When you’re going to be a parent, there’s nothing more fun than choosing the name your kid will be saddled with until they die, or until they’re old enough to legally change it. While I have no kids and am not planning to name any anytime soon because I keep threatening to name my friends’ baby Princess Consuella Banana Hammock, and they seem to have a problem with that, I do have friends who are planning their baby names. So to help their process I’ve devised some handy guidelines to keep in mind when naming your offspring.
1. When you name your kid after a virtue like Chastity, Destiny, Hope, or Serenity, they’re immediately going to be the opposite.
2. Last names as first names can be fun, unless their name sounds like a law firm. If your kid’s name is going to be Lincoln Harrison Johnson, you should rethink it.
3. Use full names, not nicknames. Sure, Bobby is a cute name for a three-year-old who eats paste, but it’s not cute for a 33-year-old lawyer.
4. Don’t use unusual spellings. We know- you want your kid to be unique! But when you decide to spell “Kyle” phonetically, it makes life harder on everyone, including little Kiell.
5. Try to steer clear of names that seem to pigeonhole your child to a specific lifestyle. Yes, Candi is a great name. For a stripper.
6. Put yourself in your child’s shoes and come up with the six worst names you’ll think they’ll get called on the play ground based on their name. If you can deal with them, chances are they can too. For example: if you name your kid Maxwell or Maxine, they’re going to be called maxi-pad (I’m looking at you, Jessica Simpson!).
7. Don’t just look at your side table or in your purse and pick something out that looks great that you think will make a great kids name. We don’t need another Apple, Blue Ivy, or Pilot Inspektor.
8. Pick a name with a nickname option. All kids want a nickname other than Sport, Bean, or Princess. Give them a name that has one built right in (see also rule 3), but still sounds professional for an adult.
9. Try to steer clear of super popular names. i know, you loved the name Bella before that girl fell in love with a pedophile/sparkly vampire. But do you remember 20 years ago when “Jennifer” was popular and there were 10 Jennifer’s in every classroom? Yeah, that wasn’t any fun.
10. Say the entire name, middle name(s) included, out loud to your partner and to yourself. If it sounds weird or makes you tounge-tied, rethink it. Too much alliteration (Jasmine Jayne Jonas) or first names and last names that are too similar (Billy Williams) can be a little off-putting If it’s weird for you, it’s weirder for others.
*11. Don’t name your kid after a company. Chik-Fil-A doesn’t get naming rights of your first born because you craved their sandwich throughout your pregnancy. Unless they’re giving you $1,000,000. Then, go for it. Just be sure to give your kid a normal middle name like Pickle, so they can pretend their parents aren’t insane.
There you go, my
ten eleven tips about how to name your child. If you have more suggestions or hints you think I should add to my list, let me know in the comments below.
And for the record, if I have kids, I will name them Phoebe if it’s a girl, and Phoebo if it’s a boy. (gold star if you know where that’s from!)
(This post is meant as a joke, and was written by request for a friend who’s struggling to name her future baby.)
*edited to add this one. When I said it out loud to my friend, she literally fell down laughing. Seriosuly though, don’t name your kid anything like Avis, Ford, Chalupa or Hot Dog. That’s just mean.