The Worst Things About Parenting, No. 27: Weird Names Becoming the Norm

Gerald used to be a good ol’ name for a kid. But now, it seems, everyone has to outdo each other with a more odd-ball child name. In 50 years, there will be no more Geralds.

It’s important to remember that this is a child’s identity, not a boat. Malcolm Gladwell has gone to great lengths to teach us that names matter. It plays a role in how we’re perceived. It’s important in job applications, research shows, also.

So why the weird names still?

Blame celebrities. There’s an incredible snowball effect when a celebrity names their kid something strange. Then others follow suit, like it’s a new handbag designer.

Or it’s even worse when your kid is two years old and then Brittney Spears or some sex-tape celeb names their kid the same as yours. Oof, that’s an awful feeling. I instantly picture an HR person throwing that kid’s resume in the trash.

What’s the next step? Probably numbers and symbols. Then maybe emoticons.

Maybe a complete robot uprising won’t be so bad after all. They’ll probably just give us all number IDs, like prisoners. At least then we won’t have to ever call another human Grayson.