The Old Gal is right on ….

Dear Abby answer on parents giving children ‘foreign names’ sparks outrage

The “Dear Abby” advice column has been appearing in newspapers since 1956 — and after a recent response to a question about “foreign names,” critics accused it of being stuck in that year.

Columnist Jeanne Phillips was accused of racism after telling a reader he was right to be worried about his wife’s wish to give their children Indian names instead of Western ones, The New York Times reports.

You know what my response to that is!!



“Not only can foreign names be difficult to pronounce and spell, but they can also cause a child to be teased unmercifully,” she wrote. “Sometimes the name can be a problematic word in the English language. And one that sounds beautiful in a foreign language can be grating in English.” Author Valarie Kaur — who named her son Kavi, meaning poet, to honor his Sikh poet great-grandfathers — accused Phillips of “clinging to an old America, where white is considered the norm and everything else deviant and inferior,” while “Top Chef” host Padma Lakshmi called the column “deeply racist and problematic.” “Names have meaning,” she tweeted.

Absolutely right. Here are a few examples of names parents burdened their kids with because they want them to stand out in a crowd. BOY do they!

And a few other:


Some of the more bizarre examples of brand names as baby names include:

Tesla (130 girls, 11 boys)

Fanta (24 girls)

Beretta (21 girls)

Maybelline (20 girls)

Evian (10 boys)


There’s a love of sports and then there’s the sort of crazed devotion that saw 12 girls and six boys being named Espn.


There are a few materials that were given as names but Denim, given to 141 boys and 53 girls, and Suede given to five boys, are two of the most out-there.


Religion has always been an important source of name inspiration, but some of America’s choices are more inspired than others. We were surprised to see:

Halo (149 girls, 25 boys)

Om (96 boys)

Amen (75 boys, 55 girls)

Calvary (16 girls, seven boys)

Lucifer (24 boys)

Getsemani (11 girls)

Yogi (six boys)


America loves giving names that bestow children with power, wealth and an regal air. While Earl, Duke and Queenie are old favorites, some of the more outlandish given out in 2017 include:

Kaiser (ranked at #929 on the boys’ list); cognate Caesar went to 74 boys

Pharaoh (145 boys)

Empress (106 girls) and Emperor (nine boys)

Heiress (53 girls)

Milady (12 girls)

General (11 boys)

Czarina (10 girls) and Czar (six boys)

Duchess (nine girls ― the misspelled version Dutchess went to 11 girls)

Sirprince (five boys)


It’s only natural to look to the world around you for the perfect name for your new addition. Some parents went in an unusual direction, however:

Koi (26 boys, 25 girls)

Lemon (25 girls)

Alp (36 boys)

Maize (eight girls, six boys)

Fennec (seven boys)


There are some values or attitudes that we’re surprised parents would want to promote in their children, including:

Vanity (38 girls)

Envy (28 girls)

Brazen (32 boys)

Riot (46 boys, 16 girls)

Havoc (17 boys)

Shooter (14 boys)

Arson (11 boys)

Yoyo (10 girls)

Furious (10 boys)

Slayer (six boys)

Notorious Namesakes

There were some namesakes from history getting honored that either have a lot of baggage or have pretty weighty names that we feel qualify them for a discussion on outrageous names:

Cleopatra (29 girls)

Jezebel (27 girls)

JesseJames (17 boys)

Cuauhtemoc (15 boys)

Attila (13 boys)

Stalin (seven boys)

Casanova (six boys)

Charlemagne (six boys)

Capone (six boys) and

Godiva (five girls)

As a note: We also think it’s too soon for Osama (13 boys) and Adolph (six boys), despite the nice etymologies or slight spelling adjustments.


Among the more traditional mythological names were:

Eros (66 boys)

Ra (14 boys)

Beowulf (seven boys)

Isis (51 girls ― yes, yes we all love the myth but again, it’s too soon for this name to not still carry some pretty serious negative connotations)


We try to be forgiving of names as much as possible here at Nameberry, but there were some names that had us shaking or scratching our heads. These include:

I-am (21 boys)

Nil (19 girls)

Boy (28 boys)

Son (six boys)

Girl (19 girls)

Babyboy or Babygirl (eight boys, seven girls)

Mister (18 boys)

Paw (16 girls)

Man (13 girls)

My (11 girls)

Papa (nine boys)

God (eight boys)

Moo (seven girls, six boys)

Abcde (six girls)

Any (six girls)


Some of the following names are arresting rather than outrageous ― because while they’re definitely an acquired taste, they’ve got some meaning or pizzazz behind them. We think this demonstrates that it is possible to choose something really off-the-beaten track and get it right! Highlights include:

Artreyu (131 boys)

Nubia (56 girls)

Jetson (40 boys)

Savvy (40 girls)

Mazikeen (27 girls)

Zorawar (27 boys)

Aerabella (18 girls)

Porfirio (14 boys)

Candelaria (14 girls)

Bereket (12 boys)

Calcifer (10 boys)

Solaris (eight girls)

Eureka (seven girls)

Aesop (six boys)

I personally know a lady that named her kid Adolf, just because it was her grand-fathers name. I told her, it is a good thing grand-daddy’s name was not Asshole.


It is the ignorance of some parents who are most probably exhibitionist themselves that make some of their kids the brunt of jokes for bullies because they want them to be different.

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About The Goomba Gazette

COMMON-SENSE is the name of the game Addressing topics other bloggers shy away from. All posts are original. Objective: impartial commentary on news stories, current events, nationally and internationally news told as they should be; SHOOTING STRAIGHT FROM THE HIP AND TELLING IT LIKE IT IS. No topics are off limits. No party affiliations, no favorites, just a patriotic American trying to make a difference. God Bless America and Semper Fi!
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