Naming your baby is one of the most important choices you make for your child. It is shocking how many of you are blowing it.
Here is my handy-dandy guide in baby naming.
There Is No Such Thing As A Uni-Sex Name
There are baby boy names, baby girl names, and baby girl names that used to be baby boy names.
I’m calling it: Ashton, Peyton, Hayden and Taylor are all girl names from here on out.
I have a boy cousin named Taylor and he has to go by his middle name now to escape the taunts of his peers.
I call this the “John Wayne Effect”.
John Wayne, manly man, was born Marion Morrison and had to change his name to escape the beatings. If John Wayne was teased over his girl name, how will your little Hunter escape it?
The girl-ification of boy names seems to creep a little every generation, because Marion, Ashley, Evelyn, Lindsey and Stacy used to be very masculine names.
Now, you’ve got to explain Ashley Wilkes to every kids seeing “Gone with the Wind” for the first time. And with all that wavy, primrose hair, it’s difficult enough already.
No Kid Needs Two Middle Names
Unless they are in the line of succession to the throne, knock this off. The lives of Americans are ruled by official forms and bubble sheets, and there is no room for the foolishness that is four names.
You want an individual first name and two middle names to honor both grandmothers or grandfathers? Flip a coin, pick one, and promise to catch the other with the next kid.
Stop It With The Obscure Old Testament Names Already
Nobody loves a Bible name more than I do, But if you are deep in the “Begats” you are signing your kid up for a lifetime of sorrow, Old Testament style.
Little Ginath will not thank you.
A Nickname Is Not A Name
The justification for this is “But that’s what we are going to call him,” but little Joey will grow up one day and may need a big-boy name to be taken seriously in business.
Sure, we call former president Clinton “Bill”, but when he’s announced at state functions, it’s as William Jefferson Clinton.
Some nickname-names are so common, people have forgotten they are only nicknames. Jack is from John, Liam is from William and Amy is from Amelia.
Why limit your child’s choices? Call her Betsy at home, but let her have Elizabeth for her business card when she is CEO, if she wants.
Using The Same First Letter For All Your Kids
You’ve seen big families like this. All J-names. All K-names.
Unless you are the first kid, you are just getting leftovers, and who likes leftovers? And if you are the baby, you know your parents were scraping the bottom of the name barrel for you.
If you have enough kids, you have to start making things up at the end. Jinjer? Really?
Let each kid have a fresh shot at a good name. It’s a person, not the next installment in your personal brand.
Changing The Rules of Phonics
Let’s just get this straight now, if you spell Christopher with a Qh, Qhistofr will call in to a radio language show when he’s 40 complaining that nobody spells or pronounces his name right.
There are certain exceptions to names following American expectations. Gaelic names like Sean are certainly understood to be pronounced “Shawn”, but more obscure names will give people pause.
If you or your parents are the first generation to this country and you are honoring your heritage, it’s probably worth the hassle, but if you are 16th-generation American, your kids might find explaining Sorcha is pronounced “sorr-kha” a billion times tiresome.
I’m calling this Part 1, since I have a whole list of things people are doing wrong.
Please know that my tongue is firmly in my cheek as I write this and I have fully violated at least one of my own rules.
What are some of the worst baby naming mistakes you’ve seen? C’mon, you know you’ve got one.
I’ll select the best ones for inclusion into Part 2.