A Tabloid Star is Ruining My Name!

Filed under: Baby Names


My name is Vienna. Unfortunately, this name is shared with the latest winner of the Bachelor, and people do not like her very much. I have heard people saying "I HATE Vienna! She's disgusting! Why would he want HER?" It takes me a while to realize that they're talking about the reality-show Vienna. I love having such a unique name! I don't want it to become popular and I don't want people assuming Viennas are bad people. Help?

- Vienna


Vienna, you're living out the fear of every name-obsessed parent. "What if the stylish, creative, unusual name I choose for my child suddenly hits the headlines?" The poor souls who share their names with notorious criminals know your pain well. But you're in a better position than the law-abiding Theodore Bundys who woke up one morning considering a name change. Your namesake is guilty only of crimes of taste and fashion, neither of which carry a 30-to-life sentence.

Yes, your lovely name will be associated with a controversial personality -- but only for a time. Just five years ago, a reality TV star made Talan the fastest rising boy's name in America. But when was the last time you thought about "Laguna Beach's" Talan Torriero? Most fame is fleeting, and reality TV fame flies at warp speed. The taint of the tabloid vixen will fade.

In the short term, try deflecting the Vienna haters with humor. Answer a Bachelor fan's Vienna abuse with a cheerful quip: "Her name's the only good thing about her!" or "Don't worry, we've already revoked her invitation to the Vienna Society's annual picnic."

As for your other concern, a jump in your name's popularity, I'm afraid I can't be so reassuring. Vienna shows every sign of being the right name at the right time. It's a place name with a trendy "high Scrabble value" letter and a traditional feminine sound. That combo has shot names baby girl names like Savannah and Alexandria up the charts. Vienna even rhymes with popular names like Sienna and Mckenna. Just look at Madison and Addison for proof of the power of a rhyme.

Five years from now the "Vienna like the Bachelor?" comments will have died down, but I'm wagering the "Vienna like my two-year-old niece?" comments will have swelled. That loss of uniqueness may take some getting used to. On the bright side, it's proof of your name's stylish appeal, and it will keep you sounding eternally youthful.

Related: Her Baby Name Sounds Like a Bad Joke

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.