What's in a (baby) name?
I find names fascinating. Just delving into the origins of a name is so interesting; its etymology, people's reactions to it, whether it's popular or not. I love seeing the name cloud released from Princess Anne hospital in Southampton each month; it's interesting to see the huge variety of names chosen.
Naming your baby is not necessarily an easy task! Firstly there are just so many to choose from. Then you have shortened versions and nicknames to consider. The meaning of the name, of course. And whether your partner likes it! (That's the tricky thing for a lot of new parents). Then there's whether it goes nicely with the names of any other siblings. It's no wonder it can take months (or longer!) to decide on a suitable name for your baby. Or maybe you're lucky and know straight away what your baby will be called. Then there are middle names (or not, as the case may be).
I've gathered together some thoughts and resources that may help when trying to decide on a suitable baby name.
Think about syllables. If you have a short, one syllable surname, then a longer two or three syllable first name could work. Likewise, if your surname is a mouthful, consider picking a shorter first name to complement it.
Think about initials. Samuel Oliver Davies might sound nice...
Don't be persuaded by 'fads'. All names wax and wane in popularity, but if you're purely choosing a name based on how popular or not it is, you may regret it. I think you have to intrinsically like it.
If you're really struggling to decide, you could always create a shortlist (do try to whittle it down though) and then decide once baby is here! They may suit one name over another. You don't have to rush to give them a name straight away. In the UK, you have 42 days to decide!
If you've decided not to find out the gender of your baby, maybe a unisex name could be the best option?
You may want to consider keeping your name choices between you and your partner. The issue with talking about potential names, even to close family, is that you will no doubt be influenced by their opinions. If they hate someone with that name I'm sure they'll let you know! Once baby is born, and named, it would be very rude to say anything negative. This is something I did with my husband; we chose to keep both our children's name options to ourselves.
Inspiration can come from all sorts of places. We looked back through the family tree for ideas. Surnames can also be used as first or middle names too.
Here are some useful websites for inspiration:
For more unusual names, this site was great, but sadly the articles are no longer available to view. However, an index of names can be found here:
You could then do more research elsewhere if you like the sound of any.
Mumsnet and Netmums have dedicated name forums, but be warned - if you ask for thoughts on a given name then be prepared for people's honest opinion!
Ultimately whatever you decide, it's your and your partners choice!