Published Sep. 11, 2020


What’s in a name? 

According to grandparents, a whole lot of contempt. 

We surveyed 776 grandparents nationwide about the names of their grandchildren and found that nearly one out of every three grandparents dislikes the name of at least one of their grandchildren. 

While the popularity of names fluctuates with each generation (remember your great aunt Mildred?), the 21st century has seen the trend enter uncharted territory. It began with spelling seemingly customary names (like “Brittany”) in weird ways (like “Brittnee,” “Brittny,” “Britanni” and “Brittneigh”).  

But that wasn’t enough. We couldn’t help ourselves. Before we knew it, we were naming babies Hashtag and Facebook. Celebrities upped the ante even more with names like “Pilot Inspektor,” “Bear Blaze” and “Gravity.” Elon Musk, who is presumably smarter than the average person, named his baby “X /-E A-12,” which was so unpopular that it was actually deemed illegal according to California state law. 

We know the parents obviously love these names (for now at least). But what do the grandparents think?  

For starters, 30% of grandparents dislike the name of at least one of their grandchildren. Among those 30%, nearly 1 in 10 “completely dislike” the name. 

Click on image to enlarge in a new tab

Graphic illustrating how much grandparents dislike name of their grandchild

Most Disliked Baby Names in 2020: Oliver and Harper

Surely the most popular names would be safe from scorn, right? We asked grandparents which of the 10 most popular baby names of 2019 they disliked the most. 

Click on image to enlarge in a new tab

Table showing top 10 boys and girls baby names grandparents dislike the most

Oliver,” “Liam” and “Elijah” were the three most disliked boy names among grandparents, despite each being a name with deep historical roots. 

Harper,” often traditionally used as a boy’s name, was the most disliked girl’s name among grandparents and was followed by “Evelyn” and “Charlotte.” 

Most Disliked Baby Names by Region

The popularity of baby names can vary across the country due to regional culture differences, but there was no culture clash when it came to identifying the most disliked girl’s name.

Click on image to enlarge in a new tab

Map showing most disliked baby names by region

“Harper” took home that dubious distinction across all regions, while “Oliver,” “Liam” and “Elijah” shared duties among boy names. 

Of the names that grew the most in popularity from 2018 to 2019, we found out which names were the most disliked among grandparents. 

Click on image to enlarge in a new tab

Table listing the top 10 trending boys and girls names that grandparents most dislike

While “Genesis” (boy) and “Oaklynn” (girl) each spiked in popularity among parents, they earned the most disdain from grandparents. The chart below shows the 10 boy and girl names that experienced the greatest one-year increase in popularity and how disliked they are among grandparents. 

Most Disliked Trending Baby Names by Region

There was also some regional difference in the level of scorn grandparents had for the names that experienced the greatest surge in popularity. But once again, there was also some consistency. 

Click on image to enlarge in a new tab

Map showing the most disliked trending baby names by region

The names “Saint” and “Oaklynn” were equally disliked from Maine to Texas, while “Genesis” was not well-received across half the country.   

Most Disliked Celebrity Baby Names

If the grandparents of common folk are up in arms about the names of their grandchildren, how must the grandparents of celebrities feel?

Sentencing a baby to a lifetime with an otherworldly name is as fashionable in Hollywood as the Bandholz Beard, and the chart below illustrates the most disliked of those celebrity baby names. Here’s hoping that Elon Musk and Kim Kardashian West never procreate.

Click on image to enlarge in a new tab

Graphic showing celebrity baby names grandparents dislike the most


This survey was conducted August 27 to September 4, 2020, using an audience pool of 776 respondents.

Participants were filtered based on status as a grandparent, survey completion time and failure to follow written instructions within the survey.

Margin of error: +/- 4% (95% confidence interval)

This survey relies on self-reported data.

Fair Use Statement

Of course we would love for you to share our work with others. We just ask that if you do, please grant us the proper citation with a link to this study so that we may be given credit for our efforts.

Research and reports

Our research reports analyze a number of issues important to seniors, from health perceptions, medical communication, health habits and more.