It's easy to find out the baby names people like, but figuring out what they dislike is much harder. And everyone has an opinion!
It turns out there really is a thin line between love and hate. Many of the names that are most popular on the list supplied annually by the Social Security Administration are also the same names that are the most disliked.
Call it a backlash against trendy.
LiveScience.com says it succinctly: "A quick track to baby-name fame seems to also trigger hate for that name."
Exhibit A would be Jayden, Brayden, Madison and Addison. Much loved. And much hated.
The No. 1 name that people dislike the most is Nevaeh, which is "heaven" spelled backward. This made-up name for girls didn't even exist until the 1990s, but skyrocketed in popularity from 2003 to 2007 when it shot up from the 150th most common baby name to the 31st. In 2009, it was No. 34.
"Nevaeh in particular seems to stand as this symbol...for what people don't like in modern baby names," Laura Wattenberg, author of "The Baby Name Wizard: A Magical Method for Finding the Perfect Name for Your Baby," told LiveScience.com.
Wattenberg wanted to find out which names make people cringe, so she conducted surveys online and scoured message boards. Some 1,500 names were cited, and she calculated which ones were mentioned most frequently.
The top 10 most hated boys' names:
The top 10 most hated girls' names:
What is it exactly that people hate about these names?
- People really hate gender-bending names, especially when a masculine name becomes feminine. Example: Addison.
- People dislike names they can't spell or names with made-up spellings, such as Kaitlyn. Mind you, Caitlin is fine because that spelling is traditional.
- People spurn names that confer a virtue onto a child, such as Destiny.
- Ugly names, such as Gertrude or Bertha, are also disliked.
- Violent names, such as Hunter, are detested by some.
- Brand names, such as Bentley, are considered trashy.
- Some people hate ordinary names, which they consider boring. That's why Michael is on the top 10 list of most disliked names.
"Everybody is looking for this impossible dream, which is a name that everybody knows, everybody loves and nobody is using," Wattenberg quipped to LiveScience.com. "As you can imagine, it just doesn't work that way."
--From the Editors at Netscape