- Be very clear on your naming goal. Is your primary goal to be unique? Traditional? Is this your own selfish goal or are you really thinking about your child’s happiness? Do you want him/her to fit in or stand apart from his peers? Do you want his/her name to honor a family member or be culturally significant to your ethnic heritage? Do you want your kid’s name to sound smart? To have a pleasant etymology? A strong one? A religious one? What exactly are you trying to accomplish with your baby’s name?
- Evaluate the importance of your naming goal. Let’s say your goal is to be unique. Really consider how important this goal is to you. Are you trying to “stand-out” and be cool for your own vain reasons, or do you really pride yourself on individualism. And, more importantly, will your child?
- Collect, organize and prioritize your options. Take your time to really research the names you like, pick names that are consistent with your goal, organize them and prioritize them. Then go ahead and throw in a couple of names that go outside your goal. Just for perspective.
- Assess your options against your goal. Your list of names and your positive response to them should validate your goal. You should have a strong sense of confidence, or else you may be on the wrong track. Trust your gut intuition.
- Choose the winning option. Be thoughtful. Be authentic to yourself. Don’t just think about yourself; think about your child. If you follow these steps carefully, chances are, you won’t make a mistake you’ll regret later.
Do NOT Overwhelm yourself
Studies have shown that when people are presented with too many options, there’s a greater chance of regretting one’s choice. Websites and books nowadays pride themselves on offering parents a ridiculous amount of names. Do you really want to peruse 30,000 names? In truth, nearly 75% of you will give your baby one of the Top 1000 names currently in circulation for each gender (that percentage is lower for girls and higher for boys, as parents tend to be more creative when naming their daughters). Another fact? 30-40% of parents bestow one of the Top 100 names onto their babies. Less than 20% of you will opt for one of the 30,000+ other names recorded each year by the Social Security Dept. This is why we only focus on the Top 2000 most commonly preferred and currently popular names, plus a smattering of more names not on the Top 2000 but ones which we find significant in other ways. Our smaller list also allows us to provide our visitors with a ton of in-depth detail and an accurate historical perspective on each name. You do not need to sort through 30,000 names, and if you do, we’re not here to help you.
Provenance is Important
This has to do with the origin, source and historical ownership of an object. You often hear this word in connection to rare pieces of art (its provenance provides it with a large part of its value) – which is why we think it’s equally important to consider provenance for your own rare piece of art (i.e., your baby). We get the word provenance from the French “provenir” which means “to come from”. Where does the name come from? The importance of provenance is something we here at OhBabyNames value greatly. And we think you should, too. Another reason why we go overboard with our detailed research on each name.
Trust Your Taste
We start thinking about what we’ll name our children as young girls ourselves while “playing house.” Or perhaps we meet someone in our lifetime where the name resonates, or we love a character in a book we read, or a song we hear. Perhaps we admire some historical figure or we’re just ga-ga over some celebrity. Some of you will want your baby’s name to reflect a certain set of values (perhaps religious), and some of you will gravitate toward the ϋber-trendy or pop-culture influences (even if subconsciously). Some of you will want only a one syllable name, while others look for two or three depending on the tempo of the name when combined with your surname. Some parents prefer a name that starts with a specific letter of the alphabet and others are looking for a specific ethnic origin. Whatever it is, keep an open mind. Maintain the elements of a name you are sure are important to you, and then let yourself be surprised by new ideas.
Don’t Diss Dad
We find that many mothers hijack the baby naming decision-making-process away from the father, and many fathers (since they’re not the raging hormonal pregnant person) opt for the “pick-your-battles” philosophy and sheepishly take the back seat. But remember that your child is a part and a reflection of both of you. We advise parents to come up with lists separately and then compare notes. You may find out you think more alike than you expected. Or you may open yourself up to a new name you hadn’t considered. It’s important that the father and mother both feel good about the choice.
The Girls Got Rhythm!
The rhythm and flow of a name is important. The number of syllables and how it flows with the middle and last name. How does it sound when said with the siblings’ names? The length of the name and how many middle names you desire (historically speaking, American parents have typically bestowed only one middle name on their child, otherwise it seemed too pretentious, although this is not the case in European culture). How many vowels and consonants are contained in the name compared with the child’s middle and surname? Are there too many of the same vowels? How does it look when written out? Jennifer Jane Doe. Jennifer J. Doe. J.J. Doe. J. Jane Doe, etc.
Watch your A.S.S.!
Calling Doctor So-and-So…Get to the ER stat!
Hide it in the Middle
Éviter orthographies très déclassé
A Piece of his soul
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