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Saturday, January 18, 2014

Thoughts on Choosing Baby Names

Expecting a baby is so all-consuming that it’s hard to see into the future. A few good questions to ask about naming your child are:

Do I want to carry on a family tradition, or create a fresh beginning?
When my child submits their resume for a professional position, will their name be an advantage or a disadvantage?

Five great questions of life: Life * Love * Learning * Labor * Leadership

Love: Who Will I Spend My Life With?

Thoughts on Choosing Baby Names

By Evan Nehring


My dad named me after Evan Roberts, the great Welsh evangelist. I love that association. When Colleen and I talked of choosing a name for our child, we had no problem coming up with girl names. When we had our prenatal visits, I would pull up my metronome app and measure the speed of the baby’s heartbeat. It was in the high 160’s usually, and we prepared for a little girl. We settled on Zoe Vionne. It was a combination of the Greek word for “life” and a character name from a French movie we enjoyed together.

The ultrasound, however, sent us in a new direction and we began to shuffle through boy names. That was trickier. When we decided on Jason Elliott, it was less to do with meaning and more to do with a name we both liked. Of course, I am Evan Jay, so that similarity was evident right away. Perhaps the closeness of our relationship is still reflected by his name.

Photo Credit: _-0-_ on Flickr Creative Commons

When my mom heard what we had chosen for a girl name, she commented, “I’m sure glad he was a boy!” I still like Zoe Vionne, but I understand better where she was coming from. Expecting a baby is so all-consuming that it’s hard to see into the future. A few good questions to ask about naming your child are:

  • Do I want to carry on a family tradition, or create a fresh beginning?
  • When my child submits their resume for a professional position, will their name be an advantage or a disadvantage?
  • When my child is older, how will they appreciate being called Aunt _______ or Uncle _______ ?
  • When my child begins dating, will their name be an attraction or a distraction.

BabyCenter also posted some pitfalls to avoid when choosing baby names[1]:

  1. The nickname trap: Charles Puck is OK. Chuck Puck, well…
  2. Embarrassing initials: SAD, ILL, LSD
  3. A lifetime of corrections: Will people pronounce it wrong forever?
  4. Overpopularity: Do you want six kids with the same name in their kindergarten class?
  5. Problematic name pairings:  One mom named her kids Sam and Ella.
  6. Humiliating email handles: Many companies use first initial and last name for email names. Francis Atkins becomes fatkins.
  7. Names not to live up to: Just Google your name choice. Make sure it’s not a famous porn star or well-known criminal.
  8. So-so meanings: Again, an online search can help you know what your chosen name means.
Looking back, I wish we'd given more thought to family tradition when considering baby names. Love our children's names, but I was a bit immature on that front.

Comments Are Always Welcome...

Any other thoughts on choosing baby names? Do you feel names are full of meaning and destiny?


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[1] “8 Pitfalls to Watch For When Naming Your Baby.” Accessed Feb 25, 2013.  http://www.babycenter.com/0_8-pitfalls-to-watch-for-when-naming-your-baby_10326318.bc

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