Today I was sat in my Doctor’s surgery waiting for Marni to have her immunisations. I’ve got to admit that when I’m out and about with her, I can’t help but show her off. Yes, I genuinely believe that she is the most gorgeous baby around (my eldest isn’t a baby any more so I feel I can say that without being hit with the Guilt Racket too hard.)
As always the little beauty managed to grab the attention of someone across the room. The smiling, lightly wrinkled woman caught the tufted-red-headed-baby-bait and made her way over to us.
Marni was showered with the usual comments and questions asking about her age, her sleep and her name.
Up until this topic, I had liked this lady. Oh how my view of strangers can change in a flash.
Said individual, upon hearing Marni’s name, instantly declared the following:
“OH!” (can you see where this might lead folks?)
“Oh! I don’t like that at all” (Yes, she did indeed say this out loud.)
“Have you never seen that Hitchcock film?” (No. No, I have not Ladies and Gentleman. Neither, in case you were wondering, have I ever watched the HBO series ‘Girls’.)
“Her aura doesn’t say Marni. What’s her middle name? Oh Beatrice?! I suppose her aura could say Beatrice” (hmmm…)
“You know you have a year to legally change her name to something nicer. What were your other choices” (FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS CADBURY DID SHE REALLY JUST GO THERE!?!?)
On this day, I give thanks to the little voice in my head that says ‘Don’t get mad at the socially inept.’ So I merely smiled and nodded. Of course, reassuring her wholeheartedly that I would look into changing my beloved daughter’s name ASAP.
So here are my top tips on picking your baby’s name. Some tips I, evidently after this encounter, wish I had considered before Marni arrived.
- Shout the name loudly as if you were really stressed whilst in the aisles of Iceland. Preferably imagining what you might sound like whilst your little cherub is pulling down a display of goodies.
- Shout the name loudly as if you were in the aisles of Waitrose. Preferably imagining a serene shopping experience during which your little angel declares how much she loves quinoa, avocados, olives, and you, of course.
- Check that there are no actors/characters past and present with evil/psychotic/needy profiles to which your child will be associated with in years to come.
- Check the popularity of your chosen name in Nameberry. Nobody wants to be Charlotte #14. This coming from Gemma #4.
- Consider whether the name might be bigger than the baby. i.e a child destined to reach only 5’2 in height thanks to genetics with the name Hulk might not work so well.
- Check the pronunciation. Some names are truly beautiful in their native tongue. Said from an English mouth, however, they can loose a sense of romance.
- Equally check the name in your local accent. Ottilie, was a front runner for us. When our friend from Yorkshire visited and we shared the name with them the words ‘Oh, ya’ mean like Otley’ soon put us off.
- Consider whether you are going to have more children. For months I moaned that I really wanted Lena’s middle name (Lotte) to be the first name of my second daughter. Unless I wanted Number 2 to live in the shadow of Number 1, this wasn’t going to happen.
- Be careful who you share your thoughts with. We very nearly lost friends and relatives who failed to conceal the dislike of our suggestion by proclaiming “eugh, that’s horrid!”
- Double check the initials. Nobody wants the initials for Freddie Fergal Smith or Tattiana Imogen Tibb-Smythe embossed on their luggage.