Category: Dos, Don’ts, Rules, & Guidelines

Test-Driving your Baby Name

Test-driving your baby name

By Esmeralda Rocha

When picking a name, it can be hard to find opportunities to test the name in a way that gauges the true ‘wearability’ of the name and the reactions it is likely to elicit. People’s abstract opinions of names (“Meredith is an old lady’s name,”“Billy doesn’t work on a grown man,” “Zenobia is utterly ridiculous,” “no-one will ever be able to spell Aoife correctly,” “Harper is too feminine to be a boy’s name”) are not necessarily great indications of what people think of the name once it is attached to a flesh-and-blood human being.

And while sharing name options with friends and family can be valuable, it can also be fraught – should you really discount Millie because it was the name of your mother-in-law’s pet cat when she was 7?

Is your cousin’s opinion that “using Enzo is not OK because you’re not Italian” valid? If you’re looking for dispassionate and real-life reactions to a name, may we suggest the following strategies. These are based on scenarios where names are required but you never need to show ID:

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Laura writes:

My husband loves the name Cora for the baby girl (our first) that we are expecting.

I initially was opposed, but it really has grown on me. I like its simplicity and sort of vintage feel.

The only problem? My name is Laura!

The rhyming factor seems very weird to me. Our last name is one syllable, so I fear rhyming first names would make us sound like a Dr. Seuss family!

But I can’t deny we are both drawn to the name. Help!

The Name Sage replies:

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How Not To Name the Baby

Baby naming mistakes

Our focus is usually how to do things right: How to find the best baby names and choose a name for your child that you — and he or she — will love forever.  But occasionally we need to step back and warn you what NOT to do when naming the baby.

Here, the Top 10 Baby Name Mistakes:

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baby names advice

by Pamela Redmond Satran

Welcome to the thrilling and mysterious world of parenthood.  And welcome too to the new and radically different world of baby names. In the interest of helping you make the best possible name choice for your child, here is your initiation guide to all that’s changed since every kid was named Jennifer and Jason.

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How to Find A Name You BOTH Love

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baby name compromise

Nell writes:

We’re expecting our first child, and we’re keeping the gender a surprise.

We have no idea where to start with names! I like vintage like Ignatius, Posey or Nancy, and my husband is into the more trendy names like Mason or Parker or Ava.

Any suggestions would greatly be appreciated! I’m due in early January.

The Name Sage replies:

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