Choosing what to call their new bundle of joy is one of the biggest decisions that parents face. Do you pick a name that makes them stand out from the crowd, go down the traditional route, or honor a family member? With so much choice out there, most of us spend a considerable amount of time deliberating over a long list of names, praying for a sign to point us in the right direction. Thankfully, we stumbled across a simple run of tests that can help you decide if it's going to be Marie or Mariah.
Hey @jackantonoff I just found a potential baby name list we made in 2015. I could definitely keep this private, but then the world wouldn’t know that you suggested “Carrot” over and over... Love u!!! pic.twitter.com/ATWAV7KIC9— Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) August 13, 2018
Over the years scientists have delved deep into what our names mean when it comes to how we live our every day lives. In 2004, economists Marianne Bertrand and Sendhil Mullainathan created five thousand fake resumes and responded to jobs posted in Chicago and Boston newspapers. They chose names ranging from traditional sounding monikers like Emily Walsh to more unusual names like Lakisha Washington in order to gauge the response from employers. Although each made-up profile had the same qualifications, the research found that "Emilys" were more likely to land the job than "Lakishas". While your child's name might have a bigger impact on them down the line, you have to choose one first. Considering these seven points can help narrow it down.
Will the name look good on a holiday greeting card? It sounds simple, but writing out the potential name can help you see how it fits. Try signing a mock card with the names of your family. Does Bart fit in or does Ben look better? What feels more natural?
How will the name sound in the doctor's office? Imagining a health professional calling out your child's name in a crowded waiting room can help you see how well it flows. Does it sound awkward, or roll off the tongue?
Always consider the nicknames. Perhaps one of the biggest pitfalls in baby naming is failing to properly think of the nicknames that could arise as a result of your choice. Kids can be cruel, and although you shouldn't put your favorite name on the scrap heap for that reason alone, it's an important issue to consider. You know what they say, offense is the best form of defense.
Think about initials. No one wants two gorgeous middle names only to discover their initials spell out something heinous. Alexandra Samantha Solange might sound good to you, but it won't do your kid any favors in the future.
Does the name have a negative historical or cultural association? This is especially true for unusual names shared with one celeb with a bad reputation or a historical figure who did more harm than good. Donald might not be such a popular choice these days, while baby Beyonce might be taunted with a chorus of "Single Ladies" her whole life.
Does the name run the risk of being mispronounced? For instance, beautiful names like Siobhan, Joaquin, and Aoife all sound lovely when spoken correctly, but more often than not people don't know how to say them. Can you live with it, or will it be something that annoys both you and your child for years to come?
How does it feel saying the name sternly? Let's face it, at one point in the not too distance future you're going to have to tell your little cherub off. Can you imagine taking Raindrop-Apple Blossom to task over an untidy room, or asking Astro why he didn't make his specifically pre-arranged curfew? If you can't, move on to the next.
Did you have a process when it came to naming your child? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!