The worst unusual baby names of 2012 in one place so you can forget them more easily

"Ace: It's bad enough when people name a boy Ace. Ace the boy has long bangs and the world's most punchable face. Ace the girl is stuck with a name that screams out to the world, 'Daddy wanted a boy, and he wanted that boy to be a fighter pilot.'" Drew Magary at Gawker has compiled some of BabyCenter's extra-specifically weird names that actual people gave their actual babies in the Year of Our Lord 2012. Hint when naming a baby: Don't use the wrong part of your brain to name a child. I'm talking to you, parents of Kaixin and Pawk. (via Gawker)

Previously: Top Baby Names of 2012 include "Mac," "Siri," and "Mars"


        1. Many years ago my family received a Christmas photo depicting two parents, a young boy, and a dog. It was captioned “Merry Christmas from [the Dad], [the Mom], Porter, and Parker.”

          The following year we received a new Christmas photo from the same family. This time it had two parents, the young boy, a baby boy, and the dog.  The caption still read “Merry Christmas from [the Dad], [the Mom], Porter, and Parker.”

      1. It was my nickname at school, actually. It’s just, no one ever called me it despite the many times I let them beat me up.

  1. A lot of those names are from other cultures. Kritika is South Asian, Thinn is Southeast Asian, Kaixin is Chinese, I think Pawk might be Thai, Burger is Dutch or maybe Afrikaans.  So we’re kinda making fun of immigrants here?

    1. What noah said.

      Kaixin is pronounced “kai” (rhymes with lye or guy) “sheen” (as in Charlie) and means “happy” in Mandarin.   While it’s not an easy name for non-Chinese-speaking Americans to pronounce, it’s like naming your kid Joy or Farrah or Allegra or Simcha.

      1. As Noah says, Kaixin is a Chinese name (开心), which also means, as LinkMan says, “happy”. One way of saying “I am happy” in Chinese is 我就开心 (wo jiu kaixin).

        It’s also a not uncommon company name, the most famous being Kaixin, a Facebook-type social network in China. However, sometimes a company called Kaixin in English will use different characters (凯信 – the kai here means triumph). I think I’ve even seen a Kaixin (Happy) Park somewhere in my travels (but don’t hold me to that).

        Kaixin is used in China as a name for both males and females, so I’m not quite sure why it’s only listed in English as a female name.

        1. True.  If I hadn’t lose my Pedant’s Handbook yesterday I would have clarified that it’s pronounced something close to kai-sheen.

          But can you think of a better way to explain it to English speakers with no prior exposure to Mandarin phonemes, given that the palatal pinyin “x” (vs. the retroflex pinyin “sh”) doesn’t exist in English? 

          Saying “it sounds like kai-sheen,” is going to give the average English speaker a heck of a lot better idea of what the name sounds like than just showing them “kaixin.”  I’ll bet well over 90% of English speakers who haven’t taken a class in Chinese will think that “kaixin” rhymes with “Ma fixin'” (as in, “Ma is fixin’ dinner tonight”) or something like that.

    2. Hmm, yeah… add Villiam to the list (William is written that way in many languages).

      To be fair, the header here is pretty misleading. The text actually says the reverse: “As you can see from the list below, some parents did a bang-up job [in picking a unique name]. Read on to see some of the most unusual, creative names given to babies in 2012.” (Assuming I got the “bang-up” correct… it means really good, right?)

      1. Isn’t your name spoken more often by the people around you than by yourself, though? So it actually makes sense that they name you?

  2. I’m naming my first child “The Doctor”.  The second child I’m naming “Sir”, regardless of gender.  The third child I’m naming with four minutes and thirty three seconds of silence (well, actually, ambient noise).
    And the fourth, just to shake things up, I’m naming “Max” (again, regardless of gender).

    Well, I imagine the mother will have some input too, but I expect any woman crazy enough to reproduce with me would be fine with these.

    1. I actually think Willow and Piper are fine names, and have been in use for many generations. Track and Trig are just stupid, though.

  3. I think these came from Babycenter. A longer list is:

    Girls – Ace, Admire, Americus, California, Couture, Deva, Excel, Fedora, Gilmore, Hailo, Inny, J’Adore, Jagger, Jazzy, Jeevika, Joshitha, Juju, Jury, Kaixin, Kirshelle, Leeloo, Mclean, Monalisa, Oasis, Orchid, Queenie, Rilo, Rogue, Samanda, Sanity, Sesame, Shoog, Starlit, Thinn, Tigerlily, Twisha, Ummi, Vanille, Vinique, Yoga, Zealand,

    Boys – Aero, Alpha, Ball, Bond, Burger, Cajun, Casanova, Cello, Cobain, Crusoe, Devid, Donathan, Drifter, Elite, Espn, Exodus, Four, Goodluck, Google, Haven’T, Hippo, Htoo, Hurricane, Jedi, Kix, Legacy, Mango, Mowgli, Navaryous, Neon, Pate, Pawk, Popeye, Rogue, Rysk, Savior, Shimon, Thunder, Tron, Turbo, Vice, Villiam, Xenon, Zaniel,

    Personally I think it is fine to name your kid Savior as long as we give the right to legally change your name to 6 year olds (about what age most people would recognize the name “Inny” is less than awesome).

      1. Shimon is in fact Hebrew. You’ll often see it as Simeon or Simon instead though. Second son of Leah and Jacob in Genesis, founder of the Israelite tribe of Simeon.

      2. Yeah, I’ve known a couple of Shimons.  Surprised that D’vorah didn’t end up on there, too.

      3. One of my youngest brother’s friends was called Shimon – I’m pretty sure it is a normal Jewish name.

        …or so Shimon shays.

    1. Remember when names were aspirational? I can’t imagine what dreams the parents of Casanova, Shoog, Cobain, Hurricane, Mango, Turbo and Vice have for their children. Professional stripping and WWF wrestling? 

          1. I was joking. Anyway, it’s really not so much the unusual names that bother me. I have an old and somewhat unpopular name, and I’ve never resented it. It’s the weird narcissistic mentality that leads people to name their children as though they’re fantasy characters from their parent’s imaginations rather than real, distinct individuals. These people have to grow up, get jobs and try to live normal lives. They probably aren’t special snowflakes and aren’t going to be James Bond Jet Pilots when they grow up, and that’s o.k. I actually think telling kids that they’re special and unique when they’re 10, and they haven’t actually accomplished anything, is a form of soft child abuse. That parenting mentality was kind of rampant among my generation’s parents. We were all told that we were special and unique and wonderful and the world was our oyster. Except . . . we aren’t, and it isn’t. We’re pretty much just average, except I meet a startling number of adults who have an insane level of entitlement, and my conclusion is that it arises from being told through their childhoods that they were awesome just for being alive. 

  4. Every baby name has, at some point in history been new and weird. Lets just barcode the little darlings.  

  5. I went to college with a guy whose middle name was ‘Ace’ and he went by it exclusively. He was the biggest A-hole I ever met, and I’m pretty sure his name was part of the reason. When you’re given name declares that you are cool, possibly the coolest person in the room, it will eventually get to your head, like it did with this guy. He never looked anyone in the eye when spoke to them – he was always looking behind them, around the room and would eventually walk away to talk to someone else. 

    By giving a child a ‘cool’ name, you are telling the whole world that this kid is ‘cool’ and telling the kid that he/she is ‘cool’, when really they are just like everyone else.

    1. Yeah, I would name my kid Nobelprizewinningastrophysicist if I thought it would help them actually become that thing. 

  6. From BabyCenter: “Our data comes from nearly half a million parents who shared their baby’s name with us in 2012.”

    So, that’s user-submitted. How can we be sure that’s “names that actual people gave their actual babies”?

  7. Also called “poor prognosis” names amongst hospital folk. Names that markedly increase your chance of appearing in an ED or under some sort of government care.

  8. Proud as a peacock that my beautiful little 2 year old girl is one of 2 named Leeloo in America!  She won’t have to be Brittany3, or Belle15 in kindergarten!

    1. Will you tell her the truth?
      At what age will you tell her that earth scientists recreated her out of the hand recovered from the wreckage of the Mondoshawan spacecraft?
      Will she just remember that she is the Fifth Element?

  9. I’m not from the U.S. and I hate it when people make fun of my language (Czech) or my family member’s names. It happens too often. This kind of article contributes to this. 

  10. My SiL gave our new nevvy a name which will probably lead to a life of crime before he turns 12.  Please, parents, think of the children!

  11. You’re linking to this because it’s obviously racist, right? And your endorsement of it is supposed to be clearly ironic, because of how obvious the racism is, right?

    1. How is it racist? Besides the fact that a couple of the names are perfectly respectable Indian or Mandarin names, most of the worst new names that pop up as popular come from white parents. Do you mean racist against white people?

  12. “Ace the boy has long bangs and the world’s most punchable face.”

    no, ace had long bangs and rocked it with a band called KISS.

  13. We are talking here about some parents who are deep in their narcissism.  Mowgli?  Jedi?  Casanova?  Jury?  Legacy?

    1. No, we’re talking about parents who want their kids to have names as unique as they are.  I bet your name is Michael, isn’t it?  Maybe David?

      1. How do you know they’re unique? Do you mean genetically unique? That is literally true of everyone. Should we give everyone a name that has never been used before? That’s going to get difficult fast.

        1.  Last time I looked there were still plenty of plain old Michaels and Davids, etc.  Don’t worry.  You’ll have the majority of a blah world left.

          1. Just because you gave your kid an unusual name doesn’t mean that they’re going to grow up to be unusual or interesting. In fact, by plenty of people’s standards, they’ll probably be pretty boring. Don’t get me wrong – I myself have a name that has never been popular, and I’ve only met a couple of other people in my life who shared it. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with giving your kid an unusual name. My problem is when people give their kids outlandish names that reflect who they want them to be when they grow up, they’re usually the same parents that tell their children that they’re special and amazing their whole childhoods, and then end up with a 25-year-old part-time barista that sleeps on their parent’s spare coach, waiting for the world to deliver their reward for being awesome. If your kid grows up to be exceptional, it will be because you constantly reinforced in their minds the value of hard work, and praised them for working hard, not because you named them Superman, and constantly told them they were special. Special people are made, not born.

  14. Sorry, nothing sounds weird after hearing the name of one of my wife’s (a K-5 music teacher) students:

    NVme Mizberthamae.

    Swear to god. Not making that up. May lightning strike me dead.

  15. To quote Moon Unit Zappa, “Gag me with a spoon.”  

    For clarification, she Zaps the moon, not its unit. You pervert.

  16. When my wife and I were expecting our son, I submitted “Zoot” as a possible name.  She wasn’t having it.  I still have my list somewhere.

    I once worked with an Aquanetta, though she went by Netta.

    1. I’ve worked with people named, just off the top of my head, Ofelia, Procula, Bruncelia, Nubia, Vassilissa, Igor, Electron, Fatima… It’s called living in San Francisco.

        1. The one that I knew had parents who were physicists. His siblings were named Proton and Neutron, I think.

      1. “Igor”

        You lived somewhere that a lot of Russians emigrated to.  Not weird at all.  Fatima isn’t weird, either.  

        Electron, OTOH, is very odd. 

  17. I like ‘Townes,’ for either sex. It says kill the sheriff, fuck the south, marry Texas. And I don’t know, civilization, or something.

    Umami, if I think the lil’ cherub might aspire to porn. A father just knows. Eat your heart out, Ummi.

  18. My cousin and his wife named their son Ajax. I chuckled a little at the time, but it’s grown on me.

  19. An acquaintance of mine is a birthing professional and the craziest name she heard this year (I kid you not): Fungi. The parents call their young boy “Fun” for short. 

  20. I would have killed to be named Ace. And who says daddy doesn’t want his girl to become a fighter pilot ?

  21. My boyfriend’s last name is “Jones”, which means we can never have children because the temptation would be too great not to name him/her Indiana and be the worst parents ever…

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