“It may be your baby, but your baby has to live with the name for the rest of his or her life.”


Tip #1:  Ease With Pronunciation

Listen to the vowels in the first, middle, and last name.  Pay attention to the assonance and the cadence.

Example:  Kaya McKenna Callahan has too many “k” sounds and too many “a” sounds.

Tip #2:  Hard Sounds

Think about the sound compatibility between the first and last name.  You don’t want to have a glottal stop.

Example:  Jack Crane

Tip #3:  Nicknames and Teasing

People are lazy.  If a name has two syllables or more, people will almost always try to come up with a one-syllable nickname.  So keep in mind that a nickname that is cute when your child is four might not be so cute when they are forty.

Even more charming, people often create the ever-humiliating “pun name”.  They will take a perfectly lovely name like Felicity and turn it into a ‘Fellatio’ joke.  (People always think they’re so clever.)

Example:  I had a friend in Alexandria who named her son Hamilton Alexander.  The name is chic when you say it in its entirety.  He was nicknamed Ham, a situation made even worse by the fact that he was a chubby little boy.

Tip #4:  Initials and Monograms

You probably don’t want A.S.S. or P.M.S. on stationary or luggage.

Tip #5:  Alternative Spelling

It’s all the rage these days to spell popular names in alternative forms. 

Example:  Kelly spelled Kelli or Jacqueline spelled Jacklyn.  

Your child will always be asked to spell out this alternative version.  Life is short. Make things easy. 

…that’s with an “s”  😉

Credits / Notes:  For anyone who noticed, yes, I did use Eva LaRue’s daughter’s name, Kaya, in the Tip #1 example.  I also borrowed the name “Jack Crane” from an episode of Frasier.