You want to give your children the greatest advantage that you can. Their names are their identities. It is who they are. If they are needlessly ridiculed over something as basic as their names or some aspect of them, self-esteem will suffer. In selecting a name for your baby, there are a few things to keep in mind.
The names were obtained mostly from government sources worldwide. This included census data, social security data, birth records, death records etc. They are first names (a.k.a. given names, forenames, personal names, Christian names) and middle names of individuals. Names flagged by our English language profanity filters were removed from the lists (best effort, no guarantee). There has been no profanity filtering in any other language. The name tools provide suggestions for names based only on letter sequences and combinations. It does not consider meaning. If you find an name you like, be sure to research it further before you name your child.
It is quite as easy to give our children musical and pleasing names as those that are harsh and difficult; and it will be found by the owners, when they have grown to knowledge, that there is much in a name.
Your child, your choice. A well-chosen name is a gift for life. Names should be chosen in the best interest of the child. Be wise. The name is not your billboard and it is not a way to tell the world how brilliantly clever you are. It is not about you. Unusual and creative names are fine if they are not stupid and they don't set a child up for a lifetime of teasing. Both parents need to like the name. You and your partner need to get on the same page. Independently, make lists of your favorite names and then find commonality. Don't let pushy relatives decide. You can, however, appease a lot of people with a middle name or two.
These questions apply to both parents. Do you like the name? Does it have a pleasant sound? Do you like the spelling and pronounciation? Are they difficult? Do you like the shortened form and initials of the name? Do all the names, including the last name, play nicely together? Does it have a good rhythm in its spoken form? Pick an arbitrary sound and play with the syllable count, combining it with your last name e.g. ta Smith, tata Smith, tatata Smith. Does it make you want to dance? Is the name too similar to the last name (e.g. Amelia Bedelia™)? This is a great name for a character in a children's book. Depending on what the names are, it may or may not work. Tinky Winky™ is probably not a great name choice. Is the name an alliteration with the last name? Do they start with the same sound? Does the name rhyme with anything objectionable or tease-worthy, like Tucker? Does it age well? Do you like the meaning? Does it remind you of anyone you admired (or detested)? Is it a popular name? Do you mind if there are twelve kids in the class all named Katelynn even if they all spell their names differently (and there are lots of ways to spell this name)?
Does the baby name work with the other family member names and does it matter? How similar is the name to the other children in the family and is it likely to cause confusion? How do the names sound together as a group? There could be problems with six girls named Humph, Lumph, Mumph, Bumph, Dumph, and Gumph. Do you have a theme going with your name selections? Do they all start with the same letter? Are they names chosen from literature or mythology? Are they anagrams of each other?
The Duggar family, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, had nineteen children, all with names beginning with the letter
J. They are Joshua James, Jana, John, Jill, Jessa, Jinger, Joseph, Josiah, Joy-Anna, Jedidiah, Jeremiah, Jason, James, Justin, Jackson, Johannah, Jennifer, Jordyn-Grace, and Josie. They could keep going, because there are over 10,500 names starting with
J. Perhaps you could have twins named Xavier and Xerox, where Xavier arrives first. There are over 450 names starting with
If you are choosing names from literature or other sources, pay close attention to who the characters portrayed by the names are and how they interact. Naming the twins Romeo and Juliette would take star-crossed to a whole new level. Imagine the teasing. You also don't want to name them Abel and Cain because the outcome wasn't good. In the movie Back To The Future III, Emmett and Clara named their children Verne and Jules, after Jules Verne, whose writing they both admired. Two names from one admirable person, so no chance of conflict here. Twins Isaac and Newton, or Nikola and Tesla would be cute. The Shakespearean names Romeo, Hamlet, and Macbeth could be triplets because they are in different stories and they don't interact.
The names Grumpy, Sleepy, Sneezy, Doc, Bashful, Dopey, and Happy are great names for seven dwarfs in a fairy tale. Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen and Rudolf make fine names for a family of reindeer, except poor Rudolf would never be included in any of the games. While Rudolf is a fine name -- some may prefer Prancer -- collectively these names might not be the best choice for your children.
A mom named Anna and a dad named Graham might have to seriously consider having anagram kids (anagram twins, anagram triplets, anagram quadruplets or even an entire anagram family). I don't know if there has ever been an anagram family. We have one 36 name anagram set, and many others have less, so there are lots of name anagrams to choose from. If you are having twins, you could give them reversed names of each other (also anagrams). For example, Anneleh and Helenna are reversed. So are Aydan and Nadya. We have more than 2,250 pairs of reversed names.
Many countries have naming laws and maintain lists of approved and forbidden names, taking into consideration the meaning of the name and the scripts or characters in which they are written. Generally, these laws are for the protection of children, to spare them a lifetime of ridicule and embarrassment. Names cannot be insulting, offensive, weird, bizarre, or ridiculous.
In many countries, the gender of the child has to be easily discernable from the name. Johnny Cash sang about a boy named Sue. This is not that uncommon. Many names are predominantly male or female, but very few are exclusively one gender. Often it is very difficult to determine the gender from the name. Bear in mind that people are people, some are kinder than others, and ridicule and bullying happens.
The name should not be too long. Avoid official titles and ranks (e.g. Justice, King, Queen, Prince, Princess, Royal) unless you can justify such a name. Stick to alphabetic characters and do not imbed punctuation marks, brackets or numerals within the name. In Chinese, a small fraction of the over 70,000 characters are represented by computers, so for practical purposes, names are limited to those with machine readable characters. Good or Bad, Baby Names Have Long-lasting Effects. Your name is your identity, and can affect your life positively or negatively. Negative names are a burden. Parents have the right to select their babys' names, but they shouldn't give a child the lifetime burden of a really bad name.
When you doubt between words, use the plainest, the commonest, the most idiomatic. Eschew fine words as you would rouge, love simple ones as you would native roses on your cheek.
J. C. Hare
Choose names with simple spellings and pronounciations. This will be easier for your children, and they won't spend half of their lives correcting others. Test your name selections on family and friends to see if they have difficulties with either the spelling or pronounciation.
Keep It Simple, Stupid
Keep It Simple, Silly
Keep It Short and Simple
Keep It Simple and Straightforward
Keep It Small and Simple
According to the KISS principle, simple systems are uncomplicated and unproblematic, and they work better than unnecessarily complex ones. This design principle was originated by an American aeronautical and systems engineer named Kelly Johnson.
Make the first name, the name that your child is most likely to be called, a good one. Three-mouthful names are impractical; They are difficult to say and write, both for the child and others. The child would forever be correcting others on the spelling and pronounciation of the name. Also, the name may be too long to fit on forms or in databases and would end up being truncated. Most people will never know or care about the multiple middle names of others.
There are many reasons why a person gets a name. Are children with longer names loved more? Does a longer name ensure a longer life? Names may be given to honor parents, grandparents, or other family members. They might be the names of godparents or good friends. They might be the names of actresses or actors, characters in a book, great military leaders, brilliant scientists, and other famous people. They could be words with great meanings, like Freedom, Honesty, and Truth. Saint names are commonly used, often chosen according to the birthday on a Calendar of Saints. Biblical names are common. Other religions have their chosen names also.
In 2008, a nine year old girl in New Zealand was put into court guardianship so they could change her name from
Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii. She would tell others her name was
K to avoid being mocked and teased. According to the judge,
It makes a fool of the child and sets her up with a social disability and handicap, unnecessarily.
There are several variations of a story about a boy with a very long and hard to say name. He falls down a well and has to be rescued. The name is an impediment to the boy being rescued. In some variations he survives, in others he drowns.
Tikki Tikki Tembo is a children's book written by Arlene Mosel. The boys name is
Tikki Tikki Tembo - no Sa Rembo - chari Bari Ruchi - pip Peri Pembo (which means
The Most Wonderful Thing in the Whole Wide World). When his brother Chong falls down the well, he is rescued promptly, because his name is short. When Tikki Tikki Tembo... falls down the well, in his panic, the brother has to say his name with reverence before the mother will do anything. Then he has to communicate it to the old man with the ladder. Tikki Tikki Tembo... almost drowns and it takes him a long time to recover.
Long Name No Can Say, length of the name is directly proportional to the magnitude of the parents love. The boy was named
Nicki Nicki Tembo No So Rembo Oo Ma Moochi Gamma Gamma Goochi, (Long-Name-No-Can-Say, for short). He was named this because his mother loved her first son
very very very much. His six older sisters were named
Gumph. The younger brother was
Yen. Their names are shorter because their mother didn't love them nearly so much. When Nicki Nicki Tembo No So Rembo Oo Ma Moochi Gamma Gamma Goochi falls down the well, the rescue is impeded because the people who found him could not say, remember, or communicate his name. When they went for help, no one knew who it was they were supposed to rescue (like it would matter), so it took a while to rescue him.
Monday's child is fair of face,
Tuesday's child is full of grace:
Wednesday's child is born to woe,
Thursday's child has far to go;
Friday's child is loving and giving,
Saturday's child must work for its living:
But the child that is born on the Sabbath-day
Is blithe and bonnie, good and gay.
This old English verse is used to help young children remember the days of the week. It also appears to tell a child's future or character according to their birth day of the week. Poor woeful Wednesday. One-seventh of the population must be doomed to a lifetime of woe.
A court in Italy would not allow a boy who was born on a Sunday to be named
Friday, after a character in the story Robinson Crusoe. The judges thought that
it would bring the child shame and ridicule to be named after the character in Robinson Crusoe. According to the couple's lawyer,
the judges thought that it recalled the figure of a savage, thus creating a sense of inferiority and failing to guarantee the boy the necessary decorum. Naming someone Friday would prevent him from having
serene interpersonal relationships and would turn him into the
laughing stock of his group.
Ill wounds may be cured, but not ill names.
Don't select names that don't play nicely with the last name, in the entire form, shortened form, or initials. Watch how the end sound of one name leads into the next.
Who can unhear the classic names from Bart Simpson's prank calls to Moe's Tavern in the TV show The Simpsons, names like Seymour Butz, I. P. Freely, Oliver Klozoff, Mike Rotch, Hugh Jass, Amanda Hugginkiss, Homer Sexual, Al Coholic, Heywood U. Kuddulmee, Ima Wiener, Drew P. Wiener, Maya Normusbutt and Yuri Nator. It is a silly cartoon, but it makes the point. Michael Hunt and Anita Dick also are not recommended. Dick Assman worked at a Petro-Canada gas station in Regina, Saskatchewan. Fortunately he was very good natured about his nickname
Assman the Gasman. There are probably many more examples of names like these.
Avoid names where the names or initials spell out embarrassing, insulting, or profane words. This will be a source of teasing when the other kids find out.
These made-up names illustrate the point:
Is the name timeless? Does it age well? A name may be incredibly cute for a child, but childhood is brief. When children grow up, will their name still suit them? Will they hate their name as teenagers? If they grow up to be doctors, lawyers, or maybe even the President, will the name be dignified enough? You don't want them grow up and rue their name. Muffin, Cookie, Candy, Bambi and Beaver may fail this test. A name that is cutesy in its shortened form but dignified in its long form might work, or you could save the cutesy name for a middle name. Maybe use it only as a nickname and keep it off of the official records.
If you really can't decide on a name before leaving the hospital, most jurisdictions will give you several weeks to settle on a name. Check how long this is where you live. You can get to know your baby first and then find a name that suits the baby. This is easier than a name change later if you are unhappy with your choice.
He left a name at which the world grew pale.
To point a moral, or adorn a tale.
The Vanity of Human Wishes, Samuel Johnson, 1748
Certain names always awake certain prejudices.
Pick a pleasant name, not a name that conjures up images of brutality and evil. For example, do not name your child
Adolf Hitler. Adolf Hitler was the Nazi leader of Germany in World War II. His name will forever be associated with genocide on an unprecedented scale. To quote Wikipedia on Adolf Hitler:
Under Hitler's leadership and racially motivated ideology, the Nazi regime was responsible for the genocide of at least 5.5 million Jews and millions of other victims whom he and his followers deemed Untermenschen (sub-humans) and socially undesirable. Hitler and the Nazi regime were also responsible for the killing of an estimated 19.3 million civilians and prisoners of war. In addition, 29 million soldiers and civilians died as a result of military action in the European Theatre of World War II. The number of civilians killed during the Second World War was unprecedented in warfare, and constitutes the deadliest conflict in human history.
It is unfortunate for those born with the surname Hitler. It is their lineage, their birthright, and the name didn't always have the negative connotation that it has today. The crimes of this horrible man are not their crimes. He hijacked their name, and they can't undo that. However, because of the extreme nature of his crimes, I can't understand why someone would intentionally impose the unnecessary moniker
Adolf Hitler (or the names of anyone closely associated with Hitler) on a child. These news stories speak for themselves:
Meet The Hitlers, Trailer examines the relationship between identity and name.