Names I Shouldn’t Name Babies


I guess I just need more cats…

I have a long list (Okay, if I’m being brutally honest here I have Excel spreadsheets) of my favorite baby names, because onomastics and naming has been one of my obscure interests since middle school.
Collecting names that long, you end up with some pretty odd favorites. So I thought I would post a list of names even I would hesitate to saddle a child with (a lot of the names I enjoy would I think set off red flags for others- Edwidge, Ludovica, Odysseo, Faisal- and yes, I did choose those names because they’re some of the hardest to get behind) but this list is for the really out there, or otherwise unacceptable.


  • Lucifer: I was not raised with religion of any kind, so my real cultural reference from Lucifer is the cat in Disney’s Cinderella (the animated classic, bien sur.) It has a beautiful sound, but I think would cause most people to do a kind of unpleasant double take.
  • Rasputin: Even I have an issue with this one, which is squarely in the ‘pets only’ category.
  • Deacon: Another religious one, which I came across as a nickname for young John in Louisa May Alcott’s Little Men. I still think it’s super cute.
  • Dargelos: I can’t even figure out how to notate the pronunciation for this one, which is a minor character’s name in Cocteau’s Les Enfants Terribles. Emphasis is on the first syllable. DAR-jel-Os. Long O. And that whole explanation is why I could never use it.
  • Salazar: Salazar Slytherin. I’ll just have a French baby and name it Lazare. Of course then I’m walking into the religious problem.
  • Harvey: At first it was too popular and now it’s a natural disaster. Also Jimmy Stewart’s imaginary rabbit friend in the aptly named film, Harvey.


  • Brinhilde: I love this name even if it makes everyone else think of Valkyrie, braids, and breastplates.
  • Jezebel: Inspired by the Bette Davis film of the same name.
  • Lolita: Yeah, don’t do it. Even if it sounds pretty.
  • Katrina: Hurricane.
  • Phaedra: Unsavory Greek mythology here. As in, Phaedra is one of Euripides’ tragedies. And Racine’s.
  • Sophrosyne: This isn’t even a name, so much as the “Ancient Greek concept of an ideal of excellence of character and soundness of mind, which when combined in one well-balanced individual leads to other qualities, such as temperance, moderation, prudence, purity, and self-control.” Which is amazing, and I like the name despite it’s clunkiness- but that’s a lot to live up to. But mostly clunkiness. Even if I disagree and think it’s lovely.
  • Temperance: Speaking of Temperance, temperance. This was the name of a little girl in one of the Mrs. Bradley murder mysteries starring Diana Rigg. I thought she was adorable, but religion and virtue names will come to get me every time.
  • Perdita” Damn you, religion. Predate has “lost woman” connotations. Apparently not just the mommy dalmatian in 101 Dalmatians.

I’m still using Salome, because it’s a family name. (And was nearly my own name).

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