Bizarre names may be a birthright for celebrity babies (think Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon's sons Moroccan, named after the decor of a restaurant called the Moroccan Room, and Monroe), but what happens when a non-celeb parent comes up with an especially creative moniker? And what's said well-meaning parent to do when her creatively-named child hits preschool and classmates start teasing, or the teacher asks, "Rileigh? Is that the right spelling?"
It's more common than you might think: British researchers for a parenting site there, Bounty.com, found that one in five parents, or 19 percent of the 3,000 parents interviewed, say they regret the name they selected for their child because it was too unusual or because they'd discovered a more fitting one too late.
Meanwhile, enthusiasm for creative baby naming is alive and kicking at Circle of Moms, with many members saying the more unusual the name the better, and that they don't care that others may question their name choices. One mom maintains that she still regrets not going with a more unusual name, 11 years after her son's birth. "I wanted to call my son Kalyb, but my husband hated it," says Angeline L. "My son is called Kyran (Irish spelling) but I still wish I could have called him Kalyb."
When you pick a creative name for your child, expect others to mess it up, and in some cases, to get flack from your kids. Christina S. says no one ever calls her son Coy his real name. "Sometimes he is a Corey and sometimes he is a Codi, but very rarely is he Coy." Her other son, who actually is named Codi, never stops giving her a hard time for the name she chose for him. As she explains, "It came crashing down last year when he met a girl (named) Codi, (and it was) spelled that way," she says. "I thought I would never hear the end of it."
Krista M. says she regrets the name she gave her now six month-old son, Cohen, not because of teasing, but because of the possibility that it's offensive. After discovering that in the Jewish tradition, his name may be considered inappropriate as a first name because of its connection to the Old Testament priesthood, she worries that his name could offend. She reached out to the Circle of Moms community to ask: "Does anyone share the view that the name is in poor taste?"
If you're Mariah Carey, the answer may well be, Who cares?, but some Circle of Moms members say naming a child well is a serious responsibility and are starting to nudge others away from names that are too unusual.
It's best to stick with traditional names, says Amelia, whose children's names are Henry Arthur and Amelia Kathleen. "Traditional names have stood the test of time and will continue to do so," she says. "Cutesy made-up names only last so long and most of them are stupid."
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