Sunday, September 16, 2007

Choosing a name is hard work

When you’re planning for a new baby, there are a million things to think about. And while we think choosing a name is one of the most fun parts, it can also seem to be the most daunting.

So, to help make the naming process even more fun, we’ve put together a list of naming tips from around the Nymbler office. Here’s what we’ve come up with so far:

1. The Laundry List: First, brainstorm and think of all the names you like. Make a list. Then, make a separate list of all the names you dislike. Have your partner do the same and compare lists. You may find some common names on each. Or, you may find some difference in opinion that may help you narrow down your choices.

2. Name Tests: We’ve written about the presidential test, the judicial test and the cyber-space test. But don’t limit your baby to just those categories. You never know, your son or daughter could grow up to be a rock star, an astronaut or a journalist for the New York Times. If you only like your favorite name in one of these situations, think twice before pigeonholing your baby into a career.

3. The Full Name: Write it down, say it aloud, yell it across the back yard. If you can imagine yourself sounding like a broken record as you tell your son or daughter to clean their room, then you might have found a winner. Saying the full name will also eliminate problems such as rhyming names or too much alliteration.

4. Take your Time: Who says you have to have your mind made up? You don’t name a puppy without seeing it, so why your baby. Have your list narrowed down and make your decision when you hold your baby for the first time. If the name is right, you’ll feel it.

Do you have name tips you are sticking to? How does a name make it to your “top names list?” Share your name tips with Nymbler.


Swistle said...

I notice that lots of people check to make sure the name sounds good as a Supreme Court Justice or a doctor or something prestigious, but they forget to see if the name sounds good for a secretary, a cashier, etc. I suppose that's because a cashier named Caroline is fine, while a Supreme Court Justice named Kadynce is not.

Since I'm interested in baby names and my husband isn't, what we do is I make a list, and he goes down and crosses out the ones he doesn't like. Then, "we choose a favorite" (actually, I choose a favorite and talk him into it).

Anonymous said...

I think before parents pick a name, they should also think about the implications of choosing a certain type of name - such as one that is difficult to spell, has lots of accepted spellings, or using a middle or nickname as your child's primary name.

My husband goes by a shortened version of his middle name - which is such a pain! So, one of our criteria is that we would name our children what we intend to call them. It makes is so much less confusing in school, jobs, etc. For a couple of months, my husband's HR director didn't even realize who he was because of this (he kept having to tell her his full name every time he called - lots of employee systems only recognize first name and middle initial).

Another rule we follow: make it easy to spell. This isn't very popular right now since so many people like unique spellings, but I spent way too much of my life telling people exactly how to spell my name, and that was very time consuming -- it just gets old after a while -- and it is irritating when people constantly spell it incorrectly.