baby names

Parents are debating over whether to give children "adult" or "baby" names.

The names we choose to give our children can significantly impact their lives. Multiple studies from across the globe have found that a person’s name can influence their employment, social and economic outcomes.

Unfortunately, humans make snap judgments about one another, and having an unusual name can lead people to make unflattering assumptions. “We’re hardwired to try to figure out in a heartbeat whether or not we want to trust somebody, whether we want to run from somebody,” Northwestern University researcher David Figlio said, according to Live Science.

However, an increasing number of parents are giving their children non-traditional names to help them stand out. “Parents are trying to be original, almost branding their kids in an era where names are viewed on the same level as Twitter handles or a website URL,” writer Sabrina Rogers-Anderson said.

Ruby, a mother on TikTok, took a hard stance on parents giving their children names that sound childish in a post that’s received over 11 million views. Ruby says she named her kids as “adults, not babies” hoping they would never “outgrow” their names.


#stitch with @nikkiruble love having nicknames as they are younger and it doesnt mean they will perfer it over their name as they get older. Just gives them options 🤷🏻‍♀️ #nicknames #babynames #babytok #adultnames #pregnancytiktok #toddlersoftiktok #momtok #momlife #babynames #babyname

“The whole concept when I was trying to look for a name and choose a name for her is I did not want her to outgrow her name,” she said in the viral video. “I wanted the name to fit her as a baby, as a toddler, as a child, and into adulthood. So, it's like I really am happy with what I ended up with naming her and it just fits her so well.”

She captioned the video, “love having nicknames as they are younger and it doesn’t mean they will prefer it over their name as they get older. Just gives them options.”

People in the comments responded with modern names they think that kids will outgrow.

"My name is Koazy and I’m here for a job interview," Stalker joked. "Hello sir, I am Bluey Mason Garrison! I was called in for a job interview last Tuesday," Pastel Purr added.

"I can’t imagine knowing [a] 30-year-old named Emma or Posie," Mikey wrote.

However, a lot of people commented that names that seem like they’ll be outgrown will sound fine in the future when those names are popular with the new generation. “Kids grow up with their generation having their own names on trend. They will be normal adult names when they are grown,” Kerry wrote.

“Names grow with the generation,” Lauren added. “The name Dennis sounded like a baby name once too. Names grow up just like generations.”


Replying to @19eighty_5 my kids name and the process 😬 #babynames #nicknames #babytok #adultnames #momsoftiktok #momlife #momtok #pregnancytiktok #toddlersoftiktok #babyname #babyfever

In a follow-up video, Ruby shared the names she gave her children. Her girl is named Karla Esmerelda and her boy is called Deluca.

“I just really liked how simple, how bold, and strong that the name by itself just really kind of is. Doing some research names with the letter K tend to be like very bold and powerful names, so I really wanted it with a K and not with a C,” she said.

She named her son Deluca, after a doctor on “Grey’s Anatomy.” She said she chose the name because there was nothing to connect it to, and it sounded “nice.”

This article originally appeared on 4.26.23

A couple debates whether to name their baby Caeleigh.

There has been a significant change in how Americans name their children over the past few decades. Years ago, parents gave their children names that helped them fit in, and now they want them to have names that stand out.

Laura Wattenberg, founder of the naming trends site Namerology, told The Atlantic that in 1950 the percentage of babies born that received a common name was around 28%. However, in 2023, that number has dropped to just 7%.

“We are deep in an era of naming individuality, where parents assume that having a [name] sound distinctive and unique is a virtue,” Wattenberg told The Atlantic. The competition between parents to come up with unique names means that they risk giving their child one that’s so outlandish it could cause them trouble down the line.

Multiple studies show that having an unusual name can hamper a child’s economic and social prospects.

baby names, aith, couple fighting

A husband and wife at odds over a baby name

via Cottonboro Studio/Pexels

A father-to-be recently fought with his pregnant wife over what to name their daughter, and it sparked a good debate on Reddit. A user named NeverlyLane asked the AITA forum if he was wrong for rejecting his wife’s unusual name suggestions.

“I suggested my all-time favorite name, Anna. My wife suggested Caeleigh (pronounced Kailey, and yes, she spelled it out). I vetoed it,” the husband said.

“She suggested another name, Ryleigh (Riley, and again she did spell it out). I vetoed it and suggested Riley spelled the normal way. She refused. She then suggested Novalynn. I vetoed, suggesting Nora as an alternative. She again refused,” he continued.

The mother may be trying to be unique by coming up with names where the “ly” is replaced with “leigh,” but it’s a popular choice nowadays. Replacing “ly” with “leigh” is one of the biggest trends in baby names over the past few years.

baby names, couple fight, reddit

A couple fighting over a baby name

via Cottonboro Studios/Pexels

The mom-to-be couldn’t handle the rejection, so she lashed out at her husband. “What’s the point in talking about it if you veto all my choices, you controlling a**hole!” she said. “Maybe if you picked something normal, we might get somewhere, but you won’t even try to compromise!” the husband responded.

Looking to see if he was right, he posted about the exchange on Reddit, and just about everyone agreed with him.

"You’re doing your daughter a favor by vetoing these names," Cautious-Spited wrote. "Thank you for standing up for your unborn child. People should really stop naming their children traghedeighs and consider the fact that they will be adults one day," Reb-Lev added.

"You should suggest brockleigh," throwaway6827206t joked.

"Yeah, mom may never see it this way, but maybe if she can imagine being her kid and having to either explain how to pronounce or spell their name correctly over and over for their entire life—substitute teachers, doctor’s appointments, as an adult meeting with new clients/staff/customers EVERY SINGLE TIME…that’s not a burden you should put on your child for a first name just because you think it makes the name cooler," RavenWood_9 wrote.

The husband showed his wife the thread, and she agreed that her spellings were a little “out there.” The couple then compromised by choosing uncommon names with a history. “Anyway, we eventually decided on Reya Annaliese as our working first choice, with Mercy, Freya, and Eloise as our backups,” the husband wrote.