Lazy Parenting Award: Part Sept | Teeny Manolo

Lazy Parenting Award: Part Sept

By Glinda

Don’t let this be you!

When you first discover you are pregnant, one of the first things you do, after the initial panic, is think of names for your beautiful yet-to-be-born child. You lovingly ponder family names, names in your favorite works of literature, names that will truly distinguish your child from every other child on the playground. A name that will show the world exactly how special they are to you. has this to say about naming your child:

If the two of you have come up with a nice name, ponder the possible nicknames that could be derived from it. Is it a negative sounding nickname or a really obvious target for bullies?
Again, don’t put too much weight on a name’s potential for teasing. It’s almost always possible to come up with a nickname that could be used in a negative way. Try to avoid names,
however, that inspire nicknames that are almost asking for teasing.

So what goes through the minds of parents that name their child something like this?

Parents of said child above, I give you the Lazy Parenting AwardTM!

Not only were you too lazy to think about the trauma of her childhood with a name like that, how did you ever expect her to land a job? In fact, you made it easier for other kids to tease her with a name with such ridiculousness built right in, no need for her classmates to waste any precious brain cells thinking of names on their own.

And, you were selfish to boot, perhaps considering only your own amusement instead of what you intended to saddle her with for the rest of her life, although thank goodness she apparently inherited the common sense gene from further down the DNA line.

So relish your trophy my chosen recipients, as we all think of, ahem, creative names for you.

15 Responses to “Lazy Parenting Award: Part Sept”

  1. dr nic Says:

    I’m expecting my first in less than a week. My husband (a teacher) and I have been struggling with picking out names for our child. Our last name is very ethnic (complete with a letter not found in the English alphabet). Our difficulty is finding something normal sounding to compensate for the last name (pronounced nothing like it is spelled) and something different enough that the baby won’t have 5 other kids in their class with the same name.

    People like the ones in that story, or the ones who use “unique” spellings of the names drive me crazy.

  2. Merry Says:

    Ah yes, parents who think a child is a pet. This issue calls to mind the famously inappropriately named Ima Hogg, who overcame that disability to become one of the most influential women in Texas. Of course, it helped that she had a lot of money.

  3. class-factotum Says:

    My friend Ilene the red-headed pediatrician pulled the chart of her next patient one day in Memphis. She stared at the name, then weakly attempted to pronounce it.

    “Shithead?” she asked slowly.

    “That’s Shi-THEED!” the mother snapped.

    Not an urban legend. My friend Lindley’s sister in law was the L&D nurse ten years earlier who tried in vain to convince the mother not to give that name to her daughter.

  4. raincoaster Says:

    Well, hey, why worry? Just look how Peaches Geldof turned out!

    Oh, right.

  5. Jennie Says:

    Having spent the first 4 years of my after college career in property management, I heard way too many ways that parents punish their kids for being born. Three stand out… 1. Ali Baba (Thieves included?) 2. Loo Phuc (Say WHAT!) 3. Tiny Angel (genetically impossible since both parents topped 350 pounds.)

  6. La Petite Acadienne Says:

    It’s so easy to give your kid an unfortunate name, even inadvertently. (E.g. the fellow from my hometown whose name is Purdy Good.)

    IMHO, the people who give their kids weird names fall into one of three categories:

    1. The terminally selfish. They know it’s a strange name, but it’s all about THEM. They put absolutely no thought into what it will be like for the kid to grow up named Number 19 Bus Shelter.
    2. The terminally stupid, who name their kid something that looks pretty to them, without having ANY idea of what the word actually means. This isn’t that common, according to Snopes, but there have been reports of people naming their kids things like Chlamydia and Latrine.
    3. The unfortunate, who had the best of intentions, but just didn’t think it through before naming their kid Patricia Iris Gardner (check the initials) or Amanda Lynn Strummer (sound it out).

  7. raincoaster Says:

    A friend of mine’s mother was in charge of registering new immigrant children for school, and quite a lot of the parents chose a “Canadian” name on the spot. Unfortunately, one year B.U.M. clothing was in, and “Bum” was the most popular name. She did her best to suggest they change it to something else, but the sheer numbers are astonishing.

    BTW Matthew McConaughey’s brother called his kid Miller Lyte. Putting the “ass” in “class,” that one!

  8. Phyllis Says:

    We have friends who got so burned out on being asked about baby names over and over and over that they resorted to the Decoy Name. Their last name is “Vera” so they went full term telling everyone the baby would be either “Prima” or “Aloe”.

  9. e Says:

    Two minor (?) points… the girl didn’t petition to have her name changed (at least, not according to any of the stories I’ve read); the judge who was presiding over the custody case decided it was too much of a muchness, and declared her a ward of the court (at which point an attorney was assigned to her) so that the court could change it. Although I’m sure that the girl’s professed shame of her name came into play, and I don’t approve of the “get as silly as possible” naming trend, I do have to say that the notion of a judge giving custody of a child to the government, simply because he doesn’t think the child’s name is suitable, gives me shivers.

    Perhaps it’s because my father stated that someone should take my one-week-old infant away and bottlefeed him until my milk dried up, because he (father) thinks breastfeeding is “disgusting.” Or maybe it’s just the liberal in me. In any event, the whole idea of someone seizing legal control over a child because something about that child’s upbringing is distasteful to him or her personally, that rankles.

    I don’t know enough about the case to make an iron-clad statement about it – for instance, was the girl’s distress part of the dispute, or did it only come up later? Why on earth would a judge sitting on a custody hearing take an action that had – as far as I can see – nothing to do with custody, but apparently only with the judge’s personal sensibilities? Did the girl perhaps take advantage of the court presence and, I assume, a guardian ad litem/”friend of the court” to mention, “By the way, this name thing…” at which point she was made a ward of the court and an attorney assigned to her? Or was it, as the stories make it sound, simply the judge’s disgust and a happy coincidence that the girl was also unhappy with her name? If the girl had found her name delightfully quirky, would it still have been ordered changed? Everything I’ve read has indicated that it was the judge’s call, but “hey, it’s okay because the girl was unhappy with her name anyway.” Which makes the ending happy for all concerned, but still doesn’t make it right, IMO.

    I don’t know any of those things, so I can’t argue a hard line in any direction. All I’m taken aback at is the notion that a judge can, during an apparently unrelated matter, seize custody of a child simply because he doesn’t like her name and wants to have it changed, for his own level of comfort/social mores.

    Second, to Jennie, although Loo Phuc or Ali Baba might sound “punitive” to your (presumably Western) ears, unless the parents are likewise Western, it’s rather insensitive to make fun of names simply because the sounds mimic those which in our culture have different meanings. If Mary Smith and John Johnson, tenth-generation Anglo-origin residents of Kansas, name their biological child Loo Phuc, then yes, that’s egregious. If however, they were Vietnamese, then Loo would be the family name (equivalent to a Western surname or last name) and Phuc is a well-established personal name meaning “blessings.” Hardly “punitive.” I’m sure there’s a language somewhere in which the sounds that make up your name mean something impolite, amusing, or rude, but that doesn’t mean you parents were irresponsible in naming you.

    And as for Tiny Angel, who knows… maybe she was premature. Certainly not the name *I* would have chosen for a child, and it probably does foretell body image struggles down the road, but…

    To end this tome on a lighter, less lecturous note, here are two name stories from people I’ve met.

    Upon seeing the patient’s name in our appointment register, I assumed that he’d be Asian, but no, he was quite Caucasian. Eventually, after a year or two when I felt I knew him well enough to ask, I commented on his unusual name. He explained that his parents had promised to let his older sister name him. On his first day home from the hospital, she, unimpressed, announced that he whined like a tea-kettle, so she was going to name him “Tea-kettle.” She had a preschooler’s difficulty with enunciation, but his parents liked the sound of the name anyway, and thus was he christened: Teako.

    Another gentleman’s mother had problems with her MIL. Seems bride and groom had married young and without permission, and moved into MIL’s house only because there was nowhere else to go – and bride was pregnant. Bride was determined to name the baby after her own grandmother, “Ernestine.” MIL was irritated – she didn’t much care for Ernestine either – and finally one day, irked that bride kept patting her stomach and talking to “Ernestine,” she asked, “What if it’s a boy? What will you name it then? Ernestine, even if it’s a boy?” Bride complacently shrugged and said, “Maybe. Maybe so.”

    FFW a few months and the baby is, indeed, a boy. Perhaps bride liked the name, or perhaps it was just to spite her MIL, but she named the little boy Maby So.

    Both men were in their 40s when I encountered them, so they’d have been born in the 50s, and both were quite happy with their unusual names, and enjoyed telling the stories behind them.

  10. Glinda Says:

    @e- I understand what you are saying, and there must be more to the story. It is entirely possible that the parents were unfit and the name was just one result of their inability to be good parents. The circumstances surrounding the hearing are quite vague.

    However, I’m going to side with the judge and assume that he had the best interests of the girl at heart, as most family court judges do.

  11. Glinda Says:

    This from the judge’s decision:

  12. dangster Says:

    My parents fall into the “unfortunate” category for the bad naming parents.

    Our family name is “Dang” (which is a fairly uncommon Vietnamese surname). It’s actually not pronounced the way most Americans think it is, but everyone pronounces it just like the slang term, which is actually unfortunate, because I went through A LOT of teasing and ridicule as a child in a predominantly white town.

    Fortunately, my parents named my middle sister and I (the oldest) normal sounding American names. Unfortunately for my youngest sister, they decided that they were tired of American names and so opted to give her a Vietnamese name that was easy for non-Vietnamese to spell and pronounce–“Mai”. Much “Ouch, Mai Dang (insert body part)” jokes ensued throughout school.

  13. Isay Says:

    Seriously, my father has a cousin named Steamboat Rock. My sister and I both have unusual names although not along the lines of Apple or Pilot (Arianna and Laurel) and my grandfather always asked my parents, “Why didn’t you name them simple names, like Judy or Mary?”

    Thank heaven they didn’t listen. I am SO not a Judy.

  14. mommy Says:

    Celebrities tend to give very unusual names to their kids. It will catch anybody’s attention when pronounced but at the same time could turn into the joke of the day in elementary school.

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