Category: family names
Among the most popular features on Nameberry are our Baby Name Games forums, and occasionally (okay, maybe once) we invent a name game for the home page.
Now we have a new name game inspiration we thought it would be fun to invite everyone to play. Here’s how it goes:
The first poster, me, comes up with a name for the oldest child in a fictional family. My fairly random pick:
The next commenter adds a second child to the family, the next names a third child, the fourth names another child, and then the fifth commenter names the final child in the family of five. Children can be either gender and names can be themed or not.
Once we have five children, the next commenter starts all over, choosing Name Number 1.
Remember, the first name is:
We’ve (thankfully) moved beyond the days when it seemed like nearly every first son was named after his dad — and if he wasn’t everybody wondered what was wrong.
Today family names are still favored, but many parents are more likely to honor a grandparent or spin mom’s maiden name into a first than to name the baby after themselves.
Would you, did you, name your baby after yourself? Or did you maybe use some version of your name in your child’s name? Maybe you have a family name as part of your own that you passed on to your child?
If you did name your baby after yourself, or if you’re named after a parent, how do you keep the names from getting confused?
Or perhaps you’re a junior who would never foist your own name on a baby.
Let’s face it: We all have embarrassing names in our family trees. Great Aunt Hortense and Uncle Myron, Grandma Gladys and Dad Brad. They’re the family names we hope we won’t be expected to pass down to our children.
But hey, today we’re here to celebrate the wonderful names, and we all have those too. Searching through the family archives, you discover that your great-great-grandmother was named Marguerite or Flora, or that you have a handsome Henry or Nathaniel among your forebears. Or it might be a surname or a middle name you discover that’s worth polishing up and passing down: Callahan or Keene or Caruso.
So what’s the best name or names in your family tree? The names you’re actually excited about passing on to a child? And who and where did they come from?
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Let’s say right up front that we don’t advise naming your daughter Davette to honor Grandpa Dave, or any of the other similarly awkward cross-gender namesake names.
So how do you, did you, can you best choose a name for your baby that honors a relative or friend or hero of the opposite gender?
Some parents simply use the name, as Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard did when they named their daughter Lincoln or several celebrities recently have in giving their daughters the middle name James. But this cross-gender appropriation happens most often when giving male names to girls, which may be inherently sexist — though even the most feminist parent may stop short of naming a son Mary or Patricia, even in the middle place.
So what do you do then, use the name Patrick? Or choose a name that’s more conventionally gender-identified that starts with the same first letter? Or maybe appropriate Grandma Mary‘s maiden name as a first?
There are all kinds of ways of approaches and beliefs on this subject, and we’d like to hear yours.
When i was pregnant with Baby Number 3, my older son, aged three, had lots of ideas about what I should name his little brother.
Rainbow Boy was one prime contender, I remember.
He also had an inordinate fondness for the name Jim. Not a bad name, though I feared that for a baby name expert to name her own sons Joe and Jim might be a bit too basic, like a fashion designer dressing only in white tee shirts and jeans.
Older siblings often have strong and amusing ideas about what to name the baby.