Let the fun begin! The Mormon Baby Name Game is now available. The possibilities of this thing are endless. Please feel free to score your own name, children's names, friend's names, future baby names, etc. to see if we can collectively come up with the perfect Mormon baby name. If any of you expectant couples out there have been debating between several possible baby names, please let us know if the Baby Name Game helps you resolve your disagreement and restore harmony to your home. Conversely, feel free to comment on some of the....ummmm....weirder names you have come across with their associated scores. Who knows, maybe we can also determine the all-time worst name as well.
Please pass this test along to friends, family, etc. and get them involved as well. The more the merrier. I would like to see if we can get at least 100 names and scores submitted and then have a head-to-head March Madness-style showdown to crown the best and worst Mormon names ever invented. Based on the comments thus far, I cannot wait to see how this turns out.
If you are understandably uncomfortable posting full names in your comments, just post the last initial. For example, I could post that my name of Dennis Andrew S. scored a total of 67 points. I scored the maximum on all tests except for the following:
-Mean Jay Test: 3 points because of the "Dennis the Menace" insults.
-Helaman Chapter 5 Test: 3 points since Andrew, Peter's brother, was an Apostle, but few people think of the New Testament linkage they hear the name.
-I'm Changing My Name to Salem Test: 3 pts. because Andrew was the 28th most popular name in 1974.
-Back Porch Shout Test: 3 pts. for a two syllable name.
-Moe's Tavern Test: 3 pts. because any first name with my last name can sound like a prank call.
-Letter Hog Test: Angie, Andrew, Anthony, Amy......
Also, version 1.3 of the Manifesto was updated on 3/13 to include the "Moe's Tavern" test (thanks, T-Boar). I also dropped the "Hero" test due to lack of interest and relevance. (It was like Maude Flanders - it contributed little and will be remembered in death more than it was in life). If you need more detail about each of the tests described below, please scroll down to the Baby Naming Manifesto Version: 1.3 post. You will also notice that some of the tests have higher amounts of points assigned to them than others. This was done based upon your comments as to which rules were the most important in the naming process.
Good luck, have fun, and keep the comments coming! Without further ado, the Mormon Baby Name Game:
The "Here Comes Pat!" Test: Give boy name to boys and girl names to girls:
10 pts. - No mistaking the baby's gender (Nathan, Robert, Rebekah, Elizabeth).
5 pts. - Some ambiguity, but the name is predominantly associated with one of the genders (Courtney, Shannon, Jerry).
0 pts. - Interchangeable between boys and girls (Pat, Chris, Taylor, Cameron, Jamie).
The "Queen Lili'uokalani" Test: Do your child a favor and make the name easy to spell. Especially if the name is somewhat common, do not alter the spelling just to be "original":
10 pts. - Common name, common spelling (Samuel, Tyler, Grace, Faith).
5 pts. - Most people should be able to spell and pronounce the name. If the name is hard to spell, it is not our fault (Sara vs. Sarah, Erik vs. Eric).
0 pts. - We took a perfectly common name, replaced common letters with "cute" letters, and our child will change the name the day they turn 18 (Nykkol vs. Nicole, Jaysun vs. Jason)
The "Mean Jay" Test: Think like the meanest kid in school and ask yourself, "How could I make my kid cry by using his/her name?"
10 pts. - Almost impossible to logically make fun of the name (this should be a very rare score because mean kids can be very, very evil).
5 pts. - I could see how the name could be twisted to be made fun of, but our child should not grow up hating us because of it. (Earl can easily be called "girl", "squirrel", "hurl", etc.)
0 pts. - Bullies won't even have to try (Melvin will get constant wedgies, for example).
The "Helaman Chapter 5" Test: Give your child a name to live up to, and she just might do it!
7 pts. - The name is prevalent in the scriptures or in church history (Leah, Rachel, David, Joseph).
3 pts. - Minor scriptural name and/or church history reference. At minimum, the name does not have a negative connotation associated with it.
0 pts. - We are praying the child does not live up to the namesake (Jezebel, Osama, Paris, Cain, Madonna).
The "I'm Changing My Name to Salem" Test: Avoid names that are so popular that your child will share a name with half of his/her kindergarten class. Click here for the list of most popular names (you can even change the year as needed):
7 pts. - The name is ranked #75 or higher.
3 pts. - Ranked between #21-74.
0 pts. - It is currently in the top-20.
The "Logistical Nightmare" Test: Avoid making up names that mean nothing, but sounds "pretty" when said:
7 pts. - Traditional, recognizable names (Daniel, Samantha).
3 pts. - Sounds like a name, but has no real roots (Tristan, Jalynn, Dania, Briley).
0 pts. - That's a name? (Zephyr, Temptress, Efren, Traxler, Lyric).
The "Back Porch Shout" Test: If you yell the child's name from the back porch or in a crowded mall, how well does the name carry:
7 pts. - The name can be clearly distinguished amidst a cacophony of sound - usually three syllables (Jennnn-iffffff-errrrrr! Zaaaakkkk-aaaaaa-REEEEE!"
3 pts. - The name carries well, but could get drowned out - usually two syllables (Maaa-thew! Haaaa-naah!)
0 pts. - The name will get confused with all of the other noises out there - usually one syllable (John! Anne!)
The "Moe's Tavern" Test: Avoid giving your child a first and last name that make an embarrassing combination (e.g. Amanda Huggenkiss) or a repetitive first and last name (e.g. John Johnson).
5 pts. - No embarrassing first name/last name linkage.
3 pts. - With a little creativity, the combination could sound funny.
0 pts. - We have always loved the name Stormy Weathers and we are sticking to it!
The "I Got An F In Geography" Test: If the name is found on a map, don't put it on the birth certificate.
5 pts. - No city, state, country, peninsula, or fjord shares a name with your child.
3 pts. - A little cross over with the name of a place, but the baby is not being specifically named after the city/state.
0 pts. - The baby is blatantly named after an important location.
The "La-Utah" Test: Do not put the Utah-inspired "La-" before the baby's name.
5 pts. - Does not start with "La-" (Mitch, Sadie).
3 pts. - The name starts with "La-", but not in the corny Utah style (Larry, Lauren).
0 pts. - We took a perfectly normal name and slapped "La-" at the beginning (LaVern, LaDell, LaSarah, LaBrandon).
The "Ghosts From the Past" Test: The child's name cannot be the same as a former boyfriend, girlfriend, or high school nerd.
5 pts. - The name carries no baggage with it.
0 pts. - The name brings back bad memories for one of the parents.
The "Wayne-Ray-Lee" Test: Approximately 63% of all male inmates have Wayne, Ray, or Lee in their name somewhere. Avoiding the name could mean preventing a visit to Juvie in 14 years:
5 pts. - Free of all such "perp" names.
3 pts. - The first and middle names bleed over to include one of the names (Kyle Erik, Ezra Yusuf).
0 pts. - We are naming our son after grandpa Wayne, even if he is not granted parole to attend the blessing.
The "B.A.D. Initials" Test: Every time your child beats the high score on a video game or gets a new set of scriptures, his initials need to be entered into the system or embossed on the outside cover in gold leaf. Don't embarrass the lad with lame initials:
5 pts. - The initials do not spell or mean anything, especially something that could be made fun of (M.J.A., C.R.W.)
3 pts. - With a little creativity, the initials could potentially be embarrassing (D.F.S. = Doofus, W.D.O. = Weirdo).
0 pts. - Really bad initials. (L.S.R. = Loser, J.R.K. = Jerk, D.U.D., B.U.T., etc.)
The "Letter Hog" Test: When you have seven children and all of the names start with the same letter, you are going to paint yourself into a corner.
5 pts. - We are proudly not letter hogs and this child's name will start with a different letter than all other siblings.
3 pts. - We are letter hogs, but we are using a common letter that offers a lot of flexibility (R,S,T, all vowels, etc.)
0 pts. - We are letter hogs, and we are officially running out of additional names with the letter we selected (Zachary and Zoe were good names, but what's next? Zeniff? 'Zabella?