I’ve created a couple of videos recently (on YouTube) and I’m looking forward to creating similar audio/video content in the future.
But here’s the thing: It’s no fun if it’s just me! I’d love to feature audio from you — your stories, opinions, questions, requests, and so on.
So I’ve set up this phone number (should go straight to voicemail) for collecting anything you’d like to tell me about names: 305-204-NAME (6263).
Just call in and leave me a message!
What should you say? Here are some ideas:
Tell a story about your name.
This is the type of audio I’m most excited about. Lots of people have great name stories, and would be willing to share them…but don’t feel compelled to write those stories down and send them to some random baby name blogger. But what if they could call a number, speak their stories over the phone, and have those stories magically turned into YouTube videos (with no other effort on their part)? That sounds way more fun, right?
A few prompts:
- What’s the story behind your name?
- Have you had any unique experiences because of your name?
- Has your name opened/closed any doors for you?
I’m particularly interested in name origin stories — I’ve been collecting/posting them in the name stories category for years — but I’d be happy to hear any story you want to tell me about your name and your experience of living with it.
Pronounce a name or two (or ten, or twenty).
This is the type of audio I’m next most excited about. Remember that Maryland mom who named her baby Ottilie with the British pronunciation in mind? She was so disappointed by the way Americans pronounced it that she ended up changing the name to Margot. This story makes me eager to gather recordings of names being spoken by all sorts of different people — particularly in various English accents — so that we can easily hear the differences.
- If you’re an English speaker, what’s your take on “Ottilie”? How about “Ione”?
- If you’re from Ireland, how would you say “Aoife”? “Pádraig”?
- If you’re Hawaiian, how do you say “Ikaika”? “Nāinoa“?
- If you’re a native Spanish speaker, how would you say “Xiomara”? “Jacinto”?
- If you’re a native French speaker, how would you say “Maëlle”? “Loïc”?
- If you’re a native Italian speaker, how would you say “Letizia”? “Enos“?
I think it would be most efficient to work from a pronunciation “wish list” so that the trickiest names get priority. To nominate a name for the list, leave a comment below.
If you call in with pronunciations, please remember to mention your accent and/or location as well. (“I’ve got a Southern Irish accent.” “I was born and raised in Omaha.” “I grew up in Jamaica.”) Same for people pronouncing non-English names. (If you speak Spanish, did you grow up in Buenos Aires? Barcelona? Bogotá?) With this context, the recordings are more useful.
Submit a baby name request.
The videos I’ve made so far are based on written Five-Name Friday requests, but it would be just as easy for me to splice in a spoken request. Be sure the request is still just two sentences long, though. (Check out the Need a Name? page for more information.)
Talk about anything else related to names.
Opinions, questions, observations, rants…anything! I’m happy to listen, and I appreciate anything you’re willing to give me.
And on that note, a few general comments about the recordings:
- Call as many times as you want, but each voicemail can only be up to three minutes long.
- Speak clearly, particularly if you’re demonstrating how to pronounce a name.
- Identify yourself…or not. It’s up to you. But if you’re telling a story about your name, we do need to know what your name is. :) Likewise, for pronunciation recordings we need information about your accent/language.
- I can’t guarantee that I’ll be able to use every single recording in a future video/audio, unfortunately.
- By calling and leaving a message, you grant me (Nancy) perpetual license to use your message, in whole or in part, in any future piece(s) of media. (Here’s the policy page, btw.)
The number again is 305-204-6263. Those last four digits spell the word “name” on the telephone keypad, which is pretty cool. They also spell “oboe,” incidentally. :)
Hope to hear from you soon!