How People Reacted to My Baby's Name

Filed under: Celeb Parents, Baby Names, Opinions, Celeb News & Interviews

Celebrities aren't the only people who can give their kids unusual names. Credit: Getty Images

Actor Jason Lee named his child Pilot Inspektor. Sylvester Stallone named his child Sage Moonblood.

Then there's magician Penn Jillette's daughter, Moxie Crimefighter, and actress Shannyn Sossamon's son, Audio Science. And who can beat legendary rocker Frank Zappa? He named his children Moon Unit, Dweezil and Diva Thin Muffin.

Celebrities have a reputation for doling out strange baby names, names that may make other people roll their eyes.

But what about the non-celebrity world? We asked contributors to, AOL's freelance website, to share people's reactions to the unusual names they gave their children.

1. City and state, please.
Way before people began naming their children after states or objects like Dakota and Starr, I named my daughter Trier, after a city in Germany. Family "back in the states" thought it was culturally elite. Friends thought it was unusual, but pretty. Strangers asked, "Why?" (Sharon McClatchie Trainer)

2. Which witch is which? Trick-or-treating in Massachusetts on Halloween night, I went into labor. I named my newborn daughter Salem. Upon hearing her name my mother asked, "Is she a good witch or a bad witch?" (Analiese Curtis Place)

3. Picking a name on a hunch. I have a crazy idea on how Quasimodo is a beautiful name, and it's considered ugly because of the character it's linked to. When I chose this name ,shortly after getting pregnant, everyone rejected the name and seemed offended. Of course, I had to choose a different name. (Daisy Vasquez-Harris)

4. If it's good enough for a sex symbol ... Planning to return to Venezuela as missionaries, we chose Raquel for our daughter's name. The doctor refused to sign the birth certificate -- until he saw Raquel Welch on "The Tonight Show." (Janet Blaine-Smith)

5. 'Scarface' was taken. I chose my daughter's name, Jessie Jane, after the famous outlaw, and my mother threw a fit. I ended up using the first name, but changed the middle name. (B. Abbott)

6. The devil made her do it. Friends were appalled when my husband and I announced our son's name, Damian. They were even more outraged to learn that we had named him from the movie "The Omen." (Sherrie Lee)

7. The car or the planet? We named our son Mercury to represent his astrological sign. People often question whether he's named after Freddie Mercury, the element, the car, a thermometer or the planet. (Kylie Wiser)

8. There's always "Apollo Creed." My husband is a body builder. He wanted to name our first boy Rocky. I said, even if he came out fighting, that was an absurd name for an infant. Everyone agreed. (Cathleen Schafer)

9. Every Tom, Dick and Harry is named Zaara. I was six months pregnant when my daughter's name came to me. Zaheer and I were walking around Manhattan, and all of a sudden, I said, "Zaara!" In the end, I got mostly positive responses to her name. Except for one aunt. "I wanted to name my granddaughter that name!" she exclaimed.
(Amara Mahmood)

10. Not everything's about Brad Pitt.
My husband and I wanted to choose traditional baby names. We chose "Tristan" for our son after the legendary knight at the round table. Everyone asked if we were naming our son after Brad Pitt from "Legends of the Fall." Brad Pitt is not traditional, in my mind. (Nicole L. Thibault)

11. Don't stop believin'. My daughter's name is Journey. I planned her name before I'd planned much else. It just felt right. Still, I got (and get) a lot of reactions. Her father's family: "What kind of a hippie name is that?" My mother: "You realize it's just short for Granny's Little Trip." Strangers most often ask me if I named her after the band. She's 13 and is just beginning to forget how cool I am, but I remind her that even I am too cool to have named her after a band. (Julie Jordan Avritt)

12. Just call her Ema. The first reaction of my 6-year-old daughter's name, Emalynn, were that of total confusion and a million different mispronunciations. To this day, we just tell people to call here "Ema" to avoid the weird versions they come up with. (Paisley W.)

13. Keep hope alive. When we were pregnant with our daughter, my mother told us that we should name her Hope. We told her that we already had a name picked out. We would be naming her Hayden. At our baby shower there were several gifts addressed to Hope. I reminded her that we decided to name the baby Hayden. She replied,"I know. I like Hope better."(Faith Merriam)

14. Football name may have to be sacked. If one more person asked me if I named my daughter Brady after the New England Patriots' quarterback, Tom Brady, I think I might have had to consider renaming her. Short of dressing her only in Giants blue, smiling meekly and explaining that no, her name is a family name, I think I might have had to move out of New England. (Aileen DePeter)

15. Buy a vowel. My wife agreed to Nikolai as my youngest son's middle name, with the caveat that she be allowed to alter the spelling to Nikoli. When our Russian nurse saw the spelling, she gave my wife a stern lecture on vowel sounds. "Nikolai. Ni-kol-ah-ee. Ni-kol-aaaah-eeee. Not Nicole-e." (Hans Ford)

16. Vasco de Gama's grandmother said the same thing. The first time my grandmother held my son, she started fussing over his name. "I like it," she said, "but Malachi is too big of a name for such a little boy. I'll just call him Ralph!" To this day I still don't know how she came up with Ralph. (Rachel Mae)

Related: The Most Popular Baby Names of 2009: The Triumph of Isabella

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