On Monday my mom mailed me a Much Anticipated Envelope. It contained the “Born in 2015” insert from her local newspaper, the Post Register. This annual publication announces the births of babies born the previous year in Rexburg and Idaho Falls, and is a veritable treasure trove of delightfully bad baby names. (Mormons, as you may know, love made-up and/or misspelled baby names. “Why use vowels when ‘Y’ exists?” is actually the Idaho state motto.)
On Thursday, the parcel arrived. This is my ninth consecutive year blogging about this newspaper insert (but my first time here at BCC!), and I still get giddy with anticipation, tearing open the envelope and flipping to the first page, pen poised and paper at the ready. I cackle with glee as I first list, then categorize, the most egregious examples.
Please note: Many of the names you are about to read were difficult to classify, as they span multiple categories. (A complex Venn diagram might be a better representation.)
And a couple of ground rules before we begin:
- Don’t exclaim “Mormons aren’t the only ones that name their babies weird names, duh!!” because I’m not saying that. When did I say that?
- If you mention Le-a or the -jello twins in the comments, best case scenario is that I delete your comment, worst case scenario is that I mock you publicly. There are plenty of real bad names to go around; there’s no need to repeat urban legend! So unless you have a birth certificate to back up your claim, I don’t want to hear it. I’m a Le-a birther.
Got it? Ready to begin? Are you sitting down? …Lezzgo.
First up, Mix-n-Match. This is a historic category, best explained with the following chart:
Step 1: Pick a syllable from column A.
Step 2: Pick a syllable from column B.
Step 3: Now you have a name!!
Examples from this year’s crop of names:
The Typical Drivel. (After years of doing this, I’m used to names like these, but that doesn’t make them good names. Or even names.)
Beckette (this is a boy. I thought that was relevant.)
Dempsey (she will be ‘Dumpsey.’ To everyone.)
“How come SHE got a real name and I got a made-up name??”
Twins named Kiana and Kadis
There’s a whole world of names out there beyond “Two-syllable US cities that start with the letter B,” you know
Twins named Boston and Brooklyn
(I spent 60 seconds thinking of names for their future children that could fit the theme. Berkeley…Billings……….Barstow.)
Are you just looking at things in the room and naming your kid after them?
Ledger Hutch Hyde
Hopefully a typo
Thedore (Thedore is dressed as Yoda in his picture, and it is ovary-exploding cute)
Aaaaaand the category you’ve been waiting for…
Lenyx (x2! Same spelling for both!)
Riglee (though very descriptive of a baby, I will concede)
*Ask your doctor if Rexalyn™ is right for you
Some more categories, just for fun:
Stephanie Cheyenne Leigh Williams (30 letters)
Most Mormon name
Least Mormon name
Worst real name
Most intersectional name
The Lenyxes. I considered them for three categories – Drivel, Celebs, and WTF. Those compounding misspellings, including that unnecessary Y thrown in for good measure, gave it the winning edge.
Most smile-inducing name
Ivy Lou Bean
And a round of applause for the parents of these children. My favorite names this year!
Three notes before we adjourn:
- This year more than ever, I noticed middle names that must be nods to older relatives. Mormons have long loved their weird names, but in older generations it was a distinctly different style. The baby’s parents and grandparents are listed in each ad, and sure enough Elizabeth LuWynn is a proven namesake. I strongly suspect middle names LeRoy and LaMar are family names as well. (Sentimental or not, they’re still bad names and deserve inclusion).
- I always learn so much about Mormon baby fashion trends from the accompanying baby photos. Last year taught me that cabbage-sized flower headbands are being phased out for pearl necklaces. This installment taught me that if you failed to take a picture of your baby girl in a lacy romper or tutu, you are nothing. NOTHING!
- Last year I did some number-crunching to see what percentage of babies in the insert had made-up and/or misspelled names; a staggering 53% did. This year appears to be about the same, but I’m not doing the tallying again on account of it took forever.