29 October 2010

Why Your Name Book Sucks

One of my favorite name websites is Name Nerds, owned, operated, maintained and otherwise controlled by Norah Burch. And while I don't find it particularly easy to navigate, I enjoy many of the articles they publish. My current favorite is regarding the all-powerful baby name book. I have two myself...one cheap one from the grocery store, and one more expensive and in-depth one from Borders. And guess what...they both have inaccuracies. While the adage, don't trust everything you read on the Internet is true, so is should be with anything in print...especially since many name books don't cite their sources.

So why DOES your name book suck? I'll let Name Nerds do what they do best...

Every day I get a bunch of emails saying, "My name is ____. It means 'cute little fairy princess' [or something like that], my name books said so, and your site has it wrong!"

I've got news for you. Your baby name book is probably wrong.

How can I make such a giant, all-encompassing statement? Who died and made *me* the Name Goddess, you ask? Well, nobody. It's just common sense. Think about it-- the first thing people do when they go to pick out a baby name book is look up their own name. This usually gives them a feeling about their own name--positive or negative. Who wants to see that their name means something unflattering (as the name Cameron means "crooked nose") or vague ("meaning unknown")? People are more likely to buy a book if they feel good about a name. Thus name books either do what people have been doing for centuries, and making things up based on a semi-educated guess, or just "bend the definition" a little bit. I mentioned that the name Cameron comes from Scottish Gaelic words meaning "crooked nose"-- I have seen it listed in baby name books as meaning "one with distinguishing facial features," and "having a defining nose." Sure, one whose nose is crooked could have their nose be "distinguishing"... but this purely an interpretation!....

Read more HERE

22 October 2010

7 Deadly Trends

This is one of my favorite articles outlining the top, current trends in American baby names: The Mick Clan, Surnames, the Advent of Aidan, Hella Ella, K Kraze, and Subtytutes. Name blogger, Elisabeth, from the website, You Can't Call It, It, It, puts it well I think...

7 Deadly Trends New parents should be fully aware of current trends in American baby naming.

It began with Mackenzie Philips of “One Day at a Time” fame in the 1970s.  Her birth name, Laura Mackenzie Philips, became forgotten as this troubled teen rose to become a household name.  Then in the 1980s we were exposed to the adorable black-eyed Spuds Mackenzie, spokesdog for Bud.  The popularity of MacDonald’s probably has something to do with it too.  When “Home Alone” swept the nation in the 1990s with Macauley Culkin as its star, babynamers were doomed.  The Scottish Mackenzie and the Italian Michaela became unlikely partners in crime when together the two spawned a whole host of a new kind of name: McKayla, Makayla, McKenna, Maklynnzey.  What is it about these kind of names that makes parents gaga?  And for that matter, isn’t the letter M getting more than its fair share of attention with Madison, Madesyn, Madeleine, Madalynn, and Madigan?  My belief is that the letter M is still very much worthy of consideration, as are genuine Scottish monikers (starred*).  I am however, a bit tired of the McCraze.  Here are my McSuggestions:

...Read More HERE

19 October 2010

7 Things "Good Parents" Do (That Screw Up Kids For Life)

This article link was recently posted on the board. I thought I would share it with all of you.

By Cezary Jan Strusiewicz Nov 12, 2009 via Cracked.com.
"It seems like it's close to impossible to raise a normal child these days, what with the violent video games and the 4chan and the childhood obesity. But if the latest research is to be believed, even the good stuff we thought we were doing for our kids is ruining them.

Yes, as it turns out the most innocent things we do to our kids every day can fuck them up worse than having the Joker shoot their parents in front of them.
#7. Giving Your Kids a Creative Name
You'd Think...
You want your kid to be special. There are a few million Daves, Bobs and Johns running around NOT being totally awesome and obviously it's all because of their boring-ass names. So you decide to name your son something original, like Malcolm, Ivan or Dicksmash McIroncock.
You want your kid to be special. There are a few million Daves, Bobs and Johns running around NOT being totally awesome and obviously it's all because of their boring-ass names. So you decide to name your son something original, like Malcolm, Ivan or Dicksmash McIroncock.
But in Reality...
You have just sent your flesh and blood straight into the middle of a massive man-rape in the prison shower. According to a study at the Shippensburg University, kids growing up with ordinary, popular names have a higher chance to become law abiding citizens, while all the unusually named ones should start deciding what state they want to commit their first felony in (friendly tip, skip Texas). The study lists the top 10 bad boy names in America as: Alec, Ernest, Garland, Ivan, Kareem, Luke, Malcolm, Preston, Tyrell and Walter, which we must point out are not the names of any serial killer or presidential assassin that has ever existed, so we're assuming the research is skewed in a certain direction.
The theory is that the additional attention garnered by odd and unusual names can cause peer ridicule and discrimination in the workforce, which tends to result in a few thousand Alecs and Prestons stealing toilet paper from the gas station. So do your kid a favor and give him a typical law-abiding, mentally stable name, like Michael."

Continue reading and see the accompanying images, follow THIS link.

Bad Baby Names: What Were These Parents Thinking?

Project: Rant - RANT 055: All Your Kids Are Named The Same Thing!

** Please note: We did not make this video — we take no credit. This video was created by Project Rant (click the link to learn more about who they are and what they do).

Baby name fine: video

Fines for baby names. How much would you be charged?

So, what IS "your style?"

I think any time someone inquires about a name on this board, at least three people reply that it's "NMS." So now I'm curious. What is "your style"? What names definitely fit into that category? What names definitely don't? Are there any exceptions?

Poster No. 1

My style is old-fashioned and heritage-oriented. I love family names and traditional names, and I like when parents honor their backgrounds with cultural names. Like any old-fashioned person, I think boys names should be masculine and girls should be feminine.
  • Names that are "my style" are Josephine, Elsie, Henry, Isla, Emma, Byron, Gretchen, Vera, Atticus, and Victor. I also am fond of Valentina, Carmine, Donatella, Gianni, and Adriana (our love of The Sopranos fueled this, too).
  • Names that are definitely NMS are Kelsey, Brecken, Aiden, Caitlyn, Harley, Kiana, Camden, Tristan, and Alexa. Also: Madison/Addison and Mackenzie are definitely NMS in the least.
  • The exception to the rule is definitely Emery (for a girl), and to a lesser extent, Xavier (despite being Latin, its experiencing a surge in popularity). 

Poster No. 2

Classic, Old, Uncommon (but fit with the previous two categories), Cultural

Some names that I love:
  • Fiona, Ramona, Francesca, Vivienne, Anouk, Adair, Matilda, Mairead, Beatrice, Norah, Vida, Juliet, Joanna, Marta, Astrid, Esther, Violet, Theresa, Sylvia, Eleanor, Bridget, Julia 
  • Jasper, Oliver, Henry, Sullivan Miles, Archer / Archibald, Atticus, Thatcher, Sawyer, Leif, Augustus, Gray, Nigel, Lawson, Louis, Oscar, Walter, Silas, Jude, Fabian, Liev
Names that I hate:
  • Kylie / Kylee, Miley, Avery (on a girl), Raleigh, Emmaline, Madeline, Elle / Ellie / Ella, Ava, Alexis, Alexa, Lexie, Brianna / Brynn / Bri-anything, Harper (on a girl), Cadence, Emery, Emerson (on a girl)Kenzie, Makenzie / Mckenzie (really and Mack/Mck), Aubrey, Macy, Skye, Brooklyn, London, Callie, Michaela (or w/e it is), Brayden, Jayden, Aiden, Ryder, Parker, Maddox, Jaxon, Lennox, Braxton, Tait / Tate, Colt, Cole, Peyton, Brady, Brody, Kyler, Tyler, Camden, Cameron...I think you get the picture
  • Boy names on girls (Harper, Avery, Aubrey, Emerson, Grayson...)
  • Un-needed y's (Caitlyn, Kaitlyn, Mylee, Camryn, Ayva, Kaydynce)
  • K names (Kaitlyn, Klara, Khloe, Konnor, Korrine, Kallie)

Poster No. 3

I think, for a lot of people, saying "not my style" is a polite way of saying, 'I hate it." For me and I think for the majority of the board regulars (we tend to be a bit more out-spoken) it means we don't have any strong opinion of the name one way or another. Just thought I'd define that.

I have two naming identities and they are very, very different. I love unpopular antique names and foreign names. I also believe in family names, but I'll clarify that in a moment.

Names that are "my style" and we would actually consider using are Adelaide, Aislin (family), Audrey, Augusta, Averine (f.), Bernadette (f.), Charlotte (f.), Elizabeth (f.), Eveline (f.), Georgiana, Katherine (f.), Laurel, Margaret (f.), Susanna, Eric (f.), Jacob, Joseph (f.), Kyle (f.), Thomas (f.), William (f.). 

Names that are "my style," but we would not actually use: Araceli, Ayane, Lemonie, Lilija, Lilou, Marijke, Marigny, Sonali, Nils, Roark, Thayer.

Names that are not my style: Brooke, Addison, Nora, Paisley, Kailey, Jayden, Brielle, Aubriana, Emiliana . . . anything beginning with Alex, anything I perceive as trendy, anything that can be shortened to Allie, boys names for girls, "unisex" names, names that start with the letter D, and, for the most part one-syllable first names for girls.

Exceptions: I love Kay. Everly, Isla, Lily, Carlie, and Emme. There are others, but despite being exceptions, we still will not consider using them ourselves.
On family names: I don't believe in using a family name that you pulled from nine generations back or needed a family tree to find. It's absurd. The point of using a family is to honor someone, IMO, and you're not honoring someone you never met, nor heard of.
Family names are also, far too often used as an excuse to choose something completely ridiculous. So, I can't use a blanket rule: "if it's a family name, go for it," like so many people on this board seem to do.

There are a lot of family names on our list and each of our kids will receive at least one family name, but they're all from people I know and was close to, people I would like to remember in my children, or whom possess qualities I would like my children to have. However silly that seems, it makes more sense to me than choosing the name of your grandfather's great uncle, twice-removed.

Please refer to THIS post for more!

Name your babies what you LOVE

This was a post back in May about "claiming baby names." It is a great lesson for people claiming baby names and for those who think they have been stolen.

(The names have been changed and poster identities are hidden)

Thread name: Flame Free Confession
written by "Anne"
When I  was pregnant I LOVED the name Catherine.   My best friend forever had that as a favorite name, and when I said to her: "Do you care if we use the name Catherine?" she said no. Then she emailed me a week later saying her husband "wanted Catherine back!"  so I could not — in good conscious name my daughter Catherine. We named her Angela instead. This was a compromise name — not our favorite.
Fast forward to last Sunday: She has a baby girl. The name? Penelope Mae.
Ughh! WTF happened to Catherine?
Lesson Learned: Name your babies what you LOVE!    
Bigger lesson learned (I am still working on this one) PUT YOURSELF FIRST!

That would totally piss me off. I did that with Luke's name. I wanted to name him Liam and my cousins "called it" so out of respect I didn't and then like a week after he was born the announced they were divorcing. 

This is a lesson for the naming boards people. 

I totally agree with you!!!  Catherine is a great name but I do like Penelope better. Funny though that they made such a big deal about using the name and then didn't use it, I would have been totally embarassed to tell you the name lol!

Similar thing happened in our famly.  The boy name we loved, a family name, my SIL called.  (actualy her father told me I better not use it) so we didn't and now they have 3 girls (and say they are done, but who knows) and the family name will never get used. DH is still bitter about it.  They also named their dog our first choice girl name and didn't understand why we didn't want to use it still.  

That is a big bummer. I agree that you need to start putting yourself first. But it gets sticky with good friends. 

How annoying. I agree, use the name you want. I don't see how anyone can dibs a name. Another reason we don't share names...I've never had to have the dibs conversations.

I don't get calling dibs on a name if you're not even pregnant yet. That's total bull. You don't get to prename a yet to be conceived child at the expense of one that's already a reality. I would totally call her on it since she made a bug deal about it. I think the other lesson learned us to nit ask anyone else permission to use a name!!
Ugh.  Women are so fickle. ;)  Thanks for the good advice!

The End 

9 Timeless Rules for Naming Your Baby

Here is a great article by Nameberry (a great source for naming!).

9 Timeless Rules for Naming Your Baby

August 16th, 2010 

On this 98 degree day, I’m doing the only chore that makes sense: cleaning the basement. That’s how, deep in a dusty box, between my now adult daughter’s kindergarten drawings and my ancient college essays, I found a draft of the proposal for our very first baby-naming book.

What struck me most about our early work was a list of rules for choosing the perfect name, as relevant today as they’ve ever been — and will continue to be. Whether your taste in names tends toward the traditional or the trendy, whether you’re picking between a few finalists or still playing the vast field, these guidelines should help:

1. Start Thinking of Names Early — Make some tentative decisions, and live with them for a while. If you’re tired of a name after two months, imagine how you’ll feel after 20 years.

2. Say the Name With Your Last Name Quickly Ten Times — Beware of run-together sounds. Max Satran could be Mac Satran or Max Atran; Olaf Finch could be Ola Finch or Olaf Inch. Childhood is confusing enough.

3. Try Out Names On Your Friends — Take cues from their reactions. If you say a name and they always reply, “What?” or “How is that spelled?,” don’t assume that they’re either stupid or hearing-impaired; your child will likely get the same reactions for the rest of her life.

4. Don’t Be Pressured Into Using A Name Your Don’t Like — So what if your mother keeps hinting about how happy it would make her if you named your child Harold after her favorite uncle? If you remember Uncle Harold with a red nose and cigar breath, ignore the hints. On the other hand:

5. Fulfill Obligations with a Middle Name — The middle name can be the perfect way to dispose of Uncle Harold, honor your father-in-law, indulge a fancy, or oblige your spouse with a name you can’t live with as a first name.

 6. Anticipate the Inevitable – If you name your baby Susannah, don’t be surprised if people shorten it to Sue, Susie, or even Sukie. If you give your child a name with variant spellings and pronunciations — Alisa, Alyssa, Elissa, Elyssa, Ilyssa etc. — don’t be surprised if you find yourself “correcting” the spelling and pronunciation forevermore.

 7. Think Like A Bully — While children have become more tolerant of unique, ethnically distinctive, and gender ambiguous names, bullies still exist and you don’t want to give your child a name that will too easily make him a target of teasing.

8.  Rule Out All Names of Ex-Boyfriends and Ex-GirlfriendsEven if your husband’s ex-girlfriend’s name has always been your favorite in the world, don’t go with it and hope you’ll forget. You won’t, and neither will he.

9.  Rule Out Names with Bad Associations — The kid who threw up at your seventh birthday party, your pimply lab partner — no matter how nice their names, you’ll never transcend the association.

* Credit to Nameberry. Article link above—no changes were made to the original text.

How to search for a name

Curious to see if your favorite name has been discussed on The Bump Baby Names Board? The Bump's search function doesn't work! Go to Google and type this in the search bar: 

site:community.thebump.com (then the name you're looking for) 

To narrow your search even further, add the word 'name' before or after the name you're looking for.

Cardinal Rules of Baby Naming

1. Nobody owns a name; therefore, nobody can steal 'your' name.

2. She who has a baby first, gets to name a baby first.

3. It's your baby, therefore you get to pick the name you like. 

How to make a "clicky poll"

How to make a clicky poll

Hope this helps people who are having problems with clicky polls!

For IMAGE Instructions, click here.

Step 1: Write new post 

Step 2:
Type your subject line.

Step 3:
In the message box, type something. This can be background information on the names or simply saying "Please give your opinion below." Something must be in this box.

Step 4:
Click "Poll" tab (right above the subject line) 

Step 5:
Click the box next to "Include a Poll in this Post" 

Step 6:
Type "Poll Question" (eg. What do you think?) 

Step 7:
Description optional (you can write something here if you want, I never do) 

Step 8:
Type your first answer choice under "Add Answer" then to the right of the box, click "Add" 

Step 9:
Once you hit "Add" the first time, another box will come up and you type in your next answer option. Continue doing this until you have all of your choices. 

Step 10:
If you want the post to expire, add a number the "Expires After (optional)" box 

Step 11:

Please note:
• It has been mentioned by regular poster that if you are hitting "preview" before posting a poll / making a poll, that may be the problem. One of the many current glitches on theBump!
• Also, many people have been unable to make clicky polls when using Internet Explorer. If you are having problems, try another browser (Firefox works well).

...what would you say?

  1. If you ask for opinions on this board, you will get them, good or bad. Don't post a name choice if you're simply looking for validation, because you may not get it. The opinions on this board are not meant to be taken personally, and please understand that if anonymous people on the internet make fun of a name, you can bet that your future child's classmates and peers will make fun of it as well. 
    •  The ladies on this board are brutally honest.  Know that when you ask for opinions, you're going to get honest reactions. It is not always puppies and rainbows.
  2. Lurk before posting. Get to know the board. See what has been posted over the past few day. This is good practice on any board. It helps you see whether or not the board is right for you.
  3. Nevaeh (any variation) is almost universally disliked on this board. Post about it if you want, but you have been warned
  4. The misspelling of names (replacing i's with y's and c's with k's, etc) is generally considered atrocious and trashy. 
    • Cre8tive spelling is generally disliked and frowned upon. 
  5. Everyone is over the Aidan/Jaden/Braden/Caden/Daylin names. Most people don't like the "trendy" names like Bentley, Gracen, and Addison. Many people hate the random "y's" and misspellings like Madalyn, Jordyn, Karsynn, and Izack. 
  6. Apostrophe's and hypen's don't make your child's name look awesome: RANT 055: All Your Kids Are Named The Same Thing!  
  7. Dirty Deleting (DD):
    •  If you're going to include your last name, it would be a good idea to delete the post later because of possible Internet crazies. 
    • If you plan on deleting a post later, please include an 'FYI——I may be deleting this later' type of message. Common courtesy. People took the time to respond.
    • Please don't delete. You will get called out for it.  
  8. Please use proper English and adult words, not "text speak."
  9. Keep name lists limited——it's a major chore for people to sort through a list of 30 names and tell you what they do and do not like (except when the board is slooooow).
  10. Do not post about a friend of a friend who knew a girl named L-A. It is an URBAN LEGEND. Any "La-a" or "Lemonjello and Orangello" posts get you immediately BANNED (not literally—but yes, we will remember you) for three fortnights!
Anything else?



The Baby Names board does not have a sticky, but if it did ... what would you say? What's the stuff we seem to say over and over again?

Back in June (2010), one of the Baby Names board regulars came up with the idea to make an unofficial sticky note. Like with many boards, there are a lot of questions that pop up quite frequently. The is no problem with this — it is expected on every board. However, we wanted to create a thread that we could direct new members too. This could be about a certain name, an urban legend, how to make a clicky poll, board lingo, etc. So that is what we did. 

Seeing as threads don't last on the forum forever, I wanted to create a place where we could share videos, name stories, ideas for the board, and more. Here it is.