The Name Game: Choosing What To Call Your Baby

The recent announcement that Katie Price called her fifth child “Bunny” got me thinking about how difficult it was to come up with a name for Baby L. The 36-year-old model obviously had trouble finding inspiration too and evidently hit upon a creative streak with a recent visit to Pets At Home.

If you’ve not yet come up with a name for your recent new arrival or for your sprog growing in the mothership, then you’ll soon find out that it is a massive ball ache. So much so that I’m tempted to have the snip to avoid future kids just so that I don’t have to go through the name game again.

To help us in our hunt for the perfect name, we found out the gender of the baby at the 20 week scan. I understand that some people don’t want to, but for us we saw it as an opportunity to better prepare and plan for the birth. We could decide things like how to decorate the nursery, what clothes to buy and what names we like. Culling half of the names in the world because you know you’re having a girl rather than a boy does give you slightly more room to breathe.

We had a look through some of the online lists of baby names, but didn’t really make a conscious effort to find the name. I guess we thought that we’d know once we came across it. The name we decided to go with came to us quite early on and stuck with us throughout the pregnancy. We continued to keep our ears out for other names, which often consisted of paying more attention than usual to the opening credits of a TV show, but as our shortlist consisted of one name, the decision was pretty much made for us.

We didn’t have a formal checklist when it came to a name, but it soon became clear that there were certain parameters we were working within. These included:

  • Do I actually like the name?
  • Does the missus like the name?
  • Does the first name go with our surname?
  • Does the name remind us of anyone?
  • If the name reminds us of someone, does it bring negative connotations?
  • Does the name rhyme with anything?
  • Can the name be turned into a dodgy nickname?
  • Is the name unique enough to differentiate, but not too unique to alienate?

As more and more babies are born, it is hardly surprising that the likes of Katie Price come up with unusual names for their little ones. I kind of think that some of this is for publicity too. The fact that she has chosen “Bunny” will automatically create headlines because of who she is.

We briefly toyed with the idea of a unique name. I had the great idea of calling her “Research” or “Science” so that when she’s older I can say things like “Research suggests that chocolate helps beat obesity” or “Science says that there is no link between me watching football and the wife’s unhappiness”. But alas, the missus said no. Also, just to clarify, “Baby L” is a pseudonym because I blog semi-anonymously rather than us being unique!

Not everyone is as sensible as the wife though. There are some pretty weird names out there which make you wonder if the parents are thinking long-term with the guaranteed bullying that the babies will receive as they become older. Imagine shouting “Orpheus”, “Blaize” or “Fedora” across the school playground to your kid without sniggering.

If you think it is difficult to come up with a first name, it gets harder when you add a middle name. You now not only need to ensure it goes with the last name, but it also has to sound nice with the first name and flow when the full name is said. This is despite the fact that people very rarely use a middle name apart from filling in forms. On that note, I think the woman formally known as Jordan should have called her new arrival “Boiler” or “myxomatosis”.

Did you find it easy to come up with names for your kids? How did you go about choosing a name? Did you plump for an original name or did you go for something a bit different?

P.S. Having talked about names so much, I now have the following lyrics in my head to share:

Hi! My name is… (what?) My name is… (who?)
My name is… [scratches] Slim Shady
Hi! My name is… (huh?) My name is… (what?)
My name is… [scratches] Slim Shady

  • Mummy’s Blog

    You forgot ‘when a middle name is added, will the child’s initials spell out a slang word for male genitalia?’ , which is why I had to rule out my first choice of name!! haha, great post!

    • Haha that is a great point and unlucky you had to change. I hadn’t thought of that. Luckily Baby L’s doesn’t spell out anything too rude! Thanks for the comment 🙂

  • LauraEvelynBee

    Very funny post! Choosing a name is sooooooo hard! We had picked our names and then my husband informed me a week before the due date he didn’t like our chosen boys name!!!! Argggghhhhh! the pages were literally worn down on our three baby names books (yes a little excessive…but its a big decision!!!).

    • Thanks Laura. I can see the number of ‘O’s’ represent how hard you found it 🙂 Haha, tryst your hubby to wait so long, I can imagine that was added stress that wasn’t needed so late in the day!

  • Cariemay

    We’ve always gone with the theory that you imagine your child is in court – is the name you’re considering the lawyer, the judge or the defendant?! Our biggest problem was always finding names that hadn’t already been used in my husband’s rather huge extended family but so far so good!

    • That is an amazing theory, definitely going to tell friends about that and keep it in mind if we have number 2! Yeah, I can imagine big families cause problems with names too. Thanks for the comment 🙂

  • Picking a name really is a tricky business and I have to say it gets harder 2nd time round. If you are having the same gender as your first then you have already used your favourite name with the first born. Either way whatever name you choose also has to go with your first borns name. Bit weird to have a really traditionally named child and a more modern or unique name for no. 2! We knew what name we wanted for Monkey and we’ve known baby no.2s name for ages, though I really hope th Er y aren’t wrong and she is a girl as we cannot pick a boys name at all so far!!! Xx #mmwbh

    • It was hard enough first time, so I’m not looking forward to 2nd time. I’d not even considered the same gender and the two names going together! It might be best not to have another just to alleviate the stress!

  • Maria

    I always love your humorous posts. Research and Science would’ve been perfect names, but I could see how your wife would frown upon them.

    My husband and I wanted a name that was timeless, but not strange. Luckily we found the one we like best and went with that. She shares her middle name with my sister as well. We figured, what better way to name our child than with variations of the people we love the most?


    • Thanks Maria 🙂 Timeless and not strange sound like a great plan. Also really nice to have the same name as your sister 🙂

  • Great post – and a very useful checklist too. With DD1 we had a list of possible names but settled on her name just after the 20 week scan as it felt ‘right’ and we liked the meaning behind her name too. With DD2, I had a dream that I gave birth to a girl and as we both liked the name I gave her in the dream, it became our preferred choice for a girl. If we’d had a boy we would have named him after my dad who passed away a few years ago.

    • Wow, what a great story for your second daughter. Good job it was a nice dream and you hadn’t been having nightmares or eating cheese before bed! That’s nice about naming after your dad. We were thinking the same about my Granddad but Baby L was a girl 🙂

  • You Baby Me Mummy

    Great post hun! I just loved Baby’s name but if she had turned out to be a boy we would have been screwed. Bunny god help me! Poor child, though it is better than Apple or North West I suppose x #MMBH

    • Thanks! I guess that’s why some people choose a name that can be used for boys and girls, like Alex for instance. All celebrity names are pretty odd!

  • kidGLloves

    Lucas says – my dad thinks Star Wars is really cool hence my name but the Mother drew the line at Anakin!! Even the midwife said no to that one!!! I think he chose well though………. #MMWBH

    • I think Lucas is a cool name. Although probably not as good as Darth. Maybe you could use that for any future kids 🙂

  • Cathie B

    I found a list the other day in which we both wrote names down and how many were crossed off. Funnily enough, Lucas, what we ended up calling him, was crossed off originally.

    • Good idea, although it sounds like there is a slight flaw in the plan if a name that was crossed off became uncrossed off 🙂

  • Notmyyearoff

    Haha I saw the picture and Silm Shady popped into my head straight away 🙂 My parents gave me a really weird middle name that my surgery thinks is part of my first name and then comment I have a reallly long name. I’ve not forgiven them 😉

    • Haha unlucky and very intriguing. I can imagine that something like that would irritate as you had no say whatsoever!

  • Let’s Talk Mommy

    Brilliant. I love this and so true. We had the worse time picking out names for both our kids and it was either I hated it or he hated it or both or someone just had a baby called that and onward. I love your list of questions to answer we had a very similar one. The celebrity names these days are just going nuts. Apple, Bunny, Cocoa North etc. They won’t be made fun of because they will have millions and everyone will want to be there friend but in reality we can’t do that. Or shouldn’t lol Thanks for linking up to Share With Me love this post! #sharewithme

    • Thanks. The questions list wasn’t spoken, but I think we both thought the same! Very true about the celebrity baby names – would love to see a Bunny or Apple in a normal school and see how they got on 🙂

  • Susanne Remic

    We’ve always had trouble agreeing on names and actually find that there are more girls names we like than boys. We only have one boy and we used the one name I liked on him! This time we’re not sure what we’re having. Girls name is sorted and has been for a while, but the boys name remains a mystery to my husband. I know quite well what it will be, but he doesn’t agree. Yet 😀 x x

    • That’s interesting, we found we like more boys names to girls 🙂 Haha I like how you know – sounds like you have a bit of time to still show him the way 🙂 Thanks for stopping by Susanne.

  • Catriona Stephen

    This just reminded me of something that made me giggle, it was a time my OH had a bit to drink and thought we should call our baby ‘Cabbage’ because if we lost him in Tesco’s it would be ‘funny’ to hear that over the tannoy announcement.
    On a serious note we ended up going with a Welsh name that I had loved since quite early on in my pregnancy, and he decided he liked it the second time I suggested it (he probably wasn’t listening the first time!)
    Great post 🙂 #BabyBabble

    • Cabbage, great name! Unique and memorable. Plus he is right and hearing that over the tannoy would be cool. The novelty would probably wear off quickly though haha. Sometimes we don’t listen and something needs to be repeated a few times before it sinks in 🙂

  • Jenna Richards

    Coming up with a name for our baby was very difficult, I’ve worked with children for so many years which means a lot of names are instantly out of the question. In the end there was only one that both me and my partner liked and agreed on so that’s what we ended up using. I don’t know what we’ll do if we ever have another girl! #babybabble

    • Hannah Clarke

      Working with children ruins a lot of names doesn’t it?! It’s funny how a lovely name can be ruined by a negative association xx

    • I can imagine that is pretty difficult and is probably why more people come up with new names. We’ve not really been around young kids so a lot of modern names now are relatively new to us. The name we chose for Baby L is a relatively common name by looking at the popularity charts, but we don’t know anyone called it which is good 🙂

  • Hannah Clarke

    We ruled out Arthur for our son because I was adamant we were using my Dad’s name for the middle name so he’d have been Arthur C Clarke like the author. We both just really liked Toby and the name sounded good. If I have a pound for every person who suggested Kent Clarke I’d be rich… #BabyBabble

    • Haha Arthur C Clarke. Sounds quite a nice, classic name though! Kent Clarke, that is awesome!

  • afra willmore

    Having 7 children means we had to think of 14 names! They are mostly family or Biblical/traditional names though but like you we scanned tv credits hence Frasier as one middle name! Great post

    • You don’t make things easy on yourself do you haha! If I’d have had 7 kids, I’d have probably taken to just numbering them 🙂 Thanks fro stopping by!

  • Nortonmum

    Love your criteria for finding a name, my initials L C resulted in me being called Elsie at work, haha.

    • I like that. For Baby L I quite liked the idea of having a nickname derived from first and last name, so something like LJ, but couldn’t think of a J we liked. Now she is a LE, which could be Elle!

  • Twinsplustwo

    I loved playing with names during my three pregnancies 🙂 Really miss that! #PoCoLo

    • At least you did, it stressed me out haha 🙂 You could always continue to play with names and change the kids’ names by deed poll!

  • I was named after a character in Emmerdale! My mum was watching one day and a new character was introduced called Alice and I guess it kind of stuck, luckily it’s not some of the crazier character names

    • Haha that’s a cool story. I was named David after David Essex because my mum liked him! Could have been worse, you could have been called Dingle. 🙂

  • Big Trouble in Little Nappies

    Ha, the naming business is SO hard! Much fun though. We could have happily named six or so girls but really struggled to agree on a name for a boy… so we of course had a boy! We got there though – using my favourite I’m delighted to say 😉 It is a big responsibility, I’m sure Baby L will appreciate all your trouble when she’s older!

    • Hard but fun sums it up pretty well! We were the opposite as we struggled with girls names but had a few boys names we liked, so we had a girl! 🙂

  • Clairejustineo

    Great post 🙂

    I never knew Katie Price called her 5th child Bunny, haha I didn’t know she had 5 either, where have I been!?! I love the name Ben for one of our boys but them we would have ended up with BO,..

    Thanks for linking up to the weekend blog hop 🙂

    • I think she just pops them out for fun and to stay in the media 🙂 Haha BO probably isn’t the greatest of initials, although it would always give him something to talk about 🙂

  • I like that woman even less now. great tips on choosing a name!


    • Haha yeah she’s not done herself (or her baby) any favours there has she! 🙂

  • The phrase “Research suggests that chocolate helps beat obesity” has really, really tickled me! Great post. Thanks for linking up again. #FamilyFriday

    • Thanks mate. Maybe I can use that name on the next kid 🙂

  • lianne

    Fab post!

    I found it so so hard choosing Taylor’s name. I already had Bradley and couldn’t think of any other boys names I liked. We already had a girls name set in stone before we’d even conceived, so we were bound to have a boy lol. We made the mistake of telling people our ideas, people turning their noses up at your favourite names changes everything! Taylor is called Taylor simply because its the only name we could both agree on lol. But now he’s here, I can’t imagine him being called anything else 🙂

    Lianne |

    • Yeah, sod’s law on the gender isn’t it! Telling people is always a difficult one – you want confirmation it’s a good name, but not any negative responses. At least you can’t imagine him as having any other name now which is a great sign!

  • Victoria Welton

    Grace’s name was always a no-brainer for me. Different matter if she had been a boy! I am impressed with my Mum – she choose names for all 7 of us using a different initial and we all have two middle names! Great post 🙂 Thanks for linking to PoCoLo.

    • Wow, that is great work by your mum. She needs to share her secret!

  • Jo Smith

    Love that eminem tune ha! You make some fab points in this post – I never looked into the meaning of Carson’s name, I probably should have done because now that he’s asking – we realise it means ‘king of the swamp/bog’ HAHAHA! Thanks for linking to #babybabble.

    • Haha that’s an interesting meaning – at least he will always have something interesting to say about his name 🙂

  • Hilarious, we wanted Greek names to reflect my heritage but ended up with the Germanic Oliver for my eldest because it was Christmas time and it was a name of no one I’d previously dated (hehe)! Alexander was a name we both loved and decided before he was born although if it didn’t suit his face on arrival we had some back-up’s. I always wanted strong, noble names for my kids! Fab post and your daughter is too cute! Thanks for linking up to #brilliantblogposts x

    • Thanks! Great that you had strong ideas from the start and were sorted – one less thing to think about during pregnancy 🙂

  • Now I have that song in my head!

    So true, it took us forever to decide on a name for our first, and we found out the gender for the same reasons as you. Our second was a bit easier even though we had a surprise, as we wanted the name to have a certain meaning (rainbow – he’s called Noah) so we cut it down from that. Great post! #familyfriday

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  • Back With A Bump

    This is great. Choosing a name is so hard good job we had a girls name in mind. When we were discussing boys names I actually suggested Tom…my our surname is Jones. It took a while for the penny to drop. Jack? No reminds me of that clothes shop!