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Think you've decided on a name? Check out where it ranks on the official list of the most popular baby names first.

how do you choose a name?

(87 Posts)
amandasegal Sun 07-Apr-13 21:37:53

where do you start?? i can't think of any name i want.. tell me how you chose your names, maybe i'll get inspired.. thanks

raisah Sat 13-Apr-13 14:36:55

We asked everyonr to donate two names which we added to our long list. There were some duplications but a decent selection of names. Once dd was born we tried ouy the names with our chosen middle names & surname. we discarded the ones that didnt go & were left with 5 names which we voted on. It was a choice between Eva & our dds eventual name. Eva was rejected because it had been used by my cousin.

tourdefrance Fri 12-Apr-13 11:01:01

Our final shortlist was 3 of each, not 10 that other people have mentioned.
Well I don't want to out myself with the final choices, but for girls we had Miriam, Jennifer and can't remember the 3rd. For boys our 'leftover' names were Philip and Paul.

twinklestar2 Thu 11-Apr-13 22:15:40

Wow tourdefrance, would love to know what names you ended up with!

tourdefrance Thu 11-Apr-13 13:51:25

I'm afraid our process was more about what we didn't want and seeing what was left:

No initial that was already in the immediate family or a surname. So not the same initial as my name, dp's name, or either surname. I had the same initial as my grandfather who lived with us when I was a teenager and post was often addressed to t defrance (no mr/miss) so he often opened my post.

No name that was already in use by our generation of the family or friends - brothers, sisters, bils, sils, cousins.

Pronouncable by foreign friends / family (French in my case)

For girls - no girls version of boys names (eg Louisa) or anything too flowery. Actually any girls name ending in a. Our girls list was pretty short!

Something long that could be shortened if wished. DS1 now goes by 2 different shortenings neither of which occured to us when choosing the name and does not like to be called by the long version, but at least has the option when he grows up if need be.

Only one spelling - so Isabel/Isabelle/Isobel and Catherine/Katherine/Kathryn were rejected

Not in the top 50 - managed this with DS1, DS2 is in the 40s somewhere I think. My name is pretty unique in this country and I like that. But agree with pp's saying boys names need to be more traditional.

No negative associations, eg I liked Michael but DP knew someone at work who he didn't like. I imagine this is very difficult for teachers.

I think that was it!! In the end DS1's name was a character in a film I saw when pregnant. DS2's had been on the shortlist for DS1 and we hadn't had any better ideas (or none we could agree on!)

thegreylady Wed 10-Apr-13 23:24:04

We each made a list of 10 boys' names and 10 girls' names. Then we swapped and crossed off the names we hated and agreed that I would choose first name for a boy and dh would choose mn. If it was a girl it would be the other way round. Eventually we had one of each and were happy with the names chosen.

Thewhingingdefective Wed 10-Apr-13 21:33:53

Went through loads of family names, trawled through a baby name book and just whittled it down.

We actually started discussing baby names within weeks of starting our relationship, which was 12 years before our first baby came along. <blush>

pickledraisins Wed 10-Apr-13 19:51:16

I looked at the credits on tv shows and films, and wrote down those that I liked. I kept a list on my phone and added everything to it I liked, DH did the same, and we matched & whittled down

EggbertShellyandYoko Wed 10-Apr-13 18:23:44

I know a few people who had chosen their perfect name and then when baby arrived, took one look at baby and chose another name as they felt that the original choice didn't suit the child! In all cases, they were right, the 'impulse choice' name does suit the personality of the child much better than the planned one and is very 'them'. So my advice would be to be prepared to change if it seems appropriate.

Absy Wed 10-Apr-13 14:05:11

And, every couple of months I will find some kind of, er, creative name that DH rejects outright because he has no imagination. For e.g., Abisheva (turns out it's a Kazakh surname, but SERMANTICS) for a girl, which would kind of be in Hebrew something like "father's seven" and dH was just all "no, it's too weird, the kid will be teased" about it. Likewise Batsheva. He has no imagination sometimes.

DontmindifIdo Wed 10-Apr-13 13:53:17

Oooh, we have a lot of requirements for names to pass!

requirements for boys names (most of these from DH):
Does it sound like he could be leading out the England Rugby team?
Does it sound like you'd trust him to fix the breaks on your car?

If you were on trial for a murder you didn't commit, unable to afford to hire your own barraster, and heard the name of the one that had been appointed to represent you, would you think "will be home in time for tea" or "it's going to be at least a decade before I sleep in my own bed?"

Remember as much as this will be your little baby, one day some woman will breathlessly say this name in a moment of passion (DH added this one in as well - he argued well that half the names I liked would be passion killers and that I was scuppering my chances of being a grandmother one day)

For girls:
Does it sound like the CFO of a FTSE 100 company?
Does it sound like the name of a woman in her 30s (not just a cute toddler)?

For both - have you thought about all possible nicknames from it and are you happy with the shortenings? Are there any obvious bullying opportunities with a name? (particularly in combination with your surname) Does it (along with your surname) sound stupid in any particular accents? For middle names, when they are stood at the front of church on their wedding day and say "I [first name, middle name, surname] do take...." will several of their friends who've never known their middle name snigger?

for all names - have you picked a spelling of the name that will force them to spend a lifetime either on the phone to call centres saying "no, without an I, and it's a K not a C. Yes I know it's not the normal spelling" (or similar) or saying "no, I didn't get that e-mail, can I just check the spelling of the address you've sent it too?" (I have an unusual spelling of a common name. Drives me insane)

Absy Wed 10-Apr-13 12:41:41

We have criteria that a name needs to fit:
- it needs to be Jewish/Hebrew (we are, we're not weirdos)
- it needs to work in French and English
- we both have to like it

We have literally spent months going "what about David?" "how does it sound in French?" "no, I don't like that" "but I do. Oh wait, there was that douchey guy I worked with once. David is out"
and so on and so on.

We have a list now of 3 girls and 5 boys names which have gone through this exhaustive process and been approved. Problem is, we can't remember what they are anymore.

Fillyjonk75 Wed 10-Apr-13 12:25:53

Oh yes, DD1 was born in the Rose Tyler era of Doctor Who. Now, I'm not a massive DW fan though we do watch it but I just thought the name Rose was very nice so it became her middle name. But about 5 million other girls born in the mid noughties also have that middle name- little did I know it would become the Louise of the 2000s.

Fillyjonk75 Wed 10-Apr-13 12:22:32

DH bought me a baby names dictionary, I looked online as well at the meaning of names, thought about family names and what might be meaningful to us, came up with a shortlist of first and middle names. I also thought about people who had those names already and whether it was a positive association. But DH would not discuss until after DDs were born each time, after they were born he picked the names from my short list!

FreedomOfTheTess Wed 10-Apr-13 12:05:26

Naming DS1 was easy for me, as I was a teenage single mum when I had him, so had no-one else to negotiate with (as his father has never been in the picture). I had said from the first day, a boy would be named Jack after my grandfather, and that is what I named him. (Jack was also my other grandfather's middle name, so it actually managed to honour them both).

When pregnant with DS2, I found it difficult to adjust to having to negotiate with another person over the name, but thankfully DH and I are on the same page when it comes to names.

Anyway, what we did for DS2 is we each made a list of 40 names we liked (20 for each gender), and any duplicates were automatically moved to the 'consideration list'. If my memory serves me right, I think we both liked the same seven boy's names and six girl's names.

With the remaining names, we each had ten vetoes (five for each gender), so with no arguments we automatically struck ten names of the other's lists.

Then we discussed the remaining names, until we could reach agreement on what names to move over to the 'consideration list', given that we only wanted ten names per gender on the list. We got there eventually!

After that, we individually ranked both lists, and we had both placed Alexander as our top boy's name and thus that was the boy's name we chose and what DS2 ended up being named!

We kept the lists for next time, and both of us had listed Sarah as our top girl's name, and we both still loved when we had our third child (DD), so she was named Sarah. No debate needed there.

I'm now pregnant with our fourth (and last) child, who appears to be female in flavour (!), and we're really struggling with a girl's name this time. We both like the same names, but none of them feel right at the moment, and we might just wait until she arrives and see what she suits. If I'm honest, part of me is hoping the sonographer was wrong and that bump is a boy, as we're sorted for a boy (Samuel - the name both of us had ranked second on the list we made for DD2 almost seven years ago).

lovetomoan Wed 10-Apr-13 12:02:38

Just don't name it after the place where you conceived them i.e. Paris, Brooklyn, etc. grin

Imagine yourself shouting their names in the supermarket like someone said smile

MortifiedAdams Wed 10-Apr-13 11:48:22

I picked DDs name out of a book I loved as a child. In the year she was born, only 13 babies were given her name. So for the next baby Im.considering only looking at names given to 13 babies each year.

Happymum22 Wed 10-Apr-13 11:46:54

Oh yes, middle names we also used family members names as it was a tradition in both our families.

Happymum22 Wed 10-Apr-13 11:45:46

I personally absolutely love having a name which it is rare to find someone else with. Mine is something anyone can immediately pronounce and it isn't at all out there.

We drew up shortlists of just anything we liked, forgetting popularity or anything else, and then narrowed them down gradually thinking about our criteria. We found we naturally didn't like super popular names or 'out there' names and managed to get the balance with all our DC.

Also thought about our surname, wanted a different start letter and something which went well.

Used middle names for names we liked but decided they were too popular/out there/hard to say or spell.

Lent1l Wed 10-Apr-13 11:30:36

I've had lists of names I liked in teh back of my diary for years. When it came to naming DD I sat down with my husband and showed him the list and he crossed out the ones he really didn't like and left the ones he did. I then went through a few websites and added a few more. We got it down to a shortlist and then did the same for middle names.

Don't be rushed - we took over a week after she was born before we decided as we wanted to be sure we liked the name. Trust us in the end to find a name that is really popular right now (even though it had been on my list for years), but we did go with a different spelling - Emelia - so that it could be shortened to Emmy. Of course she will spend her life correcting people when they spell it wrong, as we're already doing for her.

We also considered the initials to make sure they didn't spell out anything offensive. We did hear horror stories from several people (nurses and the registrar) about names they had encountered - Twin boys named Benson and Hedges, Jenny Taylor (say it quickly).

mummysbigsmiles Wed 10-Apr-13 00:37:54

That was meant to be Neve

mummysbigsmiles Wed 10-Apr-13 00:01:35

I named my daughter Nevè. I had it picked from about 6 months pregnant. I just thought it was short & classy. It most certainly suits her. I love the name Ruby for a girl too.

formicaqueen Tue 09-Apr-13 23:03:16

wrote every name down we liked for months and then about 7 or 8 months pregnant we both marked each others lists and highlighted ones we liked. They sort of lived with the ones with liked, trying the names out on our baby. When he was 6 weeks it was quite clear what suited.

EugenesAxe Tue 09-Apr-13 21:55:28

The Bible and historical figures. Kings, queens etc. If you have any familial ties to a particular part of the world that's a useful start, as Downy says.

I never considered popularity really. I went for names that sounded OK with the surname and didn't give stupid initials.

We both agreed that pissing about with the spelling was not on. DH vetoed anything that sounded too wanky and rah. We ended up with solid, classical names.

DownyEmerald Tue 09-Apr-13 21:48:25

DP has cornish roots, we both really like Wales, and the west of Scotland, Ireland, Brittany so it seemed reasonable to buy a Celtic book. I also bought lots of other books. By the time we went into hospital we had a shortlist of 100 or so with one firm favourite (Naomi). During labour the initial midwife's surname reminded me of a name I quite liked, but wasn't in any of my books.

Day 3 we sat down and narrowed down the shortlist to 4 plus the new name. Put list up over mirror. Day 4 (top tip: do not let the in-laws spend the day with you on day 4) the in-laws took all our time (we took down the list; didn't want their input!). Night 4 above-mentioned midwife was crucial in getting breastfeeding working after lots of angst and dry nappies. Day 5 I just knew, DP came in to hosp, he'd got a favourite too. Luckily we'd both decided we wanted the new name. We were talking the other day how it has been such a good decision. We can't imagine her as a Lucy, Naomi, Joni or Amelie.

So - we ended up with a name that despite being Welsh wasn't in my Celtic name book! And we like that we sort of named her after the midwife.

I would have liked to do something family, but didn't actually like any of the names I knew! In theory I would also have liked to do something with an awesome meaning - mine has a great meaning - but it wasn't to be, and it's not even a shadow of regret in reality, because the name is just so right.

marriedinwhiteagain Tue 09-Apr-13 19:52:15

There was so little we agree on it wasn't an isssue. We had both agreed on Hugo and the midwife when "ugh - he's not a Hugo" so I was lucky I got my first choice and DH's 2nd. For dd it was easier we had sort of agreed on a short list of three with one as a front runner - my grandad phoned and asked if this baby had a name and I said yes she does xxxxx, just like grandma was. Job done. Grandad cried. And dd is the spitting image of the grandma I adored and often have a happy tear when I look at the same adorable blue eyed face and tiny feet and dainty features. (She's nearly 15 btw and still a size 4 - grannie never got beyond 3).

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