Mighty Red Pen

March 13, 2008

Baby’s got a bad, bad name

Filed under: Pop culture,Wordsworthy — mighty red pen @ 6:55 pm
Tags: ,

Moondog and I occasionally play a game called “Name I’m Glad I Don’t Have,” which consists of e-mailing each other names we’ve come across that, yes, we’re glad we don’t have. Recent entries have included the last names Doody and McWeeny (I didn’t say it was an intelligent game).

After a conversation about Speck Wildhorse Mellencamp, son of John (formerly Cougar) Mellencamp, Moondog passed along this gem of an article by John Tierney called “A Boy Named Sue, and a Theory of Names.”

I had a friend who was a teacher who knew of siblings named Lemonjello and Orangejello, and another who as a medical resident in New York knew of a woman who named her baby Female (pronounced feh-mah-lee). (From what I read in the comments on Tierney’s worst bad name contest — which I recommend you check out — apparently this is not an isolated phenomenon.)

We all know celebrities give their kids wacky names, so let’s not get into the whole Gwyneth Paltrow named her baby Apple thing, but feel free to bring on any of the worst bad names you might have heard, could be yours or someone else’s. And then read Baby’s Named a Bad, Bad Thing for further bad name amusement.

10 Comments »

  1. […] Read the rest of this great post here […]

    Pingback by baby names » Blog Archive » Baby’s got a bad, bad name — March 13, 2008 @ 8:33 pm | Reply

  2. Hey! I’m the author of the book that NYT article was about, Bad Baby Names. You and Moondog could fill a thousand emails with names from this book, which lists a bunch of names people really have had throughout history (like Meat Bloodsaw). If you or your readers want to know more, come to my blog, http://www.badbabynames.net. Thanks for picking up on the article.

    Comment by matrayback — March 14, 2008 @ 11:39 am | Reply

  3. The tale of the children LemonJello and OrangeJello is urban legend.(It’s always someone who knew someone who knew someone…) Snopes.com breaks it down here: http://www.snopes.com/racial/language/names.asp

    Comment by Gopher — March 14, 2008 @ 12:09 pm | Reply

  4. See now, Gopher, I totally hear you on the urban legend thing except that my friend who was a teacher and knew these kids was a nun and she would not lie about this, would she?

    Matrayback, thanks for visiting! Maybe I should have checked out your book before I named my kids! Okay, just kidding . . . excuse me, I have to chase after Gorgonzola, he has a marker in his mouth . . .

    Comment by mightyredpen — March 14, 2008 @ 12:47 pm | Reply

  5. There’s a story about an obstetrician in a southern city, I want to say New Orleans, who suggested highly offensive but sophisticated sounding names to his minority (read: black) patients.

    Names using body parts, particularly those from the reproductive system.

    I had thought it was true, and I was trying to find a reference, but can’t.

    I *did* go to high school w/ Ronci Still. He pronounced his name “raunchy.” We used to joke that on his tombstone it would say, “Still, Ronci.”

    Comment by TootsNYC — March 14, 2008 @ 1:40 pm | Reply

  6. I work at an organization with a large membership. My favorite name in our database is Flossie May Gums!

    Comment by cookiezim — March 15, 2008 @ 11:25 am | Reply

  7. I went to nursing school with a girl whose name is Charity Bang.

    Granted, her parents aren’t native English speakers, but still! Didn’t they have any friends who could warn them away from naming their daughter something that amounts to a euphemism for “pity fuck?”

    Comment by Jen — March 15, 2008 @ 7:44 pm | Reply

  8. God I’m happy my name not McWeeny.

    Comment by baby boy — March 16, 2008 @ 1:21 pm | Reply

  9. Very funny topic, name is important,🙂

    Comment by Franca Richard — March 18, 2008 @ 7:03 pm | Reply

  10. Hey! I work for a McWeeny. (Okay, I don’t report directly to him, but still.)

    Comment by Christine N. Davis — March 22, 2008 @ 8:29 am | Reply


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