HOW TO NAME A BABY
William Shakespeare wrote, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet”. Yes, what’s in a name? Yet, you would find many parents asking for suggestions from people, arguing on what name could be best for their babies, or simply, running out of ideas and options.
There is a reason why parents of today ponder so much over what to name a baby. The baby would be identified with the name all through its life. When the child grows up and shines in its glory, the world will know the star by its name.
Honestly, there is no rule, no protocol, no guidelines, or no particular pattern in naming a baby. In every religion and social group, there are rituals associated with the naming, but names are not chosen in any particular way. Various factors are taken into consideration while choosing a name for a baby, or sometimes, it is done impromptu, without much thought going into it.
For those parents, who are choosy about names, and want to select the best name for their offspring’s,
here are a few suggestions on how to name a baby that might work:
1) Lifelong impact–While selecting a name, especially a formal name for the child, please remember the name you choose is going to be with your baby lifelong. The baby will grow up one day, and the name must suit the adult that the baby is going to become. Choosing a formal name that sounds too childish, might put the grown-up adult into embarrassment.
2) Combination of parents’ names-Parents could choose a name that could be a combination of the father and the mother’s formal names. The baby is a part of both. Its name could also be a part of both. It is quite a popular practice in all human groups.
3) How it might be shortened-The baby has no say in choosing its name. Yet, it has to carry the name with it forever. While naming a baby, parents should have some amount of foresight. The child might travel the world one day, the child would go to colleges and universities, the child would cross many milestones in life. The name you choose could be moulded and shortened by people, especially by the informal circle. Choose a name that does not become weird or precarious when made short.
4) Numerology and Astrology-Many parents select names based on numerology and astrology. These branches of science have their own rules which are abides by the followers. The aim is to bring good luck to the child, and as parents, you have the right to be guided by your beliefs and do whatever you think would be good for your child. It is, however, advised to consult an expert while applying astrology and numerology in selecting baby names.
5) Balance between trend and tradition–Parents at times follow the trend when they name a baby. The trends, however, change with time. When the child grows up, the trend chosen while naming the baby could become old fashioned. Parents should maintain a balance between trend and tradition. It is fine to choose a contemporary name, provided it transcends the boundary of time.
6) Avoid extra long and complicated name-It is advisable to choose a short or medium length name with not very complicated spellings. The child has to first learn to write its name when the education begins and the task should not be too tough. A long name with difficult spelling would always be at a risk of being misspelled and mispronounced by others, which might lead to unnecessary complications.
7) Parity with surname-A name must go well with the surname. These two parts of a person’s identity must sound good together. There could be some rhythm, or some parity or simply, some kind of chemistry that works well between the name and the surname.
8) Socio-cultural background-The majority of families choose a name according to their culture and society, and sometimes, economic backgrounds. This makes the person who is being named feel he or she is a part of a particular socio-cultural and economic group. There is no bar in picking up a name from other cultures, languages, or social groups. However, being accepted in the group one belongs to is a crucial factor.
9) Impactful name-The child will step into the professional world when he or she grows up. His or her name will be the first thing the professionals would know about the person. The name makes an impression, subtly but surely. People would stumble at the name if it is long beyond a point, or sounds very different or too unique or unheard of. A lucid name that can be pronounced and understood easily might create a better impact.
10) Name and Psychiatric traits-There were some studies conducted in 1948, which hinted at some connections between name and psychiatric conditions. One such research was done on 3300 men in college. It was found, those who had unusual names, showed more psychological distresses than those who had traditional ones. It was concluded that unconventional and unique names might bring in a sense of alienation and common names induced more of a feeling of belonging.
11) Name influences personality-It is generally believed, the name can influence the personality of a child later on. A girl named after flower might identify herself with flowers and grow up to be as tender and soft as flowers. Again, a gender-neutral name might make a boy or a girl pick up traits of the opposite gender. This phenomenon is known as implicit-egotism-effect. By this, one is drawn and affected by the thing or person one most resembles. This is the reason why people name their children after famous personalities.
12) Unusual Names-While earlier studies indicated that common names help develop we-feelings in individuals, a recent study by the sociologists at New York University found out that people with unusual names are more capable of controlling their impulses and temper as they get used to deal with mispronunciation, misinterpretation, and questions regarding their names for a long time. This again is an interesting finding concerning names.
People do a lot of brainstorming, research, and thinking when they choose a name and logo for their companies. This is because the name and the logo would communicate a great deal about the product, services, and motto of the organization to the clients. This is a prominent example of how important a name can be.
You would communicate to the world how you perceive your baby, how you would like to bring your little one up, and what you would like your bundle of joy to grow up to, with the help of the name that you decide for him or her. Hence, it is a crucial task and parents would surely like to perform it with care. The points discussed here on how to name a baby might provide a direction to the parents in this regard.