Are you a Uneek Naymer? The Top 11 Warning Signs.

Do you suspect you may be a Uneek Naymer?  Don’t be caught off guard and succumb to this affliction!  Here are the top 11 warning signs of this illness.

1. You become upset when you hear someone has used “your” name.

Example: “Jennifer named her daughter Hayden!  Can you believe that?!  She knew I liked that name for my next child!!!”

Reality: No one owns a baby name.  Even if your friend really did hear you say the name and “stole” it from you, there is nothing you can do about it (except whine).  Remember, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and chances are you’re both imitating thousands of other people, anyway.

Recommendation: Relax.

2. You believe that spelling a common name differently makes it different, less popular, or “unique,” and therefore magically better.  (See also: #3)

Example: Operating under the delusion that your child will somehow stand out amongst the tens of thousands of Emilys, you name her “Emmeleigh” instead.

Reality: Spelling a common name differently does not make it special.  It makes it a common name spelled in a bizarre fashion, that your child will have to spell out over and over and over again, for the rest of their lives.  Hint: “It’s Emily, but with two Ms, an E, and a -leigh on the end” is something no one should ever have to say.

Recommendation: For God’s sake, spell the name the right way.

3. You think a certain spelling of a name makes it cuter.  (See also: #2)

Example: “I don’t like Michaela, but McKayelah is just so CUTE!”

Reality: Sorry, but this isn’t cute.  At all.

Recommendation:  Is “your” name pronounced in approximately the same way as the original?  Then just use the regular spelling.

4. You don’t quite understand what “unique” means.

Example: You think “unique” means “less common” or “nifty” or “special.”

Reality: Unique means one of a kind.  As in ONE of a kind, meaning ZERO others exist.  Unique does NOT mean “slightly unusual” or “pretty” or “kind of cool” or whatever you’re thinking it might mean.  It’s important to understand the distinction because  it’s very, very, very unlikely you will pick a name, or a spelling of a name, for your child that has never been used in the history of the Earth.  Therefore, when you go around braying (Braylynn?) about your “unique” name, you come off sounding rather idiotic.

Recommendation: Learn what unique actually means.  Then stop pretending your name is unique.

5. You think using a boy name for a girl is always fine, 100% of the time.

Example: “I love the name Brandon for a girl!  It’s cute!  It’s spunky!  It’s original!”

Reality: Using a boy’s name on a girl is not objectively cute or spunky, nor will it imbue your girl child with these characteristics.  However, it will confuse new teachers for the next 20 years, and the post office, doctors, the IRS, new acquaintances, and other form readers for the rest of your child’s life.  I guarantee you are not the only one using the name in this fashion, so once again, originality is a poor excuse.   Plus, this thinking results in a constant reduction of the name pool for boys, which is annoying.

Recommendation: Please just choose a nice girl’s name and stop confusing everyone.

6. You think “Y” is a feminine letter.

Example: The errant belief that Jordyn is the female spelling of Jordan.

Reality: Somehow, over the past 20 years or so, this has become a thing, to the point where some people think that fracked-up invented “Y” spellings such as Baylee, Shayne, and Jordyn are the genuine and correct female versions of the male names Bailey, Shane, and Jordan.  Truly, they believe it, like a newly converted Jehovah’s Witness.  Is this you?  Then cut it out.  Now, let me point out that sex-based spellings DO have some historical basis (and there is often a solid etymological basis for it); however, this is not what’s going on here.  This is not a legit language or history thing.  This is a misguided Uneek Naymer thing.

Recommendation: You know what I’m going to say… just spell the name correctly.

7. Nothing can convince you that the name you chose was popular, or getting popular, when YOU used it.

Example: “There were NO Aidans back in 2007!  Really.  NONE.  Look it up.”

Reality: What’s going on here is you wanted to pick a “unique” name and failed, and in order to continue this delusion, you must now pull a Journey and won’t stop believin’.  No amount of statistics, baby name books, charts, articles from 2007 on the trendiness of the name Aidan, or 12 other Aidans in your child’s classroom will ever convince you.  Because you are a Uneek Naymer, and your children will have only Uneek Naymes.

Recommendation: I originally typed: “None.  You’re a hopeless case.”  I am feeling a little nicer now that it’s no longer 3:00AM, so I’ll say instead: Please just LOOK at the data before you start splurging out craziness.  It’s not other people’s fault you suck at predicting trends.  Hunh.  Maybe that’s not nicer.

8. You think “X” is a masculine letter.

Example: “I think Jaxxon looks so much stronger than Jackson!”

Reality:  Look, there are some legit and lovely X names, like Xavier, Alexander, Max, and, well, Xavier.  HOWEVER.  Inserting X (and especially TWO Xs) into any dang name does not make it look better.  The real-world effect of inserting X where it doesn’t belong ranges from “What, why?” to “Holy fuck does that look stupid.”  X-Mania has also led to some highly questionable entries on the boy list such as Braxx, Eryx, Lynx, Matrix, Nyx, and Shaddix.  Braxx?  What the hell?  Calm down, people.  Your baby is not an antihero in a futuristic prison break film.

Recommendation: If you love the letter “X” that much, use a name that is legitimately spelled with an X.  But please stop assaulting innocent X-less names with your four-bladed weapon of destruction.

9. The suffixes “-aylee” and “-ayden” are your consonant equalizers.

Example: “Braylee, Kaylee, Maylee, or Jaylee?  They are all so pretty I can’t decide!”

Reality: Again, there are a few legitimate names with an actual historical basis that use these sounds, mainly Aidan and Bailey.  You could make a case for Hayden and Hailey as well–not a great one, as those weren’t really used as first names until the 80s, but in court you’d stand a chance as there are towns and planetariums and comets and shit with those names.  But honestly–Zaylee?  Raiden?  The biggest problem with these names is there is typically no thought put into them beyond “Oooo that sounds kinda cute” and thus we end up with these nightmare constructions with no standardized spelling, no history, no melody, and no common sense.  Note that the people who use these names also tend to be the ones who squawk the loudest about #1 and #7.

Recommendation: Just no.

10. You believe the prefix “Mc” is awesome to stick on just about anything.

Example: “McKaylin is such a great name!  Or maybe I’ll spell it Makaylynne to be unique.”

Reality: The McName phenomenon traces its roots, such as they are, to the double-barreled late 70s/early 80s assault by Mackenzie/Michaela.  Yes, once upon a time, these were pretty much the only McNames in use, and Michaela was actually spelled properly.  Unfortunately, a collective someone thought it would be awesome to stick “Mc” on the beginning of every damn thing, and despite the fact “Mc” is a MALE prefix meaning “son of” in Gaelic, these names became popular for girls.  Inexplicably, aside from a minor “Mackenzie” bump in the 80s, the McNames never made it into the boy charts, which is where they would be in an ideal world.  Now there are so many of these “names” and they are so ridiculous that hearing them makes me want to puke sparkly rainbows and magical unicorns all over your girl child.  Just sayin’.

Recommendation: If you really, really, really have to use a McName on a girl, stick to the “classics” (gaaah) of Mackenzie and Michaela. At least they have some legitimacy.  And for the love of Jeebus spell them right.

11. You have read this list and still think  McRayleigh is a lovely, legitimate name that NO ONE else would ever think of and that your spelling is the cutest and bestest evarrrr.

Reality: You are an idiot.

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