Is there such a thing as an ugly baby name?
Like all things beauty, the beauty of a name is in the eye (ear?) of the beholder. This post is not at all meant to insult anyone with these names or anyone who chose these names.
I’m sure there are many lovely people in the world with all of these names.
That said, there are some names that are either harsh sounding or have some feature about them that sounds unpleasant to a lot of English speakers.
Some of these names are just plain ugly. I’m sorry, but I can’t get behind a little Gertrude or Gretchen.
Other names are strattling the line between ugly and cute. Like the pugs of baby names, it is precisely their awkward, quasi-ugliness which makes them endearing.
Or at least that was my whole argument during my first pregnancy, when I begged and begged my husband to agree to the name Mabel.
“It’s ugly,” my husband said.
“But it’s so ugly, it’s cute!” I argued.
I was unable to convince him of that one, but let’s see if I can convince anyone of these so-ugly-they’re-cute baby names.
As much as I hate to be a jerk, first we need to separate the just-plain-ugly names from the ugly-but-cute names.
Ugly baby names for girls
You might be able to create a little girl gorgeous enough to pull off one of these. But I don’t recommend trying.
(And if you had your heart set on one of these, remember there’s always the middle name spot!)
I don’t know if Disney called the sea witch Ursula because it’s ugly, or if we just think of it as ugly because of the sea witch. But that’s not important.
Some people truly like this name. All I hear is the “retch”. And vomit is pretty much the ugliest possible thing.
It doesn’t roll off the tongue, that’s for sure. The sound is just unappealing.
I highly doubt anyone reading this was ever considering naming their baby Mildred. So for that, I thank you.
I’ll tell you what Irma is the perfect name for: a horrid, destructive, category 5 hurricane. Let’s keep it that way.
The name Helga peaked in 1899, and unlike some old-fashioned baby names, it should stay buried.
What if the kid ends up with a speech impediment and goes around calling herself Vagina??? That’s a risk I’m not willing to take.
I know some cool people with the name Bernadette, but honestly I’ve always wondered what in the world their parents were thinking.
Myrtle is just begging to be made into a joke. Is the joke fertile Myrtle? Myrtle the turtle? I don’t even know. But it’s there.
This name sounds like words that aren’t at all feminine. Barber, barbarian… nothing cute or sweet about those. And the nickname Barbie would just be cruel.
Esther isn’t rolling off anyone’s tongue. The “s” followed by “th” combo takes serious effort.
Another name that’s hard to say. Greer is reminiscent of the sound an angry cat makes.
If you’re into nature names, there are so many more beautiful choices out there. Violet, Rose, Lily, Meadow, Autumn, Ivy… there’s no need to use harsh-sounding Fern.
Remember the episode of Seinfeld about the name that rhymes with a female body part?
The first word that comes to mind when I hear Bertha is “big”. Do you want your daughter to be “Big Bertha”?
Any overly froo-froo made up name
Honestly I’d prefer any of the aforementioned unattractive or old lady names on this list over some of the nonsense people make up. Brynlynn, Eliannalee, and Amylbella just don’t need to happen.
Names that are ugly cute
My favorite of the ugly-cute names, it has an old-lady vibe but isn’t too weird or unpleasant sounding.
Yes, I would be surprised if the next birth announcement I received was for sweet little baby Agatha. But there is definitely something ballsy about it. No one would want to mess with Agatha.
This name makes a statement! It’s bold, but with a feminine side. I can picture a super cute little Henrie or even Etta with this name.
With the Frozen-explosion dying down, people are starting to break away from the name Elsa. Elna would be a likely replacement hitter.
Ugly boy names
Why has this whole post been focused on girls names? I have no idea.
I’m an equal opportunity name snob and there is certainly no shortage of ugly baby names for boys. Here are just a few:
Nerd alert! There is nothing cute about Milton. Martin would be a more appealing alternative.
If you’re hoping your baby boy comes out of the womb with a beard, try this name.
Virgil is a different style than most names, but not in a good way. If you’re looking for unique baby names, I’ve got much better!
I can’t put my finger on what makes Buford ugly. But I have a feeling I’m not alone.
No explanation needed. Pick another name.
Elmer Fudd, Elmer’s glue… can’t think of anything cute about Elmer.
Eugene Fitzherbert knew what he was doing when he changed his name to Flynn Ryder. (If you picked up on that reference, you should definitely check out my list of Disney-inspired boy names).