Choosing the right baby name can be tricky. Just when you’ve found a name you like, your husband vetoes it because it reminds him of “that one bitch from high school.” Here are ten tips that will help you avoid such a roadblock:
1. Go through your yearbooks together and tell stories about the popular girls who wouldn’t let you sit with them at the lunch table. It is important to hang on to your high school grievances forever. That’s what adults do.
2. Visit your local trailer park and make a note of the names you hear the half-drunk moms hollering in exasperation: “Damn it, Sheila!”, “Get back here, Tammy!”, “I swear I’m ’bout to smack you, Crystal.” If those exclamations sound super white-trashy, it’s because they are. I mean, what the hell kind of a name is Crystal? Crystals chain-smoke in a Camaro on their way to the bingo parlor. Crystals wear ill-fitting daisy dukes to Walmart. Crystals drink Pabst Blue Ribbon non-ironically. Crystals cover their fingers in Cheeto dust while they’re watching soap operas.
3. Avoid names that double as abstract nouns–Destiny, Prudence, Charity, Chastity. You may think abstract nouns give your child a special presence in the world, but they really just give her the inevitable occupation of “exotic dancer.”
4. Don’t hyphenate. Hyphens are wishy-washy. Calling your daughter Ruth-Nicole, Mary-Jane, or Lucy-Jean indicates that you are insufferable and indecisive. Even Bob Saget favored Ashley Olsen over Mary-Kate because of the annoying hyphen.
5. Your kid might get teased if her name is easily rhymed or alliterated (examples: Farty Marty, Stinky Stephanie).
6. You shouldn’t steal baby names already claimed by relatives, friends, co-workers, acquaintances, neighbors, clergy members, famous actors, congressmen, musicians, reality show contestants, classmates, postal workers, teachers, hairdressers, or grocery store clerks. No one likes a copycat.
7. Your daughter will appreciate something that is cute in childhood but not too cutesy into adulthood–Mandy, Sandy, and Candy won’t do. In fact, avoid “y” endings altogether.
8. Keep it simple but not boring. Stick with monikers that are well-known but uncommon. It needs to roll off the tongue easily but without being bland. It should contain an interesting letter but not a weird spelling. Avoid single-syllable and triple-syllable names. Try not to be too modern, but don’t be old-fashioned. Stay away from anything girly or tomboyish. Don’t name her after one grandmother because the other will get jealous. Make sure the first name suits her maiden name or any potential married names she might acquire in 25 years. Pick something that sounds upper-class (but not snobbish), intellectual (but not nerdy), pretty (but not superficial), cool (but not trendy), and spiritual (but not religious).
10. If someone in your social circle dislikes it, you can’t use it.
In conclusion, call your daughter Sarah. That’s the only safe option, and chances are your husband has known a nice Sarah at some point in his life.
About the Author
Crystal Lowery is an American mom working in England. By day, she does medical research, by night she wrangles two toddlers, a boy and a girl. She has made millions laugh on The Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, Sammiches & Psych Meds, In the Powder Room, Mumsnet and others. You can find her blogging at Creepy Ginger Kid and she’d love for you to follow her on Facebook.