I believe MomJunction is a site created and run by men, not from America, who have decided to capitalize on the popular mom market of women looking to the internet for news and information about pregnancy and child rearing.
That is the only explanation I can give for why it decided it would be cool to publish a highly offensive article listing 86 Ghetto Names.
And it is garbage for more reasons than one. Let’s start with the jacked up premise. The intro to the list starts like this:
When the Americans brought Africans to their country to become slaves, they did not just strip them off their clothes, but also their names, taking their dreams, hopes and identities. They deemed their names too exotic and too difficult to pronounce. The American gave their slaves Biblical names like Eve, Ruth, James, Joseph, Mary, Luke, etc. Some were also given short and persuasive names like Bill and Tom.
But after the Civil War, the slaves were determined to reinvent their identity. They started this by making their names unique. Names like Luce were turned into Lucinda. And typical western names like Mary and John began to fall out of favor with the whites and the blacks started adopting them. So the Africans, who were no longer connected to their African roots, began asserting their identity by creating new names for their children. These names came to be called ghetto names.
So idiotic and untrue. Black Americans are NOT the only ones in America to give their children original names. Many European people give their child names that have NOTHING to do with their origin and culture.
Now let’s get to its asinine definition of “Ghetto Names”
What Do Ghetto Names Mean?
A ghetto name is a standard name with a tweaked spelling. It can be Stefany for Stephanie or Antwon for Antoine. Ghetto names are usually given by parents who do not know the traditional spelling of a particular name or choose to disregard it.
No. No. No. and No. “Ghetto” is a term for a low income dwelling or community where people are impoverished and there is high crime and low economic opportunity and the housing conditions and living standards are sub-standard.
That is not unique to Black people.
Historically, the first Ghettos in America were where Irish immigrants lived. Only recently, have Americans maligned the name to equal something that is of African American heritage (or perhaps Hispanic too, but mainly it is used to put down poor black people or some aspect of black American culture )
Second of all, Americans of all races tweak the spelling of their children’s name. That is NOT unique to Black Americans. Ugh! I cannot be more annoyed at this.
The head of the Republican party is named Reince. We have a current sitting US president named Saxby. The former VP nominee in 2008 has a child named Trig and a grandkid named Tripp. Ever heard of Wynter or the fact more people are naming their children after Game of Thronese Characters like Daernerys and Khaleesi?
Then, if you look to how this dumb (yes dumb) author describes the names, they include names with over 100 years of origins in Africa–If that is so, how the heck could they be names that are disconnected from Africa? This piece of garbage is so stupid on so many fronts.
For example it says of Zendaya, “the meaning of this ghetto name is ‘to give thanks’ in the Shona language. Zendi would make the best nickname for Zendaya. Fact- Shona is an African language spoken by 80% of the people of Zimbabwe.”
Amandla, the piece states, “is a Xhosa or Zulu word, meaning ‘power.’ This word was a rallying cry in the days of resistance against Apartheid.”
Of Javon, it writes it “is a variation of the Hebrew name Javan, who is said to be the guardian angel of Greece. The biblical Javan was the son of Japheth and is a favorite in contemporary America.”
Well, how can the names be devoid of roots if you’ve stated their origins in the same piece?
And the article is full or inaccuracies when it does attempt to link the history of the names on the list.
Clearly, no one of African descent penned this piece and given the tense racial climate in America these days, I cannot believe anyone who is from here penned this because if they did, they’ve been living in a bomb shelter all their lives.
Aside from the fact that the author is clearly maligning black American names, he or she throws in a name that is common among people of all races and is never in the category “ghetto” as far as I know:
“Jillian: The variation Jillian is four times more popular than its real name Gillian. Most probably because the G version gives pronunciation confusion. The meaning of Jillian is ‘youthful”
What? Jillian you mean like The Biggest Loser trainer Jillian Michaels?
And let’s get to the stuff that was blatantly racist, offensive and ridiculous to publish at all:
“Shay Nay Nay: Shay Nay Nay is the ghetto name of Linda Johnson, who won the America’s Next Top Model title by shooting Tyra Banks in the head. Not the most positive name, but definitely unique.”
WHAT?!?! Positive? What do you mean positive?
“Shaka is one of the loveliest ghetto black girl baby names. “
What? What? What????
And mid-way through, they explain the fact that they were just pulling out stuff out their anal orifices.
“Lovaye: We’re pretty confident that this name is inspired by the word English word ‘love’. And what could be better than naming your child after this beautiful feeling?”
Pretty confident? Nope. You know nothing of the name yet you are here to categorize it?
And then there was this:
“Kabaka: Originating in Uganda, Kabaka is a short and straightforward name, meaning ‘king.’ The name sounds formal, upstanding and a bit pompous.”
How can a name sound pompous?! You mean like Biff or Niles? Stuffy names among the wealthy class and British like that? Hmmm?
More display of the ignorance:
“Betricia: Don’t you think it looks a lot like Patricia? We think it’s a combination of Betty and Patricia. But whatever it is, it sounds incredibly alluring.”
You think? No. Don’t publish things you “think” is right and then try to present it as authority, mmm kay?
And then this:
“Magi is a ghetto variation of the name Maggie.”
What the heck is a “ghetto variation” of a name?
Even though it declares Deshawn indicates it is “‘son’ of and Shawn is a variation of Sean, which means ‘God is gracious'” it then says this name which has origins is from African American people who are using names with no origins. Which is it?
Jerome is a name that many Jewish people give their children so…how you link that to Black American names.
More offensive summation of the names:
“Ottacious: Don’t be surprised. We’ve heard stranger names than this.”
“Imunique:I-am-unique! We know that your child is unique to you, but giving him this name could scar him for life. You can skip this one.”
Of Charrdannay,” it asks “Is it the wrong spelling for Chardonnay, one of the most expensive wines? If yes, then it’s the most amusing ghetto variation we’ve seen in the recent times”
Just shut up now.
But nope, they end by asking readers,
“Which ghetto name did you like the most? Tell us in the comment section below!”
Who is this article directed to? African Americans? Do they really think African Americans would be looking up “what ghetto name” to give my baby? What?
Mom Junctoin deleted this post amidst outcry from people of all hues and races, particularly after Bossip’s post.
This can be a lesson. Don’t ever write an article about ghetto names ever. Also, stay away from articles about White Trash baby names too. Just don’t.