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10 Baby-naming Rules: Follow or Forgo?

12 Baby-naming Rules: Follow or Forgo?

Picking the name of another human being is serious business, people. I never understand those who leave this decision process to the very end. Heck, I’ve been looking into baby names since I first started planning this pregnancy, and that was almost a year ago! Sure, I might be on the other extreme end of baby naming, but hey I like to be prepared. And really, is it ever too early to start making name lists?

There’s some pretty basic baby-naming advice floating around the Interwebs, and it seems no one really totally agrees on the Dos and Don’ts of baby naming. So I’ve compiled some of the most common “rules” and I’m wondering: Are these rules tried and true? Or does anything go when it comes to naming your baby?

After the jump, check out 10 Baby-naming Rules. And let me know which ones you agree with and which ones you think are total hogwash.

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  • Consider Potential Bullying Nicknames 1 of 10
    Consider Potential Bullying Nicknames
    While you'll never think of every possible way your future kid's name will turn into a bully-target, surely you can avoid the obvious ones. For instance, I'm drawn to the name Mitchell, but paired with our last name of Mass, we had to cross it off the list Mitch Mass would have been cursed with a life as B*tch Ass.
    Photo: iStockphoto
  • Agree on Some ‘Definitely Nots’ 2 of 10
    Agree on Some 'Definitely Nots'
    There's no way you're going to let your husband win with a name like Thor. But it's equally unfair to insist on a name that simply makes him cringe. If he doesn't like Thatcher and busts into an English accent every time you mention it, he's never going to "warm up" to it. Set some agreeable ground rules from the get-go.
    Photo: iStockphoto
  • Don’t Share With Others 3 of 10
    Don't Share With Others
    I totally buck this rule. I think sharing with others is a ton of fun. Sure, my mom sometimes add a little more than her two cents, but other people are often a great source of ideas you've never thought of.
    Photo: iStockphoto
  • Don’t Name Your Kid After a Public Figure 4 of 10
    Don't Name Your Kid After a Public Figure
    Yes, it's true: I tried (unsuccessfully) to get the name Barack on our potential boy's-names list. It didn't go over well. At all. Public figures are usually despised by at least half of the population, why set your kid up like that?
    Photo via Flickr: Creative Commons
  • Start Thinking About Names Early 5 of 10
    Start Thinking About Names Early
    Do it! You'll grow out of names even within a matter of months. A name that once WOWed you, can become "ehh" over time. Start a list early, and chances are if it manages to stay on your many lists throughout the decision-making process, it's a keeper.
    Photo via Flickr: Creative Commons
  • Rule Out Names with Bad Associations 6 of 10
    Rule Out Names with Bad Associations
    There's no denying that Olivia is a great name in fact, it might even be one of your favorites but if it's the name of the strange girl from college that followed your now-hubby all around campus, you've got to let it go. You will not outgrow a bad association of a name. And neither will he.
    Photo via Flickr: Creative Commons
  • Say the Full Name 10 Times Fast 7 of 10
    Say the Full Name 10 Times Fast
    You'd be surprised how quickly your favorite name begins to sound like something else entirely. Or just weird. Or you might even find out that the name is actually really difficult to say. If it morphs into something you never imagined, or if you keep stumbling over the full name, it's time to think of another.
    Photo via Flickr: Creative Commons
  • Forget About Weird Spellings 8 of 10
    Forget About Weird Spellings
    Unless you want to spend the rest of your life and force your child to spend theirs correcting others about how to spell their name, stick to obvious and understandable spellings. If you're looking for a unique name, use a unique name. No need to butcher a perfectly good name with some cockamamie spelling.
    Photo via Flickr: Creative Commons
  • Abandon Your Inner Hippie 9 of 10
    Abandon Your Inner Hippie
    As much as Moon Flower evokes beautiful images within, it's simply not suitable for your daughter's name. For crying out loud, think of her professional life and future job applications.
    Photo via Flickr: Creative Commons
  • Be Prepared for Nicknames You May Not Want 10 of 10
    Be Prepared for Nicknames You May Not Want
    So you love the name Elizabeth, but don't care for any of its nicknames. It's impossible to stop others from calling her one of them. Sure, you can correct people for the first, say, 12 years of her life. But at some point, a nickname will emerge and possibly from her own doing. If you can't live with the nicknames, don't pick that name.
    Photo courtesy of author

Many thanks to Conor Grennan for his Huffington Post Blog, and to nameberry. Both provided me with the inspiration to abide by and buck some of the suggested baby-naming rules.

Main Photo: 123RF Stock Photo

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