Are These Names Too Infamous?

Even a good name can go bad—if it's connected with someone who has truly made history in a horrific fashion (or even a not-so-fabulous character from fiction). Do you think any of these names can ever be redeemed?

Adolf Perhaps the granddaddy of all verboten names, Adolf was once a well-respected German name that meant "noble wolf." But the name is now synonymous with the horrific atrocities that Adolf Hitler inflicted upon millions of people during World War II that even variant spellings like Adolph and Dolph have become tainted by association.

Osama This common Arabic baby name could be too controversial to use, thanks to Al Qaeda mastermind Osama Bin Laden and the devastation he inflicted on 9/11.

Benito This Italian baby name has a beautiful meaning—blessing. But thanks to its association with Italy's World War II era Fascist dictator, it may be a name that's not yet ready to make a comeback.

Lolita Lolita was the nickname Humbert Humbert chose for his preadolescent prey, and the name of the infamous Nabokov novel that detailed their sad story. The name has become synonymous with sexually precocious girls—not necessarily the kind of thing you want to associate with your daughter.

Hannibal Once the name of a legendary ancient general, now it's associated with one of the creepiest fictional serial killers—and if you can think of the name without picturing Anthony Hopkins talking about slurping up a victim's liver with fava beans and a nice Chianti, then go ahead and give your kid the name.

Jezebel This Biblical character led her husband, King Ahab, to follow false gods—and later became associated with "painted ladies" and prostitutes.

Bart The Simpsons tried to shift this moniker from the category of "villain" into the category of "scamp," but this is still the go-to name for cowboys who kill people indiscriminately.

Would you consider naming your child one of these "off-limits" names? Are there any other names on your do-not-use list?

Photo: "My Name is Trouble" by Keith Bell / Shutterstock





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