Category: baby naming tips
By Linda Rosenkrantz
These days, not many of us name our kids Junior—though British singer Peter Andre (whose other child is Princess Tiaamii Crystal Esther) did just that–or even call them My Name, Jr. * But there are ways that you can still honor yourself but a little less blatantly. And for this, as in so many ways (just kidding), we can look to the stars for ideas.
Some of the most powerful and memorable names in popular culture are to be found in the pages of comic books. So could there be some tactics used by their creators that could be used to craft a strong, easily remembered baby name? Here are a few techniques you might apply:
1. ADOPT ALLITERATION!
One of the most common comic book tricks to making a name stick in your mind is alliteration, one that works because it inserts a repetitive element into the name, giving it a sing-song quality that makes it easier to remember. In fact, Stan Lee, the creator of classics like Spider-Man, often used alliteration to name his major human characters (Reed Richards, Sue Storm, Pepper Potts) so that he himself could better remember their names. Not only did he find it relatively easy to recall those characters’ names, but so did his loyal fan base and even people who knew little about comics. After all, even if you don’t know that Spider-Man gained his powers from a radioactive spider bite, chances are you recognize and remember his civilian name: Peter Parker. This is one adaptable technique that would be a way to make your baby’s name a memorable one — using a first name that begins with the same consonant or vowel sound as his last name.
2. DO DOUBLE FIRST NAMES!
Using two first names to make up a character’s name is another trick that comic book writers use to make a name stick—but obviously this is one that will only work if you happen to have an accommodating surname. Unlike first names, many last names are less familiar and therefore less memorable, but by using two names that are familiar as firsts, it’s easy to mash them together to create a full name that is easily recalled. This method is evidenced in many DC Comics characters such as Batman’s Bruce Wayne, the Green Lantern’s Alan Scott and Hal Jordan, and Superman’s Clark Kent. If your baby happen to have a last name that could also double as a first, you are in luck: he will end up with a memorable name as long as you give him a familiar first name.
3. KEEP THE NAMES SHORT!
This is another technique that will only work if your last name cooperates. Comic book character creators usually would keep the first and last names short, with each no longer than two syllables. There are exceptions to this rule, but many of the most memorable comic book names are no more than four syllables in total. This method keeps the name short and snappy, reducing the possibility of mispronunciation and recall error. If your baby will have a long last name, consider giving him or her a shorter first name in order to make the name more memorable. With a short last name, you have more options, depending on just how much you want to adhere to the comics four-syllable maximum method. (Note: Check the Nameberry message boards for some interesting discussions on ideal syllable rhythm and balance.)
Many of us spend an entire nine months – or even longer – weighing the relative merits of names for our babies.
But it’s possible to judge most names much more quickly than that, at least accurately enough to tell whether they belong on your short list.
Here, nameberry’s top quick and easy tips for judging a baby’s name.
WHAT’S YOUR INSTANT REACTION?
The book Blink theorized that the reaction we have to something in the first few seconds has important long-term meaning, and that counts for a name. Perhaps you can learn to love a name that at first seems weird and old-fashioned like Leopold or get over your image of Ruth as the kid you knew who had green teeth, but better to choose a name that, the minute you hear it, makes you feel positive and full of anticipation for meeting the person who owns it.
HOW MANY SYLLABLES DOES IT HAVE?
The most compatible first names will have a different number of syllables than your surname…and a different number from the middle name too. So a syllable combination of 2-3-1 – Rufus Barnaby Flynn, for instance – or 3-1-2 or 1-3-4 is best.