Not A Regular Mom, A Cool Mom: How To Name Your Hipster Baby
Are you having a baby? Congratulations! You are about to be gifted with the best possible tool for communicating your coolness to the people around you. Soon you will have a tiny human being to cover in temporary tattoos and tiny, hip outfits that you would like to wear yourself but can’t be arsed, but your first opportunity to show off how cool you are is also the most important: The baby name. Here’s where your hipness is frozen in carbonite forever. Get it right, and everyone will know you were a genius for at least three generations. Get it wrong, and your kid will legally change his or her name to “Christopher” or “Kate” the second he or she turns 18.
If you’re up for it, here are some tips for how to name your hipster baby.
1. Pick something Biblical.
If you are not religious, nobody will expect you to pick a Biblical name, so that is what you should do. And I don’t mean a Biblical name like Noah or Benjamin. Pick something really Biblical, like Orpah or Boaz. Then when people ask about it, you can just raise your eyebrows and say, “Uh, it’s Biblical.” Learn to add “duh” mentally so it comes through without your saying it.
2. Look at old names.
Everybody is looking at names from the Social Security register 100 years ago, so you need to go even further back. Further than that. No, further than that. En Heddu’Anna? Perfect.
3. Find an anti-opinion.
What you need is someone you like well enough whose taste differs from yours completely. Do you know someone who hated your favorite TV show, favorite band, and favorite food? Go tell them your idea for a baby name. If they stick their tongue out or grimace, it’s a keeper. (Mothers-in-law are great for this.)
4. Be completely unexpected.
Are you a gin-making, blog-writing banjo player covered in tattoos who got out of the pin-up modeling scene because it got too popular*? Everyone will expect you to name your baby Xanthippe. Shock them all by naming your kid something super normal, like “Dan.”
*That’s not a dig; I just described myself.
5. Honor your favorite literary reference.
This is how all those “Harper” and “Matilda” kids got out there, but pick something less basic. How about MrsPigglesworth or Amelia-Bedelia or Very-Hungry-Caterpillar? You think I joke, but you know this is why there’s a red-haired kid out there named Clifford right now.
6. Name your baby ironically.
Definitely name your baby Ayn Rand ironically. She’ll have no choice but to rebel by becoming a very charitable person who strongly opposes rape scenes in literature.
7. Name your baby after your favorite food.
Kale is a great name, and Quinoa is actually growing on me. (I’m not joking, my baby was almost named Olive for just that reason, and Bianca because the most beautiful pair of words in any language is “tartufo bianco.”) You cannot go wrong by naming your baby after a high-end food. Jamon Iberico is a good option. Or Prosciutto. Or just Ham. Ham is good.
8. Name your baby after someone really famous.
Remember that thing a month or so ago where Humans of New York found a girl named Beyonce and all the people with famous people’s names came forward to create a community of love and support? That was pretty great. Get in on that by also naming your baby Beyonce.
9. Pick something timely.
Little LeftShark Smith will love his name when he grows up, especially when he is hanging out with the twins: Blue-and-Black-Dress and White-and-Gold-Dress.
10. Just name it after the first thing you see.
My next baby will be named Sock. Or Banjo. Or maybe Vintage-Sofa-I-Bought-On-Ebay-But-Haven’t-Moved-In-Yet-Because-It-Smells-Weird.
I think I have a winner.