alphabet soupWell, America, the votes are in. You may think you've met the kid with the weirdest name in the nation, but chances are you haven't. That is unless you know one of the five children named Zzyzx?

No, that's not a typo. There are five kids in America carrying the unfortunate moniker Zzyzx, and a vote on bizarre baby names over at ebabynames just put theirs at the top of the weirdest list.

We know exactly what you're thinking. How does one pronounce that name?

Technically, it seems parents intend for their children to be called "Zay-Zix."

But that's the key, isn't it? What parents intend people to do with their child's name versus what really happens?

We can debate all day about whether or not strange baby names will make kids a target of bullying or if they're just going to be bullied because kids are cruel. But what's not up for debate is the problem that kids face when their parents create names that are hard -- if not impossible -- to pronounce.

They are dooming their kids to a lifetime of this:

John? Here.

Michael? Here.

Zuh. Zay. Zzzz. Mumble. Mumble. I'm sorry, but I can't pronounce this. Anyone with a name starting with Z? Sigh ... here.

In school. At the doctor's office. On the Starbucks line. And worse ... at job interviews.

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In this drive to be unique, parents seem to be forgetting the utility factor when it comes to baby naming.

Just look at the name that took the number 10 spot in ebabynames' weirdest vote: Mc. Is it pronounced Em-cee? Mick? Mike? Mac?

Kids need to be able to use this name. OTHER PEOPLE need to be able to use this name. Throwing down a pile of consonants on the birth certificate is essentially useless. Sure, it's a name, but it's not one that people can actually say.

So let's just add this to the list of best baby naming practices: write the name down. Ask other people to read it out loud. If they stumble over the pronunciation, you might as well just move it to the bottom of your list. You've got a kid to name ... not a statement to make.

What's the craziest baby name you've seen over the years? How was it pronounced?

 

Image via Marie Buyens/Flickr