Name that baby!

What did you call me??!

So you’re having a baby (or thinking about having a baby)! Now you’ve got nine months to figure out what it’s going to be called for the rest of its life. Yikes!!

As Shakespeare’s Juliet famously asked, “what’s in a name?” Well, a lot actually. A name can denote family history, cultural identity, values, expectations…in fact, names have even been linked to predicting people’s behavior in all sorts of ways.

Psychological studies propose that it is how others react to our names that leads to behavior trends. For example, a child with a more unusual name might be teased often as a child, leading him or her to develop low self esteem which effects their life course later on. One UCLA study showed that adults with “unattractive names” faced more challenges in their social and work life than others. However, this shouldn’t prevent you from giving your baby a unique name. As baby names researcher Neil Street says, “It is not clear which is more influential – a really strange name, or the parents who gave that name to the child.” In some cases, giving a child and very damaging or offensive name can be considered a form of child-abuse and lead to legal action.

The popularity of certain names fluctuates wildly over time, and is especially influenced by celebrity names (e.g. Jennifer, Brittany, Tom, etc.) On the whole, parents seem to be getting more and more creative with baby names, most often changing common spellings, but sometimes going off the deep end. There’s a child in China named “@” and a little girl in New Zealand named “Talula does the Hula in Hawaii.” For more examples, check out these celebrity’s baby names below. And you want some geeky fun, check out the graphs and charts at http://nametrends.net.

In the end, as you think carefully about a name, make sure know how to communicate with your spouse. Have thorough conversations about the underlying concerns and desires you both have about baby names. Be aware of naming traditions in your respective families and cultures. For instance, naming a child after a relative is a huge sign of respect in some cultures. But among Ashkenazi Jews, naming a child after a living relative is considered akin to a death wish for the relative. Only one person in a family can have a certain name at one time. And if you get stuck on different ideas, consider some win-win strategies such as picking one for the first name and another for a middle name.

In the end, the name is less important than how it is used—called out with love, respect, and joy. No matter what their name, if they have a pair of loving partners in a great marriage to raise them, they’ll probably turn out ok.

 

Unusual celebrity baby names

1. Apple(Gwyneth Paltrow)

2. Maddox and Knox ( Angelina Joli and Brad Pitt)

3. Sunday Rose Kidman ( Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban)

4. Ocean, Sonnet and True (Forest Whitaker)

5. Pilot Inspektor (Jason Earl from My Name Is Earl)

6.Scout, Tallulah and Rumer. (Bruce Willis and Demi Moore)

7.Brooklyn, cruz and Romeo ( The Beckhams )

8.Rocco (Madonna and Guy Ritchie)

10. Fuchsia (Sting)

11. Kal-El Coppola (Nicholas Cage)

12. Moxie Crimefighter and Zolten ( Penn Jilette )

13. Moon Unit, Dweezil, and Diva Muffin (Frank Zappa)

14. Racer, Rogue Rocket and Rebel ( belong to Director Robert Rodriguez)

15. Memphis Eve (U2 Lead Singer Bono)

16. Coco (Courtney Cox and David Arquette)

17. Sage Moonblood ( Sylvester Stallone)

18. Magnus ( Will Ferrell)

19. Calico and Sonora Rose ( Alice Cooper)

20. Nevis ( Nelly Furtado )

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