Do you know why your parents gave you the name they did? It’s a big question for lots of people. You’d hope your name’s origin is a positive one, like you were named after a beloved relative or an inspiring religious figure. You don’t want to find out  you were named “Luke” because The Empire Strikes Back was playing at the drive-in where you were conceived.

Unfortunately, lots of people got their names exactly like that. Recently, Buzzfeed readers were asked to share the unsavory origins of their names. And it turns out, when it comes to naming their kids, a lot of parents just sorta mail it in.

Here are 15 less-than-sweet origins’ of people’s names. Honestly, if you don’t know your name’s origin, it might be better not to ask.


1. Life comes at you fast.

“My dad named me after the secretary in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. When he heard Ed Rooney scream ‘Grace!’ he thought it was a good screaming name and that he’d have to scream at me a lot.” – gracev42a954902

2. Her middle name is “Snot.”

“My name is Tear, like a teardrop. Story is that my grandmother named me that because I cried a lot after birth.” – thelovliettear

3. Just tell him he’s named after Batman!!!

“My mother was driving down the road one day in Texas when she passed a truck with ‘Keaton’s Plumbing’ on the door. Bam! The rest is history — I’m Keaton.” – keatonw4085e9d13

4. The other name option was “Truckasaurus.”

“My parents saw the name ‘Melanie’ on a woman’s work jacket at a monster truck show.” – melr4a72de59e

5. Sticker shock.

“My parents hadn’t been able to come up with a name for me when my dad found a ‘Shannon’ sticker on the bottom of his boot. He peeled it off and told my Mom he had the perfect name!” – alloutshan

6. Do you like scary movies?

“I’m named after the 1996 movie Scream. My mom liked the way the killer, Billy Loomis (aka Skeet Ulrich), called Sydney ‘Syd’, so I’m named Sydney because she liked the way a serial killer said it.” – sydneyk19

7. Talladega Nights

“My name is Carly Dale. I’m named after cars and race car driver Dale Earnhardt.” – ctysarczyk

8. Who wants to play telephone?

“My mom suggested the name Kelly but my dad was only half-paying attention and thought she said Callie. They both liked Callie, though, so my name came from a typical guy not listening.” – crm8833

9. Meet my brother, Moses Bible Deuteronomy

“I was born on the religious holiday, All Saints Day, so my parents named me Christian — and made my middle name Jesus. It doesn’t help that my last name is Cruz, which means ‘cross.’ I have the most religious name ever and I’m an atheist.” – chrisjay

10. Mrs. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!

“I’m named after Raisa Gorbachev, the wife of the one-time president of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev. I was born in the ’80s when he was on the news a lot. I’m not Russian though, so…” – raizacabrerar

11. Why not Karen?! Or Kimberly?! Or Kelly?! Or Kelsey?! Or Krystal?! Or Kale?!

“My mom wanted us to both have a middle name that started with ‘K,’ but I guess ‘Knacole’ (exactly how you think it sounds) was all she could come up with instead of literally any other ‘K’ name.” – courtnees2

12. Cabbage, anyone?

“I was a surprise baby so my parents gave my older sister naming rights. She named me after the most important thing to her at the time — her Cabbage Patch Kids doll. Thank God she was out of her E.T. phase by that time.” – k4284d1be7


“I was named Dallas after my dad’s favorite football team, the Dallas Cowboys, because my mother was in labor with me the last time they won the Super Bowl. I can only assume she was too tired to argue.” – d4e3313d13

14. At least they didn’t go with “Urkel.”

“My parents decided before I was born that my initials would spell ‘ALF’ because it was the ’80s and my dad smoked a ton of weed and loved that show, of course. Later, my dad called my mom from the bar and said, ‘We should name her Amber!’ His inspiration came from the beer he was drinking. So I’m named after beer and an alien who eats cats.” – ambergetshi

15. Well, that stinks.

“My cousin is named Windy Echo. My uncle is an ass and thought it would be funny to have her name mean ‘fart.’ I can’t believe my aunt went along with it.” – leeannew428a46615


h/t: Buzzfeed