My Rules of Baby Naming

Only three, believe it or not. I’m not nearly the Nazi people think I am! These are the rules I follow when naming,


1. Must mesh with the Surname – It’s a “gone to the girls” Scottish thing.  I’ve got Ukrainian, Russian, Polish, German & Greek ancestry alongside the Scottish. makes it really tricky honoring family while fitting with that crazy surname. Sometimes it works, Sometimes it doesn’t.


2. Absolutely nothing gender-bendery–  I grew up tall, really slender with short hair and a deep Lauren Bacall-ish voice. I was mistaken for a boy at least twice a week before 12. I was so happy to have a name that declared “I AM A GIRL”, that I strive for that with my own kids. I think I’ve succeeded too.


3. Must be familiar but uncommon – My name was top 20 the year I was born and I still dislike being in a room with another person with my name. I hate playing the “who, me?” game, it drives me bananas. I really don’t mind the name being familiar but 200 is where I’m most comfortable.


That’s it, really. I really thought about what drives me to like the names I do, especially as first names. Dug out old notes to compare them against what I thought and really slimmed it down to the most important things in a name, for me.

Without too much analysis of your own motives, what are Your general rules?  😀

6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Cat
    Nov 21, 2008 @ 10:07:53

    Well, no gender benders is first. It’s a matter of principle with me. Second would be nothing too common, and third would be no nicknames as given names or unfounded alternate spellings. By unfounded, I mean not in the family tree and not a legitimate alternative. Like Filomeena or some rubbish like that. I feel like quite the Name Nazi myself sometimes, but I prefer to think I have discriminating taste. 😀


  2. Lola
    Nov 21, 2008 @ 10:20:20

    Thanks! I try to think that way too, until I see something like “Bronx Mowgli” and start to think we should have some sort of name laws to protect kids from this sort of nonsense. *sigh* Oh Heck, I am a NameNazi. No denying it! 😀


  3. Mia
    Nov 21, 2008 @ 10:55:26

    I am really easy-going about naming, but I do have strong opinions. I’ve been all over the naming map with the kids I’ve had so far.

    My ethnic background is pretty much purely English, Irish, and Scottish with no recent immigration, while my husband is 1/4 each Swedish, Irish, and German (all recent immigrants) with the other 1/4 being American Mutt. We have a Swedish last name to match to and something that’s reasonable with our last name and gender appropriate are my main guidelines. My husband has veto though, and he likes very common names and trendy names… so naming the last three kids has been a struggle.

    I do think I lean toward exotic and unusual names. I am not flatly against made-up names, even. At the same time, my last name almost requires first names that are shorter and easier to pronounce on sight. Those might be my “rules”, but I have the hardest time sticking to that when I am making lists. 🙂


  4. Lola
    Nov 21, 2008 @ 12:09:43

    I do too, but that’s not my fault, it’s his. He loves to toss in the oddballs you see me mention somewhat frequently. AAlthough Zelda, Porfirio, Cosmo & Marigold are from me, the rest are generally his thoughts. Rather than toss me into fits, I tend to think we compliment each other pretty well, style-wise. But sometimes compromise can be difficult! 😀


  5. appellationmountain
    Nov 21, 2008 @ 15:13:58

    If I could enforce one rule, it would be this: your child’s name must have options.

    Poor Bronx can’t go by his middle name for something less conspicuous. Bronx Jameson, Bronx Willem, Bronx ANYTHING slightly less intense would work. But I feel just as bad for Jennifer Ann and Emma Grace. They have no escape from the plain. Jennifer Eulalia, Jennifer Blake, Jennifer Miranda, Emma Sophronia, Emma Honoria, Emma Haven … there’s some LIFE to those names.

    Of course, plenty of classic names – Margaret, Elizabeth, William, Alexander – have plenty of nickname options built-in. But that leads to my corollary to my one rule: you must call people what they want to be called. So even if you think the only reasonable nickname for Margaret is Maggie, if she says she’s Daisy, behave accordingly. Frankly, if she says she’s FRED, call her that.

    Putting my soapbox away now!


  6. Lola
    Nov 21, 2008 @ 15:37:53

    I run around saying “Options are a grand thing to have”! So, I’ll definitely shore up that soapbox of yours. It’s one of the many reasons I tolerate my given name but just can’t love it. At least mine is all girl, and it’s been around a long time but that’s it for pluses. It rather stinks not having those options, I know. I live it every day.


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