What Kind of Name is That?

People Can't Seem to Keep it to Themselves.

I have a gob of boys, they all have names that end with "er" or the "er" sound.  My husband and I picked their names because we liked them, not because we wanted to win the crabby old guy  at McDonald's award for "Most Boring Name."  No joke, I was sitting in McD's with my two youngest boys, and this curmudgeonly old guy comes up to the boys and I and asks, "What's your name?" to the baby.  I replied to him, "Carver."  He frowned at me, "Well, what's his middle name?"  "Benjamin," I replied."  "Well at least that's better."  I chuckled a bit...the poor man didn't know who he was messing with at this point.  He then proceeded to ask me the same questions about my son Potter, when he asked me what Potter's middle name was, and I told him "Joseph."  He looked at Potter and said, "I would use your middle name."

Hey grumpy, when the baby comes from your uterus, or you sign the adoption papers, you get to pick...unless that's happening, go eat your French fries!

All that is to say, here are my rules for naming your baby, but you know what they say, rules are made to be broken!

1. Stay Away From Celebrity

Spend any  time in the grocery aisle, on social media or watch TV, and you're bombarded with “A-List” celebrities and their interesting and sometimes head-scratching choices for their children's names.  In the 1970’s, the acid-dropping, free-loving celebrities named their progeny things like: Dweezil, Moon Unit and Dandelion. While in the early 2000’s names like: Apple, Bluebell Madonna and Bronx Mowgli graced the pages of celebrity news magazines.   Celebrity parents with large bank rolls, can afford to name their children these names (think therapy and body guards) while us normal folk should stick to more benign names when choosing the future president's name!

2. Deployment, Fishing and Beer

When I asked Simply Family readers via Facebook how they named their babes, I got some great stories! Patti Gavett wrote,  “My husband chose our daughter’s name Lilah while he was in Iraq; her middle name is Nichole because daddy’s middle name is Nicholas.”

Anne Harris wrote in, “We could NOT agree on any boy names.  We hated everything the other person liked.  One day my husband was fishing and opened a bottle of Red Hook.  The underside of the bottle cap said, ‘Here’s to Ben Harris.’ And that is literally how we decided to name our son Benjamin.  And yes, we still have the bottle cap; it’s in with all the baby mementos.”


3. The Family Way, or Not.

My boys all have family names for middle names, it was important to us, to honor family.  But each of them have their own unique first name, no juniors or thirds, or fifty-first's in our family.  Some of the parents I talked to wanted their babe's to have their own name all the way from top to bottom.  “We chose to pick unique names just for our baby so she didn’t have to share with anyone.  That way none of our family had their feelings hurt and our baby had a name all her own, “says Kerry Fischer.

The Bottom Line

When naming your baby the rules are simple:  Don’t choose a name that is too common; don’t choose a name that is too unique, or gender neutral—so as not to confuse people.   Don’t choose a name that people can’t pronounce, spell or could form an opinion about in any way.  Do not name your baby after any ex-girlfriend, boyfriend or person that you may have known in any capacity whatsoever because you might offend someone, somewhere, at sometime.

BUT, if these rules are too much to worry about, throw them out and name your baby whatever you and your partner agree upon—this new little creature is yours and their name is the gift that you get to give them!

**At the time of posting, the 2014 list of most popular baby names has not been published, as soon as it comes out, Simply Family will update this list!

About the Author...Jessica Hanson is the proud mama of five boys, who’ve never had to share their names in the classroom (that was her rule), Her boys’ names are:  Cooper, McGuire, Mercer, Potter and Carver.  Jessica loves to read, crochet and watch her boys grow into their names.