I can’t imagine how hard it must be to name a baby. I mean, that’s the name they’ll be called their whole life. Never mind that there’s nine months to think about it, I’d probably be one of those parents who waits four or five days before officially naming the kid.
And once you do name your child, there’s no guarantee everyone likes it. I remember a former boss who called her grandson ‘it’ for the first few days because she hated the name he had been given.
So how do you choose a name? I’ve never named a baby, but by my observation, these are the options.
1. Choose a solid, traditional name. Now, this depends on your nationality, I know. But for argument’s sake, let’s say you name your little boy Peter, James or John and your girl Martha, or Mary or (heaven forbid) Bertha. They aren’t stylish, but they’ll never be out of style either.
2. Choose a stylish name.
Back in the day when I was born and given the unconventional moniker of ‘Geralyn’, my peers were being named Jessica and Amanda, which is why I’ve known at least five of each. There will be a lot of sixty-year-old Amanda’s in forty years, a lot of sixtyish Tylers in fifty years, and a pile of grandmas named Emma in sixty years.
3. Name your child after a family member.
This is great and all, but how do you choose which relative? What if you don’t have enough kids to name them after all the important relatives. I dunno. Risky. And what if they have an awful name? I mean, I’m sorry, but I’m not naming my little boy Helmut. I’m just not (my apologies if your name is Helmut).
4. Make something up.
I swear this is what some parents do. One day, when I was working retail, a mom yelled at her little boy “Satan!”
I drew back in horror as she dragged the little boy to the till. Then I realized that his name was Saden. I bet that looked good on paper. Yikes.
5. Respell a conventional name to make it cool.
This is actually quite simple. Say you like the name Taylor, but you’re like “oh, that’s boring.” First, you drop the ‘y’, then you add at least one extra ‘e’. Taelor. Then add a silent ‘h’. Taehlor. Bingo. Isn’t that exotic?
Other options include, naming your child a foreign name and then mispronouncing it, naming them after an inanimate object, after a popular celebrity or book character (i.e. the little girls I’ve seen named Esme and Arwen), and plenty other others I’ve missed.
Why did I go through all that? Nope, I’m not pregnant. I’ve finally named my novel. It’s due to be published mid-year, and I’ve gone through three or four different titles. But now (hear ye, hear ye) It shall be called We The Living, since it is an apocalyptic story about carrying on after all is lost.
Don’t like it? Oh dear. Well, it is my baby.