You Are Naming a Baby – Not a New Yoga Move

Apple. Cocoa. Buttercup. Congratulations, celebrities, you just named your child something both unique and edible, a goal few people accomplish. In fact, it’s likely a goal few people should accomplish. After all, your child’s name will stick with her for the rest of her life, or at least until she is self-sufficient enough to trek to the courthouse to make a change.

Naming a child is a major responsibility. Sure, a rose by any other name would not smell as sweet, but that rose is going to endure teasing and bullying if you name it something with five “Y”s. If you get the honor of choosing your child’s call sign, there are no hard and fast rules that dictate your decision. There are, however, some common-sense guidelines that can help keep you from making a life-long mistake.

Cool Isn’t That Cool

You know how feathered hairstyles were so cool in the 80s but are now a sign that someone is incredibly outdated? That’s exactly what naming your kid “Quinoa” will be 15 years from now. Sure, it might sound cool, and all the health-foodies have made quinoa a total fad, but that does not mean your child should share a title with gluten-free goodness for the rest of her life. Before you hop on the fad-wagon, think about if your current favorite will hold up in the long-term.

You Are Not an Inventor

According to the U.S. patent office, there is a 97 percent failure rate for inventions. So do you really think a name you come up with is going to have success? You are basically using your child as a test tube for an experiment that will almost certainly fail. Stop swirling through the alphabet a letter at a time to come up with a name.

Respect the Alphabet

There is a reason the letters V, X and Z are rarely used. They make words harder to spell and do not roll off a child’s tongue easily. Keep in mind that you are not naming your child in order to score triple word points on Scrabble. Alternative spelling using Ks and double Es do little more than make a mockery of the written word. Have a little respect for the 26 letters that have produced thousands of names that have stood the test of time.

No Apostrophes

Ever. No apostrophes ever. You’ll thank us later.


Lastly, before you fill out that birth certificate, bounce the name off at least one other person. If they have to ask you to say it again, enunciating certain syllables or twisting their face as they repeat it, you might reconsider. If nothing else, think about this: That is what your child is going to face for the rest of their lives. You are going to make major sacrifices for your child as life goes on – do not protect your pride for the sake of a funky name.