Worst Uber-Mormon Children’s Names

We’ve all seen it: The family you’ve just met introduces you to their sons Moroni, Mosiah, and Brigham. Not only are they goofy names, they’re names that scream out “look at my Mormon-ness!” And kids with uber-Mormon names almost always end up being the abnormal ones — either rebellious, socially maladjusted, or just plain clueless.

So here’s the poll: What is the worst uber-Mormon children’s name? Which name is the most deadly kiss of death? Which name do you hear your cousin say “I just named my child ___” and you say to yourself, “wow, that kid is just not going to be normal”?

Comments

  1. **not a mormon, found your site by chance***

    I like your poll, and I’m probably mispronoucing most of the names, but just by spelling, Moroni is hands-down the worst. Enos at least will be familiar to most other Christians. Naming your child Moroni is one letter away from naming him Stupid.
    Cheers!

  2. A couple I knew during my mission named all their boys after BoM figures (Nephi, Moroni, Teancum) and their girls after virtues (Faith, Chastity); last I heard, they had left the church and, presumably, changed all the boys’ names.

  3. Click on the homepage link in my signature on this post for a wonderful article on this subject from my very favorite blog, Marginal Revolution. It’s a summary of an article that talks about how girls’ names are more “inventive” than boys’ names.

    I can’t rave enough about MR. It’s the most interesting thing I read, every day. Do economists have groupies?

  4. DH always used to say if we had a boy, he wanted to name him Pahoran. His favorite BOM character. Um, no. I think he was kidding.

    He had a ggfather Abinidi and a gfather Omni. Omni had twin sons, and Abinadi suggested that one be named Omni, and the other Abinidi. Omni replied, “Not by a damn sight. I wouldn’t name a dog those names.”

  5. Ezra is more than just Mormon, unfortunately — curse those bible prophets!

    Chastidee is one of the worst I’ve heard. But I also like the UT combo names, where the take the names of both parents and mash’em together: LaDon, DeeWill, etc. It’s sick to do that to a child.

    Zelph, AKA

  6. Given the noted feminine quality of the name “Alma”, giving that name to a boy is pretty much the LDS equivalent of a “boy named Sue” it seems to me.

  7. Great poll and great post! I gotta think it’s the Book of Mormon names that lead to being the most screwed up. You hear the name Hyrum and I don’t think you’ll ask someone where they got that name from (if you’re not familiar with the Church). You hear the name Nephi, you gotta ask what they’re named after.

    I’ll confess I’m guilty of wanting to name my child Matthew Anthon Hatch, after Anthon Lund, whose diaries I was editing at the time. My wife said no way, which was probably for the best.

  8. Growing up in southern Utah I went to high school, I swear, and can show you the year book to prove it, with a girl named RUSTY STAPLES. I hope she married soon after graduation.

  9. I have a grandfather named LaVell. A while back I was googling his name, just wanting to see some of his publications or something (he was a biochem professor). Turns out there’s a college student with the same first and last name at one of the universities where he taught in the 50’s. Weird.

    Kaimi-

    I voted for Enos for the same reason – that’s the obvious choice for a kid likely to be picked on. Of course, when naming our children, I am always extra careful about considering any possible way each name could be twisted into a way to tease the kid. Jeremy thinks I’m neurotic about it…he always likes to point out that kids will come up with anything for any name if they want (his sister called him Jeremiah Poopapiah). Still, Enos is just asking for it, not just in childhood, but (especially) throughout life.

  10. I love how people need to attest to the truth of their comments on this poll: “no really, his name was…”

  11. I should have mentioned this before, but it didn’t occur to me because it’s always right in front of me—

    I’m writing my dissertation on a jackmormon composer and, to an extent, the influence of mormonism on his work. His social and artistic circles are about as far from Utah or his native Idaho as you can imagine (he hung out with Yoko Ono and tutored the Velvet Underground), so I likely wouldn’t have ever stumbled upon the topic if my attention hadn’t been drawn to his unmistakably Mormon name: La Monte Young.

  12. I suspect this tread is long since dead, and that this comment may never be read, but I’ve just come across a spectacular Mormon name.

    In July, we have a visiting speaker planned for sacrament meeting. He is a young man getting ready to go on his mission. His name–Abinadi Burns. Now that is cool.

  13. mardell says:

    In high school I knew a girl named Mary Chris Mas.

  14. It is funny when someone with an uber-Mormon name commits crime and/or does something really embarassing; I wasn’t the only one to notice that the news articles about “Dale Moroni Gibbons” almost never managed to omit his middle name. (He was a Utah bank honcho who was arrested for possessing meth, giving drugs to minors; had a teenage girlfriend and was into the rave scene) While it is a safe assumption that your son Enos or Nephi will not become an axe murderer, it will be annoying for the church if he does.

  15. It’s one thing to grow up with an unusual name…it’s got to be something else to grow up with an unusual name that proclaims your religion wherever you go, like Nephi or Enos.

    At the same time, the Mormon names that grate me the most are the ‘la’ names — “LaDawn”, “LaVell”, “LeGrand”, and others that sound like they want to be Mormonized French names.

  16. Let’s try the link again:

    http://www.marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2004/05/girls_names_are.html

    Sorry ’bout that; it truncated above.

  17. Mahonrimoriancumr has to be the worst.

    So, are my sons Dallin and Jarom going to want to shoot me when they get older? Already people struggle (they become Dylan and Jerome).

  18. My first reaction was the same as Steve’s.

    But I voted for LeGrand. That one is just plain scary. It sounds like it should belong on the menu at a burger joint or coffee house.

    He remains one of my favorite speakers, though. I met him once.

    Where’s Ezra? That one is doubly-scary — uber-Mormon *and* yuppie-trendy.

  19. My mother’s grandfathers were named Parley and Orson. Parley (middle name Heber) named his first son Parley Heber Jr., but otherwise neither name has shown up anywhere amongst their descendants. (Orson’s wife knew him only as “Sid” until it was time to sign the marriage certificate.)

    I’ve known a few members over the years that had a name that was either LDS-centered (early Church leader, Book of Mormon, etc.) or was a candidate for the Utah Baby Namer. In the first group, a family on my mission in Italy named their son Helaman and their daughter Nauvoo. In the latter category, I had a great-aunt by marriage named “Vaudis” (from “Quo Vaudis.”)

    I thought use of those names was disappearing, but a membership clerk I audited recently named his four sons Spencer, Gordon, Orson and Hyrum. I’ve held that position a few times myself, so I’ve seen what members name their kids. The one name that jumps right out (and did as early as the 1960s) is Spencer Kimball.

  20. My wife (Summer) knows people named after the four seasons, and also knows a family where the girls were named Trixie, Peaches, Bubbles, etc. Nice.

  21. Kristine says:

    Oh yeah, and my favorite Mormon name ever: Chastidee. (I’m not making this up!)

  22. Kristine says:

    OK, I confess–I really like the name Brigham. And it would sort of fit with our kids’ old-fashioned, British-flavored names. Then again, as long as we’re in Boston, people might just think we really, really like ice cream.

  23. One of the middle names of our son is “Nephi”.

  24. Ooh. You’re going to wish you hadn’t done this. Here’s a link to the Utah Baby Namer:

    http://wesclark.com/ubn/

    There’s some scary trends in here. At this site you’ll find a vast collection of names as well as links to very good articles about Utah baby names.

    I had an American Usage class from Don Norton at BYU and there was a bit of discussion about unique Utah names. I don’t think you’ll find a better resource than this though on the topic.

  25. People often ask me where I get my second middle name, Zelph. I just shrug my shoulders… :)

  26. Steve,

    Your wife SumMer?

    And by the way, I voted for Enos. It has the double-whammy of being uber-Mormon _and_ easily rhyming with a sex organ, so any kid with that name is guaranteed to be teased mercilessly throughout his school years!

  27. Jennifer J says:

    Steve,
    Do you like how I added that truth claimer to mine too? ;)

  28. Aaron Brown says:

    There was an elder in my mission named “Rollin Rocket V.” (As in “the fifth”). I kid you not.

  29. Tom Lehrer did a song about Alma Schindler Mahler Gropius Werfel, which is what I think of EVERY TIME I hear the word “Alma.” Even in church, even when I know they are talking about the BofM.

  30. Well, they have nothing on governor Hogg of Texas ….

  31. What, no blank for Mahonri Moriancomer?

  32. Jennifer J says:

    You forgot about women’s names. I knew a girl named Liahona. Yes, really. She was actually mostly normal, I think because people called her “Lia”. Her parents said in a talk that they were inspired to name her that.

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