What’s Your Baby-Naming Philosophy?

A week or so ago, I stumbled upon Barbara Valencia’s intriguing baby-naming philosophy (posted to her blog Intimate Geography). Loved it at the first line:

Naming baby is not about me! It’s not about showing how creative or intelligent I am, or about how many literary references or cutesy twists in spelling I can inflict upon a human being. It’s not about my personal philosophy of life or what I think is cool, or what celebrities I pay most attention to. I’m not engaging in an act of self-expression as I might be if I were picking a stage name, a pet-name or a character in a novel. I am naming, not just a baby, but a human being. What I choose will be an integral part of that child’s identity. And while no one except God himself knows who this little being inside of me going to become, the name I choose must respect, both horizontally and vertically who that child is. Horizontally the name connects the child to his or her community and culture. Vertically, the name should connect the child to his faith and or family traditions, to give the child the sense a sense of being rooted.

What’s your baby-naming philosophy?


4 thoughts on “What’s Your Baby-Naming Philosophy?

  1. I’ll keep mine brief. The three most important things to me when looking at baby names are versatility, meaning, and whether or not I would like to have the name. If I wouldn’t want to have the name, if I can only see the name on a particular type of person, or if the name doesn’t have a positive literal, family, or personal meaning – the name is out. There are other things I consider and find important but, like I said, I’m keeping it brief.

  2. 1. Must sound good with Husband’s last name
    a. Name first, word second. (Last name is an intensifying verb, so noun names can form phrases, as in Capability Utter)

    2. Honor a dead family member. (I’m Ashkenazic Jewish, when I name for a relative I’m honoring that person and also imbuing the baby with that person’s qualities. I also don’t have to be too literal, I’m Sara for Jean by way of Shaina.)

    3. Cute nickname potential. (I like long traditional names like Josephine, Margaret, and Elisabeth which all feel a bit too big for a tiny baby. Josie, Bess, and Maggie feel just the right size.)

  3. I don’t have a philosophy; I just want to use names that are both classy and attractive. The woman who wrote that blog seems like a snob who doesn’t respect other people’s tastes.

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