Test Your Baby Name

On the surface, it doesn’t seem that difficult to name a baby – you just find a name that 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 that we came across when deciding what to name our kids.


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.


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.


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.


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?


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.


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.)


Is it on merchandise?

No personalized Disney mugs for you, Pheriche!


Will it be misspelled on coffee?

“Grandé non-fat latté for Shat!”


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.


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.


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.)


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 to 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.

What else would you add?

Related: Ultimate List of Grandparent Names

Whether it be traditional or unique, boy or girl, you can see if your baby name passes the scrutiny of this naming test.

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  • Haha! When I revealed the name we chose for our little girl to my mom she was devastated. She knew a woman with the same name who was fairly promiscuous and had could possibly hold the county record for most divorces and begged me to change my mind. I had to get a little snarky and said something along the lines of, “I actually wanted to find the name of the dirtiest slut I have never heard of and name my daughter that. So thanks for confirming I am making the right choice.” We still went with the name and I have no regrets. I never knew the woman in question and now my mom has gotten over her initial reaction. I have to admit it was a bit of a shock to hear her reaction when I was just excited to share the name we picked!

  • Great list! I will say, though, I don’t give a fuck if a family member already used the name. Both my husband and I come from large families, so there will be overlap. Both my daughter and her first cousin have very similar names and are only a year apart, but I was determined to name my daughter after my grandmother, no matter what. And do you know what? The world didn’t end!

    • lol. My fiance and I took a while before we were able to name our incoming daughter. We had issues because family would say “Oh you named her after so and so” or “Her name sounds so much like…”. We decided on Madison by the way. Her father helped in this instance because the name before this was “according to him” close to what her sister’s name is and my fiance hates her sister lol.

  • So my partner and I have decide that he will be naming all the girls (first names) and I get middle names and I will name all the boys first names except for the first boy who will get to be his namesake. Thus far he’s had a lot of practice (4 girls), we are now having our first boy and I have middle name set and I’m already for boy #2. We also want to keep the initials A.L.L and we are doing great thus far, but hey this is just our plan.

  • I also made a point to check the latest most popular baby name lists so that my chosen moniker wasn’t up there. I’d personally be annoyes if I was one of seven girls in my class with the same name.

  • We named my son after dad, granddad, and so forth and decided his nickname would be the second half of the middle name, “Field”. It seemed cool, yet weird. Then my mother comes over when he was about three months old and says, “Hey, Field….”. Go ahead, say it out loud. Oh well…

    • Oh well is a great answer. Others opinions should never stop you from doing something you want. What matters is are you happy with it.

  • I wanted to name my son Arthur, but every time my I mentioned it, my mom would say, “Farty Arty!”
    Suffice to say, we found a different name.

  • I went to school with a kid named Titus and my sister and mom joked that he would be called “tight ass” when he got older and started getting picked on.

  • Mine’s Atlas. Meet’s all the criteria except the plural one. Cannot be shortened. And may or may not be appropriate when used in the banana jingle. 😉

  • Don’t forget the initials…my mother in law’s initials (after changing her last name when married) is JEW. No monogrammed gifts for her!!

  • Lol…the second one. I’ve been a teacher for 15 years. Soooooo many names I cannot EVER name a child…naming this baby is going to be the hardest thing I ever do, including giving birth to it.

    • Exactly the same problem. I’m a teacher, and every name my partner came up with, my reply was either, “No, all xxx’s are pains in the butt” or “Never yet met one who can spell his own name”, or something similar. I had to visualise his name being mentioned in the staff room at morning briefing and see whether it worked that way…

    • Alison, I think you are going to have one of the hardest times naming your child. I can’t imagine every single year a new group of kids with new names and then trying to not name your child after a kid you have had in class sounds like it could almost be impossible after 15 years. I hope you’re able to find a name!

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