May 31, 2013 at 11:45 AM ET
Mention baby names at a party – and I do, frequently – and someone invariably brings up the name urban legends: the twins named Oranjello and Lemonjello, the baby girl called Female, pronounced fe-MAHL-ee.
We’re not sure those stories were ever true, but if you look at the very bottom of the Social Security baby name records, you can find plenty of other ill-advised names that people actually gave their babies, and really, really shouldn’t have.
The choices here were gathered from names given to five babies in 2012. To protect privacy, the government only records names used for five or more babies each year, so chances are there are even worse choices out there that didn’t make the official statistics.
Some truly terrible names were also given to more than five children last year. Seven little girls were named Anally in 2012, for instance, and nine boys named Havoc.
But focusing just on the very bottom of the government list, here’s what not to name your baby, and why:
Assia – You just can’t give an American baby a name that contains the word “ass.”
Beautyful and Pretty – She better be.
Disney – Product placement?
Erie – Lake, yes. Ontario or Michigan, maybe. But Erie is just eerie.
Goodness – Most teenagers would take this as a dare.
Ikea – A Big Box name.
Money and Pryce – Uh…no.
Richard – Every year there are a handful of girls named Richard….and George and David, and boys named Charlotte and Sophia. Clerical mistakes? Sometimes, probably. And then other times, they’re just mistakes.
Rosary – Saints’ names and other religious names can work, but this takes baby-name-as-devotion too far.
Shady – Weather names – Sunny, Snow – can work, but then there’s the other meaning of Shady.
Stonie – Will create a rocky path for your child.
Vegas – What happens in Vegas…
Younique – Unfortunately not.
Abass – See Assia.
Carrion – Baby name roadkill.
Dolton – If Colton is a popular baby name, and Bolton and Knowlton can work as first names, then Dolton….nah.
Emperor – Why not Tyranius?
Hamlet – Shakespearean names as far out as Romeo can work, but Hamlet is also saddled with that “Ham” syllable.
Handsome – See Beautyful and Pretty.
Harshit – Harshit and Harshita are Sanskrit names with a lovely meaning: full of happiness. But they don’t translate well into English.
Kartier – Klassy.
Maximum – Max or Maxim would have made the point.
Messer – Takes the Badass Baby Name idea, ala Ranger and Wilder, too far.
Patch – Future pirate?
Princeten or Prinston – Maybe he’ll get into Yale.
Ralphy – Middle name: Boy.
Rambo – Scary, yet not as scary as the six boys named (yes, really) Rage.
Vader – Ready for a lifetime of Star Wars jokes?
Pamela Redmond Satran is the co-author of the new e-book,The Nameberry Guide to Off-the-Grid Baby Names.