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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