Category: Dos, Don’ts, Rules, & Guidelines
We hope you caught the great segment on this morning’s (Tuesday) Today Show featuring Abby giving her typically sage baby name advice to pregnant staffers Dylan Dreyer and Savannah Guthrie! Watch the video here.
By Abby Sandel
Your new baby is here, and you? You have a ballpoint pen and a blank form to complete, asking for your child’s name.
Chances are you’ve been thinking about this for at least a few months already, but it’s easy to feel overwhelmed: infinite choices, endless opinions, and one very small human being counting on you to get it right.
Maybe you’ve never named so much as a turtle. Or maybe you’ve been dreaming up names for your children since you could read. Either way, there are thousands of ways to give your child a great name – and only a few pitfalls to avoid along the way.
Here’s your go-to guide for what not to do when choosing baby names.
The Name Sage finally finds a name she just can’t support. Happily, the mom’s shortlist is packed with other possibilities.
Since childhood, I have been interested in mythologies and folklore, and I prefer names with a similar background.
Many of them sound alluring and have such beautiful meanings – like Lucifer means bringer of light.
While I don’t have any problem with them, I worry others will. After all, who names their child after Satan?
What do you think? Is it too much to use these names?
The Name Sage replies:
I did a name consultation not too long ago for a couple who had picked out Felicity for a girl, which was a name full of meaning for them, only to discover they were having a boy, and they couldn’t think of any boy names they loved as much as they loved Felicity.
When I posted the dilemma to my blog, one of my readers suggested Felix to them, reasoning, “Since [the mom] was really excited about Felicity’s meaning and saintly pedigree, Felix really seems the perfect alternative to me! Popular in the UK, Spain, and Germany, it definitely has a hip, continental thing about it while not being unusual or hard to pronounce, and the x-ending makes it flow very well into middle names beginning with either a vowel or a consonant!”
We’re expecting a baby boy, due in May, and our name crisis is twofold.
First of all, my partner and I are having a confidence crisis over the name we were previously set on – Leonardo, or Leo. We like Leo as a given name, but we’re not keen on shortened/nickname versions of a full name being put on the birth certificate. Leonardo would be there if our child wanted to use his full name later in life, and I liked how distinguished it sounds – and its catalogue of interesting namesakes!
However, I’m getting cold feet as we get closer to our due date. I’m starting to think that Leonardo is a bit of a mouthful and that we’d just never use it. The other name I would have used in a heartbeat is Theo/Theodore, but a co-worker recently used it for her baby boy, and I just don’t think I could use it for that reason.
There are only a few other names I like at this point. Oscar is one that my partner and I both like, but I don’t love it. And Lorcan is one that I really like, even love, but my partner isn’t keen on it at all!
The other part of our problem relates to middle names. We aren’t yet married, but have agreed that our baby will have both our surnames. We’d like to use Berry as a middle name, as it was my partner’s mother’s maiden name, and honors his much loved and missed grandparents. But I would also like our boy to have a first middle name – John – to honor my grandfather.
My partner thinks this would make our baby’s full name far too long, but I’m not so sure.
What do you think?
The Name Sage replies:
By Joslyn McIntyre
My stepdaughter, Emily, is 17 and already has her first daughter’s name picked out. She doesn’t even have a boyfriend, but she has confidently repeated this name to me several times. To which I usually respond, “Don’t you dare have a baby for at least ten years.”
When I was Emily’s age, long, long ago, I too, wanted to have lots of babies, right away, and I had all their names picked out. In fact, I kept journals full of potential baby names I would use with my future husband, River Phoenix. I planned to raise a brood of nature lovers we’d call things like Meadow, Fawn, and Seashell. Luckily for my actual daughters, River Phoenix and I never worked out.