Why Creatively Spelled Baby Names Are the Worst

baby facepalmCan we talk about the names some of you are giving your children? Look, it's your business what you name your kid. I'll say that here in the first paragraph, and you know someone is going to leave a comment below saying, "What I name my kid is none of your damn business!" anyway. Of course it's YOUR business! Obviously. I get that. But since it's my job to opine, I'll give you a piece of my mind. My biggest baby name pet peeve is the creatively spelled name.

I'm not talking unusual names or names derived from other cultures. And I don't mean names with a slightly unusual spelling. I mean names we're all familiar with, only the parents have gone balls-out, far out of their way to create the most unique, surprising spelling of that familiar name possible. I'm talking Germy, Cerah, Phredy, Olyvya. You get the picture. Why you doing your kids like that?

There's just no dignity to these name spellings. A baby's name doesn't have to be super serious, but it should have a little gravitas, enough so your child doesn't contemplate legally changing their name when they become adults because they're sick of that suppressed smirk they get every time they spell their name out loud.

Your kids are going to have to repeat the spelling of their names out loud to people who are not expecting such an eccentric sequence of letters. It's going to get old, fast. They'll start to wonder, why didn't Mommy just name me Jessica instead of Jessieighkah?

Here's the other thing, and it's going to make people uncomfortable, but let's go there. It's kind of trashy. We like to pretend that doesn't matter, and sure, there are plenty of otherwise together people naming their sons Byntliegh and the like. But it's aspirational in all the wrong ways. You think creatively, but you can't be bothered to look up the historical roots of your child's name and maybe go with an older spelling instead of your weird new-fangled spelling, for example.

And here's the thing: Parents who deploy the creative name spellings aren't even that original. How do you explain the disproportionate fondness for the letters Y and Z? What's the deal, parents of Jazzmynn? Why do you ALL seem to love those letters in particular so much?

Seriously, what is the thinking behind these names? Why and wherefore art thou, parents?

In sum, I think you should do better by your child. I commend your attempt at originality. Really, I do. But come on. Give your child the name he or she truly deserves.

What do you think of creatively spelled names?


Image via David Precious/Flickr

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LeeshaE LeeshaE

From someone who constantly has to spell their first and last name, not to mention how to pronounce them. I don't think its that big of a deal although my first name is relatively common and spelled the "normal" way I still have to correct people all the time and I get a kick out of memos from clients when they spell my name some outrageous way, today it was Alyesha LOL

Evaly... EvalynCarnate

I'd rather see an unusual name than an unusual spelling. It doesnt take a genius to switch out some letters. Jessiekah and Britonay are still boring names. (Sorry!)

ashjo85 ashjo85

I'm an Ashleigh. My daughter is Calleigh. My son is Jak. Good thing I don't care what anyone thinks.

NatAndCo NatAndCo

I agree Evalyn. My son had a girl in his class named Abbegayle and every time i saw it I cringed. What's wrong with Abigail?

Evaly... EvalynCarnate

@Ashjo85, those are pretty common spellings. The "leigh" thing really seemed to have caught on enough that people recognize it, at least. 

nonmember avatar Jlw1403

I have to agree. Normal names with stupid spellings are so trashy. And it always seems to be white trash who think theses names are so "smaahrt" and "speshul"


My son went to pre-school with a "Vycktorya".  Stupid, stupid.  Nothing wrong with Victoria.  If parents need attention, they need to get it in a different way than through bizarrely naming their kids.

I'm kind of on board with Calleigh - but is is Cal-leigh or Cay-leigh?  See, that's something she's going to have to explain.  And Jak?  Sorry, I totally disagree with doing that to a kid.  It's Jack.  What's the point in skipping the "c"?  To make you look all cool and hip?  His name will be forever misspelled.  Why do that to him?  Don't even get me started on people who are now spelling it "Jaxon" or "Jaxson" either.

And I know of what I speak -- I have a non traditional spelling of a traditional name.  Not too far out there, but just not the standard.  People are FOREVER spelling it wrong, even those who have known me a long time.  Frustrating to no end

Rando... Randomlady

My name is spelled a little strangely, Kadi and I have always been incorrectly called "Kah-dee" when really it's Katie. Bothered me growing up but now it seems youthful and I do like it. While we are talking about peeves, doesn't it bother you when you are writing to someone and your name is spelled out at the top of the message/text etc. and they still manage to misspell it?

2cent... 2centsCDN

I have to agree with SLA, the name thing is one of my biggest pet peeves. I was going to mention Jaxson since I've seen a birth announcement for that just last week. Poor kid, no one is going to get it right. Another one I've seen is Wyllyam, as in William a name that is thousands of years old! My name is April and I've seen it spelled with a Y. WTF?

I'd also rather a completely made up name over one that changes the spelling of a traditional name. It doesn't make your little snowflake unique, it makes the parents look dumb.

mande... manderspanders

Hey, here's one I came up with years ago that I'm waiting to see actually bestowed upon some poor child: Typhphyny (Tiffany).

Before my son was born, we took a road trip to see the in-laws... on the way out, we made a game of trying to come up with the most ridiculous baby names possible based on road signs along the highway. We came up with a gem (it includes the yoonique name, yoonique spelling, and even an extraneous apostrophe!):  Truxstyn Brazi'l.  Truxton is a town in Missouri; Brazil in Indiana.

We told my in-laws that was our choice for our son's name.  BEST. JOKE. EVER.  LOL

My son is James Lucas.  Ironically though, there was a younger baby at daycare named Truxton. Boy, we sure got a laugh out of that.

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