Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors
Samantha Kemp-Jackson

GET UPDATES FROM Samantha Kemp-Jackson

It Should Go Without Saying, But Don't Name Your Baby "Hitler"

Posted: 05/27/2013 11:41 am

Anal? Rogue? Lucifer?

These certainly don't sound like names that would adorn a sweet and cherubic bundle of joy, but surprisingly, they are. Though hard to believe, parents have actually bestowed these lovely names on their children, leaving their unwitting charges to fend for themselves in the playgrounds of their futures.

Whatever would possess a parent to name their child something that would inevitably set them up for a lifetime of embarrassment, scorn and possibly physical harm is beyond me, because, really -- could someone named after a much-maligned part of the body or The Devil himself really have any other fate?

Recent times and modern parenting styles have spawned (pun intended) a plethora of non-traditional names that have been bestowed on the next generation of kids. Classic, "old-fashioned" names such as John, Mary and William have given way to Connor, Aiden and Ethan. Lovely names, the latter, nothing wrong with these at all. Individuality and a bit of flair never did any child wrong. It is when parents cross over the line and decide to provide their child with a gift that keeps on giving: a name that will be fodder for schoolyard bullies when they're young and scant job opportunities when they're old, because let's be honest: it's the kids who bear the brunt of their parents' "creativity" in the naming department.

Case in point: the poor child incredibly named "Adolph Hitler Campbell."

Out of all of the names in the world, why on earth would parents choose one of the most despised historical figures to ever blemish the earth with his presence? The parents of little Adolph Hitler Campbell lost custody of him and siblings (one of which was named "Aryan Nation") and rightly so. Unfortunately, these poor children, who had nothing to do with the choice of names that they were given, are now in the custody of the state, away from their parents and any sense of family that they once had (though one must question the ability of parents to adequately raise their children in light of the names that they chose for them). How is this right?

I recall going into a coffee shop a few years ago and being served by a very sweet-looking teenage girl who provided me with exemplary service. Nice, right? Well, yes...except when I looked at her name tag, I was shocked to find that her name was Lucifer. That's right, LUCIFER. Now, I don't know if this was some type of a joke, if it was teenage rebellion on steroids or just the result of parents who felt that they were "sticking it to the man" or the establishment or, whatever...nonetheless, I felt incredibly sorry for this girl. Even if she had determined that she was going to rename herself after "The Prince of Darkness" it was a bad move. After all, most of us want to evoke positive imagery when our names are mentioned, not thoughts that conjure up fire and brimstone, whether you believe in "The Devil" or not. Either way, it's not positive.

Because of the increasing trends behind baby naming in modern times, certain countries have taken it upon themselves to put a stop to the insanity. If you live in Germany, Sweden, China or Japan, you are limited to what you can name your children. Now, while this may seem somewhat totalitarian in theory, one has to respect the fact that these countries are trying to protect the kids of parents who may have less than stellar abilities to choose a reasonable baby name. Thankfully, a level-headed judge in New Zealand allowed "Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii" to change her name after the nine-year-old girl couldn't take the humiliation and trauma of having to live with such a moniker. Unfortunately Number 16 Bus Shelter did not have the same fate and is living on in inevitable embarrassment, much to the chagrin of anyone who has the random fortune of interacting with this child. Heck, even Zowie Bowie, the son of über-cool rock star David Bowie wanted to be a little more "normal" and changed his name to Duncan.

I'm all for uniqueness when it comes to naming a child. After all, no one wants to give their child a name that will be shared by three or more kids in their grade school classroom. That being said, parents still need to consider certain parameters when making a decision that will affect their child for many years to come, if not for their whole lives. This is serious stuff, folks.

Let's stop the insanity, parents. Naming your kid "ESPN," "Hashtag" and "Fish and Chips" (twins) is bad enough; saddling them with "Sing Praises," "Brfxxccxxmnpcccclllmmnprxvclmnckssqlbb11116" and "Number 16 Bus Shelter" is downright wrong.

Call me a prude, a stick-in-the-mud or a square, but I long for the days of John and Martha.

Loading Slideshow...
  • Clover

    Humble <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Clover">Clover</a>, until recently a name most often found in the barnyard, tops our list of unusual girls’ names you’ll be hearing a lot more of because 109 little girls were given the name in the U.S. last year, the most of any of our 11 choices for girls, but it’s also one of the hottest choices in the group. Clover is a charming, offbeat botanical name used by Natasha Gregson Warner to honor her mother Natalie Wood, who starred in the film Inside Daisy Clover.

  • Calla

    <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Calla">Calla</a>, an exotic flower name given to just over 100 girls in the U.S. last year, puts a fresh spin on two of its overused relatives, Lily and Callie. A trivia detail any little girl named Calla will surely love: Princess Calla was a character in a 1980s Disney show called "Gummi Bears."

  • Gray

    Grayson may have already popped -– there were nearly 4000 of these latter day Jasons born in 2011, vaulting it into the Top 100 -- but quieter brother<a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Gray"> Gray</a> was given to just under 100 boys last year. One of the few color names better suited to boys than to girls, there are slightly more boys given the spelling Grey. We predict the numbers of Grays and Greys to swell, along with boys named Graylon, Grayton, and so on.

  • Zephyr

    Name of the Greek god of the west wind, <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Zephyr">Zephyr</a> is starting to blow into the modern world along with many of his ancient brethren. Until recently, most children only heard the name, spelled Zephir, as the appellation of the monkey friend of Babar the Elephant in the classic French story books. But in the future, Zephyr will more likely be a preschool classmate.

  • Lux

    <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Lux">Lux</a>, a cooler way than Lucy to signify light, was given to 77 girls last year but is attracting attention thanks to the kickass heroine of the League of Legends game as well as the main character of the hipster novel and film The Virgin Suicides. Lux can also make a sleek, surprising middle name.

  • Florence

    Italian place-name <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Florence">Florence</a> has been chic in England for several years now, but in the U.S., it fell off the Top 1000 around the time Florence Henderson starred in "The Brady Bunch" and has yet to climb back on. A Top 50 name in the UK, last year Florence was given to only 73 little girls here. But we see Florence along with flowery sisters Flora and Fleur set to blossom.

  • Lazarus

    <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Lazarus">Lazarus</a> is rising again. While only 71 boys received the Biblical name last year, we see an increasing number of parents interested in Lazarus, in the vanguard of the next wave of ancient names. Lazarus also embraces several related names with considerable appeal: the Eastern European Laszlo, Latinate Lazaro, Hebrew Eleazar, and cool boy Lazer.

  • Waverly

    Cool girl name Waverly was used for a character on "Friday Night Lights" and also gets some appeal from the fashion for girls' names that end in the <em>lee</em> sound -- Ashley's daughters, like the popular Kinley and Hadley. Television's "The Wizards of Waverly Place" helped popularized it. <em>Pictured: Actress Selena Gomez who plays Alex Russo on "The Wizards of Waverly Place</em>

  • Marguerite

    French favorite<a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Marguerite"> Marguerite</a> means “daisy” (and also “pearl,” both great names in their own right) and is starting to attract attention here as a more exotic and attractive spin on the standard Margaret. Saint Marguerite was a pioneering nun.

  • Indigo

    <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Indigo">Indigo</a>, a name as alluring as the dark purplish blue color it represents, was given to only 62 girls last year. But as a color name it could eventually challenge Scarlett, with its fashionable I beginning and O ending, and it’s independent-minded nickname Indie.

  • Bellamy

    All names Bella have attracted attention since Isabella scaled the charts. <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Bellamy">Bellamy</a> puts an androgynous, surname spin on the genre. Originally French for fine or beautiful friend –- belle ami -– Bellamy got some attention as the name of one of the seven children of the Novogratz family of the reality show "9 By Design." Just over 50 girls received the name last year, but we predict the numbers to climb steeply. <em>Pictured: The Novogratz family</em>

  • Coralie

    The melodic <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Coralie">Coralie</a>, which means Coral, was given to only 38 girls last year. But parents newly enchanted by Cora and longtime fans of Caroline are looking to it as a new twist on those favorites. Popular in Quebec, there are characters named Coralie in two 19th century novels.

  • Nero

    <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Nero">Nero</a> is not the most inspiring namesake for a young boy -– he was the emperor who fiddled while Rome burned. But with the fashion for all names Ancient Roman, we see interest in Nero rising too. The Roman Nero’s birth name was Lucius, another obscure name attracting more heat, and there is also a modern fictional detective hero named Nero Wolfe.

  • Stellan

    Scandinavian name<a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Stellan"> Stellan</a> is a natural to migrate to our shores, on the heels of trendy sister Stella. Jennifer Connelly and Paul Bettany’s son Stellan is a namesake of actor Stellan Skarsgard -- that’s him with now-grown actor son Alexander. Despite its celebrity connections, only 37 boys were named Stellan in the US last year. <em>Pictured: Jennifer Connelly</em>

  • Cyra

    <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/cyra">Cyra</a>, which may be pronounced sigh-ra or seer-a, is the newest spin on Keira and Cara. Cyra also relates to also-fashionable brother name Cyrus; both have Persian roots and mean “throne.” There was also a fifth century saint Cyra. Only 19 girls were named Cyra in the U.S. in 2011.

  • Breccan

    An Irish name that means “freckled,” <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Breccan">Breccan</a> was given to only 17 American boys last year but is set to rise on the heels of once-obscure brothers such as Declan and Brayden. Breccan was the name of both a saint and a mythological figure. A modern bearer with a less-attractive phonetical spelling is Breckin Meyer.

  • Tiberius

    Ancient Roman emperor name<a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Tiberius"> Tiberius</a> was also the name of two figures in the Harry Potter universe, enough to draw attention to a name never in the Top 1000 and given to only 17 American boys last year. But like brethren Atticus and Titus, we see interest in Tiberius rising and predict we’ll all be hearing it outside of history books.

  • Snow

    <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Snow">Snow</a> is one of the freshest, coolest names around, especially for winter babies. Given to only 13 girls in the U.S. last year, it’s attracting twice as much attention as the average name on Nameberry. We see it rising along with simple, offbeat nature names such as Bay and Lake, Fox and Wren.

  • Balthazar

    <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/balthazar">Balthazar</a>, also spelled Balthasar, was the name of one of the Three Wise Men who visited the infant Jesus. The name has been used quietly in the modern world, most notably given to young oil heir Balthazar Getty. Balthazar has also been the name of many literary heroes – of Shakespeare and Balzac, James Bond and Buffy the Vampire Slayer – as well as of a fashionable restaurant in New York. Only 13 boys received the name last year, but we see that number rising.

  • Cato

    Roman <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/cato">Cato </a>may be the most quietly used of our collection –- only 8 boys were given the name in 2011 –- but it may be the choice most likely to rise the furthest fastest. The reason, of course, is "The Hunger Games." While that fictional Cato was anything but an appealing character, Cato is a straightforward, modern-feeling name with the fashionable O ending. <em>Pictured: Actor Alexander Ludwig who played Cato in "The Hunger Games"</em>

  • More Baby Name Ideas

    <strong><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/07/nameberry-classic-girls-names_n_1865314.html" target="_hplink">The 12 Classic Girl Names Making A Comeback </a></strong> <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/14/classic-boys-baby-names_n_1884361.html">Classic Boys' Names That Are Hot Now</a> <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/13/baby-names-2012_n_1666164.html" target="_hplink">The Hottest Baby Names Of 2012 (So Far)</a> <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/pamela-redmond-satran/baby-name-rules_b_1456854.html" target="_hplink">22 Rules To Follow When Choosing A Baby Name</a>


Follow Samantha Kemp-Jackson on Twitter: www.twitter.com/@samkj27