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The Top 20 Most-Hated Baby Names

By Madeline Holler |

boy baby names, girl baby names

You named me what?!

Baby name fads come and go — though some last longer than others (looking at you, Isabella!). Baby name popularity is easy to track, thanks to the Social Security Administration’s annual release of the top baby names in the U.S. And also thanks to baby name websites and enthusiasts like Laura Wattenberg, who never tire of blogging about names and who also come up with fancy online gadgets to help you name your baby.

While baby name data collection is fun, it also, apparently, has a dark side. Recently, Wattenberg applied her baby name research skills to uncover the most hated baby names of the year.

Oh, mothers of Madison, you aren’t going to like it!

Wattenberg is not talking the most bizarre or the most unrecommended, rather, the names that people have suddenly turned on. Wattenberg searched the web for conversations and comments about baby names people can’t stand. She came across 1,500 name mentions, divided them by gender and then ranked them in order of most reviled.

Over on her blog, she lists the most common reason people didn’t like some of the names.

View this list with caution, because there are some really popular names in here.

Top 10 Most-Hated Girl Names

1. Navaeh

2. (tie) Destiny

2. (tie) Madison

4. Mackenzie

5. McKenna

6. (tie) Addison

6. (tie) Gertrude

6. (tie) Kaitlyn

6. (tie) Makayla

10. (tie) Bertha

10. (tie) Hope

Top 10 Most-Hated Boy Names

1. Jayden

2. Brayden

4. (tie) Aiden

4. (tie) Kaden

5. Hunter

6. Hayden

7. (tie) Bentley

7. (tie) Tristan

9. Michael

10. Jackson

Take heed, Royals!

Here’s a list of names that won’t make a comeback. And a list of the top unisex baby names.

How do your baby-naming skills stack up? Parents of Jaydens and Madisons, what do you say to the critics?


More on Babble

About Madeline Holler


Madeline Holler

Madeline Holler is a writer, journalist, and blogger. She has written for Babble since the site launched in 2006. Her writing has appeared in various other publications both online and in print, including Salon and True/Slant (now Forbes). A native of the Midwest, Madeline lives, writes, and parents in Southern California, where she's raising two daughters and a son. Read bio and latest posts → Read Madeline's latest posts →

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40 thoughts on “The Top 20 Most-Hated Baby Names

  1. Linda, the original one says:

    Eh. I don’t *hate* any of those. Why isn’t “Adolph” on the list?

  2. Ha. Well, people aren’t complaining enough about babies being named “Adolf” I guess. She scoured the web to look at comments people left or side remarks in posts or stories — anything where people said something negative about a name.

  3. Sarah S. says:

    Apparently, people just don’t want a boy to be named anything rhyming with “maiden”…

  4. Sunny Chanel says:

    Poor Bertha’s they don’t get any love…but yeah, I was surprised by how many popular names are on the list.

  5. Momnivore says:

    My son’s name is Braden. His grandfather and his great grandfather were also Bradens (and so are a bunch of second cousins, uncles, etc). I love the name Braden. But I HATE a) the weird spellings of it and b) how popular its become. I cringe a little when I see all the Braedyns out there.

  6. Kirsten says:

    What the heck? How in the world is Michael on this list? It’s a classic, solid name. That’s so strange to me. Happy to see my child’s name didn’t make it…

  7. Andrea says:

    Yeah, I hate pretty much all of those names (except Michael). They seem more like brands that are supposed to make the parents look edgy and cool, rather than names that link a person to a web of other people (family names, anyone?) The worst ever was the mother who named her daughter Madison. Her last name is Butcher. Mad Butcher. Nice.

  8. Lucky says:

    I once heard the -aden names referred to as walmart-names (because you hear them being yelled across the store). I was never able to get over it. lol

  9. Caitlyn says:

    Next time why don’t you ask everyone in the whole damn world. Most of those names I LOVE -except Bertha. Thats a dumb name. But Navaeh is my baby cousins name and its adorable. So are a lot of those names in that list. MY NAME IS IN THAT LIST!!

  10. Amber says:

    I’m very surprised about Tristan. I love that name.

  11. Tyanna says:

    I can’t believe Aiden is on the list! Aiden was the #1 baby name of 2010 & guess what I hat my son in December 2010 & yes his name is Aiden! lol

  12. K Annie says:

    These names expired quickly! I know so many kids with these names and they are all under 5. I’m surprised about Gertrude. The only gertrudes I know are dogs…it’s an adorable dog name. I wonder what would have been on a list like this 5 years ago (Taylor) or 30 years ago (Jennifer)??

  13. DodySara says:

    I don’t hate anyone’s name, that is your choice what you name your Child. This list is just rude to even exist. What I say to the Critics and any others who openly hate my Daughter’s name, which Happens to be Madyson (NEVER MAD)…When your ether working for my Daughter or cleaning her house, or scrubbing her toilet, then you will have a valid reason to not like her name. Until then, carry on haters, carry on!

  14. Kristen says:

    Dodysara, not only did you use a hated name (I agree with everyone who complained about it enough to earn it a spot on this list), you spelled it in a ridiculous way. You can’t just replace any letter you want with a random “y” – way to be gag-inducingly trendy. There will never be a President Madyson.

  15. Kimbriel says:

    Great, my son’s name, Kaden, is on that list. I named him back in 2003, when I had never heard of it. People suck.

  16. Marian Fontana says:

    Aidan is the original spelling and when my fifteen year old son was named there were NO Aidan’s around. Then came sex and the city and its totally overused.

  17. Jennifer says:

    My 4 month old sons name is Tristen and I love is name! I get compliments all the time:)

  18. Sandy says:

    I currently hate the name Pike. Come on that’s a fish. Isn’t life hard enough without naming a child after a fish? Just imagine how much torcher that child going to go through. Kids can be cruel and some adults can be too. I just think it’s ugly.

  19. sharon says:

    I have a Makayla and a Brayden and could not possibly care any less who hates their names :) Just saying!

  20. Joyce says:

    Think how your child’s name will be used by their friends. If it can be shortened to
    something silly or negative find another name.

  21. iris1973 says:

    This is based on the opinions of people who frequent name sites like Nameberry and so on…it’s like giving a list of the best and worst clothing trends from people who follow fashion shows in Milan. It may be what the “professional” baby-name people think, but it’s clearly not what the majority of America thinks…otherwise these would all be names no one had heard of. So calm down everyone…don’t worry about the opinion of a small elite group who dominate a particular web facet of pop culture.

  22. Fat Guy says:

    Definitely, all of the “Mc” names for girls has got to stop. I’m surprised I don’t see the girl name “Isabella” on here, which has surged in popularity in recent years. I guess the backlash hasn’t happened yet.

    I think what happens is that a whole bunch of people all separately think they’re giving their kids some special, precious, unique name when in reality everybody is doing the exact same thing. Then they’re surprised when they take their kid to kindergarten and there are five other little girls or boys with the same name. We’re not as special and original as we think we are, folks.

    BTW, we named our daughter Mary. Haven’t heard that name outside of church in a long while.

  23. Jessie says:

    Bertha??? Hahaha…would love to know someone who has named their child Bertha recently!

  24. Amused says:

    Yeah, those are all pretty hate-able names, with the exception of Michael. I find it amusing (yet predictable) that most of the commenters who are defending them are doing so using poor grammar. And Lucky is right, these certainly are names that would be shouted across Wal-Mart.

  25. Kari says:

    I love that the majority of the male names rhyme!! Plus, I HATE Nevaeh. It is the dumbest name ever. I knew someone once that named their child the name of the person who sexually abused them as a child spelled backwards. (So if the abuser’s name was Paul, the baby’s name was Luap) It makes me think of that when I hear Nevaeh. Pretty f’ed up.

  26. juleigh says:

    So many of you have such valid points. Parents, of course, you may name your children what you wish. But DO NOT be surprised when the name you thought to be unusual, cool, edgy, smart, rich, or whatever turns up in multiples when your babies are old enough for preschool. Do you *really* think you were being creative when you named your son Aiden/Braden/Caden/ Hayden, etc.? Or your daughter Katelyn (with all its possible spellings and variations- Kaylee, etc)? Do your research. When you’re out and about, pay attention to what people are calling their kids. Do a Google search and check out websites. I HATED names like Ashley and Jessica 25 years ago when every other baby girl was given these names, but now I love both of them. If you really wish to stand out, stay away from the trends. And don’t make anything up without really giving some thought as to how it might affect your child.
    I agree that Gertrude and Bertha do not belong on this list. It’s just a given that almost NO ONE will use those names today.

  27. Mommy says:

    The people who say, I named my child that ( like Tristan) and I get complements all the time!!! REALLY??? Think back now….did they say OH wow that’s “interesting” or How “unusual” or I have not heard that name in a long time….this means they hate it. My pet peeve is the naming of girls like boys. Name your girl a girl name and spell it the right way….your children have to spell their name to everyone and so do you. My child keeps thinking her cousin is a boy because of the stupid boy name they named the pretty girl…..she does not even match her name. SO SAD. Look parents….look LONG and look at the hated name list, or names that are trendy and avoid them. They are there for a reason.

  28. Keri says:

    Nevaeh is a beautiful name

  29. Tiffany says:

    My daughters name is Katelynn. I don’t think it’s a dumb name!!

  30. Kim says:

    My 11-year-old daughter is a Madison. It is a family name – my dad and grandfather’s middle name – and she has mine and my mother’s middle name for her middle name. It really pissed me off when it became such a popular name since it has meaning to us. Our son has a family name too – Charles Matthew.

  31. Destiny says:

    My name is Destiny, but I am 30. I don’t think it was a popular name in 1982. I always liked it.

  32. Kelly says:

    My son’s name is Aidan and when we named him 10 years ago nobody we knew had ever met an Aidan or even knew of one beside Aidan Quinn, the actor. I blame SATC. lol! I can’t be bitter, I don’t own the name, I don’t have a copyright on it and I don’t even care if people are sick of the whole -aden naming trend, quite honestly I’m a bit annoyed and aggravated by it..never thought it would be this popular. I love my Aidan and couldn’t imagine him being named anything else! I do have to say that I’m kind of salty about it being commonly spelled with an -en anymore, I chose to spell it the traditional way for a reason, darnit!!

  33. sweetpea says:

    I hate the “den” names for boys and the “Mc” names for girls SO MUCH. They all sound the same. And Mc means “son of”. And as for Madison….every Madison I know is a mean little thing, coming from the Madison who stole my notebook in the 4th grade, to the little girl who kicked my son down the slide last weekend.

    I’m glad my kids’ ‘uncommon’ names didn’t “make the cut”.

  34. Nicole Bowen says:

    My daughter is Grayson because of my maiden name… I hate that so many boys are being named Grayson! Seriously!!! People ask if I call her Grace, or Gracie??? What do they ask the boys parents? It’s very feminine to me.

  35. Heidi says:

    When I was pregnate in 2005 I picked Kaitlyn Joy for a girl and Aiden John for a boy. I got my boy. Guess I wasn’t real popular with my picks. I had never met a child named Aiden, ever. Never heard of anyone using it. We found it in a name book and loved it. Our son’s name means Fiery Gift from God. He very much fits his name. I came back to work as a preschool teacher after he was born only to find 3 Aiden’s (of various spellings) the next school year. He went by his first and middle names all the way thru daycare and preschool because of how many Aidens there were. I think it is less that people hate the name as they are just burned out on it.

  36. Tasheba Tilson Thomas says:

    My oldest daughter’s name is Makayla and i think it’s a very cute name… It’s became very popular lately, but still a great name. In fact i like most of the names on the most hated list…

  37. Tiffany says:

    This is a silly list because of how it was brought together of course those names had more negative hits because most of them are e trenely common names. Of this was done correctly this list would have many changes. It kind of like me making a list saying what names I don’t like it’s opinion and done without logic

  38. Michelle says:

    I don’t think this list means “hate” so much as “sick of hearing when we drop our kids off at daycare/school”

    Great though, I named my son Jaxson which the traditional spelling of is on the list! :) But his older brother’s and twin brother’s names aren’t on the list!

  39. Kristie says:

    My son is Greyson (hes 10 btw) because it’s a masculine name. It has son in the name because the meaning is son of a bailiff. You shouldn’t have named your girl a boy name ;) For short, he’s Grey.
    As far as trends I stay faaaar away. I like unique (not weird) names and I always check the popularity when I like something. I hate that both my kids names have gotten more popular but I don’t ever expect them in a top 20 (hopefully not even top 100) and that’s just how I want it.

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