Mocking Weird Baby Names Might Make You Racist

Rant 90

Mocking weird baby names might make you racistIf you're like me, then you've probably heard at least one story about ridiculous baby names inspired by everything from car parts to female nether regions.

And I admit that I've done my fair share of eyerolling at weird celebrity baby names, like ones who name their kids after motor vehicles and grocery list items.

But according to this fascinating baby name article, mocking weird baby names might be racist. And I have to agree.

As Stephanie Pappas writes, the majority of names that people mock are often culturally based. In fact, many of the "weird" baby names listed in a recent Gawker article called 2012's Definitive List of Baby Names That Will Destroy Your Soul are actually common names in different countries and aren't even on the official name registry. Urban myth, anyone?

More from The Stir: Parents Name Baby 'Hashtag' & Set Her Up for a Lifetime of Misery

The idea that people are feeling less conformist and more willing to celebrate their culture or someone else's, even if it's just because they want a name that's different than the other babies in the nursery, is actually pretty awesome.

And in truth, how many of us really know someone with the names that so often get mocked, like "Neaveh" (which is the word "Heaven" backwards)? And as Pappas states, that name is probably similar to what the name "Hazel" was back in the 1890s -- a trendy, low-class name when it first emerged.

Who's to know if these so-called "weird" names will actually be weird in a few years? Kids are way less concerned about peers with different names than we are, probably because unique names are becoming the norm.

In a way, by mocking different kids' names, we're mocking diversity, which is just as bad as it sounds.

Do you think it's wrong to make fun of weird baby names?


Photo via tamakisono/Flickr

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BirdCo BirdCo

You name your kids strange ass names then you open yourself up to it. I don't care who you are.

Requi... RequiemForAnAmy

^Thank you. If you name your kids something ridiculous, you deserve to be ridiculed. Feel free to look up the word "racist" in a dictionary. It's this kind of talk that makes everyone so oversensitive.

Madca... Madcapfeline

I had a class last semester with a woman who named her son (pronounced) Lah-MON-gel-oh; only she spelled it Lemonjello. So, which cultural heritage am I being insensitive to by laughing at this ridiculous name? Kraft foods? Bill Cosby? The people of Utah, maybe? Don't care, I'm still laughing.


So right BirdCo!As a woman of color I still have no fucking idea where Sheniqua came from. Is it African or did people think it sounded African and it snow balled there? All I know is I kinda laugh(to myself) when I actually meet women named that.

jalaz77 jalaz77

I would NEVER make fun of a name to someone's face or their parents, that is just low. However in my head I would probably think, WTF?! Yes that has crossed my mind...but racist??? I don't get it.

justk... justkickinit

I used to teach pre-school and I actually did have a "Nevaeh" in my class.

tuffy... tuffymama

Everything is frickin racist now. Whatever. Call me racist. Doesn't hurt me in the slightest. If I'm racist, then racist must mean smart, sassy and funny as hell, with a generous heart and real culinary talent. LOL.

Seriously. STFU about racism. It has no power anymore.

cmjaz cmjaz

I am the worst liar in the world. If I think someones name is stupid, they'll know it just by looking at my face. I really can't help it during my first reaction. I'm a terrible poker player as well. Anyway, I especially hate it when a lovely name is so misspelled that I can't even tell what name its supposed to be. But when they pronounce it, its a common, but pretty, name.

Reali... RealityCheckNow

I have four kids, none of whom have "normal" names (no Janes or Johns here). People can feel free to think my kids' (and mine) names are weird and they can even have problems pronouncing them without me thinking or feeling that they are racist.  As we become more diverse and accepting, my children's names might become the new normal.  After all, 30 years ago "Keisha" would have been a "weird" name.  It is all in our perspective and our perspective is always developing.

Torra... TorranceMom

Racist??? You're kidding, right?

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