Kids can be ruthless to each other. They know exactly where each others’ weak spots are. If it happens to be a name, bullies won’t hesitate to use it as ammunition to heckle, tease or worse. A child who is treated in this manner may withdraw into his own world, provoking an unfavorable response from his or her peer group. Children who are insecure by nature and have a hard time standing their ground are especially likely to become a target for bullies. It’s often a combination of several factors that make kids turn into outcasts. Imagine that your name is Wilma (“Hey, it’s Wilma Flintstone!”) or Lassie (“Fetch, Lassie, fetch!”).
Our advice: For each name you’re considering, ask yourself whether or not it could be used by bullies at school. What does the name sound like and what does it rhyme with that can be used to tease your child? If a name is practically asking to be abused, don’t do it. In that case, it’s best to pick another name. On the other hand, almost any name can be made fun of by those who want to, so excess caution, but don’t let this be the sole deciding factor.