An email from FOTM‘s maziel:
These are real baby names:
Atiba, Porsha, Quentarius, Ashayla, Lajquan, Deonsyn, Azelia, Dayquan, Christer, Jantezio, Kasman, Nyjerika, dezman, Arentheeus, Jermaeria, DeShawn, Kadarius, Dimitric, Teona, Tytieana, Jhiquarius, Piera, Jamaya, Keyona, Londell, Majical, Juwan, Taeauora, Tatiteus, Lenair, Cabria, Jakera, Jamia, Javylon, Tariq, Akira, Jakovia, Padra, D’Cavion, Keishauna, Taheza, Tasavion, Ye’Cenia, Somya, Shatrella, Sawson, Keyel, Ziykies, Teyah, Dashanna, Maliek, Tenijah, Railee, Royquez, Quetarius.
The craziest baby names were told to me by a nurse, whose patients were the parents.
One named her baby Vagina, pronounced Vajinna (like Virginia).
Another woman named her baby Syphilarius because she was in the public health office and saw a poster on sexually transmitted diseases. She thought “syphilis” sounded pretty and named her baby after the STD.
Lest you think only Americans inflict ridiculous names on their children, they have them in other countries as well.
As reported by CNN, in 1982, Sweden enacted a Naming law that says: “First names shall not be approved if they can cause offense or can be supposed to cause discomfort for the one using it, or names which for some obvious reason are not suitable as a first name.”
Among the first names rejected by the Swedish government is Brfxxccxxmnpcccclllmmnprxvclmnckssqlbb111163 (pronounced Albin), which had been submitted by a couple in protest of the Naming law. The parents then submitted “A” (also pronounced Albin) as the child’s name. It, too, was rejected.
In New Zealand, the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act of 1995 doesn’t allow people to name their children anything that “might cause offence to a reasonable person; or […] is unreasonably long; or without adequate justification, […] is, includes, or resembles, an official title or rank.”
Among the names rejected by New Zealand’s registrar of births are Stallion, Yeah Detroit, Fish and Chips, Twisty Poi, Keenan Got Lucy, Sex Fruit, Satan and Adolf Hitler.
Denmark has a very strict Law on Personal Names to protect children from having odd names that suit their parents’ fancy. Parents who want to name their child something that isn’t on the government-approved list of 7,000 names, have to get special permission from their local church, and the name is then reviewed by governmental officials. Rejected names include Anus, Pluto and Monkey.
According to BBC News, increasingly parents are giving unusual and even unique names to their children. In the US, in 1950, 5% of parents chose a name for their child that wasn’t in the top 1,000 names. By 2012, that figure had increased to 27%.
As baby names become more a matter of choice rather than tradition, they reveal more about the people doing the choosing, especially their race.
A 2003 study, “Are Emily And Greg More Employable Than Lakisha and Jamal?,” sent nearly 5,000 CVs in response to job advertisements in Chicago and Boston newspapers. The CVs were the same, but half were given fake names that sounded like they belonged to white people, like Emily Walsh or Greg Baker, and the other half were given names that sounded African American, like Lakisha Washington or Jamal Jones. The call-back rate from employers was 50% higher on the “white” names then the “black” names. The effects were noted even for federal contractors with “affirmative action” policies, and companies boasting they were “equal opportunities” employers.
Another study that analysed the scores of some 55,000 children in a school district of Florida found that children with black-sounding and low-income-sounding names tended to have worse school test scores and were less likely to be recommended for the schools’ programme for “gifted” students.