The Most-Hated Baby Names in America

Apr 21st 2011

[Note (05/03/11): Since I wrote this blog post, it has been picked up by a variety of media outlets -- often without context or explanation of the methodology. Much of the reporting has been guided by the post's unfortunately extreme title. To clarify, this column discusses the results of an informal survey of internet discussions, to gauge which names generated the most negative mentions. The names listed aren't "bad" or necessarily even unpopular. In fact, many of them are highly popular, well-loved names that some people are simply getting tired of. In other cases, the negative reactions reflect different cultural perspectives on a single name. Bentley, for instance, is generally seen negatively by people who hear it as a stuffy surname or a luxury car brand. It's seen positively by people who hear it as an easygoing neo-Southern name, via country singer Dierks Bentley. I believe that the existence of strongly divided opinions like these is a meaningful variable in understanding a name's impact and place in our culture.]

 

Which baby names do people like the most? You can answer that with a glance at the top of the baby names popularity chart. Which names do people loathe most? That's a trickier question. There's no such thing as the "least popular name." (Dogbreath? Margitudinal? Sxsddhwwwb? It's a many-way tie.)

What's more, the most-hated name might well be a popular one. Some names just provoke strong reactions, whether retching or swooning. In fact, popularity itself can be held against a name.

To capture negative name feelings, I scoured the web for conversations about baby names people can't stand. I skipped the "what's the worst name you've ever heard" freak shows (Felanie, Ima Hogg, La-a). My target was everyday baby-name negativity: the "normal" baby names that, for whatever reason, set your teeth on edge.

I ended up tallying the viewpoints of hundreds of U.S. messageboard participants, comprising almost 1,500 name mentions. Many of the discussions were on parenting forums, but a good number were simply chatter on forums of diverse kinds. The results are below. Spellings are combined in the count, listing the name under its most-mentioned form. I've also included comments on what people objected to about each name, which often point to themes that resonate beyond the individual name.

My goal in this is NOT to bash anyone's name. It's simply to track and describe the negative sentiment out there, as one more piece of information for parents weighing name choices.

GIRLS

1. Nevaeh (47 mentions). A landslide winner, no surprise. In the most recent edition of my book, I wrote "Nevaeh may be the most stylistically divisive name in America." Grounds for objection included look, sound and origin, the whole package.

2 (tie). Destiny (16). This name seemed to run afoul of two groups: people annoyed by "virtue names," and people who grouped it with other dreamy choices like Heaven and Candy as "stripperish."

2 (tie). Madison (16). The negative reactions to this name were particularly strong, especially in non-standard spellings. Reasons were seldom given; it just seemed to grate on people.

4. Mackenzie (13). Often presented in a group with other Mc- names, which several posters described as "low class."

5. McKenna (9). See Mackenzie above.

6 (tie). Addison (8). Sometimes grouped with Madison, and sometimes held as an example of the #1 most-cited loathing category: "boys' names used for girls."

6 (tie). Gertrude (8). When the conversation focused on "ugly" names, old-fashioned Germanic names like Gertrude, Bertha and Helga ruled.

6 (tie). Kaitlyn (8). The poster child for the #2 most common objection: "made-up spellings." Some people specifically exempted the classic spelling Caitlin from their wrath.

6 (tie). Makayla (8).  See Mackenzie above.

10 (tie). Bertha (7). See Gertrude above.

10 (tie). Hope (7). To my surprise, the objection to virtue names extended to traditional choices like Hope, Faith and Grace.

BOYS

1. Jayden (23). The overwhelming theme for boys' names was a backlash against the rhyming -ayden family. Many felt there were just too many of these names, and "it's getting really old." Others said the names sounded too childish or feminine. The names were often mentioned as a group, but Jayden was frequently singled out.

2. Brayden (16).

3 (tie). Aiden (15).

4 (tie). Kaden (15). See Jayden above.

5. Hunter (9). Objections included "should only be a last name" and "too violent."

6. Hayden (8). Part of the -ayden family but mentioned much less often than the others. It seems to be considered a little more mature and established-sounding than the rest of the clan.

7 (tie). Bentley (7). A lot of contempt was shown in mentions of this name, as people considered the luxury-car association "trashy."

7 (tie). Tristan (7). Described as "fakey" and "unlikeable."

9. Michael (6). The whipping boy for people who scorned "common" names. Names like Matthew, Sarah and Emily also came up several times. (Notably, they were the most likely names to be defended by others in the conversation.)

10. Jackson (5). No consistency to the reasons. Some grouped it with Peyton as "way too trendy," others with Jack as "old-fashioned and worn out." This was the one name where I didn't collapse spellings, since the several people who mentioned Jaxon objected to it solely on basis of spelling.

Other Notables:

- At least three mentions apiece were tallied for Kayla, Kaylin, Kyle, Kyler and Kylie along with the high scores for Kaitlyn and Makayla, suggesting negativity toward that general sound category.

- Two statistically unlikely names ranked just outside the top 10. Star is a very rare name, so the fact that it occurred to so many people suggests particularly active negativity. Tiffany peaked back in the 1980s. That it's still mentioned so often as a disliked baby name leads to me suspect it may have been the "Nevaeh" of its generation.

P.S. If Your Favorite Name is Listed Above...


Sorry to freak you out! Don't go tearing up your name list yet.

First off, remember that "loved" and "loathed" are often two sides of the same coin. Anything that scales the heights of fashion attracts attention and becomes a target for contrarians. Many of the names listed are simply victims of their own success. In fact, almost every name in the top 10 for boys or girls received at least one "hate it" vote. Realistically, your little Aiden and Addison will be comfortably in the fashion mainstream, and any currents of negativity will flow right by them.

As for rarer names like Bentley that set off disproportionate levels of bad vibes, in the end you have to choose the name YOU think is best. Just consider this list a heads-up that some folks may respond badly to your beloved name. Forewarned is forearmed.

Comments

201
By Quin (not verified)
April 30, 2011 5:14 PM

Im a name enthusiast. My issue with this whole thing is that the survey was based on less then 10 conversations for most names out of 1500 conversations. So how can that equal enough to warrant the most hated names in america title? I have set up google alerts on this article in the past 3 days, and let me tell you, there are have been well over 40 articles written and spawned from her article. Even Britney Spears is being put in the spotlight of criticism because she chose the name Jaden for her son! Laura obviously did this for some publicity and to push her own agenda in order to turn others against these names. I hope that people who are her fans will look at this clearly and see that what she did was reckless as an author. The fact is that she is a stay at home mother turned baby name book author, maybe she really shouldnt have the privilige of being an author if she is going to write untrue things and mislead people. That is my whole issue with this article is that its MISLEADING.

202
By Madhatter (not verified)
April 30, 2011 5:46 PM

Im suprised that anyone is defending the article, Laura wrote this and titled it accordingly to stir up controversy...that much is obvious. Its a shame, because she had a good thing going with her website and her area of statistics on names. I would venture to guess that alot of people arent going to give her the time of day now (buying her books or reading her blogs), especially if they have a child with one of these names...lol.

203
By Madhatter (not verified)
April 30, 2011 5:46 PM

Im suprised that anyone is defending the article, Laura wrote this and titled it accordingly to stir up controversy...that much is obvious. Its a shame, because she had a good thing going with her website and her area of statistics on names. I would venture to guess that alot of people arent going to give her the time of day now (buying her books or reading her blogs), especially if they have a child with one of these names...lol.

204
By D.W (not verified)
April 30, 2011 7:54 PM

I definitely agree with the -ayden family thing! I know about 3 girls who used Kaiden/ Kayden, 1 used Aiden, 1 with Hayden, 2 with Brayden, and one girl named her daughter Kaydence. And all these kids have been born within a year or less of each other. [2 of the girls that used Kaiden are friends who both have 1 y.o boys and the initials are similar!]

Just as a previous poster said, I guess it's just different for everyone. When naming your child, you may not be thinking about their possibly being another lil Jackson or Nevaeh. By me being a Preschool teacher, I tend to run into a wide variety of names. From traditional names like Davis, Patrick, Jackson, Taylor, Emma,and Cydney; to odd or not so common names like Ocean [yes like a body of water], Linden, McKinleigh, and Tabatha!

205
By maple (not verified)
May 1, 2011 3:32 AM

Now Laura's article is being discussed on radio as well. This is something I read on yahoo answers: "I just heard a story on the radio yesterday that said that "Addison - and Madison" were now among the most HATED names in the country. I guess they got overused."

If someone does the math they can see that the number of mentions vs the amount in the survey (1500) would actually be less then zero percent so Im not sure why the names were even labeled as the most hated names in america. I dont think its very fair to the names themselves, obviously they are well liked because they are chosen in large numbers, yet her survey was so insignificant, I dont understand how an author can write anything they want, label it as the truth and then it ends up everywhere on the internet....and then as a result people remember the key words of the title and the names mentioned, they dont look at the details of the survey itself etc...which means that people end up being mislead. Those are just my thoughts on this whole thing.

206
May 1, 2011 11:18 AM

The LiveScience discussion of this topic concludes with:

"Wattenberg said the response to the most hated name list has been so strong that she's hoping to conduct a more systematic survey of a larger, more defined sample of people, LiveScience reports. She doesn't intend to label names "good" or "bad," she said, but said it could be useful for parents to know how others will react to their prospective name."

As a follower of this blog since it's early days, I don't believe Laura Wattenberg conducted her survey and wrote this follow-up post for either "publicity" or to "push her own agenda in order to turn others against these names".

Wattenberg may have overstated the results of her survey in the title, but I doubt that she had any motive for writing the post beyond sharing what this particular survey revealed.

207
May 1, 2011 10:47 AM

Those who question Laura Wattenberg's credentials might want to read the AOL Jobs article on "The Science Behind Being A Baby Namer".

Prior to becoming a baby name researcher and author, Laura Wattenberg, Ph.D., made her career in high tech and computer-related positions at Fortune 500 companies. After her first child was born, Wattenberg was struck by the number of children with the same names in her New York City neighborhood and brought her experience in research and statistical analysis to the study of why certain names are more popular than others.

http://jobs.aol.com/articles/2010/04/22/baby-names-jobs/

208
By mkd (not verified)
May 1, 2011 11:43 AM

I believe Annelise is pronounced (anna LEESE)

At least that is how my niece's name is pronounced. However her name is spelled a little differently. Annaliese

I've never heard of the name Ottilie and when I was reading it, I pronounced it (Ot ti LEE) in my head.

No matter how it is spelled, if you like Ottilie for a name, go for it! It does not matter what OTHER people think of the name.

One piece of advice though...Don't tell people what the name is until after baby is born. Because then they can only say how beautiful, interesting, or nice the name is. (if they don't like it, they pause and then usually say it's an interesting or unusual name. LOL)

If you tell people what names you are thinking before the baby is born, people always seem to feel like they can tell you what they really think about it since baby has not actually been named yet.

209
By Quin (not verified)
May 1, 2011 5:45 PM

In reply to Patricia:
"Wattenberg said the response to the most hated name list has been so strong that she's hoping to conduct a more systematic survey of a larger, more defined sample of people"

If she does a larger survey, the results wont be the same now...the survey would be tainted, because too many people now have a list of names in their head now which are hated names as the result of the massive amount of media attention her article has gotten. With that said, Im sure she wouldnt be bothered by this fact, she was completely unfair to these names by labeling them as the most hated names and as a result misleading the public. She CLEARLY was pushing an agenda, either she wants expectant parents to abandon these names because "she" doesnt like the names, or she needs the publicity for business. Either way, she was reckless. We all know she could have titled the article differently and still published the article....I already gave examples of other titles that could have been used. She isnt dumb, she knew full well what she was doing. Why you would continue to support an author who clearly isnt ethical is beyond me, but to each their own.

210
By Sally (not verified)
May 1, 2011 6:12 PM

Jency and Tesher? Good lord, those are awful lol

211
By Quin (not verified)
May 1, 2011 10:41 PM

Even if Laura were to do a larger survey, it still would not be accurate, why do you think no other baby name authors have put their names & repuations on the line? Because there are too many variables....look at the US census, even that isnt accurate. Most people are not going to list their childrens names, race, income, location for a survey. And as I said earlier the results would now be tainted because of her article, too many have seen it now. I still dont understand why people are defending her actions. She knew the title would be misleading and she still went with it, and then to get the word out, she contacted livescience and did a personal interview with them. I hope that she faces serious consequences because of this, meaning I hope her baby expert career ends, because she has no business writing anything about baby names after this. Also someone had mentioned Pam and Lindas article about the criticism the recieved for the elite name list, while I agree that they were clearly jumping to conclusions, at least they were wise enough not to bash names and label them as the most hated. I mean give me a break, if the names were hated, then people wouldnt be choosing them in large numbers, that is the REAL way to tell if a name is hated, its common sense!

And as far as her ethics, she is no different then these enron ceos, who clearly mislead people knowingly. Laura's crime is on a much smaller scale of course, but still the idea is the same. Just because you have been a follower of her blog doesnt mean you have to overlook her clearly fraudulent article. Stand up for what is right people!

212
By 27 Jennifers (not verified)
May 2, 2011 12:09 AM

Quin, clearly you are personally wounded by the inclusion of a particular name on the list. That is a bummer. I understand. But personal attacks, questioning people's motives, threatening litigation, etc. are unacceptable and not the status quo for this blog. Feel free to disagree and challenge the article. Leave the author out of it. You do not know her heart.
You obviously love the name you gave your child and that is all that really matters. You both are going to be just fine.

213
By Quin (not verified)
May 2, 2011 1:09 AM

You dont know if I even have a child or if he/she has one of these names, so dont jump to conclusions. I am a name enthusiast and I believe in standing up for what is right or wrong. I will not leave the author out of it, the article is a result OF the author. Dont tell me what the status quo for this blog is, you arent the keeper of me and I will say what I want, on this blog and on others. And lastly you dont know her heart either, so dont defend her actions, as we all know what she did was unethical.

Maybe Im standing up for ALL the children who have these now labeled worst/hated names! How are they going to feel when they get snickers and grimiced faces when people hear their names? Or when they are old enough to google their names and what will pop up? Their name as being the most hated name in america. What about all the moms who have just had babies and already named their children one of these names, and as a result has namers remorse. We are talking about thousands of moms who Lauras article has most likely affected. So dont tell me that this article has no weight etc... I am disgusted by people who are so loyal to a woman who they dont even personally know....look at the facts without blind eyes people.

214
By Atlas (not verified)
May 2, 2011 1:29 AM

Hey, Quin! Here's the sound of the world's smallest violin playing. This is one of billions of the articles. Who cares in the long run? I like some of these names but I'm not freaking out. Why don't you get off your high-horse and grow up?!

215
By Quin (not verified)
May 2, 2011 2:21 AM

Yes keep defending this unethical fraudulent piece of work that your beloved author put out. She is no better then these crooks that ran enron. If Luaras kids names had been mentioned you can bet she wouldnt have written the article or she would have omitted their names. She did the article for publicity. Its disgusting and others have agreed with me on this blog! Quit defending unethical behavior! She did an interview in order to get press!

How about this Laura, go write a good book, and make it positive and informative, people will respect you and that is more important at the end of the day. Careers can be slowly built up, trying to gain attention based on a misleading article is not the way you gain respect, its the way you end a career that never really was much to begin with. Sorry but your not a heavy hitting baby name author (although you had the potential), and I know as Im very informed about the naming world.

216
By Atlas (not verified)
May 2, 2011 3:30 AM

I'm glad that you think so highly of yourself, Quin! Keep trollin' away if you feel like it. Nobody forced you to read this article. Nobody cares if you didn't like this article. I'm sorry that all of your children are on this list and you feel offended. I wasn't aware that a blog counted as an all-knowing and completely accurate place to find all information. If anything, I think that you are most upset that the names Muhammed, Saddam and, Osama are not on this list. Stop your belly-aching and get a life.

217
May 2, 2011 10:11 AM

@211 "Also someone had mentioned Pam and Lindas article about the criticism the recieved for the elite name list, while I agree that they were clearly jumping to conclusions..."

Pam Satran (not Linda) wrote the article for her March 10, 2010, Daily Beast column, titled it "The Elite's Top 50 Baby Names", defined "Elite" very clearly, and then used baby name data from a totally different source. She began her article by painting images of what she meant by the "elite": "what you want is a name as classy as a sterling teaspoon, as cool as vintage Balenciaga, as hard to locate as a wood-framed cottage in Manhattan—yet just as desirable"; "your first visit to Dr. Laura Popper’s office, or your first summer on the beach in Easthampton, or—you must have been out of the country—the preschool interview at Bank Street"; etc. Then having clarified that what she's talking about is the socio-economic elite, she sets forth a list of 25 girls' names and 25 boys' names that she says are the names most popular with this Elite. However, the names are actually those looked at most on her Nameberry website the previous 3 months -- a website that isn't used only -- or even predominantly -- by Elites as she has described them. It hardly seems that she was "jumping to conclusions", but instead using data from one group (random users of Nameberry) and attributing that to another group ("Elites" as defined by herself to mean parents with high social position and lots of money).

http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2010-03-10/the-elites-top...

This list was the talk of the baby name internet for some time and appeared in the print media as well. It probably is still affecting which names some parents are avoiding. A case in point: a mother wrote to a baby name blog for help naming the baby girl she was expecting. The parents loved the name Charlotte, but saw it as #1 on Pam's list and were hesitant to use it. After it was pointed out that Pam's "Elite" list isn't a list of what any particular segment of the US population are naming their children, in rank order, but merely names that were looked up most frequently on Nameberry during a 3-month period, the parents must have been reassured that Charlotte isn't too popular for them because that's what they ended up naming their daughter.

I was the one who mentioned this article. As I was trying to convey in that comment, everyone who is considered a "baby name expert" has to be very careful that anything she writes which is based on a study or survey can be backed up with the right data -- both to not mislead, however inadvertently, parents seeking the best name for their child and also to maintain her own reputation as a baby name authority parents can rely on.

218
By namesnob (not verified)
May 2, 2011 9:29 AM

agree totally with the list. as a teacher, even more so. also:
1. while it isn't a specific name, the idea of grabbing 4 to 6 letters, putting a "y" somewhere in the middle and calling that a name is also getting grating.
3. down with "rhymes with aiden"!!
2.the trend of last-names as first-names and names that end in -er would also account for the "jackson"s and such. also getting old. 3. my wife had a neighbour in the ward whose kid was named "chevelle", which i explained is the name of a car, which leads one to think of all sorts of conception stories. this also lead us to make up the name "chevellanie" whcih brings in hated name point #4 -if i don't have a name i like, I'll pick two other names and combine them. (one being fake). so we then looked it up on facebook and there are a handful of actual Chevellanies!!!!

can you tell my kids have actual time-tested names?

-Chyvellanni-ayden

219
By Heather A. (not verified)
May 2, 2011 2:37 PM

I never thought I'd be posting the following statement on this blog, but.... here goes.....
NAMES REALLY DON"T MATTER

They are incredibly interesting and we like to think about them a lot and pretend that they're really important; but how you feel about a name is completely abstract and does not determine how you feel about an actual person with that name.

Kids with perfectly normal names will be teased for reasons that, fundamentally, have nothing to do with their names. (The kids in my 6th grade class would have found a way to tease "Icky Vicky" even if her name hadn't been Victoria. It never occurred to them to tease Ernest Bragg - seriously!) There are such a huge variety of names out there with the younger set, anyway. Kids don't even give unusual or "new" names a second thought, and perhaps we adults would do well to follow their example.

It's fun to have an opinion, and I love hearing all the thoughts of my fellow name enthusiasts, but a pinch of salt never hurts. After all, no one's name determines their destiny, (not even with the name Destiny.)

I hope we can all agree that names are fun, and, yes, importantish, but, (when all's said and done) really not all that important.

220
By curumin (not verified)
May 2, 2011 4:26 PM

I love my name, in fact it was not my first name, but my middle name until I legally switched them. It is a Greek name that even though is a girls name has a hint of masculinity.
I am seriously considering the name Maddison for a girl and was feeling bad after reading this article. But then I read some of the choices made by parents that dislike that name... Let me tell you I am feeling much better now.

Unless I find another name that is easy to pronounce for everyone in my family (3 different languages)I think my girl will be named Maddison.

221
By Quin (not verified)
May 2, 2011 5:00 PM

I agree with everything you said Patricia. And when I read Pams list of elite baby names, it bothered me that she was labeling nameberry users as being elite when essentially she has no idea who is stylish, rich, poor, frumpy etc...since its the internet. Of course that article didnt bother me at all in comparison to this article. My issue with this article is the title, even when I read this article the first time, I was a little confused, I then had to re-read it, do the math in my head and realize that the actual percentage less then 10 mentions for most of the names out of 1500 names equated to less then zero percent. then to actually slap the label of most hated names was fraudulent in my opinion. I dont like to be mislead or lied to. And that is why Im so upset. Also Im upset because now many people have been hurt over this article, Britney Spears has had several articles stating that she picked a most hated name, other discussions on baby name boards have gotten people discussing these names and as a result ripping some of them, mainly Neveah, and of course alot of parents of neveah have been admittedly really hurt by it. It just seems unfair that because 8-10 people mentioned something negative in survey that the name is then labeled the most hated name in america. most people arent taking the time to re-read the article as I did, they are reading the title and looking at the list and thats it. I apologise to everyone if I have gotten overheated in this discussion, I know I have posted numerous times, but I guess I feel passionately that people shouldnt abuse their power and I do feel that Laura did. I was a fan of hers, but now I will NEVER buy one of her books, nor will I give a grain of salt to anything she writes in the future. I do feel that the damage she caused with her article is far worse then what Pam did with her elite article, at least Pam wasnt ripping names and labeling them the most hated names. I am betting that Laura doesnt care about any of this, she probably is sitting back laughing at the fact that she has gotten peoples attention and is probably hoping that most of the names on her list will now be abandoned.

222
By Quin (not verified)
May 2, 2011 5:00 PM

I agree with everything you said Patricia. And when I read Pams list of elite baby names, it bothered me that she was labeling nameberry users as being elite when essentially she has no idea who is stylish, rich, poor, frumpy etc...since its the internet. Of course that article didnt bother me at all in comparison to this article. My issue with this article is the title, even when I read this article the first time, I was a little confused, I then had to re-read it, do the math in my head and realize that the actual percentage less then 10 mentions for most of the names out of 1500 names equated to less then zero percent. then to actually slap the label of most hated names was fraudulent in my opinion. I dont like to be mislead or lied to. And that is why Im so upset. Also Im upset because now many people have been hurt over this article, Britney Spears has had several articles stating that she picked a most hated name, other discussions on baby name boards have gotten people discussing these names and as a result ripping some of them, mainly Neveah, and of course alot of parents of neveah have been admittedly really hurt by it. It just seems unfair that because 8-10 people mentioned something negative in survey that the name is then labeled the most hated name in america. most people arent taking the time to re-read the article as I did, they are reading the title and looking at the list and thats it. I apologise to everyone if I have gotten overheated in this discussion, I know I have posted numerous times, but I guess I feel passionately that people shouldnt abuse their power and I do feel that Laura did. I was a fan of hers, but now I will NEVER buy one of her books, nor will I give a grain of salt to anything she writes in the future. I do feel that the damage she caused with her article is far worse then what Pam did with her elite article, at least Pam wasnt ripping names and labeling them the most hated names. I am betting that Laura doesnt care about any of this, she probably is sitting back laughing at the fact that she has gotten peoples attention and is probably hoping that most of the names on her list will now be abandoned.

223
By Atlas (not verified)
May 2, 2011 7:15 PM

I didn't know that this site was the authority that determined which names are hated...Oh wait. It's just an article. SHUT UP!

224
By Abbey Rose (not verified)
May 2, 2011 9:15 PM

Quin, I agree with you that the data is meaningless and the title inaccurate. I am disappointed by this article, after the high-quality posts Wattenberg has written in the past. However, you argue like a twelve-year-old and your posts have become quite tiresome. Give up the broken record already.

It's quite admirable of you to defend Britney Spears so adamantly, but I think, just maybe, she can handle the criticism by now. I mean, really, poor Britney Spears's feelings have been hurt by something in the press?

My own name is on the list. Guess what? It belongs there. It's a bad name and a lot of people hate it. I'm a big girl and I can handle that.

225
By Quin (not verified)
May 2, 2011 9:23 PM

Sorry Atlas but your not going to shut me up, if I want to talk I will, and FYI Im ignoring every comment you make so have at it...its quite amusing to watch you show how immature you are...what are you....5 years old?

226
By Quin (not verified)
May 2, 2011 9:26 PM

Thanks for at least acknowledging the truth of whats really going on here. Maybe I have been a broken record, sorry, it just pisses me off. What is your name? Im interested in knowing what one of the names she listed were on point. thanks!

227
By Guest1978 (not verified)
May 3, 2011 1:31 AM

Generally I wouldnt comment on or most likely even read articles & subsequent blogs like this one however due to much criticism about the name my partner & I have chosen for our soon to be born daughter I decided to see what on earth could be so offensive to so many about a name - especially given that we live on the other side of the world from America.

Imagine my surprise when I found in this article & posts that not only is the only basic objection to the name that of "because it is a boys name that can be used as a girls name - believe this is called a unisex name" but that very few people have even commented on it in over 220 posts.

Just to quell your curiosity the name we have chosen is Addison.

Now some of the objections we have received on this name from people we know / people who are in the same country we are, were because it is the name of a disease - this I understand even though when we chose the name we were not aware of this disease, but then some of the objections were based on "because it is the name of a character on Greys Anatomy" which I found rather silly because A: I dont watch this show & B: Whose name isnt used in a million other ways than it just being your name these days - even when you thought you had a special name like no other :(

Anyway I was wondering how everyone who has objected to any of the names on the list (some of which I also dont like but then again I like to have the ability to change my opinion should I feel the need to every other day & half the time I dont even like my own name :)) would feel if all humanity was given a set of names that are acceptable to use & that is that. No ability / right to change the name to something a little less like "John" or "Kate" next door & a little more like the personality they hope their individual angel will grow up to have.

So a name is used a little more than you would like to hear - maybe its popular because someone grew up with a dream of having a little prince or princess with that name, or maybe it just isnt your cup of tea/coffee/milkshake whatever - but isnt that what makes the world somewhere interesting to live & teach the future Jaydens/Haydens/ Aidens/Addisons/ Berthas & Hopes of our world a little more about tolerance than to teach them to critise someone just because "that name is so yesterday" or "I dont like how it is spelt"?

After all that we are still going to call our little girl Addison & will teach her to make the name her own & be proud of it because even though someone else might not like her name tomorrow that same person will probably not like something else just because they have nothing else to do.

228
May 3, 2011 10:01 AM

Guest1978, I'm glad you're sticking with Addison. While very popular in the USA, where Addison ranked 12 in 2009, Addison may be far less so where you live and thus somewhat of a unique name. (For example, I just checked the 2009 baby name stats for England/Wales and was surprised to find Addison way down the list at #664.)

I think it may be the overuse of Madison that has some speaking out against Addison, which is perceived as a Madison spin-off. And yet many American parents love the name Addison, as seen in its popularity, while others love the nn "Addie" and are choosing a more traditional and less popular given name for it such as Adelaide or Adeline.

Good for you not letting this little informal survey deter you from naming your baby the name you (and many other parents) love. Best wishes to you and your baby Addison!

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By Randy411 (not verified)
May 3, 2011 12:49 PM

I was in a restaurant recently where the mother of a young girl repeatedly called out to her child loudly, making sure everyone heard her full name. Saving Grace,Saving Grace, Saving Grace, Really? Saving Grace?

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By Quin (not verified)
May 3, 2011 3:17 PM

Laura, I appreciate that you tried to semi correct and explain, however why cant you point out that the results have little or no weight? 1500 mentions and most were less then 10 mentions for hated names, which equals less then zero percent. Why cant you admit that you made a huge mistake in judgement and that these arent the most hated names? If you really want to do the ethical and admirable thing then contact every single media outlet that has spawned a story from this and retract the title or at least correct them and tell them they have misunderstood the article and that you want them to publically correct the problem. It wont make you look bad, it will make you look like an ethical author who cares about what she puts out there. You are hugely responsible for this mishap, you did the personal interview with livescience and that is how the article got mega stardom attention. Time just ran an article today. I have google alerts on this (a few days after I heard about the story...so over the past 4 days, there have been around 40 media outlets which have run the article) I have the links all saved if you want me to forward them to you so that you can contact them, then say the word) I hope you do the right thing here and correct the misconception that has been unfairly put out on these names. Alot of people have been hurt over this misleading article. Like I said, people will respect you more, and they will appreciate it if you lay it all out and admit what the real percentages would be, after all you are a statistics gal arent you?

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By tracy (not verified)
May 3, 2011 10:37 PM

yyyyyeah, i pretty much agree with your list, aside from Michael, Hope and Grace. I'm surprised Logan wasn't on there. Reminds me of legos...and way too trendy.

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By Atlas (not verified)
May 4, 2011 1:30 AM

I like Michael, Destiny and, Hope. I've liked those names for a long time and will continue to like them. It's only a list. Quin just doesn't get that.

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By Ryanryanryan (not verified)
May 4, 2011 4:51 AM

I group Madison with Hunter, Carter, Jackson, Bently as very annoying because they are last names. And I can't help picturing an old guy with a white wig. Also can't stand Conor...

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By seo sem services (not verified)
May 4, 2011 8:18 AM

wow.........!
It's really wonderful information for me. i read this type of information first time. thanks for sharing
Thanks
Chandan seo

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May 4, 2011 10:14 AM

I just read the Seattle Post Intelligencer (blog) article about this post, including a reference to the "caveat" that Laura has added to the beginning of it. I admire Laura for adding that clarification. For me this is further proof that Laura Wattenberg's honesty and scholarly integrity are beyond reproach. She strives to publish accurate baby name information and data, but if she later discovers she has made an error or given an incorrect impression, she's willing to say so.

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By Guestfortheday (not verified)
May 4, 2011 1:46 PM

kinda like Jency and Tesher...

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By Quin (not verified)
May 4, 2011 6:31 PM

Patricia, I read that too, and I disagree that any clarification was made. The "idea" that these are the most hated names resonated. Here is the beginning paragraph:

"Parents, steer clear of these baby names, unless you want your kids to have a tougher life."

Laura may have made slight clarification but the damage is done regardless, because of the title. If she wanted to really do the right thing she would correc the problem and contact every media outlet and retract the title and explain that its been misunderstood. Why is your loyalty to her so strong? Maybe you are friends with her in real life, if so I understand but I still think she as an author has a responsibility for what she writes or miscommunicates.

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By Atlas (not verified)
May 4, 2011 11:01 PM

Seriously, Quin. What is your problem? Nobody cares. Most people don't even know this article exists. Why do you persist in this pointless task? Go spend some quality time with your kids. You are making yourself look like an idiot.

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By LilianaV (not verified)
May 4, 2011 11:22 PM

I don't know why people always feel the need to be critical of others in every way. The names are at the top of the list for a reason. Find something more useful to do with your time. Maybe you're just upset that your name is boring and overused.

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By quin (not verified)
May 5, 2011 2:25 AM

Atlas, don't assume to know anything about me, whether or not I have kids is none of your business. Your making yourself look like like the idiot at least I have something to say re the article. If you don't like what I have to say then that's your problem. The list is incorrect and that is the whole point. Why people are personally attacking me with ridiculous comments is immature. Stick to the topic. You people like to tear apart names which is disgusting.

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By Maple (not verified)
May 5, 2011 6:01 AM

Atlas, why are you personally attacking Quin? It doesnt make sense, she or he is allowed to say what they want on the subject and shouldnt be personally attacked (plus you sound like an idiot).

I was brought here by one of the articles that were a result of the article from Ms. Wattenberg. I understand that many of her normal followers may be protective Ms. Wattenberg, however...from an outside point of view and reading this blog and the conflict, I also have searched and read some of the resulting articles, Im going to have to side with Quin and some of the others who have some critisim. Atlas you mentioned that no one knows about the article? Well I had no problem doing a search and alot of articles popped up from various media outlets, so yes people do know. I would venture to guess that it will end up in newspapers / magazines next. Anyway if Lauras goal was to attract more people to her blog, that isnt going to happen with me, needless to say I dont have any desire to read any more of her "articles". (also in reading many of the comments of people defending Laura, it seems that you people love to tear apart names as well, suggesting that Quin has a terrible name? I mean really is that what you people do on this blog? Its no wonder your supporting an article titled most hated names, you people seem pretty hateful!)

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By hate this article (not verified)
May 5, 2011 11:37 AM

It is definitely funny that Jayden is one of the top 5 most popular names for the last few years according to the US census, a bit more reliable than the opinions (and a mere 23 mentions) by 1500 internet users. The logic should have been mentioned in the national news articles that your blog spurned, you have caused panic where none is due. Thanks for that.

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By Kraznar (not verified)
May 5, 2011 2:09 PM

names I hate: anything that has ever been used before. You only get to name a baby a few times in life. Do it right. Make something up that is totally unique and sounds perfect to your ear.

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By annoyed (not verified)
May 5, 2011 4:44 PM

Annoyed that this author even has the title of being a baby name author. She is either stupid or cunning.

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By adrienne4119 (not verified)
May 5, 2011 6:07 PM

Okay...I bristled at this because my son's name is Tristan, not a trendy name. It gets 7 negative mentions in a chat room/message board and becomes one of the most hated baby names in America?! I guess I just have some trouble with your methodology.

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By Upset and Sad New Mum (not verified)
May 5, 2011 6:09 PM

As a new mother, who granted is maybe more sensitive than usual, (I blame the hormones) I can honestly say this article has had me in tears for the last few days. It was with much thought and nothing but love that made me choose the name for my baby. I tried to pick a name that wouldn't cause my baby any teasing or bullying when older and attending school. It was no easy task I took into account rhyming, initials etc, so to now see my baby's name on this list and ingrained in peoples thoughts as being one of the most HATED hurts more than you could ever imagine especially when it is based on less than 10 mentions on internet chat forums. I know I shouldn't care because I chose a name I love but in all honestly clearly I do or I wouldn't be so upset. I know people will maybe bash me for posting this but I wanted to let people know that this is upsetting for me as a new mother with my baby's name on this list. Nobody wants any negative attention on the one thing you love and want to protect more than anything else in this world - your child.

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By Heather C (not verified)
May 5, 2011 6:26 PM

My daughter' name is Rehtaeh (Rah-tay-yah) which is Heather spelled backwards. Yes, I do get a lot of "what were you thinking"! But this was well before Nevaeh came about. Although my daughter is only 4 years old, I do have a 16 and 13 year old boys and this was thought of when I was hoping for a girl during that time!

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By Guest1 (not verified)
May 5, 2011 6:36 PM

"Since I wrote this blog post, it has been picked up by a variety of media outlets -- often without context or explanation of the methodology. Much of the reporting has been guided by the post's unfortunately extreme title"

Then why haven't you changed the title ? - which is hurtful and cruel to all the mothers and babies with names on these lists.

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By Thank you Quin (not verified)
May 5, 2011 6:49 PM

I just wanted to say a huge thank you to quin as your posts have made me feel a lot better about having my child's name on this hateful list especially after reading all the susbsequent negative comments left by people, your comments were very much appreciated and I do indeed feel your are intelligently and eloquently standing up for ALL the children who have these now labeled worst/hated names.

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By grannyfranny100 (not verified)
May 5, 2011 8:53 PM

Unfortunately your child must absorb and overcome the possible unconscious distain of others that you ignore with your arrogance about parenting entitlement.

Why not select names that have multiple nicknames so the child can gravitate to the name they like best. For example Katelyn can also be Kate, Katie, or Lyn. William can be Will or Bill. But you probably hate nicknames given your controlling attitude. What are you going to do, slap his or her little friends around if they use nicknames?

After all, a child is not a Barbie doll for your pleasure but a real live human being and the frequency of the name does have importance. Boy I hope you're as thick skinned as the know it all arrogance you seem to express in your post.