Has a baby name ever come to you in a dream?


To find baby names, most of us turn to the same few sources: name books, name websites, family trees, life experiences, pop culture…

And then there are those lucky people who have gotten baby names straight from their dreams. Not daydreams — literal overnight dreams.

If you’re one of these people, please take a minute to leave a comment and tell me about it!

Why? Because I’d like to know more about this phenomenon. (Eventually I’d like to see if they can be reverse-engineered, perhaps using dream incubation techniques…?)

So what do you think we should call a baby name that comes from a dream? An oneironym (“dream” + “name”)? How about a somnonym (“sleep” + “name”)? Something else?

Image: Adapted from Twilight crescent Moon by ESO/G. Brammer under CC BY 4.0.

6 thoughts on “Has a baby name ever come to you in a dream?

  1. Between somnonym and oneironym, I vote oneironym. I’ve noticed that some people get really annoyed when Latin and Greek roots are mixed, plus…try saying “somnonym” five times fast!

    Other options I can think of are hypnonym (the Greek equivalent of Somnus is Hypnos) and somnionomen (if my Latin is correct, “somnio nomen” translates to “I dream a name.” Plural could be made by either adding an -s or changing it to “somnionomina” – “I dream names”).

    Ultimately, I recommend oneironym or somnionomen.

  2. @Kelly – Thanks for the link! I totally missed that one.

    @Elizabeth – Good point about the language-mixing. I really like the suggestion of hypnonym, as it’s probably easier to remember/pronounce than oneironym. Then again, it might be too suggestive of hypnosis…? (If so, someone should definitely invent a special type of hypnosis for the purpose of mining someone’s mind for a baby name, just so we have a reason to use the term hypnonym.)

  3. Name hypnosis…interesting concept!

    If we need (or want) a technical term for the “name dream” itself, I recommend we look to the German language – “Namenstraum.” I looked this up, and although it doesn’t look like it’s in any dictionary, Google turns up several results for both “Namenstraum” and “namens Traum.” Some of the latter look like they were used in psychoanalytical articles.

  4. I had a dream about a baby that felt like deja vu. My daughter was in it as a teenager (she’s only 8 now). If one day this dream comes true, I plan on naming the baby what she was called in my dream, Selah.

  5. @Elizabeth – “Namenstraum” is a very cool idea — sounds less fussy (or more brawny?) than the Latin/Greek options, and also feels like a nod to Jung & Freud. I have to say, you’re very good at this game. :)

    @Cece – Cool! I’ve found a few people who said something similar — that they got a name from a dream long before a baby was even conceived. Which must have been very convenient when the pregnancy finally happened. Selah is quite pretty. :)

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