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10 Baby Names Totally Ruined For the Rest of Us

Parents exert a considerable amount of mental energy in deciding on a perfect name for their offspring. They consult baby books, frequent websites that go into names in obsessive detail. They make pro and con lists, and they engage in heated debates on the merits of their favored choices.

In the end, hopefully, they end up with one name—a name that will be carried by their cherished child for the rest of their lives. A name that warms their heart when they hear it, a name that has character and strength, and a name they love and will always love. But then, this happens: their baby's name gets ruined.

The name they carefully curated for their child has suddenly been sullied, defiled by pop culture, current events or natural disasters. The name that once brought joy is now damaged by new meanings and defined in a way they didn't intend and expect.

Here are 10 names that are now are tinged with a new and not so always awesome affiliation.

RELATED: 15 Terrible Baby Name Meanings

Inspired by Atticus Finch of Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird," this name once inspired thoughts of honesty, integrity and a man of high moral fiber.

But then.

Then "Go Set a Watchman" came out and, within these newly printed pages, there was a huge plot twist. Turns out, the hero that generations had put on a pedestal was actually a racist who had attended a Ku Klux Klan meeting. Oops. This revelation even led a couple in Colorado to change their 14-month-old son's name to Luke. "When the new book came out, we just felt like this does not at all encompass the values that we want for our son to have and know," they explained. "And we felt like our son was young enough that we could change his name."


Photograph by Bundesarchiv

The name Adolf was once a popular baby name (back in the 19th and early 20th century), especially among those in German-speaking countries. Then Hitler came along.

I always felt for the camera store in San Francisco that bears the unfortunate name of the owner, Adolf Gasser. These days, if anyone dares to name their child Adolf, "Sieg Heils!" and Swastikas immediately come to mind.

Katrina and other hurricanes

One look at the graphs showing the popularity of the name Katrina and it's stunningly obvious that in 2005, the year of the devastating hurricane, the moniker had a sudden drop. Other names that hurricanes have hurt include Sandy, Irene, Isabel and Wilma.


If you are of a certain age, then the name Ralph immediately conjures up images of one particular novel that tends to pop open to page 85. Yup, I'm talking about Judy Blume's "Forever."

For those of you who are familiar with the iconic coming-of-age masterpiece, you will forever equate the name Ralph with a penis.

Kourtney and other names that change the C to a K.

Thinking of spelling your daughter's name Klaire instead of Claire or Karmen instead of Carmen? Depending on how deep your love of the Karsashian clan is, you may want to reconsider—especially if you opt to name subsequent children with K spelling like Kourtney and Khloe. Even Caitlin Jenner was wise enough to stay away from the K spelling.

Elsa and other Disney names

While many of us may flee from a name that harkens from a ridiculously popular Disney flick like "Frozen," others run towards it. This is apparent after a huge spike in popularity after the film's 2013 release. On the flipside, take the name Ursula. For many, when they meet an Ursula, visions of a purple soul-stealing octopus come to mind.

No matter what, if you share a name with a Disney character, be it Belle or Gaston, there will always be a bond.

Bailey and other dog names

The No. 1 name for male dogs is Bailey. Most parents would not want to pick a name for their human child that happens to be the top names for canines. Think of how problematic that would be at the park, when you're playing catch with your kid Bailey and a dog is playing fetch nearby. Confusion will ensue. Other names that dogs have ruined include Buster, Buddy and don't get me started on Spot.

Anastasia and Grey

For those babies named Anastasia and Grey, lets hope they were named for reasons besides the title characters of a ridiculously popular S&M novels. And for those who named their kids Anastasia and Grey right before the book came out, well, they may have a few regrets in the same way pre-"Twilight" parents might have felt with the names Edward and Bella.

Eileen and other song names

Whenever I meet an Eileen, I immediately want to say to her, "Come on." Can't help it.

I also want to remind Roxanne she doesn't have to put on the red light, that we never gonna stop or give it up for my Sharona and that Mandy, well, she came and she gave without taking. Then there's Beth, Brandy, Lola, Delilah, and Jolene among other names ruined by pop songs.

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North and other names celebrities ruined

A friend of mine was incredibly proud of naming her newborn daughter Violet. She didn't know of any Violets at the time. She thought it was a bold and an unusual choice. But then, just a few months later, Jennifer Gardner and Ben Affleck went and named their girl Violet. There was a sudden uptick in the popularity of the name. While some people were inspired by the superstar's choice, my pal was bummed.

And if you were planning on naming your child North? Well, think again.

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Photo Sources: Disney, GoogleEarth via WikiCommons, Martin Kisza/Flickr, Amazon, Focus Features, Universal

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