July 21, 2010, - 3:20 pm

Don’t-Name-Your-Kids-This Name of the Day

By Debbie Schlussel

You know my feelings on people who name their kids dumb or pretentious names.  The dumb names remain dumb throughout their lives.  And the pretentious fancy-sounding names ultimately become common names for strippers and call girls.  Equally dumb.  Ditto for naming your kid after something you like to run on (you know who did that).


So, I was looking at the list of those running for various seats in the Michigan Legislature, as our primary is August 3rd.  And in Detroit, a guy who is running for the Michigan House of Representatives is named . . .

Liscious Williams.

Yes, that’s right.  It’s a guy’s name.  It would be bad enough if it was a girl’s name, since it sounds like a stripper name.  But a guy?  Oy vey.  It’s even worse.  And I can’t say, “What was his mother thinking?” (as I did with a certain moron who named her son, “Track,” because she likes to run and “refudiate”).  That’s because he’s not only Liscious Williams, he’s Liscious Williams III.  Yup, three generations of mothers gave their kids this name.

I don’t fault the guy.  He didn’t pick the name.  But you gotta wonder how someone chooses a name like that for their kid.  It’s a form of child abuse.

Please no e-mails or comments alleging racism.  The person who named her kid, “Track,” is White, and so are plenty of other people whose kids’ names I’ve critiqued.

What are some of the worst first names you’ve heard of?

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76 Responses

My mom worked in the office of an elementary school for years. The two best names we heard were “Athamay,” because the girl was born on the 8th of May, and my personal all time favorite – “Shi’Thead”

Hopewell on July 21, 2010 at 4:34 pm

maybe the mother thought she was naming the kid, Lucius, a common latin name in roman times (and popular among blacks for decades) but was too stupid to know how to spell it.

also, i think you can name anyone ‘jr.’, or add whatever roman numerals you like (II, IV, etc) when scribbling out some name on a birth certificate. it’s classy and chic.

‘track’ is just effing retarded.

howardroark on July 21, 2010 at 4:37 pm

“it’s classy and chic.”

correction from prior post: it’s a cheap way to delude oneself that you’re automatically making your kid classy and chic, despite the factual lineage.

that’s what i meant to say.

good day.

with kind regards,

sir howard lucius roark IV

howardroark on July 21, 2010 at 4:43 pm

I still get a kick out of ‘La-a’ (LaDasha).

#1 Vato on July 21, 2010 at 4:48 pm

Frank Zappa, of course, named two of his kids Dweezil and Moon Unit. But it’s not just a US phenomenon. Years ago I read that Brazil had such a problem, so registrars were given the authority to reject names that were demeaning, insulting or just plain stupid.

Raymond in DC on July 21, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    And his third son is named Ahmed Rohdan. (I’m not sure of the spelling.)

    Izzy on July 22, 2010 at 9:38 am

As a publik and private skrewel teacher for 12 years I have seen EVERY name possible. I’ve taught the richest and poorest kids in Florida’s schools. I’ve seen the following first names; Mister, Master, King, Buffrin, Domain, Dereckretious, and a host of medical first names including Tylenol for a girl. The ODDEST names have come from the wealthier parents. Luscious, Mercedes, Porsche, Harley, Gillette, Persephony, Harmony, Symphony, Tribble, and my favorite…Sparky. WHY?!? Would anyone name their son fricken SPARKY?!?!?

It takes the emotional fortitude of a Shao-Lin monk with decades of training to NOT laugh at these kids when you see their names for the first time….and every day when you have to call their name during roll.

Lord Hagrid Pantywaister on July 21, 2010 at 4:58 pm

I love this topic…

Germany has a law requiring all names be approved by the German government just to prevent this form of child abuse.

I have heard of Shithead (pronounced Shi THEED). It’s true. Other real winners are Lemonjello and Orangjello. (Le MON je low and O RAN je low) also, if you live in WI, there is a family from Chicago who named their daughters Waukesha (wu KEE sha) and Kenosha and named a son Racine (RAY seen) All 3 are Wisconsin cities.

Kayser Sozay on July 21, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    Among his students in Mississippi some years ago, my husband had a “Shi-thead,” a “Beercan,” as well as (how’s this for weird?): a “Zucchinius.” How can parents, even if poor, do this to their children? How does this happen? When it’s time to choose a name, does the mother just pick the name of the first thing she lays eyes on after the birth or what? What makes a mother choose “Zucchinius” as opposed to “James”? What’s next–“Boniva”? “Priloseq”? Someone did mention a “Buffrin” . . . So many cultures imbue the act of naming a child with ritual and names themselves were and are still chosen for their (mostly auspicious or positive) meaning.

    Liz on July 21, 2010 at 7:08 pm

My cousins’ name was Willie and so was his dad.So in order to differentiate between the two,we always called my cousin “Little Willie”

ebayer on July 21, 2010 at 5:03 pm

With a name like that, it sounds like he should either be a football wide receiver or a basketball thug.

Gabriel on July 21, 2010 at 5:09 pm

How about naming your kid after it’s dad? Assh’olé, (pronouned Ash olé)

Ann-Marie on July 21, 2010 at 5:12 pm

I can’t resist replying to this post.

In no particular order of weirdness:

Rozell (Man’s name. Good thing this guy has bulging muscles. I think he hated his parents for giving him this name. Can’t say I blame him.)

Shaquille (How was this name arrived at?)

LaTrine or Latrine (This woman worked with my wife, and never knew what her name signified until she came to my wife’s workplace. She had never encountered any joking about her name previously, and was shocked when people told her what a latrine actually is.)

LaToya, LaDawn, LaWanda LaKeisha, etc. – any girl’s name with the prefix La, or the suffix -isha, ika, or variants (such as Shamika, Tanisha, etc.), including LaShanda or LaShonda (that parents would choose such a name really is a shonda, which is Yiddish for a disgrace, an embarassment).


Faux, nonexistent Arabic/Islamic sounding names, such as Hakeen

And horrible names like Selwyn, which were given to Jewish boys, heaven only knows why. Add to that Melvin and Myron, which sounds like “moron.”

And Evelyn as a boy’s name.

commonsense on July 21, 2010 at 5:12 pm

    Rainer Maria Rilke… the greatest German lyric poet. Who gives their son a feminine middle name?

    Go figure.

    NormanF on July 21, 2010 at 5:58 pm


      It’s a common practice for Germans and Austrians to use Maria as a middle name for male children. Carl Maria von Weber, Mozart’s cousin and a major composer himself, is another example. In France, Jean-Marie is a common name for men as well.

      I just remembered another cringeworthy name, not yet cited here by anyone – Orenthal, the O in O.J. Simpson.

      commonsense on July 21, 2010 at 9:22 pm

I heard of some dumb bunny that named her daughter Vagina. When someone later pointed out that the word pertained to a part of the anatomy she only knew by expletives, she started using the shortened version “Gina”. Another one named her kid Colbe because she thought it was a foreign name pronounced “Kolb”. When she heard from someone that it was generally pronounced “Kolbee” she was disappointed that she named her kid after a block of cheese instead of some snooty European pronounciation.

oldblue on July 21, 2010 at 5:28 pm

I wish I could say I were making this up, but sadly it’s all too true.

When I was coaching hockey at Flint (Michigan) Northern High School, one of my players introduced me to his girlfriend…Vagina. Sure, it was pronounced “vaGEEna”, but come on!

Islam Delenda Est on July 21, 2010 at 5:30 pm

I still remember a black earth science teacher in 8th grade, when we were studying rocks and minerals, tell the class: “Ooh, I like the name Galena. That would make a beautiful name for a child.”

JM on July 21, 2010 at 5:32 pm

Years ago, I worked for a temp agency as a recruiter. We had a temp registered with us and her name was “Rotunda”. And she was!

Carin Maher on July 21, 2010 at 5:35 pm

Whatever became of pro basketball player World B. Free? Of course, he changed the name himself from Lloyd Free. Free came out of New York City and played college ball at little Guilford College in North Carolina. Parents are guilty of child abuse when they give kids weird names that others will poke fun at – can’t blame Mr. and Mrs. Free here.
Shaquille’s last name originally was Harrison and he changed it to his mother’s maiden name O’Neal, probably because it rhymes. He’s now a one word legend : Shaq.
When I was in high school in Atlanta long ago (53 years back) it was almost entirely WASP with very few unusual names. You never had to ask how to spell some kid’s name. We kept it simple. That has changed a lot.
Siran Stacy, former Alabama football player, says his mom named him for Saran Wrap (no kidding) but changed the spelling slightly. They had some great names at Alabama : Pierre Goode, Prince Wembley. Remember Orston Artis, basketball player at Texas Western years ago? Ole Miss had basketball player Coolidge Ball. Memphis State (as they used to call it) had Baskerville Holmes, who became a tragic figure. I always remember unusual names, would forget Johnny Jones, etc. Thomas Sowell had a recent comment about parents hanging strange names on their kids.

MM from Georgia on July 21, 2010 at 5:40 pm

You can always change a bad name as an adult. Its legal to change your first name in all 50 states by filing a simple name change application form. Just because your parents made a dumb mistake doesn’t mean you have to live with it as an adult for the rest of your life.

NormanF on July 21, 2010 at 5:45 pm

I forgot one name….Brooklyn. Ecch.

commonsense on July 21, 2010 at 5:47 pm

Years ago I worked in a pharmacy and a lady brought in an RX for her daughter….Pepsi. Yes Pepsi. If it were me the first thing I would do is change my name. But then again, what about the families that name their son’s Dick. It covers all cultures.

Musiccgirl on July 21, 2010 at 6:53 pm

The irony is that the people who come up with these exotic names become more and more nondescript. Nothing unique or remarkable about them, so they come up with these names; they think the strange names will give them the individuality and uniqueness that their own personalities don’t give them, and probably their kids’ personalities won’t give them.

If someone is named Tom, but has enough going for him, he won’t need a strange name. Again, substance over form. Substance is someone’s unique personality, and form is the name they are given.

Little Al on July 21, 2010 at 7:10 pm

I remember one example of a girl that had male name… well, parents wanted a boy, but surprize… name didn’t determined child sex later.

I love that Shi’Theeed, but the real beauty I remember was a David Letterman finding – guy named Dick Assman.

gr77 on July 21, 2010 at 7:18 pm

My favorite:

D’Brickashaw Ferguson
Offensive Tackle – NY Jets

Surprised on July 21, 2010 at 7:44 pm

I knew a couple that was going to name their baby Sparkle if it was a girl. Thank goodness it was a boy. Oscar.

LaurAyn on July 21, 2010 at 8:43 pm

The 17-year-old kid arrested in Indianapolis and charged with shooting nine young victims at Black Expo this past weekend is named Shamus. I thought maybe mother knew something about him at birth until she opened her mouth and said he was a good boy who simply wanted to be a rap star. You just can’t make this stuff up.

Gary Welsh on July 21, 2010 at 9:30 pm

Shamus, more commonly spelled Seamus, is Irish for ‘James.’

When I took a job at a newspaper in North Dakota, among these Scandinavians I quickly learned I couldn’t assume I new how to spell common names like Anderson (Andersen,) Peterson (Petersen or Pedersen.)

On the other hand, my children are Jerzy (Yeh-zhay) and Judyta (Yoo-dit-ah.)

Nothing unusual, if you’re Polish – as my wife is. Jerzy (born in Warsaw) is “George” and Judyta is “Judith.”

Steve Browne on July 21, 2010 at 9:47 pm

Mohammed or Muhammed

John Roberts on July 21, 2010 at 9:55 pm

This reminds me of the SNL skit where Damon Wayans is reading the roll call at an inner city school: Abracadabra Agoraphobia Algebra Casadia Chinchilla Chlamydia Krakatoa Duracell Fellatio Genitalia Hyperbole KamaKamaKamaKamaKamaChamelion Latrine Lexicon Listerine Lubriderm Melanoma Minoxidil Mylanta Noxzema Placebo Spina Bifida Testicle Tirfecta Urethra Uvula


Mike on July 21, 2010 at 10:03 pm

Just this week I heard of two little girls named Aspen. Dumb, dumb, dumb!

Mion on July 21, 2010 at 10:42 pm

caller:Yes, may I speak to Debbie Schlussel please?
D.S.: Speaking
caller: Um, yes, this is Weldon Dowd and I’m calling on behalf of…’CLICK!’

T. Y. on July 21, 2010 at 11:58 pm

A boy named Sue.

Someone had to say it. 😉

Shy Guy on July 22, 2010 at 12:20 am

There is a long-known newcaster in Chicago by the name of Dick Johnson (no joke).

Sange on July 22, 2010 at 12:42 am

    “Dick Johnson” is by no means the only well known first and last name combination of that nature.

    Dick Cavett is fond of telling a story about how in the early 60s, he would correspond with Groucho Marx, who once signed one of his letters, “P.S. has it ever occurred to anyone besides me that Peter O’Toole is a double-phallic name?”

    I wonder if Cavett responded by pointing out that “Woody Woodpecker” is a triple-phallic one.

    Daniel H on July 22, 2010 at 2:17 pm

But then again, what about the families that name their son’s Dick. It covers all cultures.

Musiccgirl on July 21, 2010 at 6:53 pm

Before it became a vulgar word, Dick was a perfectly common, perfectly reasonable nickname for Richard.

I think people who want to indulge their taste in fancy names should use the fancy names for pets. I used to feed the stray cats around the library where I used to work. I named the ones I saw regularly. Two of them were “Froniga” and “Persephone.” One, a tiny kitten, I called “Prunella.” One day I noticed that Prunella had…er..matured…and I changed his name to Max.

Miranda Rose Smith on July 22, 2010 at 2:19 am

A few years ago, I heard of a guy in Austin, TX that named his newborn son ESPN (pronounced Espen). I KID YOU NOT!!

Jon on July 22, 2010 at 2:22 am

Saturday Night Live did a skit about a man whose name was supposed to be pronounced “oz weep ee”. It was spelled “Asswipe”

Let’s not forget last names that should be changed too.
With God as my witness, in my small town we have the following last names:
Titman and
If I were any of their kids, I would change my name the day I was legally able too.

SMG45ACP on July 22, 2010 at 7:44 am

How about the running back that was named I.M. Hipp

Mike on July 22, 2010 at 7:56 am

I worked with a woman named Latrina. Seriously who names your kid after and outhouse?

Emily Iverson on July 22, 2010 at 7:59 am

    Obviously, WC Fields’ mom thought nothing of it. 🙂

    Shy Guy on July 22, 2010 at 8:37 am

My mother-in-law always tells the story of a co-worker who named her little boy Paj-ama…. she always gets a laugh telling this story. Pajama, do you really think any teacher in school is going to pronounce this one the way they want on the first day of school? LOL, not to mention on future job applications.

Roy on July 22, 2010 at 8:44 am

I would have to disagree with commonsense- I think Brooklyn would be a great name. David Beckham’s son is Brooklyn. I certainly would not mind going through life as Brook Beckham. Thats a name!!!!!

Barry on July 22, 2010 at 9:24 am

Greatest Detroit Lion ever : Harry Colon

Truth on July 22, 2010 at 9:44 am

I went to middle school with a guy named Muff Brush.

Truth on July 22, 2010 at 9:46 am

Sometimes the baby name determines the child’s career choice. Not long ago I lived in an area where the phone book had a listing for a urologist whose name was Dr. Richard Tapper.

Dick on July 22, 2010 at 9:47 am

Of course there is the joke about the fellow named Nosmo King.
When the mother needed a name for the child she looked around and saw a sign “No Smoking”.

Izzy on July 22, 2010 at 9:47 am

“Jean” is French for John, just in case you’re worried that parents gave a boy that seemly girlish name (It’s Jeanne or Joan for girls).

Bobby'sBrain on July 22, 2010 at 10:06 am

A friend of mine swears this is true, after I laughed and said she was pulling my leg…she says she saw a young woman holding a small baby and she also had a toddler by her side. My friend walked up to the lady to admire the baby and exclaimed “oh isn’t she precious” To which the lady says, “No she’s Princess” and nodding towards the toddler she said “This here’s Precious”

Zippy on July 22, 2010 at 11:01 am

I heard, from a person who was there, about a woman in a low rent district in Baltimore who named her baby Placenta because she never heard it before and thought it sounded good. How can a woman in the 21st century who is 8 months pregnant not know what placenta is?

Jarhead on July 22, 2010 at 11:14 am

There are some weird names in scripture too, like; Nimrod, Jezebel, Esau, aholibamah [a-hole-obama? LOL] & Bashemath, his wifes…Their are so many strange names, it would take all day to list them all.

Who cares? on July 22, 2010 at 11:15 am

I hate to add this one because I have always been in awe of his football skills, but the name Dick Butkus has always made me laugh.

Jarhead on July 22, 2010 at 11:21 am

There is a now defunct steel company which had a tubular products (drill pipe, etc) division down in Houston. During the early 1980’s, they had a plant manager named Richard Head, and yes, he went by the shortened version Dick. I still have some company literature that referred to him in that manner.

oldblue on July 22, 2010 at 11:45 am

It is NOT racist to point out,that most of the truly ridiculous names are of Black babies,and it’s no coincidence;it’s a deliberate,and yes,racist tactic,knowing that the “names” will outrage Whites – among the long list of destructive things that The Leftists have allowed them to get away with….

Phineas on July 22, 2010 at 11:49 am

For me, a girl I new i college named Shigella tops the list.

Luis on July 22, 2010 at 11:55 am

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