Do You Stick to Any Baby-Naming Rules?

After the birth of her first child, Theresa Walsh Giarrusso established two baby-naming rules:

1. Call your child by his/her first name
2. Stick with family names

Rule #1 seems logical to me. Rule #2 seems a bit restrictive — though I guess it depends on what your family tree looks like.

Later, Giarrusso added more rules, including:

-Be careful with funky spellings
-Don’t pick an overly popular name
-Don’t worry if friends’ or relatives’ kids have the same names

That last bit of advice seems especially sage to me — I’ve never agreed with the idea that anyone could have “dibs” on a baby name.

Do you have any naming rules of your own? What are they?

Source: What’s in a name? Trouble

6 thoughts on “Do You Stick to Any Baby-Naming Rules?

  1. I like the idea of keeping “family names” in the family, even if they are only used as middle names. It gives a bit of continuity to the generations, and it’s nice to honor a favorite grandparent or aunt or uncle.

  2. I would never give my child a name that had multiple possible spellings. Otherwise, every time they vocally place an order or sign up for an account, they’ll have to spell it out, or else confirm the spelling with the person who records their name. Or they’ll have to constantly (and awkwardly) correct people who make an assumption about the spelling. I think that would get old fast. Unfortunately, this rules out many otherwise good names, such as Leslie/Lesley.

  3. I wouldnt want to name my child a name that is already is the family or a friend that has already named thier child the name. It would get way weird. Like my stepsister and step couson have the same name and for the same reason, thier grandmother. and they are only a couble of years apart, Both are named Rosa Ann D_____. When my brother died my stepsister went to my mom to ask if she could name my nephew his name and she told her that it was my name and she had to ask me, I told her no. When my couson got preg she named her child after my brother she said if she had remembered his middle name her kid would have gottin that too. Thank gosh I dont talk to her or see her, cause my first born son will be named after my bother from the first name to the last name. We was gunna name our girl Zoie but my sister in law named her child Cloe and it just rimed to much for us, So we are gunna go with Sage Gabriella or Gabriella Sage, I just cant make up my mind =\

  4. Here are 8 funny baby-naming rules from writer HuffPo writer Conor Grennan. Some excerpts…


    Don’t give them weird spellings. Who does this help? Certainly not your daughter, who is frankly getting pretty tired of having to correct the spelling of “Kim” five times a day. (“It’s actually ‘Kighm.'”) Listen — Kighm can be original all on her own, I promise you. Have a little faith, and save her the lifetime of frustration.


    If you’re a hippy, take a few months off from being a hippy. Come live like the rest of us, just until the baby is born. No kid deserves to be named “Blown Glass” because you decided to get all high and go to Colonial Williamsburg.

  5. Four of the five baby-naming rules in Eric D. Snider’s The Nayme Gaimme:

    1. Don’t make up a name. You have to give your child a name that already exists and is a commonly accepted name. That may sound restrictive, but there are literally thousands of perfectly good names to choose from. We don’t need any new ones. Civilization is more than 6,000 years old; the brainstorming session is over. I’m sorry you didn’t live 200 years ago, when exciting new names were still being forged. But now, in 2002, or whatever, WE’RE DONE. No new names.

    2. Don’t misspell your kid’s name on purpose. Seriously, what are you trying to pull? Violation of Rule No. 2 is usually an effort to circumvent Rule No. 1: We can’t make up new names, so we’ll misspell an existing name, thus, in a way, making a new name!

    No. You can’t do this. It’s not clever; it just looks like you can’t spell. It also does not distinguish your child from the other children with the same name. When the teacher calls on Michael, it will sound the same as if she is calling on Mikkal, MyKle or Mighkull. She should not have to differentiate between traditional-spelling Michael and all the train-wreck-spelling Michaels in the class.

    3. You are entitled to one capital letter per name. Do not deplete our nation’s supply of capital letters by wedging two or more of them into one name.

    4. No one takes women seriously whose first names end with two e’s. I’m sorry, but it’s true.

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