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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013

    Picking a name because it sounds nice?

    I think a lot of the Berries place too much importance on a name being full of meaning. I've seen so many comments around the board that picking a name just because you like the sound of it or the way it looks is somehow bad, and I personally don't understand why.

    This may be because my own name had no personal meaning to my parents; they were told by their doctor that I would be a boy, and they let my older sister pick a boy name, any boy name. They literally didn't care what name she picked as long as it was a legitimate name. So she picked one and then, surprise, I came out a girl. So they gave me the girl version of that boy name. When my little sister came along, they had a name picked out for her, but when they saw her they decided another name just sounded better, and so she was named.

    Is it really that bad for someone to think a name has a nice sound and name their kid based on that alone? I don't see the problem with it at all. We haven't suffered for lack of a naming process full of meaning and history. I wouldn't love my name more if my parents had chosen it based on the meaning or an ancestor or whatever.

    But on these forums I keep seeing phrases like "that's as bad as naming a kid something because it *sounds* nice!" But for me, that's good enough reason to name a kid. I like the name Artemis because it sounds nice. I like the image it conjures up. I like the name Eliza because it sounds nice. I like the name Thomas because it sounds nice. If I have to name my future kids based on some meaningful theme I don't know what their names will be because there are no names that just mean oh-so-much to me for any reason other than that I just like the way they roll around in my mouth when I say them and I like the way they look written down and I like the image in my head of what my kids would look like and what their personalities might be and how those names flatter them.
    I hope to be a mom one day. For now I enjoy being a name lover.

    My apologies for any typos; i post from my mobile phone.

  2. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    I think there's a difference between picking a name because it sounds nice, it makes your heart flutter, and you're passionate about it even though there's no personal meaning behind your choice, vs "Let's look at the top 20. Yep, Madison sounds fine. Madison it is." where there's a clear lack of research done. I mean, obviously there are many, many, many parents who don't take interest in their name choice- it's not their priority when parenting, and I think that's completely valid. I'm actually always baffled by posts here like, "Hi, I just found out I'm having twins. Finding names is the most important and most difficult part of a twin pregnancy!", I'm always thinking, "Really? Do you not have anything better to worry about?" but maybe they don't.

    Personally, my favourite names have no personal meaning to me. I remember when I first heard them, I know why I'm attracted to them, I think they're great, they make me excited, but is there a family connection, or an ethnic connection? Nope. If my SO and I have a daughter, he has the name all ready to go (he doesn't think he'll produce a girl though lol). It's a nice name, it isn't my personal favourite, but I know Eulalia, Seraphine, Leonor and Leire are hard sells and kind of impractical for where we'll be living. His passion for his favourite name is what makes me happy and wanting to use it. I don't think it has a special meaning to him either, but he loves it.

    In contrast to this "I LOVE it even though there's no personal history with the name", my parents picked my (legal) name by this process, "Well, we liked Allison, but that's your cousin' name, and we liked Christine, but we already had a friend named Christine, so we picked a name that sounded almost the same. And Anne sounded okay in the middle" :/ Wow, I can just feel their enthusiasm. This always bothered me, and I was trying to go by different names as early as grade 2.

    I think parental interest in the name, even if it's faked ("Yeah, we named you Madison. We LOOOOVE IT!" even though they don't really care) will make a big difference for the kids. I could have been named Phyllis, and if my parents had said, "We put a lot of deep thought and consideration in to Phyllis being your name" I would have been a lot more willing to like it. When parents seem indifferent, I think it'd be almost expected the kid would be, too.

    tl;dr There's a difference between picking a name because you love it and there's no personal significance to it (other than love, and that's valid significance), and picking a name with no real thought other than the sound.
    Some people are just naturally going to care more. People posting on name forums obviously care about what they pick as names and why. People who don't put much importance in it won't be posting here. You have to remember you aren't talking to and accurate representation of the general public on this forum.
    Name aficionada, traveller, teacher, wonderfully enamoured
    EDD: 4/14/2018 It's a girl!

  3. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Personally, I think the "sound" and "look" of the name are only pieces of a larger puzzle. Of course, EVERY parent should want a name to flow well with your surname and to look good on a resume. However, other factors are just as important to me. Family significance, historical or literary associations, meaning and popularity are other things I seriously consider before making a final decision (or giving anyone advice here). People on Nameberry put a lot of thought into their children's names because they want to make the best decision possible. All of us simply LOVE names. I have to agree with lucialucentum when she stated that Berries are different from the general population. We come from many countries and all walks of life, have numerous years of investigating and researching names and are happy to share our knowledge with people who ask us to help them. Whatever floats your boat, right? Different strokes for different folks!
    All the best,

  4. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Slytherin Common Room
    I'm huge on meanings, I believe that the meaning of the name you give your child is what you call them.

    I adore the sound of the name Cameron, but I would never call my child "Crooked nose", so I will never name my child Cameron. Same with Kennedy, and a bunch of other names with unfortunate meanings.

    I think it's lacking when a name is picked out just because it sounds nice, or happens to fit. But that's just me, I'm a sentimental kind of person. I place a lot of thought in pretty much everything I do.

  5. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    For me, the meaning of a name is very important, but I understand not everyone shares this value. In other aspects of my life, I like things with deeper meanings and multiple connections (historical, spiritual, relational, intellectual), so it is logical that my name choices would reflect this sentiment too! However, I would never judge people who choose names simply because they sound nice. The sound of a name is also an important factor. I've crossed off a lot of great names because I didn't like the sound or flow with my last name.

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