Mother and Baby

7 Things To Consider Before Choosing A Baby Name

Section: Girls baby names

You spend weeks, months choosing the perfect name for your baby. You don’t want to suddenly realise your little one is called ‘Ben Dover’ or ‘C. Bass’. So, consider it from a few different angles

You’ve got a name you like, and it’s perfect. Or is it? Consider a few things before you start ordering personalised babygros…

1. Initials

The initials of a first, middle and surname when put together can spell a word, and it’s worth considering whether it’s a good one. Just ask Sarah Anne Dawkins or poor Adam Robert Simpson.

Also consider how the first name initial goes with your surname.

F. Attaway, A. Tool, B. Moody and P. Freely might wish their parents had thought this through a bit more…

2. Meaning

One day your child will get hold of a baby names book, and if little Gulliver finds out his name means ‘glutton’, he might not be best pleased. Neither will Leah when she sees ‘weary’ or Kennedy when she sees ‘misshapen head’.

Luckily, most names have more than one meaning, so perhaps you can direct them to the nicer ones.

3. Playground potential

Kids will always make fun of names, so there’s only so much you can do – but let’s not make it easy for them. What does that name you want rhyme with?

Ellie is a gorgeous name – but it does rhyme with smelly. Just sayin’.

4. Connotations

Thanks to celebrity culture, names often carry an association with someone in the limelight.

People may think of the Kardashians when you introduce little Kim or Kourtney

Whether you like it or not, people may think of the Kardashians when you introduce little Kim or Kourtney.

Hit films could become annoying, too – a child called Forrest would very quickly get bored of being told to ‘Run Forrest, run!’

Although baby Usain could be a sure pick for the team on Sports Day...

5. Shortenings

Names get shortened – Samantha often becomes Sammy or Sam, while Stephen is cut to Steve. Make sure you’re as enamoured with the inevitable shortening of your baby’s name as the full version.

Shortenings can also pose problems when paired with the wrong surname.

The classic Benjamin Dover becomes Ben Dover, and Stanley (or Stan) Still from Gloucestershire told the BBC his name had been "a blooming millstone around my neck my entire life".

6. Pronunciation

Having to correct the pronunciation of your name every time you introduce yourself is quite a burden. Even a name as simple as ‘Leah’ – Lee-a – is automatically pronounced Lay-a because of the character in Star Wars.

7. Original vs Boring

It’s hard to strike the balance between a name that’s unique to the point of being bizarre, and one that’s too common and perhaps a bit boring. Something original such as Princess or Ziggy might seem fabulously unique, although perhaps a bit comical on a CV.

On the other hand, Christopher or Jenny might seem pleasant and down-to-earth but if there are four other Christophers in his class, your child may end up being referred to as, ‘Christopher H’ or worse, ‘not that Chris, short/tall/clumsy Chris’.

So try and perhaps fall somewhere in between.


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