Category: baby name choice
I’m always amused to see the different timetables that our forum visitors put on choosing baby names.
Help! Only four weeks to go and no name!!, one expectant parent will panic.
Others only feel urgency around baby names when the labor pains kick in, while some berries have their baby names complete with middles lined up years before they’re expecting, and still others are vacillating about the name months or years after their child’s birth.
Obviously, everyone has their own definition of what a perfect name is, but for Pam and me, as expressed in our books, it has always been distilled into the phrase fitting in/standing out.
Located in the sweet spot between the hundreds of names that are epidemically popular–common enough for their distinctive images to be diluted–and those that are too unusual, too extreme– is a kind of golden triangle of lightly used names that have meaning, history, depth, and appeal, yet won’t provoke any raised eyebrows, names that will allow your child to both fit in with her peers and stand out among them.
Lately Iâ€™m wondering: is all this talk about baby names changing the names we use?
A century ago, parents could draw inspiration from the newspaper, the Bible, literature, music, and anything on the family tree.Â There was room for creativity, but actual data gathering would have been difficult.
Today a few keystrokes will tell you how many girls were named Isabella last year, or whether hundreds of random strangers think that Ethan Alexander is a good name for your son.Â No wonder an expectant mom actually grimaced when I asked her if theyâ€™d chosen a name yet.
With all of this information, could it be that trends will accelerate?Â Will we talk ourselves out of using great names?Â Iâ€™ve heard of dozens of parents deciding against their top choice for fear that Stella is the next Ava. Or maybe theyâ€™re desperately searching for a name just like Logan, but much less popular, without actually being too unusual.
Canadian guest blogger and name book writer Shandley McMurray offers some advice on global baby names–picking a name that willÂ travel well. (And those are her beautiful kids in the illustration.)
Growing up with a name like Shandley in Canada wasnâ€™t always easy. I became tired of correcting peopleâ€™s spelling and pronunciation of it, and, of course, I bemoaned the lack of personalized products like pens and rulers that adorned the desks of my more traditionally-named friends. Then, the worldâ€™s increasing reliance on email made things even more difficult, with online editors and others I hadnâ€™t met in person often referring to me as Mr. rather than Ms. in their correspondence.
Now donâ€™t get me wrongâ€”Iâ€™ve always loved my name. Iâ€™m a loud and opinionated free spirit and a quieter name like Elizabeth or Ashley just wouldnâ€™t have fit. My name set me apart and I took pride in the fact that my parents had invented such a unique name. Â So when it came time to name my own children, I thought long and hard about my decision.
Yes, that’s the question of the week:
Is there a name that you were seriously considering for your child that you now can’t believe you ever contemplated using?
Was it a fleetingÂ idea or did it remainÂ high on your list?
So what wereÂ you thinking?
And what got you to come to your senses?
Care to share?