There comes a time in every pregnancy when you start to ask yourself what you’re going to call the baby. It’s a huge responsibility, he’ll answer to that name all his life, and in many cases, it will influence how people will interact with him at every stage in his life. It’s easy to get anxious about this situation, which is why we’re going to give you a few tips and ideas to help you with the task. Get pen and paper ready, and let’s start.
- First of all, neither your mother, your uncle Peter, nor your local bartender are going to have to live with your baby’s name for the rest of his life. The only person to hold that honour is himself, so don’t be influenced by what other people may say (unless it’s to warn you of the following point).
- Be careful how his name combines with his surname. It would be in bad taste to name your boy William (‘Willie’) if the surname he’ll be carrying is Stroker. You also have to watch out for initials: Edward George might not be a (too) bad combination, but if his surname is Grant, one if his playtime friends might decide that he should be called EGG. Kids are not only an unlimited source of creativity, they can occasionally be a bit cruel, so you have to watch out for these combinations that could be traumatizing for your son.
- Avoid cacophonous or uncomfortable rhymes. Maybe Zinedine Zidane got away with his, but normally it sounds silly and it makes it hard for people to take you seriously.
- Find a unique name. It’s obvious that your little king will be the most important Jack or Lilly to you, but think that your child’s most important years are the first ones he spends surrounded by others just like him, and if you have five Harrys in a classroom, it’s likely that they’ll call him by his surname (or give him an original nickname, like EGG). That’s why it’s advisable that if you already have a pretty unique surname, you give him a more common name; on the contrary, if his surname’s going to be Smith, you can find a name that’s a bit more original.
Useful tools for finding names
For us, it’s important that the king of your house has the name that best suits his personality, which is why we’d like to suggest a couple of tools that will help you with this task and that will make operation “nice name for my baby” a complete success.
- National Statistics (UK): this links to the United Kingdom Goverment’s database, but you’ll find that most countries have a site similar to this one. It has a search engine that allows you to do searches by year, by country ((Republic and Northern) Ireland, Wales, England, Scotland…), etc… It’s an easy way of seeing what names are popular now and try to miss those all too common ones (you can check data up to 2010).
- IMDB.com (Internet Movie DataBase): depending on whether you’re a bit of a film buff or not, you may already know this website. It’s an online movie encyclopedia that has information on every single movie, as well as it’s actors and the characters they played. What’s so great about this tool, is that you get the actors names and the characters names side by side: that’s a whole lot of names! How would we use this tool? Let’s say you really like a particular actor, let’s say Brad Pitt for example. We could see that he’s played characters with names like Tyler, Jesse, David, Benjamin, etc…
- Google: we’re pretty sure that you know this one, but you probably never thought that you could use it to see if the name you have chosen for your baby is adequate or not. You could try typing a search like “Name1 Name2 Surname” (in between quotation marks, so that it will give you an exact search) and see if something “uncomfortable” comes up. You could also try searching “name Olivia” to discover that “in its Latin context means ‘an olive tree or branch’, whilst in English it means ‘an elf army’”.
We hope that these little clues may have helped you to avoid some of the pitfalls when searching for the perfect name for your child, and that with a bit of luck, you’ve been inspired to find it. We’d love to hear what name you’ve thought of for the king of your house, so let us know in the comments.
This post is also available in: Spanish