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