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9 Rules for Naming Your Baby

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The most unusual baby name that I proposed was Svetlana. My wife vetoed it. I don't blame her and probably wouldn't have gone through with it anyway. A child should have perhaps an interesting baby name, but not a weird one. We live in an age in which Cheese is an actual baby name and some parents are selecting names from the erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey, so it's necessary to tell this to people.

Drew Magary of GQ has 9 helpful tips that future parents may want to keep in mind when thinking about naming their children. Here's a selection:

1. Do not invent a name. Most inventions fail. Many don't even make it past the patent stage. What makes you think a name you created out of thin air is gonna stand the test of time? There's a reason why "Jane" and "David" have hung around for so long. They're proven. They've been workshopped out in the field. That's not true of Kaydiss. You didn't even run it past a focus group. You're putting the responsibility for an entire new product launch on that poor baby's shoulders. That's a dick move. This also goes for any classic name that you deliberately mutilated. No one's gonna be dazzled that you took Christopher and turned it into Krystougher. [...]

6. Do not use double letters if you don't have to. Branlee. That's a real name. People have used it, just as they've used Kylee, Sandee, and thousands of other homemade names that deploy double e's and double n's wherever possible because…well, beecausee! It just looks betterr, doesn't it?! We're on the verge of triple letters. In two years, a Trissstyn will show up at your country day school and everyone's head will explode. [...]

7. Do not name your child after the following things:

  • A television network
  • An item in the Pottery Barn catalog
  • Some goddamn character in Twilight
  • A car
  • A type of New Age exercise method
  • Yourself
  • Food
  • Any celebrity baby. We already have one Moxie CrimeFighter Jillette. We don't need a second one.

What would you add to the list?

-via David Thompson


When choosing names for my daughters, my mother told me to make sure the name would sound okay right after "Senator" or "Chief Justice." So they have old fashioned but not obsolete names. I was afraid there would be many girls with the same names in their classes, but no. The other girls all have trendy names I can't spell.
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My husband and I took the time to think about how the kids in school would take any child's name and try to turn it into something mean or cruel. Yes! We went to public school and our kids would also do this. So every name we came up with for our daughter and son went through the wringer with us doing our darnedest to ruin it the way kids would. We found some names that were pretty generic but names we liked because we knew people with those names and they were good folks and the names were hard to ruin. Steven and Emmy. Sure, as former hippies we considered 'cooler' names but just because we thought they would be fine we knew times would change and those names would definitely be 'bummers' for our kids. They have thanked us for doing this. Just one less hassle for our kids, IMO.
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Don't name your kid rhyming names, or with initials that spell something unexpected, or first and last names that are close, like John Johnson David Davis Peter Patterson Michaela Michaels...
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I knew a girl in school named Daiquiri. I don't think she spelled it the same way. I had no idea it was an alcoholic beverage until high school.
Anyway... we named our daughter Zoe and ALWAYS get "Oh you must really love Zooey Deschanel" sigh..............
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*Snorting* I think all the French speaking people out there had the same reaction: prendre une branlée means being defeated with heavy wounding ... and se branler... means erm... playing with oneself? Having your hand as partner? ... yeah, you got it.
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Take into consideration the Last Name when choosing a First Name. If your last name is long and/or hard to pronounce go with a short and easy 1st name. You don't want to saddle your kid with a lifetime of having to spell out both their 1st and last name to everyone they meet. If you last name is simple you can be a little bolder, but just a little.
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