Naming your baby seems fun ... at first. Most of us start as little girls dreaming of the names we'll one day bestow upon our children. When you're actually expecting a child, however, you realize the enormous responsibility you hold in your hands.
While it's definitely a matter of taste in most cases, there are some real repercussions for kids with bad baby names besides the fact that they may hate you for them someday. A recent study even showed that less-than-desirable names can actually lower a person's self-esteem and make them lonelier in life. Yikes, talk about pressure.
To help with the task, here are 25 "rules" that all parents should at least consider to keep from giving your kid a bad baby name:
1. Don't name your child after food. J.R. Martinez and Diana Gonzalez-Jones, who are expecting their first baby in May, recently told People magazine that they haven't settled on a name yet, but have ruled out two: "Salami" and "Apple Cider." Smart people they are, and we all should follow their cue -- if it's edible, don't name your baby after it.
2. Skip stripper names. No offense to strippers, but there are some basic rules to avoid giving your daughter a name that makes her sound destined for life on a pole.
3. Avoid names that people hate. These will change from year to year, but Jayden and Neveah (Heaven spelled backwards) made the list of most hated baby names this year.
4. Think about your child's future email address. Peter Enis sounds lovely, until one day his company assigns him a work email address that becomes Penis@thiscompany.com.
5. Play the rhyme game to make sure that kids on the playground won't be able to. Jinx, Stinks. Brody is grody. Nelly is smelly. You get the idea. Any questions, just run the name by an 8-year-old boy and see what he comes up with.
6. Avoid names with 8,000 different spellings. Caitlyn. Kaitlyn, Catelyn, Caitlin ... you get the idea.
7. Don't get all creative and make up a name. Stephania, Jolissa, Crystalina, anything you just create out of thin air or by combining more than one name should be avoided.
8. Consider your kid's initials. I was teased for being JAR growing up (Julie Ann Ryan), which was annoying, but not that bad. Ashley Suzanne Smith on the other hand might feel differently.
9. Don't forget monograms. You also have to remember that the first letter of the last name goes in the middle on monograms. Peter Grant Immerson ... think about walking around with that monogram on your sweater.
10. Try not to be Inspired by random things. For example, the couple who named their baby after the Facebook "Like" button. Don't do that.
11. Don't be funny. Your kid's name isn't a joke. Harry Pitts may be funny to you, but your kid probably won't think so, and he'll likely be bigger and stronger than you someday.
12. Don't try too hard. Aristotle. Harvard. Yale. Einstein. Setting high expectations is one thing, but it's really too much pressure for any child to live up to their name in some cases.
13. Skip offensive names. Little Adolf Hitler is a darn good example of this.
14. Remember your baby will be a human not an animal. I love Alicia Silverstone, but Bear Blu is just all sorts of wrong.
15. Tame the fanatic sports fan in you -- or your partner. During the World Cup, we saw Fifa used. There are also reports of ESPN Montanna and Crimson Tide Redd. Team enthusiasm taken too far isn't fun for anyone.
16. Don't do the celebrity thing. Celebrities love to shock us with their bizarre baby names. Aleph Portman-Millepied (Natalie Portman's son) and Moroccan Scott Cannon (one of Mariah Carey's twins) are two of the doozies we saw last year alone.
17. Avoid names that a country would ban. We may have more freedom here in the United States, but the fact that a country would ban names like "89," "Mister," and "Messiah" is a pretty good indicator you might want to ban them from your use too.
18. Think about your kid's future career. That name on a resume can and does make a difference studies say. Names like "Ish," "Congratulashayla," and "Pornwadee" make employers say, "Don't call us ..."
19. Don't get cutesy. You may have you heart set on Mercedes, but if you happen to marry someone whose last name is Driver, then I'd test drive some other names.
20. Skip the free brand endorsement. Fendi. Gucci. Cartier. Avoid the pompous and pretentious at all costs.
21. Don't give your sweet baby an evil name. Lucifer. Why even go there?
22. Don't name your kid after a pet. Sooner or later someone will tell you they have a dog with the same name as your kid no matter what it is, but going with something like King, Spike, or Bandit is going to up the frequency significantly.
23. Avoid adjectives. Trendy names are one thing, but the name “Trendy” is something else. Yet, that’s just what soccer player Gabriel Zakuani chose for his son last year. Others to avoid: Heavenly, Splendid, Scenic.
24. Don't give your son a girlie name. I love Johnny Cash, but it's just cruel to give a boy a name like Sue, Leslie, or Marion.
25. Don't listen to anyone else. The truth is, someone is going to have a problem with absolutely any name you pick. Someone will have a bad association with it, find a way to make fun of it, or otherwise turn up their nose at your choice. So take these guidelines with a grain of salt, then name your baby whatever you damn well please ... well, almost anything.
What bad baby-naming pitfalls would you add to this list?
Image via szkix/Flickr