Monday, March 5, 2012

My Naming Guidelines

I would like to discuss this week about some of the guidelines I use when figuring out if a name will work. I believe that we all have different guidelines, and it's always a special combination of "rules" than anyone else. I use the term guidelines because no matter how many parameters you put up, there is always something out of those parameters that you love. Anyway, I'll Get on to the list.

1. The name must be easily pronounced and/or spelled in Japanese
This is not because I have Japanese family members of will be living in Japan. I know for a fact that I will end up speaking to whatever child I have in Japanese. This is very important for me to consider because some names sound different or are completely unpronounceable when translated to Japanese. I won't bore you with a lesson on Japanese pronunciation, but I'll just say this: some names can change in Japanese, and there are some words that don't exist.
2. The initials must not make me giggle
I have a mind that can come up with weird associations with certain word combinations. For instance, F and N will always sound like "Effin" which will always be translated to a curse word I won't say. Sure, not everyone will find that association, but I will see it, and no child deserves to have their mother giggle at their initials whenever they notice them.Sure, if I ever mature, it won't make me giggle as much, but for now I have that kind of "third-grade" mind.
3. There must be nobody naked upon the first google search
There are lovely names out there, and there are people who have that name who have at some point in their life had their picture taken while naked. More power to them, but in this day and age where everyone googles themselves, it should be safe to google yourself at work.
4. Extra consideration will be made to names from family members
Mabel tops Leila in the "useable" spectrum because I have a family member with that name (though I never actually have met her). Furthermore, variations on Mabel like Mae, Belle,Mabelline (never mind the makeup. This is a lovely name) are more useable than names not related to family. I may not be very close to my family members, but I still want to honor them if I can.
5. There must be a nature name somewhere.
I love nature. I kind of shrivel up a bit like a flower taken out of the sun when I am away from nature. No matter what names I chose, one has to pay homage to an element of nature.
6.No Twilight names. Ever.
I know twilight has been used as a punchline for bad books. Still, I have not read it and have no interest in reading it. I don't want any ties to the book at all, so if there is a character from the series with a name I like (and there are a lot), it's off limits. I'm not touching that with a ten foot pole.
7.The name must age well
I don't do the " introducing, president ________" to make sure a name is suitable. President Barack Obama blows that test out of the water. What I do is just make sure the name works as the person ages. I imagine the name on a baby, someone's classmate, someone's lover, and then someone's grandmother. It's hard to think of a child of your growing up, but it's very important because it's inevitable.

What guidelines do you use when choosing a good name? I'd love to hear some of yours.

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  1. How interesting. I must say that our parameters differ greatly, although I totally agree with you on the last one. These are just some of mine:

    1. I must like the nickname as much as I like the full name.
    2. It must have good connotations, or at least be connected to something that I like, admire or am interested in.
    3. Nothing that is in the top 200. It would be even better if it didn't make the top 1000.
    4. If it's already in the family, then it's out.
    5. Any serious contender would have to have a reason behind it beyond 'I chose it because I liked it'.
    6. Nothing cutesy.

  2. You and I have similar guidelines but of course they vary a little. For instance I consider:

    1. The meaning. I love the name Mary and variations but can't get past "bitter".
    2. I do the Google search. Not only for naked people but for things I wouldn't mind to be associated with the child.
    3. Must have meaning! This is especially important because I have a meaningless name while my brother is named after my uncle. The name Cordelia, I think, would be perfect for honoring my brother Dylan because of the similar meanings.
    5. I must like it for at least a year. I crush on names often (Bonnie and Augustin currently!) but they don't always last.
    6. Lastly, it must be easy to pronounce in a variety of languages because of the global community we have today.