Bridgeman on SFNS

Shelley Bridgeman writes about Silly First name Syndrome:

It’s official. A study has discovered that the name you bestow on your newborn can affect its future. Who would have thought? You mean to say twins called Benson and Hedges might stand out from their peers – and not in a good way? So inventing names, mangling spellings and inserting random apostrophes are inadvisable? Gosh, we learn something new every day.

Most new parents appear to fall into one of two camps. There are the traditionalists who want a nice, normal name that no one will bat an eyelid at. Hello Sarah, Elizabeth, William and Jack. Then there are the people determined to be original and stand out from the crowd. Like television characters Kath and Kim, they consider “unusual” to be a desirable attribute.

“Oh, yes, that’s noice, different, unusual,” they say about Sativa-Rochee, KleeShay and Qba (names I encountered on Trade Me’s Parenting message-board).

I must belong to the first group because the simplicity of a regular name appeals to me. I’m not inclined to inflict a child with a lifelong need to clarify the spelling – or worse, the pronunciation – of their name. Don’t think I’m deriding cultural names or prized family names here; it’s the creation of one-of-a-kind, plucked-out-of-thin-air names to which I am drawing attention.


THANK YOU for being a subscriber. Because of you Whaleoil is going from strength to strength. It is a little known fact that Whaleoil subscribers are better in bed, good looking and highly intelligent. Sometimes all at once! Please Click Here Now to subscribe to an ad-free Whaleoil.

  • GPT

    Kids with SFNS are stuffed well before their peers start giving them shit about their stupid name as, almost without fail, parents (well, generally, solo mothers) who name their kids stupid names are rubbish parents.  There is a direct correlation between the need to “express yourself” through the naming of you child(ren) and inability to parent.

  • Dr Wang

    Saw a poor wee girl named “Charnce” the other day – you don’t know whether to laugh or cry.