers all refused to believe it and put "Patricia" on my records, lousing up my permanent school records, Insurance, Social Security etc. for a while, until I had to go through a lot of procedures to get it all changed - every year. Further, these people would not take me seriously because of my name. But, it's a lot more acceptable today than "Jermajesty."

      Gee - I could start another 30-year career and be taken seriously this time. :)

    • lambservant profile imageAUTHOR

      Lori Colbo 

      6 years ago from Pacific Northwest

      Thanks Bill.

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 

      6 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Man, this is another one I missed. I wish I knew what was going on. Anyway, I'm glad I caught it. I love that first picture. I know several people that are probably asking the same question. When I was in grade school there were five Bills in my class. Now you hardly ever hear it. The times they are a changin'. Great hub!

    • lambservant profile imageAUTHOR

      Lori Colbo 

      6 years ago from Pacific Northwest

      Zowie Bowie, oh brother. Poor kid. In all truth I think Apple is kind of cute too. One of my granddaughters is named Ashlynn. Her mom kind of made it up and I think it's beautiful (as she is). It's not weird, there's no odd spelling, and it sounds unique without all the stupid stuff.

      Thanks for stopping by MJennifer.

    • MJennifer profile image

      Marcy J. Miller 

      6 years ago from Arizona

      Loved this, Lambservant! It made me think of Zowie Bowie, David Bowie's son. I do have to confess I think the name Gwyneth Paltrow gave her daughter, Apple, is a pretty name -- but I can only imagine the nicknames and teasing the other kids will give her.

      I always feel a bit for the kids with really strange spellings. Who wants to have to repeat the spelling of their name five times in a row at the start of every school year until the teacher gets it right? That's a lot of attention for a shy kid! On the other hand, one of my cousins changed the spelling of her name, Lisa (a perfectly pretty name) to Lyza to make it sound more exotic. Maybe names should come with 18-year expiration dates, at the end of which they child can renew them or swap them for something they really love.

      Great hub -- I thoroughly enjoyed it! -- MJ

    • lambservant profile imageAUTHOR

      Lori Colbo 

      6 years ago from Pacific Northwest

      Thanks for your comments Jeannie. I like some of the old names, but some are downright unflattering. I know an adorable baby named Agnes. It doesn't fit at all.

      Some people get carried away with naming their kids Bible names. I know of a family with 5 or 6 kids who all but one had a biblical name. One of the girls name was Haddasah. Horrid name. And who wants a child named Ezekiel? Some do, no thanks. Zerubabbel? No thanks again.

      Thanks for stopping by. I may do a spoof hub on Bible names for kids.

    • Jeannieinabottle profile image

      Jeannie Marie 

      6 years ago from Baltimore, MD

      I think most children's names now are either painfully old (like Sophia, Trudy, Anna) or really weird. There must be something nice in the middle. I personally like Kristin or Shannon, but everyone tells me to get out the 1980s with names like that.

    • lambservant profile imageAUTHOR

      Lori Colbo 

      6 years ago from Pacific Northwest

      Faith, Dill Pickle? How awful.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      6 years ago from southern USA

      Yes, I feel for some of those children of the stars! LOL What is the name of that "Friends" start, Apple or maybe it is someone else LOL Bless their hearts. I love my common married last name as my maiden name what not so common. I just wonder what the parents are thinking when naming their children ...? A long time ago, I worked at an insurance company and I will tell you we had an insured named "Dill Pickle" LOL True story! Either this person grew up and was a little off and changed his name to such, for if his parents named him this, I am sure he would have changed it went he was grown, surely! I know I would have, so I am thinking he changed it to such a crazy name.

      Up and more and sharing

      Happy New Year dear Lori,

      Faith Reaper

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      6 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      How fun is this. Very cool.

    • lambservant profile imageAUTHOR

      Lori Colbo 

      6 years ago from Pacific Northwest

      Happy New Year to you too Billy. I added a couple more vids and a thing on our family nicknames.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      6 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You chose the perfect song for this hub. I honestly don't know what some people are thinking when they name their children. Boy, we sure saw a lot of strange names during the 60's. :) Interesting read my friend. Happy New Year to you and yours.

    • lambservant profile imageAUTHOR

      Lori Colbo 

      6 years ago from Pacific Northwest

      Ericdierker, you got it dude. Thanks for the idea.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      6 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Honey child and good friend. I need some music with this. How about a boy named sue by JC?


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