When asked if we have a list of names that we like, R inevitably suggests Tecumseh. That’d be the middle name of General Sherman, but before that it was the name of a Shawnee leader who fought against the U.S. in the War of 1812, as well as in a 1811 conflict known as Tecumseh’s War. Terrifically, he had a brother name Tenskwatawa, which is probably an even better name. R is not serious but it’s a heck of a good answer.

Of course, we’ve always thought that any child with the last name Baker probably ought to have the first name Butcher, upon which they are more than prepared for a career as a candlestick-maker.

Other great names for a Baker: Cookie, Theodore (Teddy) Graham, Coco, Brie, and Wellington.

I’m also a fan of giving a child the middle name Peril. It’s so much less overdone than Danger.

We live in a part of the country affectionately known, in some circles, as Salt Lake City North — and anyone with a lot of LDS friends and neighbors has encountered some of their more creative naming conventions. A favorite is the idea of the composite name; I’ll let Sachiko explain via her article, “Utah Baby Names: What’s So Funny?“:

LaName for ReBaby Look through a list of Utah baby names and you will likely notice a lot of what BYU Professor Don Norton calls “composite names”.

To make a composite name, first the mommy’s name and the daddy’s name love each other very much and decide to make a new name, and they combine in a special way, like so:

Vern (father) + Sharlene (mother) = Verlene
Udell (father) + Rhonda (mother) = Rondelle

Because It Sounds Good, That’s Why Other times, the composite name makes use of name prefixes like Ra-, Re-, La- and Je-. Common suffixes include –ell, -yn, -erle and –ee.

It’s Utah Baby Name Helper: Take the phoneme of your choice, add a prefix and suffix, and you’ve got yourself a baby name straight from Dixie, Deseret.

Many classic Utah baby names are made this way: LaRae, LaVell, LeGrande, DeVere, Maradee. And so on.

If you take our names and try to combine them, you end up with… Rytherine? (I mean, Ryte isn’t going to work.) Or maybe Kayan? After all, Rytherine sounds an awful lot like someone who hangs out with Snape and Malfoy.

I’ve also seen the second technique applied to the father’s name, creating LaRyan or perhaps even Jeryan. Maybe we could go whole hog: Laryanell!

Laryanell. I like it. Whatcha think, honey?

On a different note, Parents recently ran an article about the year’s hot new baby names, spiking as a result of various pop culture influences. The first on the list is Rue, inspired by The Hunger Games, which seems like a dreadful choice — do these parents not know what that word means, why that character had that name? “Hey, honey, we just wanted you to remember how much we regretted having you, every time you hear your name!” (I liked the name better when it was Roux and he was a river gypsy played by Johnny Depp.)

So what do you think? What sort of truly dreadful names can you add to our list? Suggest them in the comments!


10 thoughts on “Labels

  1. Just in my immediate family = Nolene (kids called her no lean, no fat, no teeth), LaPriel (whose name is Edith LaPriel and she actually chose to go by LaPriel!), Blanche, Minerva, Bernard, Kit, Clyde, and Clarence. (Some Mormon, some not.) As the owner of one of those awful names, I beg you not to do that to a child. That said, don’t let others influence your choice. If you both love a name, to heck with everyone else.

    Rue? Ha! Good one. Some days, it would be appropriate…just a little, tiny bit. Roux? Very important flavor!

    My son’s pre-name was Skookumchuck, after a small river near Lewiston. We drove from Cd’A to Boise and back seveal times a year and that was one of our favorite words. How does that go with Baker?

    I’m very confident you two will come up with a unique, fascinating, and perfect name for your wee one. S/he is already so loved.

  2. My parents got so tired of well meaning soon to be grandparents that they told them that if they didn’t cease and desist, they would name an as yet unborn moi “Nellie Maybelle” (moms moms first name, dads moms middle name, which were hated by the owners of said names). Needless to say, the onslaught of suggestions stopped.

    Except then dad was convinced I would be a boy, and so talked my mom (who knew better, in the way of mothers) into allowing him to choose the name of the baby were they a boy. Which is how I was nearly named Fred Flint.

  3. I have a second cousin whose name is actually Mormon. Isn’t that just…something? I have a name or two picked out that doesn’t seem to be getting rave reviews— but I guess screw ’em. I just hope my baby arrives before yours so I can steal Deuter 🙂

    Love this blog btw.

    • Oh wow… Mormon?! That’s great. I guess we could add Methodist to our list. Methodist Peril Baker…

      And thanks! I’m happy to have something to write about again. 🙂

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