Category: baby name rules
Watch out, Berries–today’s guest blogger, Claire Shefchik, has plenty of bones to pick!
Since the age of six, I’ve loved names. Back then, whenever I renamed myself, I was Crystal (spelled Christal) and later, Jordan. These days, I prefer Presley to Penelope, Jayden to Jasper. In the novel I’m writing, two of the main characters are Dempsey and Vaughan–female characters. Eek! That’s right, I am a name heretic.
When, a few years ago, I came across the Nameberry-led community of Internet naming enthusiasts, I thought I’d found heaven (sorry, “nevaeh”). But I found myself, more often than not, at odds with my fellow “name nerds.” Many claim to be open-minded and liberal, but are much more rigid in their approach to naming than you’d think, especially when it comes to names popular with, as one poster put it, “the Wal-Mart set.” Another poster declared her goal was to encourage “classically-named babies,” which let’s face it, is just a euphemism for “babies with names of which I, as the self-appointed arbiter of taste, approve.”
A few weeks ago we asked the Nameberry moms and dads to tell us their best baby names rules. What followed were hundreds of suggestions, from the idiosyncratically individual (All middle names must be Celtic and begin with R) to rules so universal they might apply to everyone.
Rule Number 1, according to one berry? No dumb names. We’re down with that, along with these 21 other smart, sensible rules that every modern baby namer should follow:
We were intrigued by this thread on baby name rules over on the Nameberry forums, where visitors detail their personal and family rules for choosing names.
It made us want to write down our own baby name rules; I mean, our personal rules as well as Nameberry’s rules.
As a mom, I’d say my rules for my kids’ names were that they:
Sound distinct from each other. My husband’s family has a Tom and a Tim, a Jane and a John, and I wanted to avoid that kind of matchy-matchy thing. So one of my first rules was that my kids’ names sound very different from each other. I didn’t anticipate that Rory, Joseph, and Owen would end up being called Ro, Joe, and O.
Today’s guest blogger, writer Jon Finkel, has come up with his own idiosyncratic set of baby-naming rules—see if you agree.
With the average life expectancy in the United States pushing 80 years, picking the wrong name for your kid could turn out to be an eight-decade mistake. Think about that. In eighty years you’ll be dead; the house you lived in, the cars you drove, the clothes you wore, will probably all be recycled, rebuilt or destroyed; but your son, who is now living in an old-age facility in 2091, has to go by the name Mason S., because Mason A., Mason G., Mason L. and Mason P. live on the same floor in his retirement home, were all born in 2011 and also had parents who went the unoriginal route and simply picked the trendiest name available.
So though Mason is a solid name, when it comes to your child in 2011, unless you have always loved Mason, or you are named Mason (or work as a mason) and your son is going to be a Mason Junior or a mason, the name is just too popular. This thought led me to compose what I’ll call “The Not Another Mason and Other Rules for Baby Naming” list.
There are few things more thrilling in life than having your first baby. But newbie baby namers are prone to making some mistakes that more experienced name choosers are able to avoid.
If you’re choosing a baby name for the first time, don’t make one of these 7 common mistakes:
1. Believing that the names that were popular – and creative – when you were a kid still have the same status.
2. Thinking that the playground rules are the same as they were back in the day.
Kids no longer get teased for having names that are unique, androgynous, exotic, or hard to pronounce or spell. Rather, name diversity is celebrated.