Category: Questions of the Week


How much should you, can you control your child’s nickname?

Is a nickname something you plan when you choose the name — your William will be called Will and not Billy, for instance — and then insist the world fall into line?

Or do you wait to see whether a nickname arises naturally and how it evolves over time?

Do you start with a nickname — Nell, let’s say — and work backwards to choose a proper name — Penelope, Eleanor, Helen? — that supports it?

Or maybe you looked for a proper name that you hoped would be nickname-proof.

Inspired by this interesting discussion on nicknames over in the forums, how did you handle the issue with your child’s nickname and what’s your general take on the subject of nicknames?

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Name Teasing: How much should you worry?

name teasing

How much do you worry about teasing potential when you consider baby names?

Would you take Astrid off the table, for instance, because you’re concerned about how that first syllable might be spun into a tease? (A discussion about Astrid and name teasing over in the forums sparked this blog.)

Would you or did you rule out a name that’s too unusual or unfamiliar for fear it would lead to teasing? How about a name with teasing potential because of its ethnic or gender identity?

Were you ever teased because of your own name and how did you handle it? Do you think things have changed around name teasing or bullying, with a wider range of names better accepted these days– is teasing largely a thing of the past?

I hope we can all agree that name teasing or bullying should never be tolerated, but does it happen anyway and would it influence your choice of a baby name?

And here are some intriguing posts spotted by Katinka on the forums this week–just follow the links:

— Would you call your daughter “Girl”, even in another language? If Donna and Elle can work… how about this unconventional option?

Royal names like James and Elizabeth are timeless classics, never far from the top of the popularity rankings. But how do you feel about the new wave of royalty-related baby names

— If you love nature names like Rose and River, but want something much rarer, you’ll love these suggestions for totally unique names drawn from the natural world!

— And do you agree with this list of Names No Girl May Be Cool Enough For? Can you see any of these making a comeback?

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The name you know best is almost certainly your own. You’ve spent your entire life hearing it, speaking it, writing it and, at least if you’re a name nerd like us, thinking about it.

That means that your feelings about your own name — whatever they are — are most likely quite set at this point. If you hate it, you’ll probably always hate it; if you love it, you’ll always love it. And those feelings have likely played a key role in shaping your attitude toward names in general.

So how does that work for you?

How do your feelings about your own name affect your baby name taste and style?

Do you resent the plainness or popularity of your name, and so tend to favor more unusual names for your kids? Has it always bothered you if people often misspell your name, leading you to pick an easy-to-spell name for your little one? Or do you, perhaps, think that your name is amazing, and want to choose one just like it for the next generation?

Tell us in the comments, or on Twitter or Facebook!

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Good, good word names…..

bad baby names

My son once had a classmate with a word name that might have been very pretty except… had a terrible meaning.

The poor child’s name was Cliche. That’s right, as in overused and unoriginal. When you just hear the sound — klee-shay — it’s a word that’s undeniably nameworthy. But the meaning knocks it out of contention. Or at least it should.

There’s a fun thread on the forums now of other such words that might make excellent names except for their meanings.

Dementia, for instance, and Maudlin. Alimony and Sushi (not so good as a name, but you can buy the adorable costume on Etsy.)

What would you add to the list? Post your coolest, funniest ideas here and/or there?

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Are you named after anyone?

Parents have been naming babies after other people since they started naming babies. No other naming tradition has endured and thrived across so many different cultures and time periods. The exact approach varies — many Jewish families, for example, name babies after deceased relatives, and WASPs often name the firstborn son after the father — but the basic idea remains the same.

We asked you, a few weeks ago, what you thought of cross-gender namesakes for kids born today. But a super-hot thread on the Nameberry forums made us curious about you, our beloved Berries. Were you named after someone?

It doesn’t have to be a relative. Maybe you were named after Isabel Allende, Rosa Parks or Amedeo Modigliani! Nor does it have to be your first name — we’re certainly interested in your middle name as well. We want to know it all!

We’re also curious about how you feel about your namesakes. Do you feel a kinship with them? Have they influenced your own behavior?

Let us know your answers in the comments, and continue the conversation on Twitter or Facebook!

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