If you had a baby in 2014, enjoy! In 13 short years you will be the parent of a surly teenager. Surly teenagers hate many things, but their own name usually tops the list. That’s why last year we examined the top baby names of 2013, and why your kid will hate them in 2016. It doesn’t matter how restrained or normal the name was, how well-planned or creative — sometime in the next few decades you may have to answer to your child’s wrath. It’s not your fault.
Last week the Social Security Administration released the 2014 baby name rankings – the official list of every name given to more than 5 children in 2014. Since the top 10 names are mostly the same as they were last year, this year we’re looking at the fastest-rising names. Now, many of these were not highly ranked at all, given to maybe a few hundred kids, but what’s unusual is how quickly they skyrocketed. All the more reason for your children to hate them. We’re anticipating some of the kids’ arguments, but don’t worry if you’re the real parent of an Aranza or Bode: I don’t think any of these names are really terrible.
[Fastest-rising calculations courtesy of the Baby Name Wizard blog.]
- Aranza is a telenovela name, a form of Arantxa (your daughter thanks you for not choosing Arantxa). Basically any name that pegs the mother as someone who watches a lot of soaps can be sort of embarrassing. Just ask all those 20-somethings named Kendall and Lucky.
- It’s sort of simultaneously beautiful, yet also sounds like the name of an evil cartoon spider. Teenaged Aranza will latch onto the latter opinion.
- Again, 13-year-olds are the worst: any name, however pretty, with the syllable “lay” in it will be the victim of dozens of dirty jokes.
- A child will figure out that it sounds like “the laser” or “the lazy” and make even more jokes. None of them will be good or funny, because again, middle school.
- People are stupid, so by 2027 little Daleyza will be tired of explaining that it’s not Da-LIE-za or Da-LEEZ-a.
- If you think soap opera names will make your kids roll their eyes in 13 years (don’t worry, moms and dads, most things will make them roll their eyes in 13 years): try reality TV names. So it is with Daleyza, from mun2 reality show Larrymania. Fortunately, little Daleyza will have plenty of classmates with names like Khloe and Bethenny to keep her company.
- Everly Brothers: charming, old-school 1950s musicians, or hokey as hell? Tween Everly thinks hokey (don’t worry, she’ll come around).
- Everly kind of sounds like a weird adverb. That’s not really a bad thing, just an observation. They lived everly after. I’ll mow the lawn wheneverly. She’ll have this name foreverly.
Montserrat has it all: it’s not new or made-up. It’s a place name, and it has religious significance. And all of that will be lost on a 13-year-old.
- The taunting starts early, with the nickname “monster rat.” Unfortunately, it comes from her preschool teacher’s failed attempt to pronounce the name on the first day (hint: it is pronounced exactly like the letters in the name look. Put the accent on the last syllable. Done).
- Having a name that means “mountain” will not feel awesome when lil Montse hits that junior high growth spurt and feels like she’s towering over everyone.
- At age 13, Montserrat is old enough to order those fluffy Starbucks drinks, but too young to find it hilarious when her name is misspelled.
You’ve loved the name Elsa since you were a little girl, and just your luck, Disney releases a movie with a heroine named Elsa right when you’re getting ready to have kids. I named a character Elsa in a book I wrote in third grade — I get it. [Other characters: Charlotte, Lillian, Lucy, Eleanor. Man, was I ever tapped into the popular baby names of 2015 back in 1995).
- “Let it goooo, let it GOOO!” If you think you’re sick of this now, imagine how tired little Elsa will be by, oh, third grade or so.
- Sharing a name with a Disney princess has a ton of cultural cache in Kindergarten; less so in seventh grade.
- Also, stupid children’s jokes: “Do you have a sister named Anna?” “It’s cold in here, right” [pointed stare at Elsa.]
If you’re scratching your head about what a “gannon” is, you probably don’t watch Teen Mom. Me either. It sounds name-ish, and it’s a short name that ends in -n, a pattern that is all over the boy name charts. But don’t worry, your teen will still hate it in 2027 because:
- TEEN MOM. First of all. You can swear to him that that’s not where you got it, but he won’t believe you.
- ZELDA. Not just Zelda, but the bad guy from Zelda. And if any name from Zelda is trendy, why not Zelda? That’s actually cool.
- You may be well-versed in up-and-coming names, but the receptionist at your pediatrician’s office or elementary school definitely isn’t. “Gannon Smith.” “CANNON?” “Gannon.” “No, but like, Dannon?” “Gannon.” “Gander.” “Gannon.” “Shannon.” It’s a new name, but it sounds sort of like a bunch of other names and words.
Well, somebody’s been taking a page from Kris Jenner’s guide to baby naming. And your baby doesn’t care now, but he’ll care in middle school – not because you’re a bad parent, but because the human brain is beset by obnoxious little demons from ages 11-14 or so.
- Everyone’s just going to spell it Carter, then you’ll have to say “Carter with a K.” Which isn’t that big a hassle, but what’s the point?
- And when Kris Jenner has that baby boy at the age of 63 after a few seasons of flagging ratings on E! – thank you, science – Karter is really going to hate sharing his name with baby Karter Kardashian. Yes, Kris is going to legally change her surname to Kardashian in 2020 or so to keep it “on-brand.”
- People assuming that either he – or you – smokes a whole lot of weed. It’s like the name version of having one of those heavy, woven Mexican blankets in your trunk. See also: Kai.
- The name will constantly get mispronounced as “bode,” unless you pronounce it that way, in which case it will constantly get mispronounced as “bodie.” You’ll try to explain to his teachers that the accent is on the “e” — from which point, his name will be pronounced “boe-DAY.”
- Seems like it stands out, but his karate class will have a Brodie and a Bodhi … oops.
- Also, I almost wrote “karate klass.” THANKS KARTER.
- You wouldn’t think that people would remember the Lorde song “Royals” well enough to sing it at him in 2027. But they do, because by then our nostalgia cycle is moving faster than ever and we’re all really pining for 2013.
- By 2027, baby Royal has also internalized thirteen years of your mother-in-law tut-tutting “I don’t know why you had to go and name him ROYAL” every time she visits.
- The nickname Roy. Just, you know, in general.
- The worst fear of any parent naming their child “Axl”: he will grow up to be a music snob. There’s only so many times he can hear “Oh, like Axl Rose?” before he snaps.
- He also won’t love how, thanks to Axl Rose, his camp nickname was “Rosie.”
- Unlike the Scandinavian classic Axel, people will think that they’re supposed to smoosh the consonants together.
Bottom line: all of the girls’ names are appealing enough that I can see why parents’ will choose them. Your kids aren’t any more likely to hate them than if they were named Sophia or Mary. Which still makes your kids pretty likely to hate them, because kids are the worst. And the best. Congrats on your 2014 baby!