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February 14th, 2012 12:24 PM #1
Discussion on Blog "9 Timeless Rules for Naming Your Baby"
I came across an older blog article this week and thought it would make some interesting discussion among the Berries: http://nameberry.com/blog/9-timeless...ming-your-baby
In particular, I was struck by point #3:
3. Try Out Names On Your Friends — Take cues from their reactions. If you say a name and they always reply, “What?” or “How is that spelled?,” don’t assume that they’re either stupid or hearing-impaired; your child will likely get the same reactions for the rest of her life.
I thought this was really interesting because usually I see advice to keep names under wraps from family and friends to avoid the negative feedback. But since Pam pointed this out it gave me pause to consider -- yeah, I wonder how LOCAL people will take this name? And part of me does wonder, before we name the kid, what the family will think.
So I'm curious what the Berry thoughts are on this point. Yeah, I've heard the "give the name at Starbucks" idea but I'm having a boy so that tactic doesn't really work. How do you get local input on a name? IS there a point where getting family feedback is useful? This is maybe the "other side of the coin" to the quandary of whether to announce baby's name before or after their birth.
In my case, I'm not sure whether it actually would be useful to get family input, as I'm one of the rare people who actually has family that is TOO NICE! Example: I threw some "out there" names by one of my sisters early on in the search, and one of my (brief) crushes was Deveraux. Now, at the time my sister just said it would just get shortened to Devin, and weeks later when I said we were getting close to having a finalist she said, "It isn't Deveraux, is it? Oh good. That one sounded like a midlife crisis." Well THANKS for telling me that when I first threw it at you to see if it was really too weird. :eyeroll: But another friend saw it written down and said, "How do you pronounce that" so I decided it was just too French to be use-able in the States.
On the other hand, we considered Quillan for quite awhile, and I sought out opinions online while my husband leaked it at family gatherings (which really stressed me out!). It got the "stunned silence" reaction in real life, and online I got fairly mixed reaction but moreover found that people frequently mis-read it as Quillian. I get it when a name just isn't the "style" that others like so I can take mixed reaction, but if even the spelling gets mixed up when people are seeing it in writing, I think that name might not be the best choice. Which, again, seems to relate to Point #3 above.
So how does one actually GET the input of family, friends, local people? Does it maybe only "work" to throw the names out early on in the search before you really get attached to them? Does one need to get "thicker skin" about criticism because it's better for you as the parent to manage the criticism and deal with possible fallout before your child gets stuck with a name for their entire life? How can you actually get the "how do you spell that" information, which is actually pretty useful, without also soliciting "I hate that name," which may just be a matter of style preference having nothing to do with spelling, pronunciation, or association with something negative?
I'm sending this out for great Berry insight and looking forward to seeing all the ideas and opinions!
February 14th, 2012 12:40 PM #3
I'm still probably a couple years from having kids but I've thought a lot about that particular rule. I'm not sure yet if I want to announce the name or have a few names chosen and decide when the baby is born, and announce it then. It makes a good point, but the names I'm considering at the moment are recognizable names, except for maybe Callum. It's a legit name and all, I just don't think a lot of people I know have heard of it. There could be potential spelling issues with some of the names I like, but not because I'm thinking of a weird spelling. I'm thinking about Elliott and there are a few accepted ways to spell that name.
Overall though, what my family and friends think of the name we choose is only sort of important. I don't want a situation where people call him something other than what we name him or her. I think my family would be accepting enough of whatever we choose unless it's something completely crazy (like Adolf, Saddam, something with a terrible association that we wouldn't choose anyways).
#8 and #9 stood out to me. #8 is not using an ex's name. One of my favorite names was Hannah, but my FI dated someone with this name. However, there are a couple names of my ex's I'm not totally opposed to using. I dated people with pretty common, classic names (Michael, Matthew, Joshua, Robert, names like that). One name I really like is Evan. I dated a guy with this name in high school and he cheated on me. We remained friends somehow. It's been so long since I dated him that I don't really associate the name with him exclusively. It's not a top name for me, but I'm not completely sure I'd rule it out just because of him.
#9 is not using a name that you have a bad association with. I think it depends. I love the name Bridget. I had a boss at a job I got fired from with this name. She was terrible. I mean, honestly the worst boss I've ever had. She's not much older than me and LOVES the power she has in her position. She's completely rude and doesn't care about anyone other than herself. She also "manages" an office in another state and I listened to her argue on the phone with employees there over stupid things. Anyways, I still love the name. I've been thinking a lot about it, and I think my love for the name overshadows my dislike for one person with the name. So I don't think people need to completely rule out names of people they don't like. Just think a lot about when you say the name. Can you picture calling your child this? Can you let that bad association go in order to use a name you love?
February 14th, 2012 01:16 PM #5
I actually think that what was intended with #9 is in regards to "that one name that you love, but it just always reminds you of so-and-so." The advice is to let the name go, and not use it hoping that you'll get over it because you probably won't.
My husband and I actually found this pretty "liberating" advice, if you will. Nice name, always makes us think of that one boyfriend, or girlfriend, or super-obnoxious kid from school? We don't even debate those. If one or other of us has a negative association, out the name goes, period. Now if it's your OWN negative association and you love the name even beyond what your bad association is able to tarnish it, then I think that's your own business and the name is fair game, though if the other parent of the child has a negative problem they shouldn't be pressured to "get over it" or whatever. It was actually kind of nice to hear "permission" to NOT obsess over those names that can immediately be dispensed with, "ew, no there was this bully in school named that and I would always think of him." (Exception I've found myself in: I have a whole heap of negative associations with a name that happens to also be my FIL's name. I'm having a hard time countering the good FIL association with all those bad associations. I guess it is going to be dealt with according to Rule #5, with the name being dispensed as a middle).
February 14th, 2012 02:00 PM #7Senior Member
- Join Date
- May 2009
In regards to number #3:
Can you maybe recruit a close friend to help you out? Tell her the names you are considering and invite her to a family gathering. Then have HER (or him) offer them to you as suggestions and see how family members react. Since it will sound like the names are from an outside source and not ones you are actually considering yet you should get honest reactions from family.
February 14th, 2012 02:36 PM #9
I think running your list of names by close friends and family is a good idea, just because it gives you an idea of how people in general are going to react to a name. If the majority opinion on a name is overwhelmingly negative, you probably want to rethink it. Also, it gives you a chance to find out about any negative associations that family might have with the name. For instance, I once mentioned to my mother that I liked the name Lara. She responded with a story about a Lara who she knew in high school that used to make her life hell, so that name quickly got crossed off the list.
I will say that once my husband and I agreed on THE NAME that I wouldn't share it with others, just because I'd hate to tell everyone that we were going with Alex, get a bunch of engraved or monogrammed baby gifts, then change our mind once the baby was born and go with Ethan instead. I'm more a fan of telling people a handful of names you're considering and announcing the final choice once the baby gets here.
Babynames.com has an option where you can make a name list that people can vote on. I think it's a great idea because you can get feedback without having people go overboard on negative criticism.
February 14th, 2012 04:01 PM #11Junior Member
- Join Date
- Feb 2012
I am not yet ready to have children, but I know for a fact that I will not be telling my family my name options before the baby comes.
My family is really into top 100 names and refuse to accept anything the falls outside of that.
If it rhymes with Aiden or Kaylee/Kylee then that is even better.
For my own sanity I will keep them to myself!
February 14th, 2012 04:25 PM #13
moxielove -- LOL sneaky! Clever idea. Of course then you have to be prepared for millions of other suggestions too.
pansy -- good points. I think we've gotten to where we've mostly decided on "the name," however it was never on the list we ran by family in the first place. It was sort of a "dark horse" so I don't know how to get feedback now without announcing "this is the name." The babynames.com voting list is a good idea I hadn't thought of. We had some friends who posted a list of half a dozen names on Facebook and asked for feedback. I don't think I would want input from EVERY friend, yikes. Of course I totally thought Atticus was the joke that the ornery husband threw on the list so I never commented on it, and nobody else did either, and they ended up naming the baby Atticus. Sometimes I wonder if they were already leaning toward that one or if they thought it was the best since it didn't get negative feedback, LOL!
sarah.jane -- your message hadn't loaded before I posted. I totally understand that perspective too! My family is so crazy though, the sister who finally confessed that Deveraux sounded like a midlife crisis likes ALL Top 50 names, but yet she's the one who told me to use Quigley for real (this is our little nickname we gave the fellow while we're deciding on his real name)! How confusing can you get?
Last edited by saracita00; April 3rd, 2012 at 09:50 PM. Reason: missed sarah.jane's message
February 15th, 2012 04:56 PM #15
You have to remember that your kid has to live with that name for the rest of his life. I know parents that say, "It's my baby and I'll name it what I want." The fact is, as the baby's parent your responsibility is to give your baby good name that it accepted in general society, because they're the people who your kid has to live with and be judged by. Ask for feedback, and your child will thank you for it later.Jane, Vivian, Lydia, Annabeth, Tallulah (Lula), Florence, Virginia, Mabel, Risa, Eve, Eloise, Susannah
John, Alan, Maxwell, Erich, Nathan/Nathaniel, Leo, Connor, Jack, Paul, Rieger, Francis
"Any daughter of mine that wants to be a stripper, pole dancer, or porn star is going to have to overcome the obstacle of her dripping-with-intelligence name and change it herself to something creatively slutty like they did back in the good ol' days."
- Anna Stesia
February 15th, 2012 05:37 PM #17
It's a fine line to walk. I will probably throw name out to my family and friends, but I have a hard time not taking things personally. If 9 people liked it and one person made a face, what would I focus on? Yes, the face person of course. I am worried it would spoil the name, even if I had confirmation from the majority that it's not too weird/complicated/trendy etc. I guess I just need a thicker skin
I suppose the best way is just to be upfront with family and friends: "So I have a name I love. If you don't care for it, that's fine, but what I'd rather know is (fill in the blank)" It could be: How do you think it is spelled? Have you known anyone with that name? Does it register on your radar as a recognizable name?
February 15th, 2012 05:55 PM #19
Telling people your names at any time can be tricky. Reactions can be helpful, and hurtful. I liked obscure names that got negative reviews on here, well some mixed. I went with a unique name that can shortened to a top 1000 name so everyone is happy!Proud mama to Leopold and Sena Belle
/Cashel Fox/ Hugo Grey/Rafferty Fox/ Ignatius Grey/Caius Grey