Category: baby name decision
The Question of the Week:
Has a favorite name of yours ever been–or tried to be– vetoed by your partner?
How did you handle it? Did you try to convince him or her? Did you win the battle?
Did you start to see the other’s point of view?
Will you try again and bring the same name up again next time around?
Question of the week: Was there a different name under consideration for you before you were born?
So, have your parents ever revealed to you the other choices they had discussed? Was there a whole list, or just one main contender?
Was it a close call? At what point was the final decision made? Did your almost name almost make it onto your birth certificate?
Do you think it would have fit you as well—or better?–than the one that won out?
According to one site (and of course picked up by many others), John Travolta leaked the name of his son-to-be —Benjamin– several weeks before his birth, prompting us to pose this Question of the Week:
What do you consider to be the optimum moment to make your baby name announcement—and why?
Would you be certain enough of your decision, and impervious enough to namenapping and negative opinions, to pronounce it to the world at any time during your pregnancy (or even before)?
Would you, like the Travoltas, wait until the birth was imminent?
Or would you have a strict no-tell policy and not make the news of your baby name decision public until after the arrival and you’re absolutely sure that the name fits the babe?
Many of us spend an entire nine months – or even longer – weighing the relative merits of names for our babies.
But it’s possible to judge most names much more quickly than that, at least accurately enough to tell whether they belong on your short list.
Here, nameberry’s top quick and easy tips for judging a baby’s name.
WHAT’S YOUR INSTANT REACTION?
The book Blink theorized that the reaction we have to something in the first few seconds has important long-term meaning, and that counts for a name. Perhaps you can learn to love a name that at first seems weird and old-fashioned like Leopold or get over your image of Ruth as the kid you knew who had green teeth, but better to choose a name that, the minute you hear it, makes you feel positive and full of anticipation for meeting the person who owns it.
HOW MANY SYLLABLES DOES IT HAVE?
The most compatible first names will have a different number of syllables than your surname…and a different number from the middle name too. So a syllable combination of 2-3-1 – Rufus Barnaby Flynn, for instance – or 3-1-2 or 1-3-4 is best.
Of course, my three children all have two-syllable names paired with our two-syllable last name and I didn’t even realize it for about 20 years. But if I had, I would have picked names with uneven numbers of syllables as I think that rhythm is most pleasing to the ear.
WHAT WOULD THE INITIALS BE?
We’ve always made fun of those dumb rulebooks that advise you not to give your child initials that spell out P.I.G. or A.S.S. Duh. Of course you wouldn’t do that.
But what about something like S.T.D.? Writing out the potential initials and checking them twice can be worthwhile. Studies show that people with initials that spell out positive things – A.C.E. or V.I.P. – live nearly five years longer than those with negative ones.
CHECK OUT THE CHART
No reason to invent an algorithm for divining the future population of every name on the Social Security’s Top 1000. Instead, simply check out the popularity chart we include for every name on the SS list. You can tell at a glance how quickly a name is motoring upward, as Leila is here http://nameberry.com/babyname/Leila, and how consistent its use has been over time. At least in terms of popularity, this can give you all the information you really need.
HOW SIMPLE IS IT TO UNDERSTAND?
Take it on a test drive, trying it out on, say, half a dozen people. You don’t have to tell them it’s a name you’re considering for your baby; that may skew the results. Instead, say you’d just met someone named Dashiell, for instance, and ask whether they’ve ever hear of the name.
If the overall response is confusion, repeated requests for spelling and pronunciation, and misunderstanding the name as everything from Daniel to Cashel, you can be pretty sure that will be the response throughout your child’s life. You may decide you love the name enough to put up with it, but at least you’ll know what you’re getting yourself and your child into.
The question of the week: Have you ever experienced namer’s remorse?
This is a term heard more and more frequently in the baby name world, describing the feeling of parents when they think they could have made a better choice for their child.
Have you ever regretted picking the name you picked?
If so, was this an immediate reaction as soon as you saw your baby, or did it happen later, when it just didn’t feel like the right fit?
Or did it happen when the name became mega-popular—or when you came to realize that it already was?
A compromise choice you regret making?
A response to negative reactions you got when people heard the name? Spelling or pronunciation problems?
Was it just a twinge or was your remorse strong enough for you to consider actually making a legal change?
Anyone out there who did make a change?