Parents: Before You Name Your Baby, Learn How to Spell.

Igor: Dr. Frankenstein…
Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: It’s “Fronkensteen.”
Igor: You’re putting me on.
Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: No, it’s pronounced “Fronkensteen.”
Igor: Do you also say “Froaderick”?
Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: No… ”Frederick.”
Igor: Well, why isn’t it “Froaderick Fronkensteen”?
Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: It isn’t; it’s “Frederick Fronkensteen.”
Igor: I see.
Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: You must be Igor.
Igor: No, it’s pronounced “eye-gor.”
Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: But they told me it was “ee-gor.”
Igor: Well, they were wrong then, weren’t they?

- From the movie Young Frankenstein

Today, I hope you’ll indulge me while I use this forum to address one of my biggest pet peeves.

I am often accused of being a name snob and, in the court of public opinion, I plead guilty as charged. So much so, in fact, that I feel compelled to take a brief detour today from my primary role as a personal finance blogger to make a final stand on this topic.

You see, sometimes I feel like I’m the only one out there who is annoyed with the growing army of parents that decide to get “creative” and tinker with the classic spellings of traditional names that have been with us for generations.

I’m not talking about the whacked-out Hollywood crowd that prefers to throw all sense of tradition out the window by branding their kids with pathetically stupid names like Moon Unit,Pilot Inspektor, Moxie CrimeFighter, Jermajesty, or Audio Science.

Instead, I’m talking about very dubious spellings of traditional names; Wholesome, traditional, no-nonsense names like Emily and John, or Connie and Zachary.

You really don’t have to look too hard to find examples of what I am talking about.

Major League Baseball offers several players sporting first names with highly creative, if not questionable, spellings such as, Andruw “Andrew” Jones, Jhonny “Johnny” Peralta, and Chone “Shawn” Figgins.

In my neighborhood, a young girl was recently passing out fliers to advertise she was selling lemonade for charity at an eponymous stand named Karun’s.

I have also seen folks named Alexzander, Khani (Connie), Kamryn, Emmaleigh, and Madyson.

I was watching yet another episode of House Hunters the other day (here’s a fun party drinking game: next time HGTV runs a House Hunters marathon, take a shot every time host Suzanne Whang says her name – you’ll be toast in under an hour) and noticed the letters J-A-X-O-N proudly plastered on a kid’s bedroom wall. My first reaction was to ask the Honeybee, “What the heck is that?”

Then I realized it was the name “Jackson.”

I’m sure Jaxon’s mom and dad thought it was clever. But if it was so clever, then why didn’t the producers of Action Jackson, that awful late 80s cop movie starring Carl Weathers, Craig T. Nelson, and Sharon Stone, decide to name their movie Axion Jaxon? I’ll tell you why: because Jaxon is cheesy.

Keep in mind that Action Jackson makes Tango and Cash look like The French Connection. I mean, come on folks. If Jaxon is too cheesy even for Hollywood, what makes any parent think it would be a good idea in the real world?

We all know Thriller wouldn’t have sold 5 trillion copies if it was put out by some guy named Michael Jaxon.

Want a few more examples? This thread on was based on a request from a frantic parent looking for alternative ways to spell Noah. Helpful suggestions from the web community included such masterstrokes as Noa, Knoa, Knowa, nowa (I assume, in the tradition of e.e.cummings) and, my personal favorite, Knoha.

I think a lot of parents forget that names are powerful indicators of who we are. For this reason alone, don’t you think just a little more care should be taken when considering what name to put on one’s birth certificate?

Just what is it exactly, that drives some parents to saddle their children with pitifully misspelled names that must be carried at least until they reach the age of majority?

I am certain many of these parents feel that the unusual spellings automatically bestow upon their offspring a certain je ne sais quoi that makes their child stand out in the crowd. Unfortunately, this type of pretentious thinking is dubious at best and can easily lead to unforeseen problems such as record keeping troubles and general embarrassment for the child whenever their name is mispronounced in the classroom or in public.

Right or wrong, when encountering any child with a misspelled name, a logical first impression for me and many others I know is that the parents are probably uneducated.

How can you blame anyone for having that impression when confronted with somebody who spells their name “Zacharie” or “Kaetie?”

It is easy to imagine the decreased job opportunities awaiting these unfortunate kids later on in life as prospective employers, unable to get over the awkward spelling of a mangled first name, promptly toss an otherwise acceptable resume into the round file.

With that in mind, why would anyone want to make things even tougher for their own child by giving them a traditional name whose spelling is anything but conventional?

True, the benefit of having a uniquely spelled traditional name clearly comes into play when people create new web-based accounts. It also can’t hurt if you are interested in being easily discovered by people doing a web search. Otherwise, I fail to see the benefits of such a strategy.

Those who continue to hang on to the specious claim that odd spellings make them somehow more unique than the rest of us seem to ignore the fact that ultimately it is our personality, not the way our name is spelled, that truly makes us stand out in the crowd.

After all, when I address somebody I’ll say, for example, “Good afternoon, Noah.” I never ever say, “Good afternoon, Knoa, who spells his name K-N-O-A.”

And, yes, I realize parents aren’t always to blame; sometimes mangled first names are purely self-inflicted. A classic example of this is Audio Science’s mom, actress Shannyn Sossamon, who thought it would be cool to change the spelling of her first name when she was a teenager.

In the grand scheme of things, perhaps all of these poorly spelled names are just examples of a misguided fad that over the years has sadly reached epidemic proportions.

I suspect this desire to experiment with alternative spellings started innocently enough, perhaps fifty years ago or so, when many parents began to substitute the letter “y” with an “i” in names like Kelli, Sherri and Patti.

But with the onset of the twenty-first century, what was once an innocent trend has clearly become a crazed fad that has folks going to humorously inexplicable lengths in order to satisfy their insatiable urge to be “unique.”

A great example of this can be found in this LA Times article where the writer quotes an account manager identified as “Ssisi Sandoval.” Huh?

Upon first coming across this strange name, one word came immediately to mind: typo. For a brief second I figured this person might have been named after Saint Francis of Assisi and the Times dropped the “A.”

But after scratching my head a few seconds longer it finally came to me: Of course! I bet this person pronounces her name as “Sissy!”

I was so proud. I figured it out! Well, at least I was pretty sure I was correct.

Then again, I guess I really wouldn’t be surprised if Ssisi is a man and he told me his name is pronounced as “Bruce.” ;-)

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  1. 1

    Paul Switzer says

    You are NOT alone. Trust me. This has become a scourge on society. I know a woman named Crystyna for Gods sake. One of the worst injustices for these poor kids is that they will never be able to find license plates to hang on the back of their bikes. Oh, and no worries about veering off-topic. I’m a subscriber because your usually a fun read.

        • 10

          jo says

          thats just rude theres nothing retarded about it nor should you be thinking she wont be getting play dates due to name or name spelling.
          Fred could be a “retarded” name and being a person who judges a person ESPECIALLY a child based on their name is just rude, self centered, and in some form a biggit.

  2. 11


    @ Paul: Whew. That is good to know! You’ve just given me a new idea for a niche business though – mini license plates for kids with stupid names! ;-)

    By the way, what do you mean by “usually?”

    @Jenny: You have my sympathy, girlfriend. Although I’ll be honest with you, that is one of those names that I really don’t know what the traditional spelling is. Is it Kalie?

    @Sandy: If you want to torment Adison’s, I mean Addisyn’s, parents, ask them why they didn’t spell her name Addysyn. I’ll bet they’ll wonder why they didn’t think of that in the first place and regret not being able to have a “do over.” Heck, on second thought, they probably will take a mulligan – I’ll bet you dollars to donuts that by this time next year Addisyn will be spelling her name Addysyn. Now that’s downright synful! (sorry)

  3. 13

    carlye says

    ok so i love the nickname jax… but if we just name our son jax, it wont sound good with his middle name (SCOTT) so i thought about changing the spelling to jaxson/jaxon… because we really like the way jackson scott sounds…to me it makes perfect sense to put the x in there, can you explain to me why this is a bad idea? i thinks jacks looks way worse than jax

    • 14


      I’ve already explained in the article why spelling ‘Jackson’ with an ‘x’ doesn’t make sense, but it’s your kid. If my name was pronounced “Jackson” and I had a diploma or other official award to proudly display on my wall, I would much rather see my name spelled “Jackson Scott Jones” than “Jaxon Scott Jones.” Not only does the former version just look more distinguished, it doesn’t look like the issuing body made a typo.

      If my wife wanted to name our son Jackson (which is a very nice name) I’d force a compromise by spelling my son’s full name “Jackson” and spelling his nickname “Jax.”

  4. 16

    carlye says

    i do agree that Jackson sounds more distinguished… but im in love with the name Jax :) its going to be a hard decision what ever we decide because all of our family members love that we wanted to spell his name with an “X”, i know it doesnt really matter to you but my family is full of very proper, college educated people! :) i feel like our reasoning behind spelling his name with an “x” makes sense compared to people who want to spell their daughters name Kayleigh… but its just my opinion… :) oh and his last name is miller! Jackson Scott Miller/ Jaxon Scott Miller! we have a 16 month old named Chloe Paige Miller :) at least we spelled her name normal…

  5. 19


    I’m glad you linked to this article in your anniversary post. I missed it the first time around.

    This is one of my pet peeves as well. My niece named her daughter Jazmin. Ugh!

    My real name is a two word name which, although spelled normal, has caused me problems my entire life. The Navy computers couldn’t deal with it and removed the space between the two words. Even today many website forms don’t accept a space in the first name field.

    I better stop or I’ll start to sound bitter…
    .-= Bucksome´s last blog ..Home Ownership: Buying a Home =-.

    • 20

      Sabrina73 says

      I hate “invented” names. Your name is part of your identity, who you are. Names have meanings.
      Jazmin is Jasmine in Spanish, the second most international language after English. I don’t see nothing wrong with that. Do some research before criticizing. Anyway, my youngest son is Isaac. I HATE when people try to spell Issac, for example. Geez, at least try to guess it as if you had an inch of education. Haven’t you ever heard of names (in your school days) like Isaac Asimov, Isaac Newton, Isaac Peral, etc??
      Oh, oh oh… Guys and gals, haven’t you learned yet the difference between “your” and “you’re”? I am not even going to say names… By the way, I am a foreigner, legal too, not that it matters, but in case anyone wondered.

    • 21

      Caryn says

      My name is Caryn and I have to spell it since they always want to spell it Karen. My mom said she did that to me since her mom did it to her. My mom’s name is Mariellyn, pronounced Mary Ellen.

  6. 22

    aliya suraya says

    Hi can you let me know how these two name are being spelt. Or if there are other ways of spelling them.
    Looking foward.

    • 23


      Well, I’m not familiar with those names, so I can’t really say. Um, unless “Aliya” is supposed to be pronounced “Alicia” – then I’d have to take issue.

    • 25

      Belinda L says

      I’ve seen both ‘Aleah’ and as made popular by the singer ‘Aaliyah.’ no idea on the second name…closest I know is Sarai (sah-rye-EE or suh-rye).

    • 26

      Taqah says

      Aliya and Suraya are in a different category because they are Arab names and therefore have a different alphabet. Since you have to transliterate the name you have to decide how you are going to do that.
      For example the A in Aliya is a long A in Arabic which is why sometimes its spelled Aa; but English doesn’t really recognize the Arabic style long A so it will be pronounced the same if you spell it Aaliya or Aliya…
      Keeping the Arabic spelling in mind, you can spell Aliya Aaliyah Aliyah Aaliya or even Aleeyah Aaleeya etc. The same goes for Suraya–there are a few spellings that could result from the transliteration–although I have usually seen it spelled Soraya, Arabic doesn’t really have an O so Suraya is probably a closer transliteration.

  7. 29

    Pandee1 says

    I grew up with an 11-letter last name. Every single business interaction requires me to spell my name. Sometimes I also need to spell my 3-letter first name because by the time I’m done with the last name, the sales person’s brain is fried from trying to type in the last name. Parents: If it’s in your power, please spare your children from this lifelong curse! Do you know how many ways there are to spell [kay-lee]? Probably 15. It detracts from the beauty of the name. How ’bout a unique spelling of a unique name? I knew a guy named “Chace.” Huh? Why?

    • 30


      Well said, Pandee! I sympathize with people who have long last names; eleven letters is quite a few. You know who else I sympathize with, people who have last names that are missing a few key letters – like Jason Mraz. For God’s sake, buy a vowel, Jason! As another example, I have an old friend whose last name is Sbrollini. The poor guy has to spell his name every… single… time (at least twice) because 1) nobody can figure out how to spell it right even if it did have all the vowels, and 2) when he does spell his name, people can’t believe what they heard, so they ask him to spell it again. Ah, good times! LOL

  8. 31

    Ssisi Sandoval says

    Love your article and thought I should let you know my name is Lithuanian so the translation process is tricky. It is not necessarily misspelled. It’s just not a common American name like Mary or Paul. And I am a girl and I don’t pronounce my name as “Bruce”. ha!
    but good article

    • 32


      Ha! Ssisi, is that really you? If it is really you, I’m glad you have a good sense of humor! LOL

      Thanks for uncovering the mystery behind your name. (I don’t think the Lithuanians were ever known for being good spellers anyway.) ;-)

  9. 33

    Diana says

    My last name is 9 letters long so my first name, Diana is 5 letters, and the most traditional spelling. I didn’t need any extra “n” or my favorites DiAnneah= why do that to anyone? It’s cruel and makes your parents look stupid. Many other things make me unique, my name shouldn’t have to be one of them.

  10. 34

    Tammy says

    I have a couple of friends that fell under this curse. Qiana (pronounced “key-ah-nah”) constantly got her name butchered as “kwee-anna” and “cue-ah-nah” and who knows what else. She was very patient about it, but I noticed that HER kids have nice normal names with traditional spelling.
    My friend Maija (pronounced “my-ah”) usually just wrote her name down phonetically so people could understand it. But she often got called “my-jah” and “may-ja”.
    My poor dad is named Jan (pronounced “Yawn”–it’s Dutch). He goes by “Mick”.

  11. 35


    @Diana: I’m with you. And your statement regarding some parents giving their kids names with twisted spellings, “Why do that to anyone?” pretty much sums it all up.
    @Tammy: I admit it; if it is an adult, sometimes I’ll often purposely mispronounce their name if it has a goofy spelling. It’s an immature response, I know. But some names are spelled so absurdly it really seems to provoke me. ;-P

  12. 36

    JOA says

    The problem with most of these names is that they are not “real” names anyway. For example, some friends couldn’t decide on Jason or Casey so their son’s name is Casson. Really?! Nevermind the fact that now the child is named after an artillery wagon (which is spelled differently, but why not). So if you make up a completely new name, you can spell it however you darn well please.

    • 37


      If it is a completely new name, I agree. But more often than not, that is not the case at all. All of the offending names I gave for examples in the article are NOT completely new names. Counting them off (in their traditional spellings):


  13. 38

    Angie says

    My husband is a teacher, and this year he has a student named Exuse… like excuse without the ‘c’. Wanna guess how it’s pronounced? Zeus! I could see ‘Zeus’ if it were spelled ‘xeuse’ but the way it’s spelled makes no sense! My joke is that the parents mixed the first 2 letters around on the birth certificate.

  14. 40

    Viki Barie says

    Len, meet Smooch.

    —– (Excerpted)

    Headhunter Named Irvine Co. spokeswoman
    June 7th, 2010, 3:01 pm posted by Jeff Collins

    Smooch Reynolds wrote the book on how to get noticed by headhunters.

    That apparently gave her the inside track when it came to getting recruited for the biggest public relations job at Orange County’s biggest name in real estate: The Irvine Co.

    Starting June 30, Smooch Repovich-Reynolds, 52, will become the Irvine Co.’s new senior vice president of corporate communications, replacing Gary Delsohn, a former speech writer for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

    Her current position is president and CEO of The Repovich-Reynolds Group, a Pasadena-based executive search and management consultant firm specializing in the communications industry.

    Her Twitter handle is @smoochthis, and she writes a blog called “Smooch That!” No explanation was given how she acquired the name “Smooch,” or whether that’s even her real name. She’s listed as “Smooch Stephanie Reynolds” in the Los Angeles County Voter Registration rolls.

    • 41


      Thanks for the heads-up (no pun intended) on Smooch the headhunter, Viki.

      Believe it or not, I really don’t have any qualms with ol’ Smooch because at least she had the good sense to spell her name correctly – as odd as it may be. :-)

  15. 42

    Pattie, RN says

    I understand that this thread is practically old enough to vote, but as an instructor married to a teacher, I have to agree. The very worst are “made-up” names, where random prefixes are combined with any one or two syllable sound, and end with a final vowel. The totally extraneous apostrophe added in just increase the fun. My favorite is when the PARENTS can’t remember from day to day how they are spelling the child’s name!!

    • 43


      It might be getting a little long in the tooth, Pattie, but it’s one of my most popular posts that continues to draw in readers – and their comments! :-)

      Extraneous apostrophes? Oy! I sure hope that idea doesn’t take serious root.

      Thanks for the warning. ;-)

    • 45


      Believe it or not, I just sprained my tongue (again) trying to pronounce Tehauwahnah.

      A couple questions:

      1. Is that a male or female name?
      2. The name looks (and sounds) like it’s American Indian in nature. Is it? If so, it may be spelled correctly!

  16. 47

    Kathryn Keziah says

    My last name (Keziah) has often been mispronounced and one that frequently needs to be spelled for almost everyone. But I wanted to comment on an unusual name that my niece used for her youngest daughter. Her name is Zarren Madyson. This choice of names drives my mother crazy.

  17. 48

    silvergirl says

    It seems like some of the names people have a problem with may be derived from different cultures. I think we should respect all names no matter how odd the may look or sound. The name may not mean anything to you, but it probably means a lot to the person who carries it. On another note, speaking as someone with a very common name (Jennifer), I chose to give my children somewhat more unusual names (Dawson and Logan). I always hated being one of several Jennifer’s among my classmates, and I am sure those with truly unusual names have the opposite problem. I think the key is to try and find a happy medium.

  18. 49


    @Kathryn: Zarren Madyson is unique, to be sure. I can’t fault Zarren, as that seems to be an unconventional name. I have to give a demerit for “Madyson” though. I’d have spelled it Madison.
    @silvergirl: My beef is purely with unconventional spellings of conventional (read: for the most part, Christian) names. :-)

    • 50

      Will says

      I can understand your point here Len, however “Silvergirl’s” point is important, especially when one realizes that some … yes some… of these names are from different cultures/countries.

      Of the opening examples that you used…

      Did you know that Andruw Jones is from Curacao? I remember a long time ago in an interview he said that he was named after a great-uncle.

      Did you know that Jhonny Peralta is from the Dominican Republic and that “Jhonny” is a semi-common name in Spanish speaking countries? Google it…

      Again, I understand your point and fair enough that you were polite with… “creative, but questionable”… when you referred to them, but perhaps there are perfectly understandable explanations for some of these spelling variations.

  19. 52

    Charwash says

    Tehauwahnah. Looks like a disastrous attempt at naming a child after the Mexican city just south of San Diego, CA. (Although that city, Tijuana, has only 3 syllables, not the 4 most folks want to give it.)

  20. 53

    Carrie says

    I have a name that takes the cake. My neighbor was a nurse in an emergency room. A woman brought in her baby who had a fever. While wriiting down the usual information, my neighbor Julie (normal spelling) asked what was the baby’s name. “VaGEEna Johnson” replied the mother. “And how do you spell that?” asked Julie. “Well just like it should be” said the mother, “VAGINA”. Poor kid, poor poor kid….

  21. 55

    Lynn says

    As an editor, typos drive me mad! Anybody using a weird spelling to their name need not apply for a job with me! Parents, please don’t give your kid a “cutesy” name — they might be stuck with it for 80+ years!

  22. 56

    Ajtacka says

    I and my sisters have unusual names (not cultural, just unusual parents), but they’re all spelt the way they sound. I like my name now, but definitely went through a period when I hated it. But doesn’t everyone, at some time? Oh, and none of us have middle names. I think our dad ran out of names – each of our older half-siblings has about 7 middle names.

    But… my fiance is from a different country, and chances are we will spend time living with our future kids in both places. Which means that somewhere, our kids will have ‘strange’ names. There are a few names that mostly cross over, like Thomas / TomaÅ¡. Except that ‘Å¡’ is pronounced ‘sh’, so the actual sound changes, not just the spelling. And that’s after we solve the problem of what my (and any daughters’) last name will be – in my language his name is hard to pronounce but in his country having different last names is almost unheard of (and difficult bureaucratically). Not even thinking about the feminine suffix on the last name… Names are hard!

    • 57


      You do have an interesting name. So how do you pronounce it? Is the “j” silent – like “Atacka?” Is the “t” silent – “Ajacka.”

      Or do you pronounce all of the letters? Which syllable gets the emphasis?

      • 58

        Ajtacka says

        That’s actually not my real name! :) It’s a mostly made-up Czech word that I translate as “geek-girl”. It should really be AjÅ¥ačka, and a phonetic spelling would be something like “Aytyachka”. Now that you mention it, it would be a cool name! (mostly joking)… For the record, my real name is Melda.

      • 59


        I think I just sprained my tongue trying to say “Aytyachka” out loud.

        Then, to add insult to injury, my son thought I sneezed and he said “God bless you!” ;-)

        (I like Melda much better.)

  23. 62

    YY says

    My coworker and I had fits of laughter over a candidate in the voter’s pamphlet whose name was “Rrl”. It wasn’t a typo – it appeared in 3 other places with the same spelling.

  24. 63

    Stephany says

    My little boy’s name is Dragg, just like drag but with two G’s, and his middle name is Horton.. What other ways could you spell that?

        • 71


          LOL! When I was a kid, there was an insurance agent in my hometown named Harry Barry. By the way I wonder if Sean Bean pronounced like “Shawn Bonn”?

          • 72

            Maria says

            LOL! My oldest is named Shaun. I wanted to name him Shawn (grade school sweetheart) and my former husband wanted to name him Sean (more authentic) I refused to saddle the child with Seen so we compromised with Shaun! He has never had a problem with people wanting to mispronounce his name, but he often has to spell it. So there it is….

  25. 73

    gustav says

    I was a teacher. There were several moments when I wanted to smack a momma for being too stupid with the creative spelling of a child’s name. Alezzabaeth=Elizabeth. Ticeson=Tyson. LaNeeshai is pronounced *lay knee shae*…and that girl was White.
    If you want a tradition name then spell it traditional as well. If you want to be *original* then name your kid “Blue Sky” or take the first three letters from the name of every living relative you have and stick them together in alphabetical order.
    Either way, prepare to get a beat down from your child’s Kindergarten teacher.

  26. 74

    Melinda says

    This is absolutely true.

    Parents brought their son into the ER and his name was Shi’thead. Pronunciation: Shi Theed.

    Some names shouldn’t be permitted. This boy’s parents just put a permanent kick me sign on his back.

    • 75

      Belinda L says

      I’ve seen this name too, and seems quite unfortunate for the child (to be the butt of many jokes), however one should realize not everyone In the U.S. is in fact From here. There should be a little more understanding not all American children Have “American” names; which is different from simply misspelling traditional ones.

  27. 76


    @gustav: Alezzabaeth! WTF? I wanted to name my daughter Elizabeth (with the traditional spelling, of course) but that was unceremoniously vetoed by the wife.
    @Melinda: Yes, I’ve heard that one before. Perhaps it is (horror of all horrors) a more common name than I originally thought. :-)

  28. 77

    Denise says

    I love traditional spellings, we have an Emily and a Kaley. It also helps if you think about the child learning how to write their name when they start school..

  29. 78

    Daron says

    I got such enjoyment out of this. Thanks! Should I mention I named my son Zaqariah? (yeah, I had to use the ‘q’ to be different)

  30. 80

    Jennifer says

    Oh my gosh! This is by far the best article I have read in quite some time! I am pregnant with my first child and trying to select a name. I have been confused and cross eyed by what I am seeing in these “Baby Name” websites. Christine spelled Krystine or Melissa spelled Mallisa. My husband and I decided on Victoria, classic and traditional. On another note, lol, I believe this name game that people are doing with the most outrageous spelling has completely got out of hand. Example, my name is Jennifer, spelled the traditional way of Jennifer. Do you know that people will ask me (doctor appointments, emergency rooms, verbal interviews, etc.) how do you spell it? What do you mean how do you spell it??? Jennifer, J-E-N-N-I-F-E-R? Seriously? I get so annoyed that they would have to even ask! But apparently they have been new variations of how to spell it and they need to ask as it isn’t common to have a traditional spelling anymore. I had to do a search as I couldn’t believe there are other ways of spelling it. To my surprise look at what I found:

    Jenifer, Jeniffer, Jenniffer, Jenipher, Gennifer, Jennafer, Jeniphur, Janifer… the list goes on.

    What the heck is going on here??? I could NEVER be a school teacher, I wouldn’t be able to tolerate such absurdity. Imagine having to do attendance everyday with one of those variations above. Just awful!

    • 81

      Len Penzo says

      I’m not sure what the heck is going on, Jennifer, but please make it stop.

      And thank you for bestowing your child with a properly spelled traditional name.

    • 82

      Jenifer says

      It is a pain to be one “n”. But it makes a great story to tell people. Even if my name was spelled with 2 n’s, I would have to spell my last name.

  31. 83

    Belinda L says

    Just a question, would “Staci” fall under this category as a nickname for Anastacia (Spanish pronunciation Ah-nah-stah-see-uh NOT ann-uh-stay-shuh). Technically, it’s spelled exactly the same as in the full name a-n-a-S-T-A-C-I-a… as opposed to “Stacey” or “Stacy” but then how would you know which one (of the latter two) are truly traditional either?? As an earlier person mentioned a name like “Kayleigh?” Just curious…

    On another note, I’m also pregnant, and naming my son Sebastian (why do you need a unique spelling for a COMMON name anyway?? just pick something else! ha sorry, I’m bitter about it I suppose). Unfortunately, after scouring many baby name books, it seems quite hopeless. As I like to joke, “My name is unique! Spelled Y-O-O-N-E-E-Q!”

  32. 84

    Elizabeth says

    Khloe as made famous by that band of sisters who’ve made a name for themselves by being highly paid sluts.

    Courtenie, Kaylee, Tracee, Anfernee, Stepfanie,Mikel for Michael, and on and on. It’s ridiculous. Having said that, my husband wants to name our daughter Ceidlh which is pronounced Kayley. Being as how our last name is difficult to pronounce, I put the kibosh on the Celtic spelling of Ceidlh and I’m not real fond of the name KayLee, Kaelie, et all. What happened to just naming your children normal beautiful names and letting them shine as individuals instead of giving them dorky names?

  33. 85

    Savannah says

    I have a family tradition in naming children to include Lee in the name, either in the first name somehwere or as a middle name. I, therefore, named my daughter Lilee. I realize people will always want to spell is Lily but I wanted to keep the tradition going. My second daughter’s name is Valerie Leeana, again keeping Lee in her name and should I have another daughter, her name will be Natalee. I know there are people out there who will scoff at the spellings but I really don’t care because it’s tradition. While I agree that some of the names are spelled outrageously, is it really so bad to be a tad creative to carry on a tradition that, in our family, has been passed down through 5 generations?

  34. 87

    Joy says

    I like some unique way of spellings. I actually like Jaxon. I guess some people think outside of the box more than others.

    • 88

      Amy says

      Thank you for your comment.

      I named my son Jaxon Blake. The reason I went with the spelling is because I don’t like the traditional spelling Jackson. That is a last name. Plus, I don’t like shortened names such as Jack or Jackie that could come from Jackson. With the traditional spelling people assume it is okay to say Jack. It is a cultural things to shorten some names, William (Will, Willy or Bill), Richard (Rich or Dick), Jonathan (John or Johnny). With Jaxon the odds are it will always be Jaxon.

      I don’t get into the very odd spellings that you really have to study to figure out. I also don’t care for names that are made up. However, different spellings have been around for a long time. I mean my name, Amy, a simple three letter name has a ton of spellings; Amy, Ami, Ammie, Ammi, Ame, Aime, Aimy, etc. It’s all about personal preference and the spelling of someone’s name doesn’t discredit them or cause them to be passed on for a job.

  35. 89

    Krystin says

    My mom was going to name me Tanya, but couldn’t tell if the proper way to say it was “Tawn-ya” or “Tan-ya”. Instead I was to be named Kristine after a friend of hers. When they had a falling out she no longer wanted to name me that so it was switched around to “Kristin”. This was at the tail-end of the popularity of Kristin so she was worried I’d end up being one of many Kristin’s in my classrooms, so changed the spelling to “Krystin” which is the Latin spelling for the name.

    I love my name, and technically it is the original spelling – just outdated. I was not surrounded by other Kristin’s but there were several in my year but my teachers found it easy to pick me out because of the “y”.

    My fiance (William Coleman) and I have decided what we will name our children. I did not carry to term on my first daughter, Sara Ann Marian. However his family has a tradition of naming first born sons “William” so if we have a son he would be “William Bartholomew” and if we have another daughter she will be “Hannelore Raven”.

    • 90

      Len Penzo says

      Thanks for sharing your story, Krystin. I wonder why the Latin spelling would have used a “y” up front, but an “i” at the back; that seems inconsistent. But, then again, what do I know! I incorrectly thought Andruw was messed up too. ;-)

  36. 91

    DC says

    Famously bad names includes Governor “Big Jim” Hogg who named his daughters Ima and Ura. Actually, “Ima” is real — “Ura” is urban legend.

    Spelling isn’t the only trick parents can play on their children.

    Rumored bad names I’ve heard of include some poor guy named Nosmo King, inspired by the “No Smoking” sign at the hospital. Or a girl named Formica Dinnet. More than one girl named Female (Fe-MA-lee). Then there’s Lemonjello and Orangejello (Le-MON-jel-lo and O-RONGE-jel-lo).

    Bad names I can confirm as absolutely real — someone in high school named Rusty Bolt. And a co-worker named Richard Hare. (Hint: What’s the nickname for Richard?)

  37. 94

    Lisa says

    My nephew is Nikolas. It pisses me off every time I see his named spelled out on his parents’ blogs. I sometimes spell it traditionally, Nicholas, on purpose just so they can feel what I feel!

  38. 95


    I think I can top just about every bad-name-spelling story:

    I have a cousin — a first cousin, born and raised in the U.S. — whose parents named him Kshititz.

    In Nepalese, this is pronounced “Chit – ease” (the “Kshi” is pronounced “Chi,” and the “itz” at the end of his name is pronounced “ease.” It never occurred to his parents, who were recent immigrants, that Americans would read his name in any other way.

    Needless to say, his teachers and Boy Scout troupe leaders had a horrible time trying to do roll-call.

    • 96

      Len Penzo says

      I can just imagine the horror of it all. All I can say to that, Paula, is: your poor poor cousin.

  39. 97

    Shiny buckle says

    Reading these reminds me of a day working at an amusement park. A group of people (kids and an adult) came up and wanted their names on sailor hats. My job was to sew their names on the hats. I got to the man and asked him his name. He said it and I wrote it down. He said I spelled it wrong. I tried another spelling; wrong. Another one: still wrong. And another one: wrong again. Frustrated I asked him to write it down. He wrote down Slomon and he pronounced it Solomon. I looked up to him arealized this could very well be a case of his parents mispelled the name. I have not problems with ethnic names but some of the names make me cringe. I do have one question: does anyone know where the popularity of Kayla (and it’s multitude of permutations) came from? I presumed it came from rural areas and a Soap opera name. My Father-in-Law has asked numerous Kayla’s what their names mean and always gotten a stupid look in response. I tried to explain it to him one day…..

    • 98

      Len Penzo says

      Great story, buckle! (As for the origin of Kayla. It’s origin is Hebrew and it means “Who is like God?” It is the Latinate feminine form of Michael.)

  40. 100

    financialwizardess says

    I am currently pregnant with my 4th, and this has ALWAYS irked me. Our last name is 9 characters, so I try to keep it simple. I don’t want my kids to flunk kindergarten simply because they can’t spell their messed up name. My first child’s first name is 3 letters, the next one is 5, and the third is also 5. All traditional names, all traditionally spelled. It’s hard enough for a kid to learn to read when you’re telling them that the phonics in their name aren’t really what phonics should be. No wonder kids are illiterate these days. Also, I give all of my kids the “CEO test” to see if I could imagine their names as being the next CEO of a large company. If it passes the test (even the girls), I go with it.

    • 101

      Len Penzo says

      The CEO test. I LOVE IT! A very good idea I’ll share with my kids (just in case they get any bright ideas when it’s time for them to start their families.)

  41. 102

    Tracee says

    You know I ask my parents all the time how I ended up with my name spelled this way. They claim it is the only spelling that made sense to them. I have since gotten used to it and honestly enjoy it but I am thankful that at least I’m not “Traysea” but I never did have anything with my name on it growing up.

    • 103

      Len Penzo says

      Oooo — I’m glad your parents didn’t spell your name “Traysea” too. That’s a really embarrassing one! Even so, I’m sure some new mommy or daddy will eventually use anyway now that you’ve given them the idea. LOL

  42. 104

    Adrienne says

    I cannot understand why the fuss about the spelling of names. Why continue with the boredom of being traditional? Names started somewhere, do we have to keep on repeating them identically just because it is how someone started spelling it way back when? I admire those who use their imagination and break from the hum-hum rigidity that some feel needs to be passed on to others. As the French would say “Vive la difference!”

    • 105

      Len Penzo says

      Believe me, Adrienne, the real heartache will be felt by your kids who:

      1. Have to constantly correct their teachers in class who mispronounce their names — either unintentionally or intentionally.
      2. Potential employers who,after seeing their resume, either consciously or subconsciously decide not to invite them for an interview because the non-traditional spelling makes them appear — rightly or wrongly — to be less than capable for the job.

  43. 106

    Debbi says

    As a little girl, I was one of four girls in the class named Debbie. No other kids in the class shared the same name with any other kid. We four, however, had to write both our first AND last names on all of our schoolwork so the teacher knew who turned it in. Sooooo not fair…such drudgery! We had a pow wow then approached the teacher with our idea. Would she let us all change the spelling of our first name? She said it was fine with her but made us each bring a letter from home saying it was okay. So, we became Debbi, Debi, Debby, and Debbie. Yep, one of the moms wouldn’t let her daughter spell her name any other way than the “right” way. I’m a grandma now and still spell it the way I did in the 2nd grade. Such a rebel…

  44. 108

    Jenifer says


    As a parent who spelled two of her daughters names differently, I will voice my opinion.

    Lezlie- We wanted to name her Leslie but there is a relative with that name. So it is enough different. Saying her name as it is spelled it is Lezlie (not the same as with the s)

    Aleasha- We didn’t know how to spell Alicia. So sounding out Alicia by phonics you get Aleasha.

    Everyone knows how to say my children’s names by just reading them.

    • 110

      hmmm says

      Jenifer, could you not just do as others do and look up the spelling of “Alicia”? That hardly seems an excuse for such a butchering of the spelling. Or maybe, choose another name. Sorry, but it still makes you look stupid and is exactly the premise of this article.

  45. 111

    Abrahamm says

    Who cares if a name is spelled differently? What if they are from a different country and their name has to be made more Americanized so it leads to changes in spelling and pronunciation? I have a friend named Taito Urushihara at my school. Do you think HE doesn’t have to correct his teachers ALL the time? Because he does. Every day. Names are unique, all of them invented by someone. Why not now? Besides, this article was written by someone named Len. What the fudge is a LEN? Don’t start this idea that different name spelling is wrong and hurtful to children and one’s own life with a ridiculous name of your own.

    • 112

      Len Penzo says

      Take it easy, Abrahamm. The article was railing against non-traditional spellings of traditional (Judeo-Christian) names. By the way, isn’t Abrahamm normally spelled with only one “m”? Just sayin’. ;-)

  46. 113

    Seth says

    This has always irked me as well. As a doctor, I come across a lot of weird spellings/pronunciations, so when I call out to bring the patient back I do my best to pronounce it correctly, but there are times I get it wrong. Most people are used to it, but there are a few who get really upset when you mispronounce their name (as if it were common). People mispronounce my name all the time. Seth. To me, it is self explanatory, but I get Zeth or Jeff or Seath quite a bit. Seth, death, meth, beth..surprisingly I don’t say Seth as in death or meth, but you get the picture.
    I saw this one person named L-a, pronounced Ledasha, as in you pronounce that dash as the actual word. Now would any person understand to do that? That makes it sound like you should say OapostropheDonnell or something for many Irish surnames.
    My daughter is named Olivia. The first thing the nurse asked, how do you spell that? I don’t know other variations of Olivia, but since there are so many for Jennifer, then I shouldn’t be surprised.
    P.S. I like the Ssisi = Bruce translation. Brilliant.

    • 114

      Len Penzo says

      L-a, Ledasha. That’s funny.

      (Not sure if you read all the comments, but the real Ssisi actually replied to this article. Lucky for me she has a sense of humor.)

  47. 115

    Geneva says

    Very late to the party, but still:
    I have a coworker who wanted to name her son Mason. OK, traditional, sounds good. But M-A-S-O-N was too plain! So he ended up “Masen.”

    At least we talked her out of “Maison.”

    Also, you’d be surprised at how many people can’t pronounce “Geneva.” Frequently I get “JENN-eh-vah,” which sounds like someone saying “Jennifer” with an affected British accent. Or a head cold.

    • 116

      Len Penzo says

      First off, you’re never too late to the party here at Len Penzo dot Com. These articles are simply launching pads for ongoing discussion! So thanks for adding your two cents, Geneva.

      Now, if I was going to pronounce your name like I had a head cold, I’d at least expect it to be spelled “Genevah.” What do you think?

  48. 117

    Paige says

    Different spellings of traditionals don’t really bother me. For instance, my grandma had my mom at a young age and wanted to name her “Rene” but didn’t know how to spell it so came up with “Ranae”. Also, my middle name is “Elisabeth” with an s because it is the French way of spelling it and my dad speaks French. What bothers me is made up names…and names is apostrophes…don’t get me started. I saw this boy’s name the other day who’s name was DeMont’e. I couldn’t figure out how to pronounce the name that would effectively use the apostrophe.

    • 118

      Sabrina73 says

      I always thought Rene was a male name. In my country, that would be Renato, DEFINITELY male…

  49. 119


    Filipinos also tend to make baby names “unique” by adding an H here and there and by doubling some letters. I met a guy named Kharllo and a girl named Djhoanna. I also met someone named Jhames and another named Khristine.

    So far the most bizarre I’ve heard is FHIL. Try not to run out of air while pronouncing that. =)

  50. 120

    Karrie Cook says

    :) I have thoroughly enjoyed the article and comments! I have a step-daughter named Danae. There is actually an apostrophe in her name, but after 23 years of marriage I still don’t know if it is Dana’e or Danae’ so I just leave it out. BTW, I also have a non-traditionally spelled name. Never did find one of those cool license plates with my moniker on it.

  51. 123

    Colby says

    Love the article. I was supposed to be a Colbert (old Norse for “bright, billiant) but entered the world female. I explain to people I ended up with the girly equivelent of Bobbie = Robert. That seems to satisfy them.

    Mommas, please DON’T name your daughters LaTrina. I knew one and she was a bitter, bitter woman. “Hey LaTrina, know where the bathroom is…”

  52. 126

    Lynn says

    Part of my job is handling registration of students at my local school district and the beginning of the school year is always an adventure in illiteracy. For the last few years, the most annoying trend has been the fad of any letter paired with the ending -aden for boys: Aiden/Ayden, Braydon, Caiden/Caden/Kaden/Kaiden, Dayden, Hayden/Haydon/Haydyn, Jaden/Jadon/Jayden/Jadin/Jaydyn, Leydon, Maydyn, Paydon/Paidon/Payden, Raidon, Tayden, Waidon, and Zayden. I constantly have the parents of little Braydon/Kaiden/Jaydyn telling me how they wanted their child to have a “unique” name, when all they’ve really done is follow the latest fad and saddle their child with a made-up, marginally literate name. However, my all-time favorite was a teen-aged mother who came in with a young daughter whom she referred to as “Ash-o-lay” (which was bad enough.) Then she handed me the birth certificate and the name of the little girl (born in the US to an obviously American-born mother) was spelled “Asshole’.” Talk about cringe-worthy. I somehow managed to keep a straight face, but I just wanted to yell, “WHAT were you THINKING????”

  53. 128

    PaoloChicago says

    and then there are those pretentious enough to have regularly spelled names but who insist on weird and unexpected pronunciations. For example, I once had a customer whose name is Deborah, but who got snitty with me for not knowing it is pronounced (and I’m doing my best with the phonetics here), “Duh-BOR-er”. Go figure….

    • 131

      Len Penzo says

      Um … I wouldn’t either. Just sayin’.

      By the way, I knew someone with the last name of March who used to joke that he was going to name his first daughter April May March.

      (The best part was the name would show up as “March, April May” on the school rolls.)

  54. 132

    Sarah says

    This article was hilarious and I think it should be obligatory reading for all new parents!
    I wonder if this spelling thing is somewhat more of an American issue, since there is such a mix of cultures and languages.
    I live in Norway and people just do not do the weird spelling thing here. My daughter’s name is Sofie (the traditional Norw. spelling). The only other ways to spell it here are Sophie, Sofia, or Sophia. I have never seen a Zoffee or Ssopheey, haha.
    This is also a socialist country with a lot of weird regulations and you are not allowed to call your child something like “Shthead” or “Teehuwhana”- the name would get rejected by the authorities and you wouldn’t be issued a birth certificate.

    • 133

      Len Penzo says

      Sarah, here in America, you can spell Sofie anyway your heart desires!

      In fact, you can even spell Sofie like this if you want to: Jkwxqyzs

      You know, I just might do that if I have another daughter.

      (Nobody better steal my idea either.)

  55. 134

    Jay says

    I have a winner for you! I was working at a health clinic and saw some strange ones. The worst was a little girl named Nausea. It was pronounced Nah-zhay. I admit it is the traditional spelling, but the traditional spelling for a unpleasent medical problem is just horrible. The crazy spelling drives me crazy too. I know girls named Rylee and Kynslee [Kins-ley].

  56. 135


    I don’t see a date on this, though I’m sure it’s quite old, but hey, what the heck.

    I saw the CEO test, but I didn’t see its counterpart mentioned – the stripper test.
    Announce the proposed name in two headlines:
    President Jackson Smith will be visiting New York this weekend. vs. stripper Jackson Smith will be in town.
    Compare: Prime Minister Krystylee Jones will be in town this weekend. vs. stripper Krystylee Jones is visiting Vancouver.
    If your proposed name sounds better in a headline about a stripper, or a serial killer than it does in a headline about a CEO or a world leader, DO NOT PROCEED!

    It drives me nuts to have a name that dates to Genesis, and still have to spell it out for everyone because a couple of actresses got famous with some extra ‘a’s in their names. I think some names are just too lost to history to know what the standard is (if one exists) like the assorted spellings of ‘kayley’, but please, people – spell traditional names traditionally! Let the ‘unique’-ly named spell it out for you.
    I grant ethnic waivers to people who *are* ethnic. I expect a new immigrant to bring a name I don’t know and can’t pronounce, just as I might if I moved away. If you’re Irish, sure, go with Ceilidh! But you don’t get that pass if you’re a fifth-generation American who wants to give a wacky spelling and justify it on the basis that *some* language out there considers it valid.

    • 136

      Amanda says

      Rachel, I think that’s what bothers me most, the argument that it is a valid spelling somewhere, therefore it makes sense to use it. Really, if you can’t say, “This is how it is commonly spelled in my culture,” you open yourself up to ridicule, or at the very least, a lot of frustration at having EVERYONE misspell and/or mispronounce your name, sometimes repeatedly even after knowing them for years.

      I like the stripper addition to the CEO test. Just because you don’t mind not passing the CEO test does not mean you won’t be unhappy to later find your child’s name fits in the stripper headline.

      On another note, I once read of a teacher lamenting having three girls named Alannah in his class, pronounced A-lah-nuh, A-lay-nuh, and A-lan-uh. I believe he said he did his best to avoid saying their names the entire year.

  57. 137

    QingyuanMama says

    Oh, I’m with you on this one. But btw, the traditional spelling is Sean, not Shawn or Shaun. I have a large family and we have an unwritten, two generations-old rule that names can’t be reused. I already have an Olivia, so my cousin named her daughter (eye roll) Alivia. The poor child will spend her life spelling it for people.

  58. 140

    Lynn says

    My husband is in law enforcement and has arrested young ladies named Placenta, which was,of course, pronounced “Pla-SEN-shia”. And Female, pronounced “Feh-MALL-ay”.

  59. 142

    Ginger says

    I know a lady who named her daughter Majik. She pronounces it like the name Maya. Her teachers think her mother is illiterate.

  60. 143

    Theodore says

    I would like to say that unless that the name is spelled like Exuse and pronounced Zeus that people should not pass judgement, because you do not know the culture of the parents. I think names should be able to be pronounced differently from the usual. Like instead of Titania being prounounced “Ty Tain Nya” to “Ty Ta Nia” because we are in the 21st century, not the middle ages.

  61. 145

    PaulaJ says

    Try this one!
    I had a student named Abcde. (pronounced: ab-syd-ee)

    All I can do is shake my head at her parents.

    • 146

      Len Penzo says

      Heh. And I bet the proud parents spent weeks and months thinking really really really hard before they finally came up with that one. Unbelievable.

  62. 147

    Jose Lopez says

    I know of a young lady whose name is pronounced “Kayla” yet she spells it like this “Queila” unfortunetely for her all her teachers call her “Kayla with a Q”. I also met this kid whose name is spelled “HoZay” which sounded exactly like my name “Jose”. What will they think of next? haha

  63. 148

    N. Burton says

    Len… Len, Len, Len, Len,

    Where to start? I just started to like you and then BOOM, you make fun of Jaxon! Why Len, why??? HaHa. Kidding! I KNEW when I named my kids, that most would not see eye to eye with my choice, however, I get more compliments than I can count, and thus far, my children are rather fond of their names. I know you’ll hate them Len, but I did want my children to have names that were strong, different, & very meaningful, so I named them, drumroll please;
    Jaxon Malachi Demitrius (last name here) son. and,
    Charlotte Colbie Kennedy (last name here)!

    I know! I’m a monster!!! Jaxon mostly gets called Jax or Jack Jack & Charlotte is 98% of the time refered to as Charlie, 2% of the time, when she’s being ROTTEN, we call her “Chuck”. I knew as soon as my babies were sexed what I would name them & so from around the 5th month of pregnancy with both of my kiddos, I had already started fondly referring to them as Jax & Charlie, and now I can’t imagine any other name would fit them. My son, like his name, is one of a kind, and my daughter is a beautiful saucy tomboy, Charlie just fits her. She’s not a Katie, Sara, or Alicia, she’s most certainly a Chuck! I have a naming formula, you see, I am a HUGE Tim Burton fan (hence the nickname), so when naming my kids, I choose one Burton flick related name, then 2 strong middle names with a special meaning to my husband & I. So, I knew from the 1st time I saw the Nightmare Before Christmas, that when I had a son, his name would be Jack, my husband suggested that spelling & I thought it would be nice to give my baby a name that wouldn’t be the same as 4 classmates! My daughter’s name was first spotted in “monster in law”, when Jennifer Lopez’s character states her name as “Charlie, well, Charlotte, but Charlie” my husband was very fond of that name and it fit with Burton’s “Charlie & the Chocolate Factory”. Malachi means Angel of God, I was told I’d never carry children, and I lost the 1st baby early on, so when Jaxon was a full term 8lb perfect chubby munchkin, I knew I chose well. Demitirius has been my dads partner at the fire house for 18yrs, he’s like a second father, and my dads best friend, so that was an easy choice! Colbie is the name I always knew I’d name my daughter, I loved it, before I had even decided to get married or have kids I had decided on Colbie. But then my Husband’s pothead best friend from High school’s last name was Kolby & I was informed under no uncertain terms, that we would not be having a Colbie. Plus I was sure I’d NEVER hear the end of my beloved “Jack & Colbie”, so I bribed Hubby with sex & won out with Colbie as a middle name, and Kennedy, well actually I had a friend with a little girl named Kennedy and I thought it was very pretty, as well as it being a strong & proud name, I also think it makes one sound well educated… I thought long & hard and must have filled 200 pages with name combinations (picking for JackJack was SO much easier!), before I finally came up with C.C.K. I was 100% sure it was her name, Hubby agreed. I am very happy with their names, but I will say this, Jaxon gets called Jason and misspelled Jaxson, poor Charlie looks just like her daddy, spitting image (that’s not the bad part), she was, until shortly after her 2nd birthday, BALD! A bald, spitting image of daddy, even with pierced ears & pink dresses, named Charlie? You can imagine, everyone thought she was a boy. Also, I can NEVER find ANYTHING personalized for my kids, which sucks, on top of the fact that my kids will probably be 20 before they can spell their full names!!
    However, I have discovered that 3 names, when a first name is shortened, helps identify to your children how much trouble they are in… We call it the “I said both middle names” scale…
    Jax & Charlie- knock it off..
    Jaxon & Charlotte- I’m not kidding, knock it off!
    Jaxon Malachi & Charlotte Colbie- I’m calling daddy & he’s probably with a paitent (my husbands works on an ambulance), and he’s going to be mad!! (mommy is a softy & finds it easier, as a stay home, to allow daddy to be “bad cop”!)
    and then there’s: Jaxon Malachi Demitirius (last name) & Charlotte Colbie Kennedy (last name)- which sends a message to my children that mommy has just dropped both middle names and that I am so past whatever they did I’m going to ground them for a week and call daddy. I rarely use both of my sons middle names, and my daughter, God Bless her, I don’t think I’ve used hers more than twice, she’s a great kid! However, I do threaten to spank said child upon getting to the “two middle names” warning, however, I have discovered, simply addressing said child Bu their full name, is far more effective & I’ve only had to swat a couple “tiny hineys” (as my daughter calls them), as apparently being addressed by your full given name, is “punishment” enough…
    See, my weird names work like a charm. I totally think you are entitled to your opinon of odd names & strange spellings. I just thought that I would debate for the momma’s (and daddies), whom choose to go that route. I love unique, interesting, and oddly spelled names, I find them to be a refreshing break from all the John’s and Jane’s out there, but that’s my humble opinon. Besides, at least I didn’t name them Audio Science Apple and Pilot Blanket Inspektor (Michael Jackson’s youngest sons name is Blanket!)
    I’m just saying…..

    • 149

      Len Penzo says

      Nikolette: You and the Honeybee are cut from the same cloth. Although I tell everyone my daughter Lenina was named after me, in reality, my wife named her after Sandra Bullock’s character, Lenina Huxley in the movie Demolition Man. Never mind that the writers of Demolition Man got that name from the novel Brave New World; they combined one of the characters in the book, Lenina Crowne with the author of the book, Aldous Huxley.

      I occasionally call my daughter Lenina, but as my regular readers here know (including you, I’m sure) most of the time we call her Nina.

      Okay, we now return you to our regularly scheduled programming … ;-)

  64. 150

    Rosa says

    The worst nasty trick played by parents on a child, in my eyes, was the name given by the Lear family to their daughter “Crystal Shanda” – read it out loud. I am with you on spellings, but in my case, it was my last name “Boy”. As a female, I got teased a lot (Here boy!) but the worst was having to spell it constantly for people who couldn’t believe it was a real name. It is old Prussian, I’m afraid. I changed it when I got married, to a man with a very common name. Oh, and yes, managers do look askance at weird spellings, fair or not.

  65. 151

    Sprinkles says

    my future sister in law is a primary school teacher, student called …. Faith…… “PHYTH”. No jokes. *facepalm*

  66. 152

    Lu7824 says

    Knew a girl named Latavia Love. We used to joke that her mom named her that so she wouldn’t have to think up a stripper name for her future career.

  67. 153

    Jayson says

    I struggled with that growing up. My parents spelled it that way thinking it’d make me more unique. As a kid, whenever I went to the theme park and they’d have those dumb vanity key chains with your name on it and they’ll NEVER have “Jayson.” Forever, Jason. AND most people will always spell my name without a “Y.” I have trophies from elementary and middle school sitting at home with my name spelled wrong.
    So when I got to college, I thought I’ll spare people the trouble and start going by Jace. Then when people write to me, they add a “Y” in there and spell it as “Jayce.” The “Y” I never received in my real name suddenly started appearing in my nickname! Such a PITA and funny at the same time.

    Despite all this, I don’t have any resentment towards my parents for giving my name such a spelling. In fact, it’s something I’m embracing.

  68. 154

    Esuterure2006 says

    I absolutely hate my name, it’s Mechelle with an apostrophe God I hate it.

    Everyone I mean everyone gets it wrong.

    Or doesn’t pronounce it right, I’m named after my dad by my late mother.

    I get this God forsaken name from her.

  69. 155

    Jonathan says

    The side effect that others don’t know how to spell the name can have interesting consequences. There was one time I was doing a records search on myself at the county clerk’s office. I was asked how to spell the name as exact name matches are performed, an important point, how many times will there be a wrong spelling in an official document. I did so, slowly, J-O-N-A-T-H-A-N. The clerk then told me there were no matches, and I knew there had to be at least one. She turned the screen to me, where I got to see she had spelled my name Johnathon. She had also left one letter out of my last name. Why ask, if you’re not going to listen? It would have been hopeless over the phone. I was lucky I was after a certified copy so I had to be there in person and the spelling issue was quick and easy to resolve. I have had to deal with misspellings my whole life (the extra H is popular), and I have a reasonably normal name with a common spelling.

    Given how hilarious some of the names listed have been, I am going to be a wag. Given the state of affairs at this time in the US, I could see an appropriate name being “Fish Bowl,” which would have to be misspelled as “Fishe Boulle.”

  70. 156

    Andrew says

    I totally agree. I am so glad I have a traditional name.

    And what annoys me is names like “Colin” and “Gunnar,” among others.

  71. 157

    Lisa says

    My highly educated friends [he has a Doctorate in Philosphy] named their kid “Katheryne” — because they panicked when the nurse who was filling out her birth certificate, asked them how it was spelled. They just kept spitting out letters, and before you knew it, the poor girl ended up with a hamburger spelling of her name.

    We named our daughter “Dana” because it is easy to pronounce for most nationalities [we live in San Francisco and it's an issue here], it is short, and surprisingly uncommon. There is only one other ‘Dana’ in her school of 600.

    My name, Lisa [third most common in 1971], meant there was always another ‘Lisa’ in my classes, sometimes two!

  72. 158

    WoahNellie says

    I’m a teacher and some names we get are just ridiculous. Kashanna – KAY-SHAW-NAH…Rejiriel – RAH-JEER-EE-AL…Aiszia – Asia…Dominique – For a boy…

    Stop slaughtering names!

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