Yoonique Baby Names: 2014 Edition

Last week on Mommyish, I resumed my annual tradition of presenting the latest baby naming trends without comment. I realize that pointing and laughing at parents’ terrible baby name choices is not the most sophisticated form of humor, but like I said last year, since when was this blog sophisticated?? I post pictures of human waste stuck to children’s heads and shuffled beneath their bare feet. I embrace submissions like Brenda and I PREG as though they were my own crazy aunt and delusional cousin. And I hate on mommyjackers just because I can. So what’s stopping me from mocking a few stupid names?!

baeh smiley

And yet, every year I wrestle with this post, because I don’t want anyone to think I’m advocating for parents to choose conventional names like John or Sarah. I’m not. I’m simply pointing out that kids today are being given some of the most unnecessarily yoonique, unpronounceable, and embarrassingly awful names that have ever existed. It is part of my continued exploration of the dumbfounding world of modern parenting, and I don’t think reflecting on a crowded chalkboard of ill-conceived baby names qualifies as bullying. It’s more like “satire that writes itself because it’s real life.”

This year’s names selection was particularly tough to narrow down, causing me to ponder the shelf life of all those novelty name keychains available at gas stations and rest stops. Soon, children will be asking their parents why there’s no Bryxxtyn keychain, and their parents will complain to management, and then they’ll file a lawsuit and somehow win $2 million in a settlement for their pain and suffering. And I for one am looking forward to that day! Out with the old, in with the nü.

All that said, here are this year’s best contenders for worst baby names (so far):

1. It Comes From The Future

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"Trexton Draze" sounds like the male protagonist in a cheesy romance novel. It’s like the sci-fi-WASP name equivalent of Christian Grey. Not what I’d call “a great choice.” I guess you could shorten the first name to “Trex”? Like Chex meets Trix? Maybe Jennifer and Mike are just really into cereal. 

Did I mention that Baby Trex is joining brothers Zayden and Vennex? Of course he is.

2. Semiprecious

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First, I want to come to pop star turned “Queen of Christian Pop” Amy Grant’s defense (again), because we’re talking about a person who sang a killer duet with Peter Cetera in 1987. Spelling her name with a conventional “y” is exactly as it should be, and Sasha should show A.G. a little respect. 

Next, a fun fact: Did you know the word amethyst ”comes from the Ancient Greek  a- (“not”) and μέθυστος methustos (“intoxicated”), a reference to the belief that the stone protected its owner from drunkenness”? Me neither. But something about this meaning strikes me as funny. Maybe because Sasha seems so intent on ensuring that her daughter’s name is “different,” she’s already correcting people on how to spell her nickname (as if it makes any real difference; the two names are identically pronounced). I would think that only a drunk person would bother to interject and slur, “Amie not like Amy as in Amy Grant,” but since she’s pregnant, we can assume this is merely Sasha’s personality.

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Trends: “Pregnancy Facts” Edition

A recent annoying parenting trend has become so all-encompassing, it has quite literally (okay, not literally) taken Facebook by storm. One day the trend didn’t exist, and the next, POOF!, everyone on Facebook knew a hundred-million more “pregnancy facts” about their friends than they’d ever dreamed of knowing (in their nightmares).

It all stemmed from a generic “facts about me” self-survey going around, through which people can conveniently learn that a friend broke his arm in the fourth grade and that his first CD was N.W.A.’s 'Straight Outta Compton.' This chain game of fun and friend-ly facts that’s been winding its way through newsfeeds lately has been a dazzling display of narcissism, but honestly, most of the time they’re pretty enjoyable to read. 

Cue the Facebook Moms siren: As soon as the inclusive “facts about me” fad peaked, moms took the reins by spreading a more niche gospel in the form of “facts about my pregnancy.” Over the course of just a few days, dozens of blog submissions were sent in due to moms being so excited about this “new and improved” game, which involves assigning friends a pregnancy facts number when they comment on a post. It’s not that I don’t understand why so many moms have participated in the game; it’s just that the reason people are irked by these lists happens to be the same reason that compels moms to write them. The universal similarities as well as the “fascinating” differences that women experience during pregnancy and childbirth are what provoke them to share their facts, but for the average Facebook user, if you’ve read one list, you’ve read ‘em all. They’re basically spam.

I wrote a column about this trend on Mommyish last week, which I recommend reading for some classic examples, but first check out the below cross-section of submissions to learn more about why the “Pregnancy Facts” trend is so irritating.

1. Keep Going On and On

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Whoa, it’s hard to know where to begin with Brittany (who was assigned her number by another Brittany), now that Faith’s stepped into the “facts” ring with that garbled paragraph of nonsense. I mean, yes, I get what she’s talking about, but which part(s) did she "loose," exactly? Did her spleen go somewhere during labor and delivery? Her comment is like body-shaming poetry that I can’t fully decipher. Very different from Brittany’s straightforward status update, which ends with the unfortunate bit about severe hypertension followed by the upbeat “And I could keep going on and on!!! :)” Thankfully, she didn’t.

2. All Kinds of Real Talk

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This is quite the list. Ashley ticks every fun fact box in her retrospective about little Lindsey Trinity Sabrina. Plus, everyone should live it up at an amusement park before taking a pregnancy test. That’s what my Mema used to say. I can’t hate on Ashley for relaying that information, but her friends still probably didn’t need to know about the status of her period (before, after, or during her pregnancy). If you are the type of person who actually wants to get updates about a friend’s menstrual cycle, you may want to consider talking that out. Which further begs the question: Why did Ashley even include that part?

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Adventures In Ultrasound Trends

A couple of years ago, I posted a picture of a couple standing in front of a “superimposed” sonogram of their baby, and I envisioned a whole new world of sonogram possibilities. “Sonogramabilities”? No. That doesn’t work. Anyway, my lesson in The Future continued as fetuses showed up in the funniest of places, like maternity picturescreepy baby shower cakes, and on mountainsides.

Some people are so taken with their ultrasound photos, they blow them up really big to hang over their mantles as artwork. I’m fascinated by these trends, if only because I like weird stuff, and I think having an obsession with sonograms makes about as much sense as having a “first trimester photo shoot” or throwing yourself multiple baby showers. The self-congratulatory celebrations can only go so far, right? I mean yes, babies are miracles (that are created every second of every day), but sometimes parents become “womb worshippers” who don’t know when to stop. Take, for instance, this picture of Katie’s baby’s room so far:

I don’t mean to trash someone’s idea of good art as I’m no real authority, but this is a pretty literal “expression” for a baby’s room. While most nursery decor tends to include whimsical mobiles or cute little hand-drawn pictures of friendly animals, Katie’s baby’s room has a nod to fetus development on flat black mattes. Mmmkay. If only we could see what the comments say. I’m guessing they probably read like this, because people are liars:

"Beautiful! Those black frames really set them off."

"What a wonderful gift that your child will cherish forever. Keepsake treasures!"

"Those frames fill the wall nicely."

"Holy moly, these are awesome. Do you make commissioned pieces, too, or can you pass along the name of the artist?"

"Best. Nursery. Ever."

If you’re going to do something wacky to commemorate your soon-to-be-child’s existence, do it right. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Your friends will appreciate it, especially if they don’t have to avoid staring at magic eye-looking fetus pictures every time they come to your house. An approach like this works well:

This is super weird — so weird that I think I might love it. When people intentionally try to creep out their friends in their online baby announcement, I’m sold. 

Thanks for the inspiration, Ian. This is the first time a totally bizarre Photoshopped fetus has made me smile, then feel scared, and then smile again. You and Julie are all right in my book — unless of course you get these pictures printed large scale and hang them over the baby’s crib. That would be a little much. 

Related: Dad’s Gold Star - Sonogram Edition

(submitted by Anonymous)

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