Thursday, December 22, 2011

What's in a name? Or baby naming books are useless.


Now that we know that we are having a boy, Ashley and I have been trying to figure out what we want this little guy to be called for the rest of his life. 


I felt the need to add the extra emphasis because it is that important.  We want something 
that will stand the test of time, while not sounding dated or too trendy.  I want it to sound professional so that he can use it in his career, but I don't want him to sound like he is too stuffy or he will not want to use it, especially when trying to make new friends.  It also needs to be masculine, but not a name that makes him sound like a meat head.  Sure, Rock may be manly, but ask Rock to spell his own name and see where that gets you.

In our pursuit to find a good name, we have scoured name books, websites, blogs, lists etc etc and they have proven to be worthless.  Some of our favorite names seem to be in the top 20 of favorite names used last year according to the Social Security Administration. While they are great names, I do not want my child to be 1 of 4 in his class, and I am sure my wife can relate being one of many Ashley's in high school.  

Onward to the baby name books.  

The baby name books have been absolutely useless to me.  They offer a myriad of suggestions, and even have cool little sections if you want your child to sound like he or she is British, French, Greek, India, Irish, Islamic, Israeli, Italian, Russian, Scandinavian, or Scottish (and the list goes on and on)  Want your child to have a solid name? Try the list of Statesmen or influential people throughout history (I may just have to nickname my son Stonewall).   The baby name books have it all, so I figured it would set me on the right path.  I could not have been more wrong about that.

Over 200 pages in and I was ready to pluck my eyes out.  The book gave the regular stand by suggestions of William, Anthony, Daniel, Matthew, and Johnathan; and it also threw in some of the trendy but not horrible names such as Jayden and Cayden (and their variations).  I trudged on through the book looking for a name I could live with, something I could picture calling my son while building things (and destroying things) with him, while hunting with him, while making a fort and keeping the bad guys away with nerf guns with him.  I searched through this book for a name that would be useful when exploring with him, and when it is time to sit down and have a serious talk about life's lessons.  Nary a name came forward in those pages.

I moved on to the little sections of the book that grouped names by certain characteristics, hoping they would finally reveal the perfect name.  These sections are where the gems of the book truly began to shine.  Indeed, the book began to grasp at straws, and did so abysmally.  If this book were a college freshman, these sections would be its' long and embarrassing walk of shame after attempting what seemed like a good idea at the time, but in retrospect was dirty and left both parties feeling awkward and frustrated.

Yes, these sections produced the following names:
Ra (yes the Egyptian Sun god)
Atahualpa, Coniraya, Viracocha (Inca gods or Kings)
Galahad (yes that Galahad)
Gawain (one of Arthur's knights)
Gringolet (Gawain's horse.  The book actually suggests naming my son after a horse)
Cassius (he damn well better be the Greatest, but even Ali did not use his birth name)
Adalbert (By now I am banging my face against the keyboard)

And finally, the one I hate the most, Addison.  

Now Addison in and of itself is not bad, if you are naming a girl, but for a boy?  Seriously baby name book?

Needless to say, we are continuing our exasperating search for the perfect name for our baby boy.

I guess I could always name him Sue.


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