The Perfect Baby Blog

Perfect baby names: “Eighmee” vs. “Amy”

Monday, May 25th, 2009

Back from Canada. The staff at Perfect Baby Handbook HQ on Montague Street greeted me with a sign that read: “Welcome home, Dhale!”—a sly reference to the time I tried to convince my high school teachers to spell my first name with an “h.” (“Dale” was too boring, I felt and I’d just watched a TV show about fashion designer Jhane Barnes who specialized in unlikely and unsettling fabric patterns) Bad idea; merciless friends teased me about my exotic new moniker, mispronouncing it “Duh-HALE.”


SPELL BLINDING: An anonymous 2008 poll

It seems I was just a few years ahead of my time. According to a new study co-authored by Jean Twenge, an associate professor of psychology at San Diego State University who analyzed more than 325 million names forced upon infants between 1980 and 2000, the trend for “uncommon” baby names, including painfully creative spellings, began in the mid-80s. She views it as unhealthy:

Twenge, who recently co-wrote the book “The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement,” said the unbridled desire for uniqueness can be a cause for concern.“The parental attitude of ‘I want to make up a name for my kid that no one else has’ [suggests] the same kind of parent that might want to put a kid on a pedestal” and teach them that being special is the most important thing, Twenge said…”At the base, the problem is if you feel unique and special, you expect special treatment.”

After reading up on the study, I asked a few oddly named narcissists to comment:

“Bullshit! You can’t accuse us of obsessing about our uniqueness. We’re far more interested in “unykenass.” —Mckinzie and Makynze Davies (a Dayton, Ohio-based pair of twins)

“My failure to develop a best-selling breakfast cereal and subsequent decision to spend decades gazing at myself in three-way mirrors has absolutely nothing to do with my name.” —Toehnee the Tiger

“To be put on a pedestal? I should be so lucky!”—The Thinquer, not to be confused with The Thinker.

Parents fight to name their baby “Q”

Related Posts:
Which baby names ensure success? Ask Dr. Mehrabian!
The endearing quirks of the Nymbler baby-namer
Horribly flawed baby names

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