Tracy Beckerman is the author of a wildly popular syndicated humor column called LOST IN SUBURBIA and a hilarious new book “Rebel without a Minivan”. It's all about the funny side of kids, dogs, husbands, and life in the 'burbs!

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Crazy Baby Names

Little Apricot?

This week, I got hit with not one, but TWO crazy baby names.I’m just going to come right out with it, because I don’t want to keep you in suspense: The first kid is named “Seven.” The second one is named “Zee.”

By the way, in case you weren’t sure, Seven is a girl and Zee is a boy.

While names like Seven and Zee are probably on the mundane side for people out in Hollywood, in my neck of the woods, they are not quite as popular. Most of the kids around here are named Sam and Chris and Ashley and Britney… not Apple and Zuma andFifi Trixibelle (yes, really). Not that those are bad names… but they are perhaps better suited for soft drinks and dogs.

I tried to give the parents of Seven and Zee the benefit of the doubt. Maybe Seven was the seventh kid in that family, or maybe it was a lucky number in someone’s life. But this was not the case. According to the mom, they just thought a number name would be more interesting than a name name. Apparently it was between Five and Seven, and when the baby was born, they decided she looked more like a Seven than a Five. I saw pictures. Personally, I think she was a Two.

Then there is Zee. In this case, they named the baby after the father’s nickname which was bestowed upon him by his fraternity brothers whilst in a drunken haze. That seems like a very meaningful reason to stick a kid with a name that is just a letter. OK, to be fair, it is three letters, because it is Zee, not Z. But if you’re going to give your kid a name with three random letters, why not do something that people could relate to, like QVC or MTV?

This is what I was thinking about when I walked into Starbucks and ran into the friend who had told me about Baby Zee. I shared my thoughts about this whole baby name business and she agreed that it was all a little over the top.“But those are not the worst I’ve heard,” she said.

“Oh no?”

“I know someone who named their kid Genghis.”

“Why? Was Mussolini taken?”

“And another couple who named their kids after two different ski runs in Colorado,” she continued. “One is named Zaugg and the other is called Hyrup.”

“Those sound like names for Hobbits or evil emperors of the Galactic Alliance,” I said.

“Ironically, they got a dog and named it ‘Bill,’” she continued.

“Ah. And how does everyone feel about that?” I wondered.

“The dog was very appreciative, and the kids are in therapy.”

I nodded in understanding and then thought about this issue: I’m sure that the parents think they are doing something special and unique by giving their kids bizarre names. But the interesting thing about kids is, most of the time, all they want to do is fit in. Try fitting in with a name like Pilot Inspektor (yes, really). You don’t really blend. While we debated all this, the coffee barrista raised up an unclaimed cup at the counter and yelled, “Decaf!”“That’s me!” I replied. Hmm. ‘Decaf?’ I could live with that.

Note: For more “Lost in Suburbia,” visit Tracy’s blog at


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Comments (12)

  1. Shandra 10/04/2011 at 8:22 am

    Growing up with the name Shandra (which isn’t horribly unusual, but will NEVER be on the top 10 baby names), I HATED it! My kids have nice normal names like Jackson, Nicholas and Elijah. All with nice, normal spellings. I hated that people would call me Shanda or Sandra or Chandra (which I never could understand, since there’s no “Ch” anywhere in my name!). I also hated that there’s was nothing else that I could go by, because have YOU tried shortening Shandra? Shan? Shandy? Nope…not happening. I was stuck, especially with no middle name. So, I chose names for my kids where they had options. Nicholas is Cole, Jackson is Jack, and Elijah is Eli. If Cole ever decides he doesn’t like being Cole, he’s got Nick, or he could go by his middle name which is a nice, normal Alexander. Jack got the short end of the stick and got two middle names, but I figure that means he’s got more options! I wanted my kids to have a choice with their names when they’re older and in a professional world, so while I like Jack now, he might want to have a more professional name as an adult, so we went with Jackson. I feel like a kid will know his personality when he’s older and will be able to choose best which nickname suits him. Oh, and I have a daughter, McKenzie, who despite being called Kenz every day until she turned 5, hit kindergarten and decided that she likes McKenzie better and specifically asked to be called by her “long name.” Names are important to kids and I think it’s completely mean to saddle a kid with a name that’s going to get them teased their whole life. I just wanted to fit in when I was growing up, so I gave my kids a shot at that.

    • Tracy Beckerman 10/04/2011 at 8:27 am

      Oh boy…since you are a Shandra, this is going to make you shudder:
      I went to HS with a girl named Shanda
      and her last name was LEAR!!

      How cruel were her parents?

  2. Kaatji 10/03/2011 at 11:38 pm

    I love fun, different names. Being named Kaatji, I appreciated not being like everyone else! My third son is named Zeke & ZZ is the nickname he got. So Zee doesn’t sound so bad 🙂 Seven- different(?) …. Not so much, dig out the old episodes of Seinfeld!!

  3. Sarah P 10/03/2011 at 11:26 pm

    I worked in the child welfare system and I could write a book of some of the insane names I came across. But, I myself prefer the more unusual names. I know everyone assumes kids with crazy names hate it, but I think every kid hates their name. I was in a class with 4 Sara(h)s as a child and HATED it. I still hate it when there’s another person with my name. I’d much rather have a unique name. I’d give my kids wild names if I could, but my husband’s a little more traditional. Our kids are Cooper & Dexter. When we have the next one we’ll be debating over names again; so far I’m not having any luck convincing him that Ferris (for a boy) or Persephone (for a girl) are the perfect choices.

    • Tracy Beckerman 10/04/2011 at 8:05 am

      I love your kids’ names… and I don’t mind unusual names, either. Its amazing how people can mess up the name Tracy. I have been called Stacey, Terry, Casey, and Becky (my last name is Beckerman!). As my husband says, I don’t really care what you call me, just don’t call me late for dinner! 🙂

  4. Carina Wytiaz 06/09/2011 at 12:59 am

    I just never knew we ran out of names. Seems a shame, there were so many good ones out there before we all lost our minds.

  5. cheryl 06/06/2011 at 12:37 pm

    I am such a traditionalist when it comes to names. I want people to know how to pronounce it and know whether my child is a boy or girl. I think maybe people don’t think of their babies when they are 35 going by the name Zee or what the social ramifications will be being named Genghis! My son had a girl named Urinanna last year and a girl name Ovary this year.

    • cheryl 06/06/2011 at 12:37 pm

      oops…he had a girl in his school class named those things 🙂

    • Tracy Beckerman 06/06/2011 at 7:29 pm

      Ovary? Seriously? That is a new one on me. Poor girl!

  6. Rachael Herrscher 06/06/2011 at 9:47 am

    I was just reading through my kids elementary school year book this weekend and saw a child with the name: Zzyzx