Ask a mother if she has an opinion on baby names, and you’re sure to get an answer!
A dear friend of mine just gave birth to her first baby – a healthy and handsome baby boy, if you’re wondering – and it got me thinking…how do you pick a name that lasts a lifetime?
I asked some of my favorite mothers out in cyberspace to share their Tips, Tried and True Methods, as well as their Pet Peeves when it comes to NAMING THAT BABY!
Let’s just say, they had plenty talk about.
The DO’s and DON’Ts of Naming Your Baby
Julie Glover Tip #1: Check with teachers. They know from experience what children can and can’t do with a name!
Tip #2: Check your initial combo. We suddenly had an AHA moment of “Hey, if we give our kid that middle name, his initials will be B.S.” Not good.
Another tip! Mirror Ernest Hemingway’s “Write drunk, edit sober”…”Conceive drunk, name sober.”
Diana Beebe No matter how much you avoid family names, you’ll manage to hit some obscure great aunt or twelfth cousin twice removed.
HAVE FUN! We made up crazy names that we’d never use. Phoebe Beebe and Daisy Beebe were our favorites.
The Sears catalog is not a good place to name pick. Pajama is not a name. It is clothing.
—Kristen Lamb My mom had a patient named Shithead. I KID YOU NOT. Pronounced shi-thay-ed. A combo of Shirley and Theodore. Baby Name FAIL.—
Diana Beebe I know that kid!
Misty Laws The hubs and I made a list of names we liked and tried to match them up. We did not have one of the same, but that’s besides the point.
Do not name your child after a car (Chevette, Acura), an alcohol (Bacardi, Korbel) or a country/continent (Europa, Africa, Germany). All of these are REAL names. Sadness.
Also, don’t try to name all of your kids with some variation of the parents names. Dad=Robert. Kids=Roberta, Robertina, Robina, Robette. Not as clever as you think.
Kristen Lamb Don’t be clever with the spelling. JUST SPELL IT, for GOD’s SAKE! “Hi, my name is Khrystyn.”
Hollyweird takes the cake sometimes. Apple is a FRUIT, not a name. “I’m naming my next child Velveeta Nacho, because that’s what I ate the whole time I was preggo.”
I had a cop friend who pulled over a lady and her name seriously was Aqua Net.
—Misty Laws I know a professional woman (a lawyer) whose name is Aquanetta. Seriously!—
Kristen Lamb North West *cough* No anagram names. DO NOT name your kid TACO CAT!
Myndi Shafer We wanted our names to be different, but to have strong meanings. Wanted them to be able to have nicknames if that was fitting for them. Middle names were just as important as first names, so if they wanted to ditch being called by their first name they could.
We chose not to be afraid of schoolyard teasing – kids can twist any name into something cruel. We’ve always focused instead on instilling pride in their names and their meanings. So far, so good.
Marcia Richards I chose (not intentionally) THE most popular names at the time for my kids. Jennifer and Matthew. Needless to say they hate their names. LOL
—Kelly Witkins My siblings and I have the most common names for the years we were born. My parents have unique names and didn’t want us to have that. My children love being the only ones with their names in their schools. Each is spelled normally and pronounceable. However, at a young age our daughter learned to enunciate and say her name slowly since many hadn’t heard it before.—
—Julie Glover My kids don’t have middle names. They have initials only. It was a compromise with my husband who thinks that middle names are rather pointless. Yes, that’s weird. But it has not caused them any problems so far. In fact, they think it’s cool.—
—Diana Beebe My older daughter picked the name of her little sister (from a short list). She picked the name of her dance teacher.—
Kelly Witkins (the author’s sister-in-law) Having meaning in their names is important. Our daughter is named after my aunt, the oldest girl in her family, who passed away when I was 17. I didn’t want to take her name itself, that is for her own children to use. But, my daughter is the first in her generation and it carried on the meaning. We used the gaelic version of my aunts name. Her middle name is after a sacred herb that we loved and learned about on a trip together.
Our son’s name came from places we’ve been together. Important milestones in our lives as a couple. His middle names are after his great grandfather and my dear cousin who passed away when I was 16 and his other middle name is my maiden name.
Dawn Sticklen Both my boys are adopted from Russia and for our youngest we took his Russian name, “Americanized” it, and used it as his middle name (his first name comes from my husband’s uncle). For our youngest daughter – who medically probably shouldn’t have happened – we chose our OB’s last name as her middle name (his name is “Lacey”, so it fits).
Jenny Hansen We named our daughter after my mother and were very specific about it. We used a derivative. We also wanted her middle initial to begin with ‘M’ for mom.
Do NOT name your kids after drugs, STDs or use suggestive initials (like BJ). My brother named his youngest “Reagan” with purposeful initials — RNC — for the Republican National Committee he adores. And he doesn’t give a rip if it offends, but if she grows up to be liberal, she might. 😉
—Jess Witkins Wanda Sykes had a joke about people naming their babies strange names “Now the first one was Chandelier…and the other one was Chlamydia?”—
—Julie Glover Oh my goodness! You can’t name your child after an STD!!!—
—Kristen Lamb Gonorrhea!—
—Julie Glover And our fourth child, Herpes…—
—Diana Beebe *giggling*—
Tameri Etherton My daughter was supposed to be Cira Maria. Cira (pronounced Keera), because I don’t know, I guess I just liked it way back then. Now, it totally bugs me. Her middle name was going to be Marie, which was her Godmother’s middle name. About a minute after she was born, the nurse asked me her name. I looked at her sweet little face, with her rosebud lips, and said, ‘Alexzandra Rose’. Everyone in the room looked at me like I’d grown tulips out of my ears. I guess Alexzandra chose her own name.
My son… well we went around and around on names. I wanted to name him after my father-in-law, Monte Cleve Etherton III, but he said no freaking way. I’m pretty sure he didn’t say ‘freaking.’ 😛 So one day Alexzandra is like, “There’s a boy in my class who is really nice named Michael. We should call the baby Michael.” I loved that she picked his name, so we went with Michael. My husband’s middle name is Christopher, so I still got Monte’s initials with the MCE!
Nina Badzin We like names that connect to our heritage, but there were no exact rules to it. I also like names that work well with the last name and function together as a family.
However, I don’t like when all the siblings start with the first letter. It’s unnecessarily confusing.
—Diana Beebe LOL. That was us…Doug, Dennis, Diana, and Debbie. At least we had different middle initials.—
We could go on and on, but we want to hear from YOU!
Our moms also compiled a list of some of the most dreadful and outlandish names they’ve come across in real life! Share the names you’ve encountered in the comments!