Awww, how cute...what's (s)he called...?

28 Aug 2016

Choosing a baby’s name can be exciting but tricky.  People adopt that bizarre approach of trying to find a name that nobody's child has and trying to disassociate any name from anyone they know. I mean, how many times have you had or heard that ridiculous conversation... 

 

"So, how about 'Simon'?" 

 

"'Simon'? No, I hate 'Simon'. There was this kid I met once when I was four years old and he had a snotty nose and that's what I think of when I think of 'Simon'…" 

 

"Okay, how about 'Alex'?" 

 

"Well, do you know Auntie Sue?" 

 

"Errr....yeah....", 

 

"Well, Auntie Sue's daughter's friend's sister has a nephew called 'Alex' so we can't call him 'Alex'…" 

 

"Right...'Elvis'?" 

 

"Let's go with that". 

 

In reality, there’s effectively two ways you can go: (1) traditional or (2) an attempt at unique.  Traditional is straight forward, you just choose Richard or Elizabeth and job done. Whereas, trying to go a little different can be a more challenging exercise.  You want the name to be less common, perhaps even rare, but not off the wall laughable bonkers. It's a fine balance. Celebrities think that they can call their kids whatever the hell they like and get away with it, but it's nonsense. In my opinion, if you live on this planet then a stupid name is still a stupid name. 

 

 She looks just like a Boomquifa Schartzmugel...

 

Personally, I think calling your kid a name like Apple is verging on unacceptable. I know celebrities do it and sometimes get away with it, but mere mortals like ourselves shouldn’t go down that route. You might as well call him/her Lasagne or Teabag if you are going to choose random common nouns for children's names. Don’t pretend it has some profound meaning or that it’s something deeply personal. Just admit it, it's a random word that popped into your foolish head when you were sat on the toilet one morning.  Sometimes, trying too hard to be different doesn’t actually amount to character. 

 

I think the common test of "how would you feel shouting the name at the top of your voice across a crowded playground?" is a useful barometer to consider if your choice is a questionable one or not.   

 

"Banjo! Banjo! Banjo! Come here now!" 

 

"Gerbil! Gerbil! Gerbil! It's home time!" 

 

"Moonface! Moonface! Moonface! I told you to not to do that!" 

 

The list goes on. 

 

I actually know a friend who worked for a children's centre who came across a child called Snoop Dre. Yes, that's right. Snoop. Dre. Named after the rappers Dr Dre and Snoop Dogg.  I love hip hop probably more than the average person, so can appreciate a bit of Snoop D O double G but even I think it's going a bit far naming a kid after a rapper's stage name. 

 

Don’t get me wrong, I'm not saying you shouldn’t call your child whatever you want. One of the true joys of parenthood is deciding upon a name for your child, but just bear in mind it will inadvertently frame an impression of what your child will be like.  Or maybe you as a person, fairly or unfairly. 

 

I am just glad I called my daughter Whiny Pouty Nark Face, quite befitting and, more importantly, original.

 

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