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Kaylee Caylee Kayleigh Cayley K-Lee


I like to think of myself as a pretty laid-back person. I’m not in the habit of telling people how to live their lives. I’m not going to tell you you’re listening to the wrong music, watching the wrong show or using the wrong condiment. Yes, it’s true that people who don’t like horseradish are worse than war criminals, but I’m not going to hold that against them– I’m a nice person! But people naming their kids cutesy/weird/pretentious names is a big bugaboo for me. I just loathe bad names with a white-hot passion.

Often when I’d hear one of the new cutesy names dumb middle-class white people were naming their little snowflakes, I’d say through gritted teeth “That’s not a real name.” Of course, that charge is bullshit. Every name that exists was “made up” at some point. At some point it wasn’t a “real name.” That being said, “Kaylee” is not a real name. It is a tacky, disgusting, cheap-sounding name. It is the ketchup of names, if you will. The sooner that name loses its popularity the better.

Here’s the thing: there are only two things that should have the name “Madison”–streets and mermaids. Are you a street? Are you a mermaid? No? Then head to the nearest courthouse and change your goddamn name. And then slap your parents for naming you after a mermaid from an 80’s movie.

While I’ve got you here, let me make something very clear: people who give their children surnames as first names are horrible human beings. First of all, unless you’re old money, you have no business doing that. And, let’s face it, old money people who do that are probably humongous douches. Do you want to be a humongous douche? Of course you do, that’s why you named your kid “Tanner.” You named your kid “Tyler” or “Tanner” or “MacKenzie” or “Beckett” because you think it gives you an air of sophistication. It’s name as pretentious gimmick. That means you think naming your kids after people like this:

is acceptable. I call child abuse.

If you name your kid one of those awful surname names, I will find you, ring your doorbell, wait for you to open the door, then punch you in the face. Without so much as a “Hello” or “Would you like to see this fine assortment of Fuller brushes?” I’ll punch you. I’ll do it!

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  • herr doktor bimler

    Allegedly Paulish” = WORST NAME EVAH.

    • efgoldman

      His first name coulda’ been “Shue.”

  • sophronia

    If it makes you feel any better, in a few years these trendy names will be the rejectees as all the new parents get sick of them. Naming is so generational — think how rare it is to encounter a newborn with the massively popular names from my youth, like Jennifer, Kimberly, Scott and Todd. (And three of those were last names that became first names. Same as it ever was ….)

    On the other hand, the new way to freshen up a name that’s getting too popular seems to be to invent a new name that rhymes with the old one but sounds even more awful. Thus Aiden became jayden and Brayden and Kayden, Jackson became Braxton, Taylor became Sailor, and the endless Hailey-Kaylee-Braylee-Shaylee family.

    • Jean-Michel

      “Braxton” isn’t a recent invention, it’s a roughly 1,000-year-old surname that was adopted in recent decades as a given name. There’s even a “Carter Braxton” among the signers of the Declaration of Independence.

    • bspencer

      I feel like I will forever be the Andy Rooney of names.

    • Heron

      Most of these names aren’t new; they’re just old Euro lang names that have started popping up again because the internet makes finding unique names easier. Honestly, I don’t see what the big deal is; name your kids what you want, and if the adult kid wants to keep it what business is that or anyone else?

  • Davis X. Machina

    How someone who commutes over the Tobin bridge into Boston every day calls their daughter “Chelsea” passeth my understanding.

    Is Philly full of girls named “Camden”?

    • Lee Rudolph

      Is Fort Lee, New Jersey, full of girls named George Washington?

      • Rick B

        I still recall the cold, blank stare I received when I blithely asked the mother of a three month little boy why she named him “Jihad.”

        That was 25 years ago – well before 9/11 – and I think I have begun to understand her a little. Consider the lyrics from “A Boy Named Sue.” Parents try to give their children the tools they believe they will need to succeed in life.

        The more standard names are those that fit you easily into the dominant elements of society. The less standard names help you deal with the oppression you can expect from those dominant elements of society.

  • Chelsea: Parents probably think “you gave me head in an unmade bed” is how the whelp was conceived.

    Kayleigh, otoh, has a long tradition as a name. I can’t be the only person who immediately thought of this, and whose second thought was here.

    • the one true Melvin

      On a similar note, I doubt that I’m the only person to think of this right off.

      • GFW

        Nope, you’re not.

    • Heron

      Maybe they just think “landing place for chalk or limestone” is a good name for a kid. Maybe their ancestors were longshoremen and they want to remind them of that :p

  • BPinME

    Ah, another fine post in the LGM tradition of telling everyone which liquor, beer, jeans (!), condiment… shall i go on… is acceptable. At least we liberals aren’t judgmental.

    • James E. Powell

      I can’t speak for anyone else posting or commenting here, and I’m not even sure I’m a liberal as that term is understood, but I think it’s about political matters rather than style. And you don’t see us liberals trying to keep Budweiser-drinking, ketchup-eating, Michael Bay movie loving people from voting, do you?

      • BPinME

        Political matters rather than style, huh? Well, I’ll take your word for it. Seems like a bunch of mean spirited commentary designed to make parents feel bad about the names they may have chosen for their children. In other words, being assholes. For the record, i haven’t seen either of my son’s names in the thread but if everyone wants to pile on, it’s Gibson and Jonah.

        • Origami Isopod

          Oh, heavens. Mean-spirited commentary. Hand me my smelling salts.

          • efgoldman

            :::Gets attack of the vapors:::

          • BPinME

            Look. I’m not reaching for any smelling salts. I can take it. I’m just trying to figure out why you enjoy being a douche.

            • Because it’s fun.

              And really, I find it implausible you’ve never really sampled that pleasure.

              PS – Bspencer is not really going to punch you, nor is she going to punch anyone else. Over this, I mean. (Lucky for me!) Let that be your guide towards a startling revelation as to the interpretation of her post.

              • Origami Isopod

                “People who have never tried it have no idea how pleasant being nasty can be; and being good at it is the only motive required.” -Wilfrid Sheed

                • Hack

                  If entry below is any indication, you are not particularly good at it despite all your practice.

                • Origami Isopod

                  I’m sorry, were you under the impression I was being nasty there, rather than exasperated and, all in all, restrained?

            • Origami Isopod

              FFS. Since when the hell should parents never feel bad about the names they choose for their kids? Unless you’re one of those tiresome types who think parenthood is an axis of oppression? I regret to inform you I don’t share that belief.

              As far as I’m concerned, we’re not punching down here. Since that obviously won’t placate you, I’d suggest ordering this to soothe your butthurt.

        • Lee Rudolph

          Gibson? I’m sorry, this is not the vodka vs. gin thread.

          • James E. Powell

            Nor is it a Fender vs. Gibson thread.

  • Francis Volpe

    As a cub reporter for a great semi-rural weekly newspaper in 1987, it was my job to curate the paper’s annual tradition of publishing group photographs of the Class of 1999. That’s right, we ran group pictures of every first-grade class in the paper’s coverage area. That year, I counted six kids in one medium-sized suburban school district named Rhiannon.

    • RobNYNY1957

      It’s a traditional Welsh name for girls.


      • Jon

        Yes, but the reason it was appearing in such numbers in suburban America in that year was almost certainly the Fleetwood Mac single. Which is kind of tacky.

        • Mike G

          I guess it’s better than “Tusk”.

  • She will punch you! If she has just brushed her teeth, she’ll dance on your fallen body too. She’s livin’ la vida loca!

  • Larry

    I’ve never before been given such a greenlight to rag about my name. Thank you. Sure, it’s spelled Larry. But it’s more like Kaylee than anyone not named Larry can possibly understand. What is a Larry? What can it possibly convey other than this is someone who’s being forced against his will and better judgement to open his mouth in a big Laaaaaaa motion to even answer the question, what’s your name? Having to follow Laaaaaaa with a shrieking Reeeeee only compounds the problem. In combining the two syllables, a Larry comes off looking first like a slack-jawed exhibitionist, and instead of sticking the second-syllable landing ends up looking like an idiot with a jack-o-lantern grin. To recount, Slack-jawed exhibitionist and Idiot jack-o-lantern grin, irresistibly mockable. Think of the Larrys in the known universe. Larry the Lounge Lizard, Larry the Cable Guy, Larry Storch, Larry Fine (Curly and Moe are MUCH better names; and they gave him that ridiculous hair too, as if the name weren’t enough). Larry Craig. Larry King (joke!), and it goes on shamefully. There are only a few exceptions. Larry “Yogi” Berra (though he was kind of a likable joke), Larry Bird (but only because of his three-pointer), and Larry Csonka (cause he kicked ass for a living). And if you point to Lawrence as a redeeming factor – first I’m Larry and not Lawrence re birth certificate – then you’re stretching it, cause no one without a name etymology fetish would ever understand how the two are connected. You have to take a Larry’s word for it, and that can be problematic.

    • Anonymous

      my father is a larry not a lawrence. he lives a full life. if not for an exclusionary turn of phrase used here i would be worried about you being him.

      you can be a not-shameful larry. you can clean the name. i believe you already have.

      • Larry

        Yes I feel purged, and better now. Maybe I’ll try that full life of which you speak. And actually I have more important things to be ashamed of than my name, but I’ll try to start there.

    • sparks

      What about Larry from The Floaters?

    • bspencer

      “Larry” is not my favorite name, but at least it’s not unbearably pretentious. “Lawrence” is rather elegant.

      • Lee Rudolph

        And who can forget Larry of Arabia?

  • Larry

    What do you feel about Texas’ Governor Hogg, who named his daughter Ima?

    • Larry

      My regards to your father, Larry, who but for a different turn of phrase might have been me. Think about it!

  • steverino

    Grandmother’s name: Mattibelle, went by Belle. For my sister (1961), agreed on first nsme Dina, but my father’s wish for middle name Belle shot down.

    I wanted the name Ailsa for my daughter after Ailsa Craig in the Firth of Clyde (off Turnberry). Wife shot it down. Later had a customer named Ailsa; she had a delightful Scottish accent.

    Encountered several kids named Ayla from Clan Of The Cave Bear.

    • bspencer

      I think Mattibelle is kind of sweet.

      • Bloix

        Dinner Bell is not a good idea.

  • Gary

    Ugh, is there any point to this post except to be an asshole and make some people feel bad? What the fuck do you care if someone is named Tyler or Madison or whatever. I love the great posts on labor history and the Supreme Court and all the intelligent writing I find here, and then my enjoyment of this blog gets ruined by reading mean-spirited shit like this. What is wrong with you?

    • James E. Powell

      It’s like it’s sweeps week here at LG&M.

      I wonder what the next Very Special Post will be? Lesbian kisses? Tonight, someone dies?

      In truth, I think some one upthread had it right: a lot of us are just burned out on talking about the American Nihilist Party formerly known as the Republican Party, the still bad economy that no one in power seems to care about, and the great mass of Americans who are either narcotized or traumatized into somnabulent acquiescence.

      • bspencer

        It’s really more simple than that. On the weekends, we’re allowed to indulge in more personal posts…and this is a topic I’d wanted to broach for a long time. I knew it’d involve some risk.

      • Heron

        I get that this was meant as frivolous fun, shooting spit-balls at guppies and their silly ways, but as I said above, plenty of these names have very long histories so the idea that they’re innovations is really just a sign of historical ignorance, like the related idea that English names “don’t mean anything”. Honestly, researching names on the internet is not that hard, and plenty of new couples have been plucking names from the past through that method lately. Folks forget that’s where the original “weird name” argument made against African-Americans came from; in the 60s and 70s folks wanting their kids to have a greater sense of connection with their “black” heritage started giving them traditional African names. Stuff like this started as thinly-veiled cultural policing and heritage-erasure(though not with AAs necessarily; deliberate “mispronunciation” and mis-recording of Gaelic, German, and Southern European names was pretty common in the Colonies) and whether that was your intent or not, that’s what you’re participating in when you write stuff like this.

        Secondly, what exactly do you folks think you’re saying about yourselves to the readers on this site who have such “silly” names? They’ve likely faced bullying just like this most of their lives given how wide-spread this sentiment is on the internet and now, at a place they see as leftist, they’re getting the same socially conservative Bob-lobby bs they’ve been getting since they’re playground years.

        You’d be a bit thin-skinned to be an adult and let name-mockery get to you, but you guys aren’t exactly making yourselves look great by engaging in that behavior.

        • Heron

          bah “their” stoopid Brain :/

    • Rigby Reardon


      Have at it, asshole.

    • BPinME

      What i tried to say earlier, only better. This blog is so much better when they aren’t trolling kid’s names and declaring which beer is permissible.

      Of course when I pointed out it was mean-spirited, i was told to get my “smelling salts”. Presumably, the “fainting couch” and “vapors” comebacks had already been taken…

      • Don’t read this blog on the weekends.

  • harmfulguy

    I’m looking forward to the next piece in this series, in which you explain the importance of giving that wimpy kid with the glasses a wedgie.

    • bspencer

      I probably wouldn’t do that, but I might advocate wedgies for parents of people who name their children “Beckett.”

      • Western Dave

        Got a son named Becker. Named after his step-great grandfather. Jacob Salmanson sounded just a little too much like he was one of my soon-to-be dead uncles. Becker sounded nice. And as for his siblings Leonarda and Weber, let’s just say, bspencer, that should we ever meet irl, they will probably kick your ass if this post exists. Granted, they are 10, 8, and 4 but all the tougher for the sibling action. Plus the 10 year old plays girls’ lacrosse so she’s vicious.

        More seriously, growing up named David kinda sucked. In addition to the numerous Davids in my elementary and high schools, 1 out of every 10 men at my college was named David. Is it any wonder I gave my kids cool names.

        Also, neener, neener, neeener.

  • Upcoming: a post against the letter “e.” So overused.

  • Says “Caley.”

  • JimmyZ

    If you name your kid “Butch”, and shave their head whenever they misbehave, they might grow to resent getting a haircut.

  • JimmyZ

    Every child should keep their given name a closely guarded secret. Parents should start calling them affectionate nicknames to protect the secret true name. When the child is old enough to talk, have the child choose a nickname for themselves. They should be required to keep that nickname for the rest of their life, and everyone should refer to them by it.

  • RobNYNY1957

    There are more invented names out there that one might think. As far as I know, “Scarlett” was invented for GWTW. There were a handful of Marilyns in the USA before B-way actress Marilyn Miller independently invented it for herself in the first decade of the 20th Century. Jonathan Swift invented the name Vanessa as a nickname for a friend of his. Thelma had a huge vogue after being invented for a Norwegian novel, though I have met only two under age 60. Aida and Radames, invented for Verdi’s opera, are reasonably popular in Latin America.

  • Kurt Bevacqua

    Go fuck yourself bspencer. You’re a worthless cunt.

    • ChrisTS

      Jesus. Was that really called for?

      • Anonymous

        From Kurt Kayleigh Bevacqua, I’d say yes.

      • John

        Willing to bet he named a child Kaylee.

    • I’m not saying you’re a sexist…but that’s a sexist comment you posted.

      • In the rough and tumble of democracy (like theology), some offensiveness is expected. I suspect bspencer can handle it, even from the likes of Mr. Drinkwater.

        • Thanks for you reply. bspencer clearly can handle it, and appears to have done so with grace, wit and class.

          In the rough and tumble of democracy (like theology), offensive bullies should expect that they won’t always be able to get away with such behavior. I suspect Kurt Bevacqua is fully capable of withstanding the observation I made.

    • Dan Fucking Petry

      You still suck, Kurt. Just for different reasons.

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    • Kurt Bevacqua

      I like Loomis.

      I was on the fence about spencer until I read this asinine drive-by post on things that people have little to no control over, like their names. spencer can go suck a mile of dick, preferably drowning in a semen frenzy.

      • KmCO

        You mad, bro?

        • bspencer

          He named his poor kid Kaylee.

          • Kurt Bevacqua

            I don’t have kids…..

            • Craigo

              The world rejoices.

            • Mike Schilling

              And don’t think they’re not grateful.

          • KmCO

            I guess. That or he hates his own name. Either way, sucks to be butthurt him.

            • jhc

              Not the best time to allude to rape.

              • (the other) davis

                I always thought “butthurt” was a reference to spanking.

          • Malaclypse

            Wait until he finds out your real first name is “Vacuum.”

          • And when she turned 18 she got revenge by legally changing her name to “Mary” and then detesticulizing him with the paperwork, carefully compressed and honed into a shiv.

            Just guessing…

          • Mudge

            Interesting. Commentary from a “career back up infielder” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurt_Bevacqua or wannabe.

            • KmCO

              It’s always sad when a smart, funny woman challenges the sensibilities of wound up, insecure douche-men. And by “sad,” I of course mean “hilarious.”

              • killians irish bread

                Find me a woman doing that, instead of one who’s insulting children for having names she doesn’t like.

                Say what you want about fat-acceptance trolling, at least it’s an ethos.

                • I’m not making fun of children, you idiot. I’m making fun of patents. Incidentally, how many children read this blog?

                • KmCO

                  Me, upthread:

                  It’s always sad when a smart, funny woman challenges the sensibilities of wound up, insecure douche-men. And by “sad,” I of course mean “hilarious.”


                  Find me a woman doing that, instead of one who’s insulting children for having names she doesn’t like.

                  Walked right into that one, didn’t ya?

      • Anonymous

        It’s pretty obvious that your sexist and sexualised comments are way out of line and unacceptable. And deliberate.

        It’s equally obvious that you don’t care a whit about the post but are just attacking bspenser because of her sex, presumably to drive her off line.

        Thus, you are an unmitigatedly horrible person.

      • Impotent troll is impotent.

  • And shouldn’t it be “Céilidh”, anyhow?

    • Anna in PDX

      Ah yes, a name that means “Irish dance”

      I wonder if anyone has named a kid “Riverdance”?

      • Lee Rudolph

        I thought “Céilidh” meant “Irish hootenany”?

    • Louis MacNeice

      No go, Cooper.

      • Lee Rudolph

        I was told we didn’t need tickets for the peepshow on this blog.

        • Louis MacNeice


  • Vello

    Parents who give unusual or funny sounding names should be punished?

    I have no context for this problem.

    If you really want to punch someone, I’ll email you my parents’ address.

    • Matthew Heath

      When they reach 16, kids given “unique” names should be allowed renamed their parents.

      • Matthew Heath

        to rename!

      • bspencer


  • Mike Schilling

    I suggest you not share this thought with Mike Ehrmantraut. He does not believe in half measures.

  • Bloix

    If you have a moment, you might want to take a look at a picture of Cherie Tilley, a mining engineer and winner of the 2013 Miner of the Year Award.


    This guy has got a boy named Sue beat all hollow.

  • Retief

    Maybe the parents of Kaylees are just fans of Firefly. Kaylee Frye is pretty awesome.

  • Halloween Jack

    Hey, don’t knock having a stupid name; being named after a goddamn holiday has given me a lifetime excuse for pretty much anything. My only real bitterness was finding out that Christmas Noelle “Chrissy” Snow wasn’t a real person.

  • Gus

    Ha! Well trolled, bspencer! I feel the same way about “Asher.”

  • nate
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