What’s in a Name?
“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other word would smell as sweet.”
–From Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2)
Of course, new mothers and fathers know that there is a world of difference in naming your baby “Rose” as opposed to “Skunkcabbage.” When it comes to naming your baby, names do matter – and you want to choose the one that means the most to you. Parents may choose a name for its meaning, for its cadence, or for its history. No matter what you decide to name your baby, always consider the child.
Before you put the name on the birth certificate, ask yourself if the name is easy to spell, if the child will get teased, if the child will even like his or her own name. Your baby’s name is not only important to you, but also to your baby.
Strategies for Choosing a Name for Your Baby
Before you go name-hunting, you want to think about the kind of names you want for your baby. Are you going to choose a name that has been in your family for generations? Are you going to name your child after a favored television or movie star? Some parents name their children after favorite characters from books.
If there are names that you like, jot them down. When you hear a name that strikes a chord with you, write it down and keep all your potential names together in a notebook. You can cross off names that you decide not to use, and narrow down your list little by little. If you hear a name that you like, don’t be afraid to ask how it’s spelled. Write down any name that sounds good to you. Later, you and your spouse can discuss the names on the list.
Baby books and Internet sites abound that are filled with baby names. On some sites, you can look up names to find out what they mean, or what their origins are. Some people like to know what their names mean, so you want to choose wisely if meaning holds any weight with you.
Your Baby’s Name
While strategies for choosing a name for your baby may fill your head for many months, the name you choose for your baby will follow him or her for the rest of their life. You want to choose a name that sounds pleasant and that you think your child will like as much as you do. Remember, you’re going to say that name many times in the next forty years or so – so choose wisely! Select a name that you, your baby and your family can live with. Consider its sound, because that is an important aspect of any name. Keep in mind that your baby’s name is the very first thing that will define them as a person. Pick a name that means the most to you, and sounds the best to your ears. Take your time in choosing a name, and make sure that you and your spouse are both involved in strategies for choosing a name for your baby. Both parents should participate in the naming process, because babies cannot choose names for themselves.