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


107 Responses to “The worst unusual baby names of 2012 in one place so you can forget them more easily”

  1. Andrea says:

    How do we know Ace’s parents aren’t massive Seventh Doctor fans? (Not advocating using “Ace” for a girl’s name, mind.)

  2. oldelpaso says:

    A big fan of Sylvester McCoy era Doctor Who, perhaps?

  3. malgrep says:

    They forgot to include the people that named their kid Hashtag within the last month or so.

  4. Sam Clements says:

    Ace is hardly a bad name by any standard. 

  5. noah says:

    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?

    • LinkMan says:

      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.

      • s2redux says:

        Or Positive Wassermann Johnson.

        (Wow, the book is still available. Xmas comes early for me this year!)

      • Ping Kee says:

        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.

      • Nagurski says:

         ‘xi’ and ‘sh’ are distinct phonemes in pinyin rendering. Pronouncing 心 as “sheen” doesn’t cut it.

        • LinkMan says:

          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.

    • CH says:

      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?)

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      Queenie’s been around at least since the 19th century.

  6. Hugoku says:

    Ace is cool. A One Piece fan maybe?

  7. Nylund says:

    Does Xeni know you’re making fun of names like Kaixin and Pawk?

  8. DisGuest says:

    Last I read Drew Magary, it was all CAPS AND LOTS OF EXCLAMATION POINTS!!!
    I haven’t been back since.

  9. Peter says:

    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.

  10. millie fink says:


    • Monkey_pants says:

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

  11. Aloisius says:

    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).

    • Steve Bosman says:

      Silly question, but what is wrong with Shimon? 

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

      • Aloisius says:

        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.

      • Antinous / Moderator says:

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

      • Brainspore says:

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

        …or so Shimon shays.

    • Monkey_pants says:

      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? 

      • t3kna2007 says:

        You don’t see Casanova as aspirational? ;)

        • Monkey_pants says:

          They want their kid to grow up to be a man-ho?

          • Antinous / Moderator says:

            He was an adventurer.

            And you seem unusually fervid on this topic.

          • Monkey_pants says:

            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. 

    • Dlo Burns says:

      Of all the names only ‘ Donathan’ made me groan. It just seems so mormon-y to me.

  12. Robert Cruickshank says:

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

  13. This post seems awfully mean by Boing Boing standards. Can’t we celebrate the Happy Mutant names?

  14. StudioChata says:

    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.

  15. t3kna2007 says:

    What are you gonna do, shoot us all?
    No, Ace, just you.

  16. Kevin Searle says:

    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”?

  17. camnotthebutler says:

    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.

  18. jon29 says:

    Turbo is kind of a little bit awesome.

  19. ehuelga says:

    It’s pronounced Oz-wee-pay…

  20. Kaveh Maguire says:

    Weird names > conventional names like John, Mary, Robert, Michael or Elizabeth.

  21. metrometro says:

    I would have thought this was a safe space for little mutants named Xenon. 

  22. Darron Moore says:

    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!

  23. Karolina says:

    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. 

  24. TheMadLibrarian says:

    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!

  25. Andrew Kay says:

    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?

    • Monkey_pants says:

      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?

  26. Donald Petersen says:

    If my last name were Schmidt, I’d totally have to be talked out of naming my son Aero.

  27. orwell says:

    “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.

  28. Boundegar says:

    Excel is a fine name, and her sister can be Hyatt.

  29. bryan rasmussen says:

    Ace the girl is stuck with a name that screams out to the world, ‘Daddy wanted a boy,  ”

    Or Daddy wanted an awesome Dr. Who companion.

  30. welcomeabored says:

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

    • Darron Moore says:

      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?

      • Monkey_pants says:

        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.

        • Darron Moore says:

           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.

          • Monkey_pants says:

            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.

  31. dayintoday says:

    Xenon will be a noble kid, but won’t participate much in group activities.

  32. pjcamp says:

    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.

  33. feetleet says:

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

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

  34. Gyrofrog says:

    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.

  35. feetleet says:

    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.

  36. Kroeghe says:

    I fail to see how this is funny. Shouldn’t we celebrate diversity rather than mock it? 

  37. Pirate Jenny says:

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

  38. ashypete says:

    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. 

  39. Lodewijk Gonggrijp says:

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

  40. giantasterisk says:

    I kind of like California. Shortens to Cali, which is rather cute.

  41. Ian says:

    Some of those names are pretty bad, and this comes from a guy whose daughter is named “Pixel”.

  42. 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…

  43. I’m a big fan of unusual names. 

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