Baby Naming Issue: Felony Fever Vice

Jane writes:

Please help! My brother & his wife are expecting their first baby, a girl, in mid November and while I couldn’t be happier for them or more excited to be an aunt again I…Well, I don’t even know how to describe how I feel about the name they’ve settled on.

Felony Fever Vice. 3 bad things, all of which are not names. Why…How…and OH GOD WHY?

I really wish I could tell you it’s all a joke, but no.

Any suggestions on a NICE way I can try to talk them out of this travesty? Any suggestions for names with a similar sound to Felony, but without the bad connotations? When I asked my SIL why Felony, she said she “just really likes the sound and flow”. Please help my help them find something with the same “sound & flow”, preferably something that wont scar the kid for life!

There are two questions here: (1) Is there a way to talk them out of it? (2) Are there any other names that have the sound and flow of Felony?

The answer to the first question is “Probably not.” If two English-speaking people, presumably of sound minds, are considering the name Felony Fever Vice for their baby, we have to assume that they understand the meanings of those words and that they are nevertheless willing to go ahead with it. No matter how nicely or gently you bring it up, it’s unlikely they’re going to smack their foreheads and say, “OMG, we never THOUGHT of that! You’re RIGHT! Those names DO sound kind of negative!” What would happen instead is that you’d get in trouble for criticizing their name choices, and they’d remember it forever.

But let’s move on to the second question anyway: Are there any other names that have the sound and flow of Felony? The name that springs immediately to mind is Melanie, which has almost exactly the same sound and flow. Stephanie, Bethany, Natalie, and Tiffany are other examples of the same flow—but my guess is that they’d prefer something more unusual. Perhaps they would like Amity or Briarley or Clarity or Liberty or Verity.


[Update! 11-17-2008 Jane writes:

Dear Swistle, thank you so much!

After gently suggesting some of the names you listed to my SIL she fell in love a pair of them, therefore putting the much celebrated kibosh on Felony Fever! (and yes, that REALLY WAS the name they had picked out for the daughter, no joke. 2 years ago my brother’s best friend named his little girl Lethal Cashmere, nickname Cash. My Bro thought it was, quote, “genius” & I think he wanted to match his friend in the crazy/weird name category)

Anyway, SIL gave birth yesterday to a perfectly healthy, beautiful baby girl. Her name? Thanks to Swistle it’s Verity Clarity Vice (Bro wouldn’t give up the Vice part even though SIL finally put her foot down about the first two names)! While still not my cup of tea when it comes to baby names, it’s a million trillion times better than Felony Fever!

So thank you Swistle, you saved my poor sweet niece from a real horror of a name!]

34 thoughts on “Baby Naming Issue: Felony Fever Vice

  1. Steph the WonderWorrier

    Wow… that’s… a sucky situation to be in, frankly.

    I like a lot of Swistle’s suggestions, try to persuade them to go that route.

    And I also like what was mentioned above. Pull your bro aside and say, “WHAT THE HELL, DUDE?!”.

    I really hope it’s a fake name/joke. Yipes!

  2. Anonymous

    I could see Melody working well – it has the same flow, a similar sound, and is still a word name. You can suggest as many names as you like, but in the end, I think you just need to cross your fingers and pray they’re kidding about the name!

  3. Trina

    Oh what a bummer for that little girl. I’d be interested to know if there are any people out there actually named Felony.

    On a simialar note a friend of a friend named their daughter Luna Tickle. No joke.

  4. Paige

    Wait. Is this an April fools joke…in November? I’m sorry you have to deal with this. But if they are serious, just love the heck out of that kid.

  5. Simone

    My husband has a suggestion, which is rare. He suggests they consider Larceny. The sound and flow is just the same!

    Seriously, though, I’m with Brooke and hoping they are trying to freak everyone the heck out while keeping the real name choice a secret.

  6. Megan

    I would like to say that last year at this time I was SO in your boat. My brother was going to have twins (er, my SIL was) and they didn’t know the sex. When we asked about names we got things like “Pilot” and “Navagator”. Also via my SIL we heard that the names she suggested to her grandmother sounded like “names of medicines”. Anyway, they had 2 girls that they named Neely Paloma and Ginger Lucienne. I don’t think I would have picked those names, but after the whole Pilot thing, I LOVE THOSE NAMES!! And honestly, a year later, I think those are awesome. Really, I love the name Neely so much. And Lucienne. Aaah, I really like their names now that I have met them. I love it all now, but maybe because they are MY nieces! And I think they are amazing. Anyway, there is a chance they are joking, but I bet you will end up loving whatever they choose. Any opinions on Neely Paloma and Ginger Lucienne? We’re straight up boring caucasian people. You won’t hurt my feelers, I promise!

  7. Frazzled Mom

    Maybe you can just act like they are joking. You could say, “I know you are only joking because you don’t want to reveal the real name. I get it.”

    With this response, if they are serious, they will hopefully get the idea that no one will take those names seriously. And if they are really joking, then you will have called their bluff. Either way, that approach is so much kinder than telling them those names are horrible and no one – I mean NO ONE – will take their child seriously – ever.

  8. Elizabeth

    Oh dear… she is right, I guess. “Felony” is a pretty-sounding word when you think about it. But then again, so is “placenta.”

    Oh well, hopefully by the time she gets old enough for it to become a problem, she can change it. And maybe if she turns out to be an actress or a novelist or an artist or an anarchist political activist it will be a pretty cool name. I’m just concerned that she might want to be a police officer, or a lawyer, a politician…

  9. beanski

    I’m ALWAYS in the ‘shut your mouth and learn to love it’ camp regarding the names OTHER people choose for their children but in this case? I would have to say something. Nicely, of course. People are weird.

  10. Catherine

    If they are serious, then I second (third) Melody. It was the first thing I thought of and does sound fairly similar. But goodness … I hope they are just joking or something. Poor little girl.

    On the other hand, I’m reminded that any name we end up with will be just fine. Even if it’s not perfect, I’m pretty sure none of the names we like are actually names of types of crimes!

  11. Lara Jane

    I agree with the others that think perhaps your bro & SIL aren’t ready to tell their real name choice.

    I hope, I hope…

    I would have no problem smacking my brother (either one, and they’re both much older and bigger than I!) upside the head if he was seriously considering a ridiculous name. An ugly name is something everyone can get over, but this is another issue altogether.

    Do people actually consider that their child(ren) will be stuck with the name for life? Er, maybe that’s why they chose Felony… heh heh

  12. Leticia

    OMG. I used to have a cat named Felony. I seriously dont’ know what I was thinking…well, I was in my early 20s and it was in honor of my boyfriend who was at the time in the county jail. Good times. BUT, thank goodness I didnt’ have a child then. Lord knows what I would have named it.

    Swistle has some good suggestions. Verity…Clarity. So cool.

  13. Ashley

    I bet they are messing with you. My brother-in-law told everyone he was naming his son Kenai after the river in Alaska where he likes to fish. When babe was born… he was named Curt.

    Here’s hoping.

  14. Jan

    Working on the first sound I would suggest: Felice/Felicity or Phillipa but I’m guessing they might like the “made up” style. How about if they at least change the spelling like Phelani Fevre V’ic. :)

  15. hope

    I was just about to suggest Felicity too. Melody and Felicity come closest to the sound of Felony to me. Ugh. I hope it’s a joke.

  16. f8hful_lo

    Ick. What about the name Delaney? I think they are probably pulling y’alls legs but if not….I would just keep feeding them off the wall but not as bad suggestions. Good luck!

  17. Mairzy

    Surely it’s a cover name. My husband and I, unable to decide between two names at about eight months, combined our top choices into “Stavery” until we made a decision. And at least one person thought we seriously were going to use the name Stavery.

  18. Melospiza

    I’m with Simone on “Larceny.” Same great family of names, a little more festive. A little less Gansta Rap.

    On the plus side, Felony Fever Vice will have her name in place if she ever decides to become a recording artist. And if she wants to become a doctor or a real estate agent–well, her name just markets itself, doesn’t it?

    Didn’t Ramona Quimby have a doll named Felony? It is a pretty set of syllables.

    Also, megan: I DIG Ginger Lucienne. Also Neely Paloma. Giner Lucienne sounds like a famous French writer/ courtesan.

  19. Anonymous

    My L&D nurse when I gave birth to my son told me she had a patient that named her daughter Felony.

    No joke.

    This wouldn’t be the first time, to my horror.

  20. Sarah

    Had a thought: can they name her Felice Melanie (or Felicia or Felicity) and just call her Felony as a nickname? Please? It even has the “ice” in there to let you throw in Vice as a second nickname!


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