Tips on Picking a Baby Name

August 3, 2015

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Check the popularity of your chosen name in Nameberry. Nobody wants to be Charlotte #14. This coming from Gemma #4.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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!”
  10. Double check the initials. Nobody wants the initials for Freddie Fergal Smith or Tattiana Imogen Tibb-Smythe embossed on their luggage.


Mami 2 Five
My Kid Doesn't Poop Rainbows

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  • Reply mummyofboygirltwins August 4, 2015 at 7:28 pm

    Oh my! Ouch. None of their business actually! But…it is such an important decision. You do have to say it over 10,000 times a day and shout it around various places!! 😉 I love your name choice. Perfect xx

  • Reply Hannah | MakeDo&Push August 6, 2015 at 10:40 pm

    Oh golly! I can’t believe she said that! Some people are so rude! Busby’s real name is Beatrice, so good choice there 😉 I *have* shouted it in Waitrose whilst she decided to pull sushi off the shelf in the Food to Go aisle, and I still giggle at how very “Overheard at Waitrose” I sounded shouting “No Beatrice! Not the sushi!”

    I love the name Marni! I think it’s fab and so original! In fact, it was on my list of possible girls names if Indy (real name Henry) had been a girl. xxx

    Ps so happy to have found your blog!

    • Reply Gemma Metcalfe-Beckers August 7, 2015 at 11:24 am

      You made such lovely name choices!! You have eased my worries, especially knowing that Marni was on your shortlist! Hurrah! Thanks so much for stopping by. I’m so chuffed. I’m in love with your blog, so it’s positively made my month knowing that you’ve had a read of mine x

  • Reply Frances Thompson October 16, 2015 at 1:56 pm

    Some people seriously have no filter! I personally LOVE all of your name choices!! Seriously so lovely and work so well together. I have a feeling I would have been slightly less patient. I had no idea how popular Poppy was until we had signed on the dotted line, still love it though and it definitely suits her. We kept our shortlist completely secret until Pops arrived and was named as no one in our families have good poker faces 😉 xx

    • Reply Gemma Metcalfe-Beckers October 16, 2015 at 3:02 pm

      I really to love Poppy as a girls name. I love all the flowers really, but Poppy is just so beautiful! Thanks so much for your comment xx

  • Reply Jane October 26, 2015 at 8:42 am

    We are currently picking a baby name for number two and it´s such a challenge! We have the added difficulty of it having to be pronounced the same in both English and Spanish. I´ve decided not to share the name with anybody, as you always get the ´Oh I don´t like that,´comments! I´ve also been imagining screaming it across a crowded beach haha. #fartglitter

  • Reply Diabeticdadruns October 26, 2015 at 9:03 am

    Ha! Love it! We have a Bluebell and a Maximilian so this struck a chord!

  • Reply Mama, My Kid Doesn't Poop Rainbows October 27, 2015 at 2:16 am

    Haha, this feels familiar. People got the hump that I wouldn’t share our tot’s name before he was born but I knew people are less likely to be offensive about a name already given than one being chosen for an unborn child. Less likely but not completely unlikely, apparently. We also had to check we chose a name that both Thai and English grandparents could pronounce. In the end we chose a Thai name that can be easily shortened to an English sounding nickname. Sure some people hate it but so far they’ve kept their opinions to themselves.

    Thanks so much for linking up to #fartglitter x

    PS. Not that it matters but I think Marni is a lovely name 😀

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