Even bearers of unusual names warn parents not to give their kids "kick-me-in-the-head" names, which will easily lead to teasing in the schoolyard. Regina Koske, a teacher at a private school in California, remembers two of her students, Strawberry and Justice, who had especially hard times. "The other students laughed and teased Strawberry constantly and said things like, 'I'm going to eat you.' Every time we said the Pledge of Allegiance and got to '... and justice for all,' many kids would repeat 'And Justice?' and laugh. After a time, (they) got used to the unusual and name and it wasn't unusual any more. However, every time that child enters a new group of peers, he or she will once again have to deal with the stigma of a particularly unusual name."
Even as adults, an unusual name may lead to ridicule, especially with the Internet making written communication more common. Dr. Mehrabian says he has counseled many adults who felt they were ridiculed by coworkers for their unusual names. Contrary to the "Boy Named Sue" idea that a nonstandard name will strengthen a child in adulthood, Mehrabian said he's found that the more unusual a person's name is, the harder it is for them to adjust.
Of course, as more and more parents delve into exotic name books and creative spelling, the unusual becomes more and more familiar. If your heart's set on giving your unique child a unique name, use some common sense: be sure it's easy to spell, pleasing to the ear, and is something your child can wear—both in childhood and adulthood—with pride.