Before choosing a name for your baby, there are several things that you need to consider and by the way you can take your time. Don’t feel you have to name your baby right away especially if he or she arrives early. This is a matter that does deserve some careful thought.
The first thing you need to consider is the baby’s ancestry. Usually it is nice to give your baby a first or a middle name that refers somehow to a relative in your family tree or at the very least a name that relates to a respected figure in that culture. This goes back to an ancient belief that maintains that the guardian spirit of the person the baby is named after will always watch over the child.
Before you give your child a name, be sure to look up it’s meaning on a site like ThisName.com to make sure that it does not have unflattering connotations. For instance, the name Luxton, might sound very elegant and mean “elegance” in English, but if your child is Jewish, the name will translate to mean “limp noodle.”
Another example? The name Kali might sound cute and pretty for a little girl, but in India it is the name of a Goddess of Death. Before naming your baby you should also do the “call it out loud test.”
Realize that during the first decade and a half of the child’s life that you will be calling (and maybe even yelling) this name out frequently. This is where choosing a name with a good casual short form is a good idea. The best names are those that also grant the child a versatile shorter name. For instance the name Delilah could allow a child to be called Lilly, Lilah, Dee and Del.
Yet another thing is to consider if other children will make fun of your name. Remember Gaylord Focker in “Meet the Parents.” You want to avoid a scenario like that for your child. I once had a friend named Dorcas who was the daughter of an admiral. This had great significance for her father because the name meant “Sea Goddess.” However she was cursed by the nickname Dorcas her entire life. Is the name really difficult to spell?
You can save your child a lot of grief later in life if you avoid names that don’t sound like they are spelt or that can be spelt several different ways. A classic example is Sharmain or Sharmaine or Charmain or Charmaign or Charmaine.) These can get misspelled on government and insurance forms.
You should also not give your child a name that might be shared by too many other people in the world. For instance if your last name is Smith try for a more exotic name for your child than Susan, Tom, or John. This could also cause them problems with government forms and identity theft later in life as these names are really all too common. Now that you know the ground rules when it comes to naming your child, you are ready to choose a name. The rest of the course is really just a matter of your good taste!