Say My Name, Say My Name: A Parent’s Guide to Kid-Naming in 2011

Sorry. I had to put this picture here to get your attention. We will discuss him later.

So….I’ve had discussions with many people over the years about names and my thoughts on names. Some were surprised by how opinionated I am on the topic. Especially since I don’t have any kids yet. But you know how everybody has their “thing”, right? Well, names are one of my “things”. Again, I feel as if this is one of those topics where everybody THINKS the same thing; I’m just the only one who SAYS it. As I started composing this, I came across a post about names from another blogger that I thought was interesting [I wanted to link it here, but still haven’t figured out how…] so it compelled me to go ahead and publish this post. Let me apologize now for being unapologetic because I’m about to give you my views on how all children should be named in the future. Can’t do much about the ones who are already here, but BOY I wish I could. So here is my guide on how to name your kids:

I strongly endorse names that sound like royalty. For example: Alexander, Caesar, Diane/Diana, Grace, Jacqueline (if you pronounce it the French way like JOCK-LEEEEN and not the American way like JACK-KWU-LIN).

I also like names that actually have some type of royalty IN them. For example: Princeton or Kingston. What better way to set your son up for success than giving him a ROYAL name?

I like ‘snazzy’ names for a boy that have a ‘z’ in them: Alonzo, Lorenzo, Denzel (yes, I said Denzel), Chazz.

I’ve been known to tolerate a Greek god in my day i.e. ADONIS!!

I dig names related to Presidents I like: Kennedy (for a girl), Chelsea, and Sasha (see also the ‘Diva’ section)

Diva section: Sasha (NOTHING to do with Beyonce…purely coincidental), Eva (see also the girly, feminine section)

Girly/feminine section: (ha! Sounds like an aisle in a grocery store, doesn’t it?) Eva, Isabella, Gabrielle, Natalie

Girl names that sound melodic…like a song or a dance: Nadia, Gwendolyn, Aaliyah

An old-school girl’s name that’s making a comeback: Sophia

Boy’s names that are simple, yet classic: Michael, Christopher, Nicholas

A boy’s name turned into a pretty girl’s name by adding ‘ne’ at the end to make it feminine: Ryanne.

Sounds like a girl’s name, but it’s an acceptable boy’s name if you spell it right: Loren

A cool girl’s name that has always been cool and will always be cool: Nicole  😉

So that’s it. All the names that you should consider if you are having a kid in 2011. I may revise this list in the future. And I will refrain from listing all the names I think should be avoided, and the reasons why. For example, I won’t mention that…

If you want to have a son that gets pulverized on the playground everyday from ages 0-18, name him Ashley, Leslie, Kelly, Lindsay, or Sandy. But Loren is acceptable if you spell it right.

If you want to increase the likelihood that your daughter will grow up to be a stripper, name her Angel, Destiny, Charisma, Magenta, or Fantasia.

If you want a boy who will likely owe you money and probably never pay it back, name him something with “r” as the third letter in the name. For example, Earl, Marvin, Tyrone, or Darnell. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule. Again, Loren is cool, as is Lorenzo. Also, Barack is excluded from this rule. 😉

If you want your daughter to make a sex tape, name her Kimberly, Paris, or Pamela. Sorry. I couldn’t resist this one.

If you want your kid to NOT be the CEO of a company, give them a name with a “q” in it. For example, Shequan, Dequan, Lequan, etc. etc. Exceptions to this rule include the “Q” at the beginning of the name like Quincy or a nice French name like Dominique or Monique. They could probably be CEOs.

Please don’t give your daughter a 98 year old woman’s name – Agnes, Gertrude, Louise, Bernice, Doris.

Don’t feel obligated to keep yucky names in the family. There is no need for juniors, the thirds, the fourths and anything else if it’s a crappy name!! There are some things you don’t have control over like last names, but you definitely have the power to STOP THE VICIOUS CYCLE with first and middle names. PLEASE EXERCISE THAT POWER!!

Don’t name all of your kids the same thing. You want all your kids to have their own unique identity, right? So why would you give them all the same initials? So unnecessary. Or names that rhyme? I have never understood why parents think this is cute. Especially if you have twins….they already look alike, why do their names have to sound alike, too?

Please don’t risk naming your kid something ludicrous because you hope that they will have the fame of that particular person: i.e. Beyonce, Condoleezza, or Kanye. Resist that urge.

Don’t name your kid a nickname. Nicknames are fine, but they are NICKnames and shouldn’t be the actual name on the birth certificate. For example, name your son Joseph and call him Joe…don’t name him Joe. Call your daughter Katie, but name her Katherine.

Don’t give your kid the same first and last name. I can’t believe I actually have to say this, but I do. Thomas Thomason.  William Williams. Robert Robertson. All examples of names you should not curse your sons with.

And finally….I know this is a sore spot for a lot of people, but I can’t end without saying it. If you decide to name your child Derek, please spell it correctly. It is spelled Derek. Not Derrick.

THESE are derricks.

THESE are Dereks.

Derek Luke


Dr. Derek Shepherd of Grey's Anatomy

Derek Fisher

If your name is Derrick, please contact whoever it is that issues birth certificates and let them know that your mother misspelled your name and you need to get it changed.

Random thought: You know the rapper Wale (from D.C….the one who KILLED IT on Waka Flocka Flame’s “No Hands”)?? His real name (according to Wikipedia) is Olubowale Victor Akintimehin. I’d probably go by Wale, too.

Deep thought: “Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names.”—John F. Kennedy


I’d love to hear your thoughts about names…..


About Magnet for Foolishness

Resident of the DMV…and my incessant thoughts. Always hungry. Comedy craver. Ice cream freak. Reality TV show junkie. Slightly opinionated. Rarely wrong. Part Lisa Simpson. Part Sue Sylvester. Part Meredith Grey. Renowned chef and baker…avid gardener…pet lover…sometimes liar. Effortlessly forgetful. Always hungry. Blindly hopeful. Easily embarrassed (NOT). Eerily observant. Searching for something. Disregarding parallelism. Chronically tardy. Ruthlessly impatient. Surprisingly affectionate. Unnecessarily long-winded.
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14 Responses to Say My Name, Say My Name: A Parent’s Guide to Kid-Naming in 2011

  1. Kendra says:

    I held my breath the entire time cause I thought you will bash parents like myself who decided to change the spelling of the kid’s name. (I’m sure it slipped your mind). I’ll like to think you like the creative spelling as long as it is phonetically correct. Do I get a thumb up for Kennedi Alise? Of course Kennedi is pronounced Kennedy not (kenne-die). Middle name promounced (ah- lease). And my nickname for her is Kenne (pronounced Kenny). I like when girl’s nicknames or names are masculine. I have female cousins (chris and Toni). I once heard of a girl name Charlie. Fell iin love with that immediately.


    • Kendra, I did think about the “creative spelling” of names and decided not to endorse it nor condemn it for a couple of reasons. One, I didn’t want to endorse it because I didn’t want people to think that it was ok to spell Sonya any other way than Sonya. Sonia and Sonja are not acceptable spellings (or pronunciations) of the name SONYA!! Duh. But, with an alternate spelling of your daughter’s name, as long as it is still pronounced correctly, you get a pass! Her name is on my approved list anyway 😉


      • Jania says:

        This was a good read and you know we’ve had our conversations about names. I’ve mentioned issues with my name to my mom SEVERAL times throughout the years.

        While I agree with most of what you’ve outlined I also have additional thoughts that may not read well or hold sound reasoning.

        Here goes….wait, I’m not going to go there. I’ll just leave this thought…..if a future employer reads your child’s name on a resume–will any assumptions be made? No, you can’t name your child purely with this in mind, but something to consider.

        For some reason I feel as though WE feel the need to be extra creative when giving OUR children names and I don’t understand why. Lexus, Mercedes, etc…..why? There are so many other ways to express creativity.

        We just need to keep in mind that while it’s fully within a parent’s right to name their child WHATEVER they want, consider the child that has to live with that name.

        I think that’s all–for now.


      • joiof29 says:

        Flag! Sonia is perfectly acceptable, especialy for Latinas. And it’s usually with a long O. Carry on…


        • Thanks for your 2 cents, Tiffany! That is you, right? (I chose to spell your name the correct way.) I feel bad for all the Latinas whose parents chose to misspell and mispronounce their names (precisely why this guide was needed) and I’m happy that my name can serve as an example for the less fortunate.


  2. Sugarmama says:

    My husband I thought a lot about our daughters names. We wanted to make sure they were simply and easy to spell and pronounce. Our oldest daughter has a Hebrew name from one of the minor prophets in the Old Testament which meaning one who resembles God/prophet. Our youngest daughter’s name is Swahili which means happy person. To date, both of them have lived up to their names. The older one is always proclaiming something and laying down the law (at least in her little mind). The youngest is definitely happy and full of love and joy.


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  4. Ariel says:

    I always liked names that have meanings (as in you can find it in the dictionary), like Serenity, Hunter, Patience, Justice, Aurora, and Melody for example. I wish word-names were more common in the US like they are in Asia and Africa.


  5. Hi, Ariel. I, too, like the name Justice. I also like the name Hope! Let me think about the name Serenity for a moment…I’ve never met anyone with that name! But I would imagine that just being in the presence of someone with that name would be a soothing experience… 🙂


  6. joiof29 says:

    Oh, and I totally disagree with you on “Loren”. He’ll spend his entire 0-18 life explaining the spelling and trying to confirm his identity as male. Just stick to masculine names, people.

    And how many Jacquelines, pronounced JOCK-LEEEEN, do you know? Again… I’m not a fan of having a name that you’re always having to tell people HOW to properly pronounce. That has to get old!


    • Okay, I’ll concede to Loren. But with Jacqueline, I DO know a few people who pronounce their names the correct way, as I’ve pointed out. And in this particular case, the mispronunciation is your problem, not mine…I wouldn’t NOT name my child this because YOU don’t know how to pronounce it (please note that I said in this particular case). Jacqueline is a beautiful French name that is pronounced JOCK or really ZHOCK (Jacque) LEEEN (line). To mispronounce it JACK-KWU-LIN is really butchering the name and doing it a disservice…IMHO.

      Hey, don’t you know somebody named Jacques…you know, the root name of Jacqueline? Ask him how he feels when people call him Jack-kwu.


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  8. 1heartle says:

    Creative spelling of names is a real pain. I used to live on Evalyn St. Try spelling that out every time you tell someone you address for ten tears. “E v A l Y n e” I could just KILL whatever city father thought up that “cute” spelling of Eveline.


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