Category: nameberry message boards
The question of the week: how honest are you about names?
In all of our books and here on nameberry, Linda and I are dedicated to telling parents that their baby’s name is their choice and theirs alone, that they should tune out well-meaning relatives and friends and, yes, even strangers who criticize a name they love.
But what about when expectant parents ask for advice about names? What about when they ask you? Do you tell them what you really think, or do you keep your harsher opinions to yourself?
Denizens of the nameberry forums are often experts at the diplomatic response to names they’re not crazy about. “Not my style,” is one very nice way of signaling thumbs down about a name.
Some people say that, when asked, you should give your honest opinion on name possibilities before the baby is born, but stifle yourself once the name has already been chosen.
Others say that negative opinions on names, no matter when or by whom or in what tone they’re offered, are always offensive.
What do YOU think? C’mon, now, tell us the truth…be honest.
Question of the week: How do you feel about your own name?
This is a topic that has been brought up in the nameberry forums, with opinions ranging from love to how could my parents do this to me? What we’d like to know now is:
What is it that you like or dislike about your name? Do you feel that it fits you perfectly or not at all? Have you ever considered changing it?
Has it affected other people’s impression of you? Positively or negatively?
Has your feeling about your name changed over time, perhaps as it has become more or less stylish or trendy?
How has your attitude towards your own name affected your approach to naming your own children? Would you choose something similar in style or popularity or one that’s diametrically different?
The plays of William Shakespeare are a mother lode of wonderful names, rich and diverse, drawing from the history and mythology of ancient Greece and Rome, tales of Renaissance Italy, the royal courts and noble estates of England and Scotland–not to mention those that sprung from the playwright’s imagination.
We were inspired by Kat’s recent name board comment on the “Underrated Baby Names” question of the week to revisit the subject of Shakespearean names, starting from her excellent list and then digging a little deeper into some of the major and more minor characters that may not be as strongly associated with the Bard, but still boast some Shakespearean cred and cachet.
WHO DO YOU TALK TO WHEN YOU TALK ABOUT NAMES?
Today’s question is: where do you turn when discussing your name choices? These days, when picking the perfect name can seem to be a minefield of do’s and don’ts, many if not most parents-in-waiting turn to others for guidance and opinions. How about you?
— Is your partner your principal sounding board and if so is finding a name a primary topic of conversation?
— Do you talk about names with your friends (pregnant and not) – and how honest do you really want them to be?
— Do you find that talking with your family—especially those of the parental and grandparental generations—is trickier than talking to friends—and if so, why?
— Have you made virtual friends on message boards whose opinions you value? Have you become part of an online community that has raised issues of interest to you and that you might not have considered before? Have they helped you in arriving at a decision?
Tell us about your name community!
One of the best recent message boards to spring up on nameberry cites a story of a couple who pick their child’s name from a character on Sex & The City, and then morphs into a discussion of how and where people found their children’s names, or where their parents found their own.
So we thought, like our sixth grade teacher, we’d ask you to share these stories with the whole class. Where did you find your baby’s name? What interesting, unusual, surprising, or inane sources did your friends and family use for names?
Name books or the nameberry message boards? The Bible or your family tree? Movie credits or world maps? Maybe you’ve been carrying around a favorite name since third grade. Or maybe you just overhead a name you liked and decided to make it your own.