Thursday, April 25, 2013

Tatted Mom's Guide to Naming Your Baby

What's in a child's name? How about everything? My parents wanted to name me 'Jennifer Renee' before I was born. Somewhere along the line that got vetoed, and I became 'Morgan Cameron'. No offense out there to any Jennifers or Renees, but I fully believe that I was meant to be a Morgan, and that I'm the unique, spunky, crazy, psycho quirky person I am because I had a very strange name growing up. Morgan is quite common nowadays, but it wasn't always so.

Naming your child is the first really important decision you have to make as a brand new parent, and you wouldn't believe the number of parents who screw that decision up.

Did you know that there is a child out there named Urhines? It's pronounced 'Your Highness'. As if that isn't enough, the child's full name is Urhines Kendall Icy Eight Special K- that last part is the name of an illegal drug. Yeah.

Celebrities seem to be the biggest offenders nowadays. Jason Lee has his son, Pilot Inspektor, Beyonce has her daughter Blue Ivy, and while y'all know I absolutely love Norman Reedus, he named his son Mingus Lucien- a bit bizarre, even for me. As bad as it sounds, celebrities can get away with it more than the average person. No one is going to pick on Apple because Gwyneth Paltrow is her mom, but try naming a middle-class average kid 'Apple' and the teasing would be merciless.

If you are pregnant with a child now and are having problems trying to name him or her, I have some really easy things to keep in mind when making that extremely important first decision as a parent. It is a decision that your child will live with for the rest of their lives. And if you aren't expecting, this article is still full of my unique sense of humor.

Tatted Mom's Guide to Naming Your Baby

1. Don't spell it exactly the way it sounds. I'm all about unique names, and unique names with under-used letters of the alphabet are even better. Xavier is a prime example of this. Cool name... unless it's spelled Ecksavier. Don't do that. Spell it correctly or don't spell it at all. Good grief.

2. Don't make s*it up. I seriously saw the name 'Crustasia' on a baby name forum one time. I'm sorry, but that sounds like something left at the bottom of a Chinese food to-go container. Poor child.

3. Don't go cultural if it doesn't suit you. Traditional Irish names, African names and Hebrew names (just
to name a few) have some of the most beautiful meanings. But if you aren't Hebrew, please refrain from naming your child Mazel simply because you want them to have 'luck' in their life.

4. Think outside the box, but not way off in outer space. In doing research for this piece, I found a forum where a woman stated she thought of naming her unborn daughter 'Fathom' because she opened up the dictionary and really liked that word. As a noun, 'Fathom' is a unit of measurement for the depth of water, and as a verb, 'Fathom' means to understand after much thought. Either way, that girl is getting teased when she gets older- and if the bullies go with the noun definition, just think... fathom... depth... water... my mind does NOT come up with clean scenarios for this teasing. Choose a name please, not just a random word.

5. Check out the top baby names for the current year and the prior 2 years and DON'T pick one of those. The only exception is if it's a family name- that's okay. The top baby names each year are a compilation of trendy names that everyone will be doing for a few years and then they will be forgotten about forever, and names that have been used so many times that kids in a class have to go by 'Ben S.' instead of just 'Ben' (no offense to anyone who named their kid Ben, it was just an example). This can't always be avoided, unfortunately. With a crazy name like 'Morgan' (think back to the 80s, not today), every school I went to had a 'Morgan' already, so I had to go by 'Morgan H.' Blah.

6. Don't name your kid after a celebrity or a celebrity's kid. I read somewhere that Beyonce was trying to trademark 'Blue Ivy' because so many people jumped on the name once they announced it (not sure if that's true or a rumor). Don't be that person. Be original. Just think if people named their daughters 'Lindsay Lohan' Jackson (or Smith, or whatever their last name is) back when we all thought Lindsay Lohan was the nice wholesome girl who would be the next Julia Roberts. Oops. Boy were we wrong.

7. Don't pronounce a name way differently than it's spelled. I'm actually guilty of this one. The Girl's
Horrible Baby Names
This is from an actual baby name forum. Don't name your
child ANY of these. I beg you.
These cover all rules in this post, and the person
said they are "Cute names". Barf.
middle name is 'Amaris', which we pronounce 'Am-a-reese' instead of 'A-mar-is'. I did this because 'Amaris' means 'Child of the Moon' and I seriously wanted her to have that name meaning, but pronouncing it 'A-mar-is' didn't flow right with our last name of 'Moss'. So, I joushed it a little bit. Guilty as charged, but it's a minor change. There was a story when I was growing up of a set of twins in the next town over whose names were prounounced 'O-ranj-i-low' and 'Le-monj-i-low'. Wanna know how those were spelled? Orangejello and Lemonjello. Yes. Orange-Jello and Lemon-Jello. You read that right. Don't do that. The Ginger has a girl in his class right now whose name is pronounced 'Aw-jaw-nay-ah', and it's spelled 'Ishanaiya'. Don't do that, either. I had to ask him 4 times how to spell it just to write this post.

8. If you are going to go weird, make it count. I'm not talking about naming your kids Dweezil, Ahmet,  Moon Unit, and Diva like Frank Zappa did. Please, for the love of all that his holy in this world, don't do that. Find a name that means something- really means something gorgeous, so when you tell people your daughter's name is Isa Abrianna and they start to look at you funny, you can bust out the, 'It means Strong and Noble One', to which their face will relax and they'll think the name is awesome. If you are going to go strange with the name, make sure you just didn't throw two words together and call it a day.

9. Limit the child's full name to 3- no more. Most people have a first and middle name- 2. If you want to fit in some more family names, 3 is fine. Uma Thurman, however, felt 5 was a good number when she named her daughter Rosalind Arusha Arkadina Altalune Florence Busson (Busson is the child's last name... I think). She said she couldn't decide on just one name. Giving a kid more than 3 names isn't a great idea for several reasons:
  1. Teaching that kid how to spell her name will take months or years. Seriously. That's not kindergarten level like all of the other kids' names in the class.
  2. It will NEVER be pronounced correctly. Never. Not even by the parents. Nor will anyone ever remember the correct order.
  3. When your child hits tween age and wants to reinvent themselves, you'll have no idea which name they'll pick each week. When I hit the 4th grade, there were 2 other Morgans in my school, besides me. So, I decided I would go by 'MC' that year (yes, MC Hammer happened to be very big at that moment). A year later I tried going by Cameron. Your child will attempt to change their own name at some point in their life, so why give them 5 options to choose from?
  4. That's a lot of names to try and yell when you are mad at them and want to make a point. Nothing is scarier to a child than hearing their full name yelled by a parent. You KNOW you did something wrong then. If you give your kid 5 names, that's a tongue twister coming out of your mouth when you are already pissed off for whatever reason. Don't make things harder on yourself. Sheesh.

10. Think about how the name could be shortened or manipulated for the purpose of teasing and stay away from sketchy combinations. William Robert is a very regal sounding, prestigious name... until someone goes and calls him Billy Bob. Only Billy Bob Thorton is cool enough to pull that off, but everyone else just got a fast track to Redneckville. And then there's the Assman family in Canada who thought naming their son Richard would be okay. Think about that one. Richard is shortened to Dick. Dick Assman. They say it's pronounced 'Uzman'. Whatever.

If you keep these 10 easy tips in mind, I'm sure you'll give your child a name they'll be proud to wear for the rest of their lives with little to no teasing from peers... or mom bloggers.

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  1. SO funny and I totally agree. I know far to many Jaydens. Or Jaidens. Or however they decide to spell this made-up name which is given to both boys and girls so freely that in about three years there are going to be schools with 20% of the population using the first letter of their last name the distinguish them.

    Also - point 5 - Hilarious!

    I belong to the four name club because my mum gave me her surname as a second middle name. It's pretty cool and I like it - but all four of my names are easy for people to handle. I do know that Kaitlyn spelled thusly is completely made-up but I love the 'K' and it's fun having a 'Y' in my name and it is spelled how it sounds.

    1. When Brittney Spears had her son, Aiden (I think), that grew to be the most popular name for a boy that year. Brittney Spears. Sheesh.

      My sister's name is spelled Caitlin- I've seen it spelled about 50 different ways, and the only one that made my eye twitch was Katelynne... that one hurt to read, lol.

  2. Oh yes! And the Blue Ivy thing - they wanted to copyright it because they wanted to start a clothing line. They lost though because there was already a party company or something with the same name which had been around for years and contested them on it.

    1. Thank goodness! Like we needed another celebrity ego blown up by having their kid's name copyrighted, lol.

  3. Pregnant with my 2nd right now, and hubby and I are having a hell of a time coming up with a name... Will keep these suggestions in mind lol.

    1. Glad I could help, lol. Good luck with your new little one!! ;)