I Don’t Like Your Kid’s Name


I don't like your kid's name: The struggle with naming my fourth child! | Knoxville Mom's Blog

Maybe I should rephrase. I don’t like any name right now. I am a little over 14 weeks pregnant with my little guy or gal and all I can think about are names. Good names. Bad names. Names that aren’t actually names. Old names. New names. Celebrity names. Names names names names. I feel like Adam and Eve trying to decide what to call a zebra. I’m on name overload.

Maddox Garner came first. I honestly didn’t love his name (I do now; I feel like it fits him), but Garner was an easy choice; it was my maiden name and I am the very last one in our family to have it. Since I’m a girl and won’t pass it down as a boy would I wanted it in his name somehow.

When Walker Alan came into the picture, I really had things easy in the name department. I wanted a family name representing both sides (Alan is my dad’s name) and while my ex-husband left a lot to be desired elsewhere, he had some awesome names of grandfathers and great-grandfathers in his lineage.

Now here we are five years later.

I am remarried and pregnant! (Literally miraculously that after losing our last baby at six weeks, I wound up pregnant a few weeks later…after deleting all my fertility apps and period trackers and calling the OBGYN and saying “I don’t know when I had a period last, can you tell me?” which trust me, is another story we will get to later.) So…Yay babies! And while Nathan and I are crossing all of our body parts for another boy, I am researching names of both genders just to have my bases covered. (I like to work hard and not smart, while worrying about hypothetical situations. I’m special like that.) And you know what I am finding out? Or maybe what I’m remembering from some corner of my brain where I have pushed this awful naming process, behind late ’90s boy bands and where I hid my Walkman? THAT THIS IS HARD AND MAKES ME HATE EVERY NAME AND WOULD IT BE SO BAD IF MY CHILD HAD NO NAME? Or just went by his/her last name? “Oh there goes Costerisan…” Kind of like Madonna or Seal? Can I do that? Probably not…

I know this is maybe a little melodramatic, but pregnancy has turned me into a bit of an emotional loon (I cried during an episode of Real Housewives of the OC this weekend, if you’d like to gauge where I fall on the scale of normal to Britney Spears circa 2007 so hear me out).

Okay here’s the deal. I was named Ashley. So were you if you were born between 1980-1990. (You could also be Lindsey or Emily.) I don’t want to name my child a name that he or she will share with six classmates, but I’m also not about to get inventive over here; let me explain. I was on a baby site the other day when I read an article suggesting ‘new and edgy’ spellings for classic names.

And my head exploded.

If your name is Ashley or Lindsey or Emily or any other of the more common names, but you have duplicated letters in the middle or at the end or at the beginning or added a silent “q” in there somewhere or on paper your name is spelled “Anfvwhxbs” but is pronounced Ashley, or you/a relative/a dear friend have done this tweaking to a classic name, please close this post now and instead scroll over to any one of the other great articles on this site. Maybe one about pumpkins. Or travel. Or you know, just whatever. Please go. I will wait…K. I wanted you to go because THAT’S NOT A NAME YOU ARE MAKING UP WORDS!!! Yes I am aware that there are slight variations to spellings of names: Lindsey to Lindsay to even Lyndsey and the like. But Lindsey with 14 extra letters is just hard for teachers and parents and the general public and makes my head hurt. So that’s out for us.

The next site recommended a cultural name or something reflecting mine or my husband’s heritage and/or passions. We have used all the good names up. Trust me. I’ll get back to that in a minute. As far as passions? Our baby would be named Queso Dip Harley Davidson Shiplap Shopping For Shoes Costerisan. Soooo…I have yet again hit a wall.

I’ve thought of places we have traveled yielding little baby Vegas Furniture Market, High Point North Carolina Magnolia Showroom, sweet little Rock City, Drunk In An Atlanta Airport, and then I thought about Charleston and all its variations (Charles, Charley?) and I’m still not too thrilled with my prospects.

I circled back to family names again and found that I have used all the good ones. I don’t think little baby Lilbern Clyde, Frank, Ralph, Shirley or Daryl would fair too well in 2017. Nothing screams fun, by the way, like sitting down with your spouse and asking him for the names of every male and female member of his family that he can recall. Mother’s maiden name? Cousin’s? Great-great-grandfather’s? Uncle’s childhood best friend? Soon I started to sound like a security platform on a MasterCard website. The only family name I truly love and have loved since Maddox was cooking is Jack after my now deceased grandfather. But Jack has become the modern day boy name equivalent to Ashley and I’m not even trying to send little Jaqck into the world.

Y’all we had THE BEST names picked out for our sweetie that didn’t make it. Oliver Finn for a boy, Sullivan Mae for a girl. It was like these names just floated down from thin air and we were like “Yep. Perfect.” But we (and by we, I mean more so Nathan than me, but we will just leave that alone) don’t want to reuse them. So…here we sit.

I love old things (my husband is old, my house is old, my dog is old), but some old names just aren’t a fit for modern times. And I hate cutesy names that have taken over lately WITH A PASSION. (Yes I know I have a dog named Macie but I named her when I was 18 and wore Juicy track suits to class so sometimes we evolve, mmmk?) I don’t want a weird name for the sake of being weird, a unique name for the sake of standing out. And one of my favorite names for a girl ever? One that has stood the test of time? Charlotte…yeah. That’s my six year old Yorkie who just licked her butt for so long she sneezed. Youth (and good names) are wasted on the young (or in my case, the Yorkie).

For some reason I felt compelled to look up ‘celebrity baby names’ and found gems like Blue Ivy and Dusty Rose. Those aren’t names. Those are plants with an adjective in front of them. I also got Apple, Bear, Bronx, Liberty, and Trixiebelle. I am so confused.

For now, baby C is just that–baby C. Naming a person is hard. My baby may be named Chippy Shiplap at this rate. Who knows.

Previous articleParty Planning: Horror to Holiday Themes
Next articleKnoxville Doctor Develops New Technology to Improve Patient Experience
Mama to Maddox, Walker and Finn plus three unruly dogs: Nick Carraway, Ladybird, and Charlotte. Owner of Nest, a custom painting and furniture restoration business run out of my SoKno home. I've written for Knox Moms since 2014, and have also written for The Dollywood Company, Her View From Home, and Today.com. I'm a recovering type-a personality, overcaffinated, sleep with too many pillows, am a better person near water, and love a good British period drama or anything about gruesome true crime. I'm going to die trying to pet something I shouldn't or lifting furniture I have no business lifting, and am a firm believer in convenience meals. Probably a top contender for the title of World's Okayest Mom.


  1. I hated trying to name my kids as well. It was hell with the first as everything I liked was vetoed by family…..did not make that mistake second time around. Love the names we chose but glad I will not be doing that again. By the way I have a Jonathan Steven, and twins Joseph Aydin and Joshua Bryce ( baby and baby B)

  2. I’m Glad I’m not the only one who finds this part miserable! I thought maybe I was just a jerk haha. Love the names you chose for the twins by the way. That A and B thing is adorable!

  3. Ha. My youngest turned seven this week and your article brought back memories of all the crazy suggestions…Howard, seriously, it doesn’t lend itself a cute nickname to cover it up.

  4. IMO if you name your child something odd or stupid they will probably grow up to resent you for doing it. I know I did. Kids typically want to fit in, not stick out. And in the long run, it is not really about you after all, it’s about the life your child will experience with that word as their name. Decide if you want that added drama for your child and choose wisely. Life is long. Words matter.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here