It feels like just yesterday you broke the exciting baby news to your parents that you were expecting. The sequence of their dropped jaws, stunned faces, and glass-cracking screams of joy replay over and over in your head. You loved watching their excitement build up to the point they realized they’re going to be grandparents. You pat yourself on the tummy for making their dreams come true. Your mom is already scanning your body to see if you are carrying high or low.
This is the first of hundreds of tell-tale myths she tests on you to figure out whether you’re carrying a boy or a girl. You pose for her amusement and let her have fun assessing the gender situation. Interestingly, she keeps referring to her future grandchild as a ‘she’. This may be a good time to tell her you and your partner decided to not find out the sex of the baby and will be using a doula to deliver. You hear your father’s New York accent in the background of the imagery, “What’s a Doo-lah”?
The generation gap becomes more evident as the growing maternity weeks pass by. The organic debate between you and the in-laws is exhausting, your mother-in-law can’t understand why you stopped dying your grays and why a gourmet ‘placenta’ meal is being discussed post-birth. You love role-playing what a modern, laid-back mom you are going to represent and the hip names you already have picked out for your child.
Those blissful thoughts quickly fade when your father reminds you, it’s always been a family tradition to use the first initial of a name from a relative that has passed on. Then, he slips in that his Aunt Fanny, has been gone for years and no one has claimed the “F” initial. Your mom shoots your dad a dirty look and shouts, “Frida!” The entire family has been warned never to name a newborn after a high-school ex! Hoping to find the right baby name before its arrival will be challenging, but you are up for the task as long as it won’t make your parents turn red-face each time they hear it.
Here’s a helpful list of 22 places to get baby name inspiration, and how to avoid the awkward conversation from ever happening.
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Actress Bryce Dallas Howard is the prime example of this TMI name. Her well-known director and actor father Ron Howard and mom Cheryl, named her after the city they decided to consummate their love in you guessed it…Dallas, Texas. Based off of recent baby chat forums there is a lineage of names that parents attach to their offspring after they got it on. From Brooklyn to Sydney, one of our favorites is ‘Margarita.’ One chat member says a fellow high school student was named after the beverage her parents drank too much of the night she was conceived.
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How many ‘Dicks’ are there in the world? Probably way too many. Although the name, Dick is considered a nickname for Richard, most of the population even the smartest, classiest and most mature can’t help themselves from chuckling when they hear the name or letting their imaginations wander. It probably should be one of those words banned to avoid any potential ridicule or bullying in the future – similar to the name, ‘Anal’. New Zealand didn’t find this moniker to be funny and made sure no one could be mean-spirited enough to play a practical joke on their kid by banning the use of the name on any birth certificate.
Although the name Ezekial is a biblical Hebrew name meaning, “God Will Strengthen,” it is also the name of a low-carb bread many health gurus rely on for their sandwich fix. Both trends (the bread and baby boy’s name) are growing in popularity. It’s probably just a mere coincidence, but other parents purposely enjoy naming their child after a food item, here’s looking at you, Gwyneth. Whether it’s a surprise or not to younger parents, baby boomers are still trying to cope with introducing their grandchildren, Kale and Saffron to their card game pals.
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Have you heard about the playground squabble? Chanel and Louis wouldn’t include Armani in their game of tag. Another trend becoming fashionable among first-time parents is the option to express themselves with their expensive taste. Yes, many of these high-fashion brands are seen being carried around as designer diaper bags, but using it as a designer label for your little one can be seen a little pretentious, but who doesn’t want to brag about their Prada and joy.
Image: HBO / Game of Thrones
Khaleesi, Tyrion, Arya – If these three names make you want to protect your kingdom and dress in medieval attire, then you clearly can launch your sword and declare yourself a Games of Thrones fan. If you’ve never heard of these names, well then you probably won’t understand their surge in the baby naming circuit. According to an annual report released by the Office for National Statistics, GOT-inspired baby names are all the rage. In 2017, 343 newborns in England and Wales claimed the name Arya, 76 Khaleesi babies were born and 11 boys inherited the name Tyrion after Peter Dinklage’s character.
Image: Facebook / Michelle Obama
If you want to honor your allegiance to Michelle Obama or show your admiration for Tom Hanks or love for Justin Beiber it’s safe to name your newborn after them and still fly incognito in the baby naming zone since these first names are considered common. However, if you think you can name your child Beyonce, Oprah or Lady Gaga and not disclose who inspired your choice then you may want to reconsider who you think you’re fooling. Instead of revealing your celebrity infatuation by taking their name it’s probably less creepy and permanent if you just send them a piece of fan mail requesting an autograph.
Images: Giphy / Mashable
Depending on if your parents are from a red or blue state and how left or right leaning they are will determine their cringe rating if their grandchild will be carrying a presidential name. It’s proper etiquette to not talk politics or religion, but it’s a little difficult to not acknowledge the pink elephant standing in the room if you announce you’ve chosen to name your son Donald. Although it is a perfectly fine and respectable name, ranked 488 on SSA.gov, it’s probably best to steer clear from naming your baby after the president while still in office.
We all know the Kardashians know how to make the public pay attention, so when Kim and Kanye’s baby North West was introduced to the world, we all lost our sense of direction. Who knew you could even name your baby using compass points? Although we all like to think we are more creative than the next, there are just some people out there who will call BS on your free expression and that’s most likely a Grandpa.
When singer Taylor Swift ultimately becomes a mom - do you think ‘Kanye’ or ‘Yeezus’ will make her top five list of names for baby? Probably not! Usually, people don’t like to tag their kids with memories that were considered toxic in their lives. It ends up bringing back Bad Blood you have left in the past. The same goes for choosing a name knowing your parents will despise. Rather be safe than sorry? Make sure you rule out any baby names that will make your family fume.
There is no doubt we all wish we had super strength and powers to get us through the daily grind, but referring to your child as Ironman or Supergirl is only adorable when used as a nickname, not a legal one. If you want to avoid paying megabucks for your child’s psychotherapy bills over a life filled with embarrassment it’s advisable to think of a more appropriate name for them - even if they are heroic enough to save the world.
Image: iStock / Andrius Kaziliunas
Mercedes, Bentley, Audi – some trendsetters think it’s cool and clever to name their baby after their other baby, the car brand they own or dream about owning. Although these names could put you on the speedometer of creativity it can also have a cringe dial effect. Before broadcasting your passion for expensive vehicles, think about how it will impact your kid’s social life in the years to come. He or she may prefer steering away from attention instead of driving directly towards it.
If you are still thinking for the perfect name to reflect who your child really is and he or she is about to celebrate their first birthday, you need to forgo your commitment issues and figure it out! Even though in states like Connecticut, Michigan and Nevada parents aren’t required to submit a name to the state this lack of care could make your old-fashion parents pass out. Even if you are one to make a statement think twice before using the baby to send a message.
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Rover, Chopper, Daisy – these names are great choices for…cuddly animals. One of today’s popular pet trends is giving dogs human names like Norman, Lucy, and Harvey, but it doesn’t seem to translate so easily the other way around. Being linked to a traditional dog name may have some negative effects on a person’s self-esteem. Even though we want to teach our children to be strong we want people to admire their thick skin from afar not pet it.
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We get it, it’s hip to be different. Unlike our parents who are children of conformity and old-school thinking, Millennials want to sample every experience before finalizing their future. They are free-birds who want to keep their minds open and fluid for change. Their care-free style shows up in how they dress, who they date and how they deliver. Once they bring a new member into the family, they want to make sure their mini-me nestles right in with their laid-back lifestyle. Quick tip – grandparents should take a class in meditation before they are first introduced to spiritual, natural and alternative names like Maple, Delilah, Clover, and Xena.
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There was a bit of confusion and frustration at the dinner table when your sister revealed she was naming your niece, “Charlie”. Your parents were flabbergasted when they found out the traditional boys’ name is now a trending unisex name and nearly fell off their chairs when they heard the spelling options, C-H-A-R-L-E-I-G-H or C-H-A-R-L-I. In all fairness, a different spelling for the feminine name makes sense when trying to differentiate between gender, but your parents fear they will spell her name wrong each time they send her a birthday card.
Images: Giphy / BBC Australia
New parents are thinking out of the box when it comes to baby names. Letter, religion, and originality restrictions are no longer holding parents back from choosing a name that works for them. Nameberry reports, “With the appetite for meaningful and unique names expanding all the time, parents are looking for original choices with deep roots.” In a nutshell, you don’t have to be global travelers to showcase the true essence of a name, you and baby Acacius or Jedda can enjoy each other’s company just walking around a Jersey strip mall.
Nevaeh is Heaven spelled backward and although its special symbolism is popular with many new parents it once was the most bashed baby name out there. Laura Wattenberg of Baby Name Wizard held an informal poll to find out which baby names were receiving the most negative online comments and Nevaeh took the worst hit. According to one of many Baby Center’s survey’s Neveah had more haters than lovers.
Image: ABC Studios
Wouldn’t you love to be in on the conversation when your child invites his friend ‘Eight’ over for a playdate while your parents are visiting? It probably would go something like this:
Grandpa: Who is Eight?
Child: My friend.
Grandpa: His parents named him after a number?
Child: No, it’s his name.
Grandpa: Is Eight a he?
Grandpa: Can a girl have the name Eight?
Child: Well, there is a girl with the name Eleven.
Grandpa: You know a girl named Eleven?
Child: Yes, she is a character on Stranger Things.
Grandpa: (Staring at child) THIS is a strange thing.
Image: Facebook / Larry Rhodes
The births of Facebook and Hashtag have gone viral. Literally, two birth announcements have traveled through social media sites welcoming the babies. According to one mother’s feed “Hashtag Jameson was born at 10 o’clock last nite. She weys [sic] 8pounds and I luv her so much!!!!!” A year before Hashtag was born an Egyptian man named his son Facebook. We can’t wait to see their Bitmojis.
Not sure if it sounds like a children’s book or a dance video? Wrong with both answers. It’s a real name or should we say, was a real name for a young girl until a New Zealand judge legally changed her name. The judge in a 2008 ruling wrote, “The court is profoundly concerned about the very poor judgment which this child’s parents have shown in choosing this name for her. It makes a fool of the child and sets her up with a social disability and handicap quite unnecessarily.” The girl’s new name has remained protected and private for good reason.
Millennials are looking at where they shop for inspirational baby names. A user at parenting website BabyCentre, wrote: "Naming your baby after IKEA furniture might seem ridiculous at first glance, but don’t dismiss the idea! She continues, "IKEA is known for the charming Scandinavian names it gives its products and many works surprisingly well as baby names." Next time you meet a Tarva, Ivar or Ingo you may want to tell them their parents received a great deal on their names.
Bickering with your partner over baby’s name? Try adding a hyphen. It may seem like a silly solution to solving the name blame game, but the double-barrel names may be the perfect combination for kissing and making up. Despite what others say about the trend, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with making your child feel like royalty. After all, they will be considered the prince and princess of the house.