Category: Navigating Name Problems and Disputes
Our Berry Question of the Week comes from Jen Barnes of Seattle, who’s facing a common problem in Baby Name Land: She and her husband are having trouble agreeing on a name for their second daughter. Here, the names he likes and those that she likes. Your job, dear berries, is to help them find a name they both will love. Jen writes:
Please help us name baby #2! Our 2nd baby girl is arriving in 4 short weeks and she has no name! Our 18-month-old daughter, Rose Katherine, was named the second we found out that she was a girl! Every time I think I have some names narrowed down, I add one to the list. My husband has been no help in this process either — ha. Here are the names he likes:
Shayla- he used to live in a city (spelled Xela) in Guatemala with this name and it is very dear to his heart but I am just not feeling it.
I love the name Nora but I fear that it is becoming too popular. What do you think?
Here are my favorite names currently:
Beyonce and Jay-Z took unique celebrity baby naming one step further last week when they moved to trademark infant daughter Blue Ivy Carter’s name. Parents have a right to trademark their minor children’s names, according to U.S. law, but the name has to be both distinctive and connected to some expectation of commercial enterprise.
If Beyonce and Jay-Z had named their daughter Jennifer, say, she’d be one of nearly 2000 Jennifer Carters in the U.S. and it would be difficult to prove that someone selling Jennifer Carter crib bumpers was trying to trade on the name of their little Jennifer Carter. But when other entrepreneurs rushed to trademark the name Blue Ivy, Beyonce and Jay-Z made a preemptive move to protect their daughter’s unusual moniker from outside exploitation.
We can only guess that trademarking the name Blue Ivy will have repercussions among other celebrity parents. We foresee more celebrities choosing ever more distinctive names for their children, to strengthen their case for trademark protection. And we predict that they will then claim exclusive legal rights to those baby names.
Ohio mom of two Kristen Hunger had an easy — make that ecstatic — experience naming her first two children, Colette and Weston, pictured above. But this time around? She can’t find a single name she loves….and she’s afraid she knows why.
It was bound to happen. After two pregnancies during which I fell madly, unwaveringly in love with two names, I find myself pregnant again. Except this time I’ve come down with a severe and I fear terminal case of Baby Name Desensitization Disorder.
What exactly is BNDD? It is when you not only feel unexcited by any and every name, but you also feel apathetic and numb to the whole naming process! The disorder is aggravated by my background as a nanny, childcare employee, Sunday school teacher and nursery coordinator at our church. I have heard every name and know someone – or know someone who knows someone – who’s used it. No matter what I do, I can’t find a name that excites me the way my daughter’s “Colette” or my son’s “Weston” did.
When I discovered their names, I was instantly ready to get everything monogrammed. I didn’t even look at other names or ask random people their opinions! It was so easy to envision Colette and Weston as spirited youths growing into successful and thriving adults. Holding steady jobs and contributing to society.
In our best fantasies, here’s how we name our babies:
DAD — Perfect. Now why don’t you let me rub your feet?
In reality, discussions go more like this:
DAD — Blech. I hate those kind of frilly names; if we have a girl, I think we should name her something cool, like Harley or Parker. And if we have a boy, my mother says we have to name him after my father.
MOM — Your mother’s not naming our baby. And your taste in names sucks.
Usually, after nine months or possibly ten, the parents manage to arrive at a name they both can live with. Why does baby-naming inspire such deep feelings and strong arguments in a couple who may have an easy time getting along in so many other ways?
It’s the moment you’ve been both waiting for and dreading: Introducing the baby to Grandma – your Grandma. Sure, she’s going to be thrilled to meet her new great-grandchild, delighted to discover that the infant has her late husband’s dimpled chin and her own dark eyes.
The potential for dread comes in when you reveal the baby’s name. A lot of names today are going to feel unfamiliar, confusing, ridiculous, or downright stupid to Grandma. If you choose one of the following, you’re going to have a lot of ‘splaining to do.