Choosing a perfect baby name: A Bonus Excerpt
Wednesday, June 17th, 2009
Readers of this blog have made one thing clear: They love insights into the risky business of naming newborns. This isn’t surprising. While writing The Perfect Baby Handbook, I came to understand how the pressure to select an extraordinary baby name can unhinge a well-balanced adult to the point where he or she considers “Aloysius Cucumber” a “guy’s-guy” name. In this bonus Q&A from the book, I look at common issues that arise.
When it comes to baby names, it’s often said the wrong choice will doom an infant to a life of misery, social failure, and garages with just one door. That’s only 99 percent true. One child named “Dusty” went on to achieve a two-car garage with a nice weathervane, while another christened “Weeza” is only intermittently miserable. So don’t stress. The truth is, naming a child is a wonderful experience with only 11 crucial factors to consider. Let’s start with the basics.
Are vowels really necessary?
While we all know happy, gifted children called Mrk, Alxndr, and Bth, these kids sound constipated when called upon to identify themselves. By simply adding vowels to such names, you get the more musical variants: Mirk, Aloxeendry, and Boaith.
What about consonants? Suddenly, I’m seeing them in every second baby’s name.
Admittedly, a few trendy consonants such as B, C, D, J, K, L, M, N, P, Q, R, S, T, W, and Z have become ubiquitous. However, others such as F, G, H, and V are eagerly waiting to step in. As a fresher alternative to “Mike,” consider “Vife.”
What makes a name perfect?
It should connote adequate soccer skills. And glory.
Is that all?
No. To paraphrase Jane Austen, the perfect name must have a thorough knowledge of music, singing, drawing, dancing, and the modern languages; and besides all this, a certain something in its air and manner of walking. “Barry,” for instance.
How many letters should a perfect name contain?
Ideally, nine. Some examples: “Sebastian,” “Elizabeth,” and “Chloeeeee.”
Wouldn’t it be great if my wife and I combined our first names into one perfect baby moniker?
Yes, absolutely, if your name is “C” and your wife’s is “Atherine.” If, however, her name is “Ass” and yours is “Hole,” proceed with caution. Very few people can pronounce “Holeass” correctly.
We like the upbeat, confident “Almighty” (for a girl) but worry it might sound too stuck-up. Any advice?
Soften it with a demure middle name, such as “Rose” or “Being.”
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• Excerpt: 52 Perfect baby names