Tag Archives: name advice

Five Name Rules to Follow


Last week we explored five unofficial “rules” that buzz around the baby name world that I’d gladly pass on. Name rules are made to be broken, right? Well here are a few rules I think are worth following, or at least strongly considering.

1 Initials are Important
I was recently chatting with one of my non-name-obsessed friends about names and we got onto the subject of initials. It hadn’t dawned on her that initials were a thing. Now I wouldn’t purposely put a name together to get fun initials like A.C.E. or G.E.M. but I would strongly suggest avoiding initials like R.A.T. or B.A.D. I think it’s a good policy to say and write a name out to avoid any future monogram embarrassment.

2 I want that Name!
The list of names I love is massive but not as long as the list of names I love but would never use. There are just some names that feel too cutesy or too bold for me personally. As a rule of thumb I always advise parents to select a name either they or their partner would be happy to have been named. Is it a name that would’ve fit you at 7? 47? 77? If so, you found a winner!

3 Know the Name buzz
When choosing a name I think it’s important to take into account any stigmas that may currently be attached to the name. A quick google search can help you look at any current cultural or political references to that name. I’m not saying that you can’t use a name a Kardashian used or the name of the President’s wife, but it would be good to be aware that others may assume that is where you got the name from.

4 Consider Long-term Name loves
I think that we name-nerds are always on the hunt for a new great name. It’s wonderful to discover new beauties, but don’t discount old loves. I think that you have less risk of regretting a name choice if you pick a name you’ve loved for a long time. While some of the names I loved in middle-school are flat out embarrassing, a few have stood the test of time and are still on my list.

Use a name you LOVE
When all is said and done there is no one name that everybody loves. What’s important is that you and your partner love the name. The fact that you’re here reading this now shows you care and have the best of intentions in naming. It’s hard enough for two people to agree on a name, so when you do, go with your gut and then come tell me what you choose! I love hearing name-lover’s name choices!

Happy Naming!

5 Names Rules to Ignore


Have you been obsessing about names since you were a child naming your dolls like me? Or are you expecting and just dipping your toes into the name world waters? It seems that everyone, enthusiast or not, has an opinion about how to name a baby. I’ve read and heard unofficial “name rules” for years. Some rules, like don’t name your baby after a dictator are common sense, but here are a few rules I think are made to be broken…

1 Same letter names for siblings
I’m sure you’ve met siblings who’s names were so similar that you have to wonder how their parents managed to call for them. I went to school with siblings Stephanie and Stephan. I’m definitely not suggesting matchy-matchy sibsets nor would I recommend Duggar-sized families continue a letter theme. I do think siblings names beginning in the same letter work when the letter make a different sound. Gavin and Gabriel are easier to get tongue tied than Emma and Evelyn for example. So toss that rule aside and opt for the sound the letter makes over the letter itself.

2 Alternate Spellings
Alternate spellings are hugely controversial in the baby name world. Take it from a girl named Meagan, not Megan or Meghan or a million other variations, its ok to use an alternate spelling. In my 30-something *cough* years of life I’ve had my name misspelled but it really hasn’t been that big of a deal and people usually catch on once corrected. That said, Meagan is a legitimate, although less popular spelling of the familiar Megan. I don’t mind the alternate spelling but I’m sure glad my folks didn’t get overly creative and opts for Mahayghanne or some other created spelling.

3 Franken-Names
I’m all for alternative spellings and cautious when it comes to creative spellings, but I have to say I’m a fan of some franken-names or name-smash’s. A franken-name is the melding of two names, sometimes hyphenated to create one name. One of my favorite examples is Anastella, one part Ana, one part Stella, mix and get the lovely Anastella. It can be tricky finding of creating a name smash that isn’t obnoxiously long and doesn’t feel like it trying to hard but when you do its magic!

4 Gender Bending Names
We’ve definitely seen a rise of traditionally male names being used on little girls in recent years. A polarizing topic in the name world gender bender or unisex names are totally lovable and usable. I know of a little boy named Kelly, a male name that gained popularity for girls, but could swing back around. I grew up with a boy and a girl named Evan, both wore their names well. While some names may have more teasing potential, I think it’s fine to use a name like Avery now more popular for girls on a boy.

5 A Name that’s taken
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked if a name was usable because it had been used by the expecting couples boss, friend, sibling, etc. So this one is tricky and doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all answer, the key is to consider the relationship. Did your co-worker name her son Riordan? Is Riordan your Mother’s maiden name, a name you and your partner agree on and have loved for ages? Use it! No one can call “dibs” on a name. Do consider if your kids will be raised together. If your sister lives next door and names her daughter Finley it may be one you have to forgo. Then again you could always use Finley as a middle name and share a cute cousin connection.

Keep in mind that most people will have an unwarranted opinions about your child’s name but at the end of the day what matters most is how happy you are with your choice. These broken rules are just my opinion, I’d love to hear your opinions in the comment section. Happy Naming!

Too Many Names


What do you do when you like too many names?

As an avid lover of names, I have an appreciation for a wide array of names.  If you handed me a pen and paper and asked me to write down 50 names that I like my only problem would be which 50 names to pick.

There are so many wonderful names!  It’s easy to get overwhelmed when it comes time to choose a name.  I find that people in the baby name community sometimes have a hard time honing in and choosing a name.  It could be that we love too many names, have too much knowledge, or realize the weight of what a name means.  Most of us will have/do have a couple of children.  That means we’ll only get to use a few precious names.

So, how do you narrow it down and choose a name perfect for your little one?

Make a big list

Don’t limit yourself, write down every name that comes into your mind. Pull out your books, surf your favorite name blogs, and allow yourself a full mental dump of every name you might ever consider.  Once you’ve got a huge list of potential names down, start separating it out by names you like vs names you love.  There are so many names that I think are brilliant and would recommend in a heartbeat, but I don’t know that I like them enough to actually use them. Add names that clash with your surname over to the pile of “like, but won’t use” list.

Run names by your partner

Even if your partner isn’t a name enthusiast, everyone has an opinion about names they like and don’t like.  Although it is a bummer when your significant other scrunches up their nose at one of your favorite names, it is important that you use a name you both love.

You might also ask your partner to make his/her own list without seeing your list of names.  Then you can compare the two and see if there are any names that appear on both of your lists.

Would you or your partner want this name?

There are many grand and glorious names that I treasure but I’m also glad my parents didn’t give me.  It’s a good rule of thumb to use a name that either you or your partner would have liked to have been named.  Can you picture it on yourself at 6? 36? 96?

Look to names you’ve loved forever

Many of my favorite names are the names of characters in books I read as a child.  There are a handful of names that I’ve loved most of my life.  I feel as though I’m always on the hunt for a new name to love, but  I often comeback to names I’ve loved forever.  There’s less chance for name regret when you go with a name you’ve enjoyed for a long time.

Name Significance/Family ties

When I look at my own list of name loves, certain names stand out.  These are names that have significance to me for an array of meanings.  They may be a twist on a family members name, the name of a place where you met your partner, or perhaps the name of a heroine in your favorite childhood story. Using a name with meaning adds to the story behind it.

Enjoy the naming process!