The process of deciding your child’s name is serious business. As a mom, you’re deciding the identity of your baby. It’s the first impression your child will make before anyone ever meets them. Ultimately, the name you choose can determine how your baby will be treated before anyone even speaks to them. The name is the first impression offered before their personality has a chance to be seen. So really, it’s a game, the game of life--and not the game about building a life.
The best place in the world is the playground. Hearing different names being called between children and parents is wonderful for ideas. It’s interesting because creative names are awesome and some kids have extremely unique names. The thing is, where do you begin? How do you decide to start your naming journey?
Choosing the perfect name for your child has to come from a meaningful place. The question is what category does the name fall under. Are you basing your decision on honoring a loved one or a religious figure? Do you just like the meaning of the name by definition? Cultural meaning is important when keeping to your roots. See the problem? The options and areas a name can be drawn from are exceptionally large.
I've found these to be the 7 most common areas where names are chosen from.
7 Choosing a Name to Honor the Family
I have a favorite uncle who passed when I was a teenager. Everyone loved him so much that there are multiple children with various versions of his name to honor him. It's an awesome way to show appreciation for a loved family member. What about those who are still living? As a new parent do you feel obligated to incorporate a grandparent name into your child’s name? Is it expected of you to want to name your baby after your mom?
Perhaps there’s an unspoken rule of everyone having the same initials. For most people it's a family tradition to recycle a name from the family tree with the intention of passing on a legacy. We all understand how names could be an indication of a certain era. Are you risking your child hating the name you picked because Beatrice Louisa will always sound like a 70 year old woman.
Or you can be like me and many of the women a part of a twin mom forum, who pick a name from a relative who was loved deeply, so you when call your child's name it has a double loving meaning. Also, it’s kind of funny when you are chastising your child using your ancestor's name.
6 Cultural Understanding Behind the Name
Have you ever met someone from a different culture and asked their name? If their from a foreign country, most will ask does if their name has a meaning. Some names are chosen for their specific definition. Names that usually have a special meaning like, blessing or miracle, and strong in spirit are popular.
That’s because the mother thinks about what her baby will be to her and what they could be for the world. They chose based on the significance of the cultural meaning behind the name. Perhaps the names might even be of a country bird or flower to honor their homeland. What is completely astonishing about cultural based names, is if you name your child blossom, it's different in each native tongue.
5 The Wild Card Name
I love wild card names personally. These are the types of names you have never heard before and they make you stop and think. Names that come from a meaning only significant to the parents and their history as a couple. Once you know the history of the couple and a bit of their backstory, you realize the name fits the child and the family.
Did you meet the love of your life at a lake one summer, or spent time with your significant other in a different country traveling for example? It’s a name that is always said with a smile. Calling your baby by a special name that’s attached to a fond memory of loved person, place or a favorite thing. Anything out of the ordinary is a wild card name.
States, countries, objects, colors, there are a lot of cool names to choose from if you have a reason to put your mind to it. The wild card name has a touch of intimacy, it allows you to learn more about the parents when you know the meaning behind the name. So really, they’re allowing you to be a part of the family when you know it.
4 Names Used From the Couple's Religion or Spiritual Beliefs
Growing up you learn about how cultures have different spiritual beliefs. Most people have something or someone they speak to for guidance or prayer. Some people use their religion or spiritual base as a place to find the names for their child.
In the Bible, many names can be argued as common, but how many Joseph's, Mary's and David's have you met in your lifetime and out of these, how many do you know were named after someone in the good book. There are children named Charity, Faith and Wisdom which generally are used as adjectives for positive virtues, but are increasingly becoming average names.
Athena the Goddess of Wisdom and War in Greek mythology is a common name in Greece. The point is, we draw our inspiration from what touches our lives. Since there are so many different deities, gods and spirits, the names are unique and beautiful for children.
3 Names Chosen Out of Love for a Celebrity
Think about one of your favorite actors or actresses. Famous singers or professional athletes from teams you cheer for. Some names may be based off of fictional characters from books, television programs or maybe a favorite movie the parents loved. These characters may have been from growing up with a particular character in a movie or TV series.
What is interesting is the more famous celebrities like Denzel Washington, you hear a child with the same name and you know the child was named after him. There's nothing wrong with choosing the name of a worldwide known famous person as inspiration. It might lack a little originality for some, or others might think it's great to use, like the name of a favorite author as an option.
Try not to go too far out of the box, there can only be so many Carmelos in the world.
2 Nature Lovers Choosing a Name From Their Environment
Some nature names sound incredible to the ears and are really pretty to use as a name for your child. There are many Willows, Roses and Lakes in the world. Growing up I knew a few girls with Rainbow and Sunshine as names and assumed many the parents were nature lovers. When it comes to a boy, there's a limited amount of nature based names that can be used for a son if you don’t have an imagination.
When most parents choose a name, they pick it based on characteristics, naming your son “Rock" probably isn't an awesome choice if it's not a nickname. Of course River is also a great name for a boy or even going the animal naming route like, Sparrow or Robin could be cool, but as with most things, you’ll maybe want to do some research before choosing a random nature based name.
1 Using Shortened Names or Nicknames as a Given Name
The dreaded nickname as first name is sometimes a hard pill to swallow. You might hear some names and just assume it's the short form of the longer name. Nope. They’re the types of names that when you hear it being called, you expect to see a puppy run up to their owner. Sorry!
While parents want to pick a unique name, and unique names are trendy, some trends need to stop. It would be hard to take a woman named Princess seriously because the name conjures up certain thoughts of the type of person who would have such a name, but then again, the world is changing every day. So if when can accept fruit and directions as normal names, pet names and nicknames can work as well.
It's a daunting task when parents know that choosing the wrong name can hurt their child. No parent will ever admit it, because we all have our reason for picking the names we decided on, but when is the boundary crossed? More precisely who decides when or how to elegantly explain the destruction a wrong name can do in certain job professions. There isn't a way.
In the end, you should love the name you chose
It’s like throwing a rock at night and waiting until morning to see where it lands, as a mom, you want your child to have the name you have dreamt of saying all your life. Other people’s opinions don’t matter, or should they?
As the younger generations are more accepting, it’s easier to choose different names. The names our generation might be considered unimaginative to younger parents, or crazy to our older counterparts. It's all a risk. You can’t make everyone happy, so make yourself happy as a new parent. Follow a few guides, try to make sure it doesn't rhyme with smelly or any other teasing songs kids can make up.
Think about your baby's future, you want them to be taken seriously in the workforce. Cut down on the syllables so they can pronounce and spell it growing up. Have fun! Deciding a name is a hugely important part of your pregnancy. Love your baby and the name. You will be yelling it for the rest of your life when they’re in trouble.