On the surface, it doesn’t seem that difficult to name a baby – you just find a name you like and run with it. But as most parents find out, naming a person is anything but easy. Here are just a few of the land mines we encountered when deciding what to name our kids.
Here is my very unscientific way to see if your favorite name passes the scrutiny of this baby name test.
1. Does it rhyme with something gross?
“What about Bart? Let’s see. Bart, dart, cart, e-art. Nope can’t see any problems with that.” I hit rhymezone hard when I was name searching and I would blurt out things like, “Wait! No! The nickname rhymes with dick!!” For the record, a lot of things rhyme with dick.
2. Do you hate someone with that name?
Ex-girlfriends, jerks in high school, that evil vampire that killed the hot guy on that show you loved. You really don’t have a true appreciation of how many people you dislike until you have to name a baby.
3. Is it a pet name?
My dear friend always complains that golden retrievers are all named Maggie. I didn’t believe her until I went to the dog park one day and heard someone yell, “Maggie, stop eating that garbage!”. I love dogs, so it was never high on my issues – I feel like it’s a good thing. For the record, she is right and it is in the top 100 of popular dog names.
4. Is it a name that could be either a CEO or an artist?
“Ladies and gentlemen, it is with great honor that I introduce (name).”, “People of Denver, put your hands together for (name) and get ready to rock!” “Oh, that super cool guy over there? His name is (name).” I think you see my method here. Consider playing with the negative, too – “Oh, shit, it’s (name).” Does it land with a certain level of comfort?
5. Can you yell it in a mall?
My friend finds it hard to yell after her husband, Lee. She said, “I’m in the mall trying to get his attention and I’m just yelling LEEEEEEEEEEEE, but it doesn’t cut through the crowd noise because there’s no hard consonant." I agree that this is important. Lee may not.
6. Is it a tongue twister plural or possessive?
Names that end with an ‘s’ can be frustrating when you’re trying express possession. “All of Augustuses’ parents thought they were unique with their name choice.” (I’m not even sure I wrote that correctly. Grammar nuts, please advise.)
7. Is it on merchandise?
No personalized Disney mugs for you, Pheriche!
8. Will it be misspelled on coffee?
“Grandé non-fat latté for Shat!”
I grew up with a girl whose Irish spelling of Caoimhe (pronounced Key-va) drove her nuts. (Although, it was fun to watch people squirm when they had to read it out loud.)
9. Does it make a weird combination with your last name?
“Your son, Hugh, is adorable, Mrs. Jass.”
Same with initials. Allison Sarah Sanford would have interesting monogrammed towels.
10. Will the short form drive you nuts?
If you name your daughter Catherine, I will call her Cat. Accept it or name her something else.
11. Is it taken by a close friend or family member?
You know when your sister-in-law steals the name you’ve been saving since third grade. THIRD GRADE! That bitch knew I loved that name!!!! (For the record, this did not happen to me. Let’s not make Christmas awkward.)
12. Can it work in the name song – banana nana fo fana?
“Arnold Arnold bo barnold, Banana fano for farnold, Fe fi mo marnold, arnold!” Check.
So there you have it. My very scientific method of naming babies.
I’ve had two children and completely disregarded at least three points for each one.
I hope Titus (Tit for short) doesn’t hold it against me when we go to Starbucks.