Knaamys (pro. names) of the 20th Century


The most hysterical thing about substitute teaching are the names of the kids.

Not the names themselves . . .

But, the reaction of the kids when you phonetically read their names.

They snicker. They talk to you like YOU’RE the stupid one for mispronouncing their names when you call roll.

It takes about everything I have not to say out loud, “Its not MY fault your mother doesn’t know how to spell. I read the word correctly.”

What on earth possessed the parents of the 20th Century to misspell and “cutesify” their baby’s names?

What on earth possessed me to do this to myself with the name Tracee Sioux? As a writer, its all well and good – memorable, interesting.

As a substitute teacher, it’s just annoying. I’m so over explaining it: where it came from, whether I’m a Native American, how to pronounce it. Seriously, I’m almost considering taking my husband’s nice, normal name so I can stop having the same conversation every single time I meet someone or introduce myself. Why did I think this would be an interesting conversation to have for the rest of my life? Only another 60 years to go.

Note to parents of 21st Century parents – if you want to name your kid Jennifer – just name her Jennifer and not Gwennipher. If you want to name your kid Simone try not to throw in a silent Y at the end.

4 replies
  1. Abby@AppMtn says:

    As a baby name blogger, I hear what you’re saying. And I do wonder if parents aren’t somehow undervaluing their daughters by calling them by cutesy appellations like Kayci or Cayleigh.

    Only thing is, it isn’t a 20th century phenomenon. If you think on it for a minute, the 20th century was the first time when a standardized spelling was possible. And by then, it was too late. Plus, waves of nickname-names have happened before, with Sadie and Ettie and Lollie given instead of Sara, Henrietta and Laura.

    Here’s my article on the first subject:


    After all, I can see how a smart person might decide to name her daughter Kate or Katharine instead of Katherine or a son Zackary, even though Zachary is the commonly accepted spelling. 🙂

  2. Tracee says:

    I named my son Zackary. My thinking was that it was phonetic and therefore easier. Now I wish I’d just named him Zachary.

    In my limited experience with this crop of names the boys names are as misspelled and cutesified as the girls.

    My thinking was, it’s a new century – isn’t it time for a new trend? (Also, no one from the 19th century is living, so they are harder to lecture and impossible to change.)

  3. Shauna says:

    For me, not only are the spellings bizarre – but some of the choices of names are bizarre. I wrote an article about it 3 or 4 years ago and while I was researching – I came across the following names (no joke): Marlboro, Formica Dinette, Daffy D and Yoda. If I remember right, Yoda’s middle name was Marie. We are going to have some bizarre things happening in nursing homes someday!

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