|Make a list and check it against your spouse's list to see which names you both like best.
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By BRIGITTE ROZARIO
Naming your child should be an easy process. You make a list of names and find one that both you and your spouse/partner agree on.
Not so. Often, couples end up squabbling over names. Add to that the parents or parents-in-law who insist the child should be named something else altogether or even need to consult the numerologist to find out how long the name should be and how many vowels and syllables the name should have.
The longer you take to decide on a name and the more people you tell about it, the harder it gets because everyone and their uncle has an opinion on what your baby's name should be. Yet, there were only two people involved in the conception of the child.
Here are some tips for naming your child:
1) Make a list of names for boys and girls – Both you and your spouse/partner need to do this. Don't be fooled with “you do it.” This might lead to your partner eventually disliking everything on your list or the later arguments.
2) Do NOT ask family members and friends for suggestions - This will lead to more names to confuse you and make it harder for you to decide. In addition, there will be competition to see whose suggestion is accepted and sometimes there might be sulking if the suggestion is not accepted. If you do not want to consult a numerologist, then don't tell any family members until after you have finalised the name. Be firm about your decision and be prepared to live with the consequences.
3) Make sure you and your spouse / partner agree and are firm on the choice of names. - The last thing you need is your spouse telling you later that you need to accommodate Uncle John's suggestion because he is best pals with your father-in-law. Some couples take turns naming their children – the wife names the first, the husband gets the choice for the next baby. This may help diffuse some of the tension. Or, if you want to give your children two names each, both of you get to choose one name each.
4) No outdated names - When choosing the name, remember which millennium we are in. Keep to current names and rule out all outdated and old-fashioned names. Names like Melville or Prudence are so last millennium.
5) Names that bullies target - Also avoid names that will make your child the target for bullies at school and later on in life. This includes names like Kermit, Fish, Flora, Moon or even “Pow Foo.” Chinese names with two of the same names, such as Hoon Hoon or Loong Loong, may sound cute when your child is small, but this is not necessarily so when your child grows up.
6) Meaning - Do find out the meaning of your child's name. There are many books and websites on this. In fact, ParenThots also has resources for this (http://parenthots.com/resources/baby_names.aspx). When choosing a Chinese name, keep in mind that how you pair two names together can give the name a whole different meaning. Ultimately, you want to give your child a good name with a meaning that will inspire him/her to have the characteristics of his / her name.
Also, find out what the name means or sounds like in other languages. You don't want to name your child something that means luck in one language only to find out it sounds like something rude in another language.
7) Popular names - Find out how popular a name is by asking around. You don't want to name your child Mastura in the year when every other baby girl is being named Mastura, too!
8) Unique names – While these are good to make your child stand out, keep in mind that you don't want a name so unusual that your child will be bullied and teased about it. Names that are hard to pronounce will also give your child problems in school if the teachers and schoolmates can't pronounce it.
9) Full name – Some names sound great until you write out or say the name in full (with surname or father's name). Some people like to give the name a rhythm by making both the name and surname start with the same letter of the alphabet. This is not necessary but it will be easier to remember.
10) Initials – Write the chosen full name in initials and make sure it doesn't spell anything embarrassing or obscene.
11) Nicknames and shortforms – Do keep in mind that there are shortened nicknames for some western names like Robert, Alexandra and Richard (Bob, Sandy and Dick). Again, watch out for how it pairs with the surname or father's name.
12) Popular culture – Sadly, you do need to be aware of what is popular culture now. For example, naming your children Curly and Moe may not be a good idea. Neither is Bart. Nothing wrong with those names per se, however, your child might be stereotyped and teased for what those names represent – stupidity, laziness and pranks.
13) Naming after celebrities – This will likely get your child teased in school. In addition, people will expect your child to be like that celebrity.
14) Spelling and pronunciation – No matter what the numerologist says, if your child's name has a lot of double vowels in a row, it is going to be hard to remember how to spell and hard for people to know how to pronounce. If you are prepared for that, then go ahead. Keep in mind that you child might not appreciate it.
15) Gender names – Some names can be for both boys and girls such as Morgan and Casey. Avoid trying to start a new trend by naming your baby girl a name that is clearly a boy's name like David or John. Much as you might want to break name stereotypes, it will take a lot more babies before this will work. If you are opting for a gender-neutral name, do be prepared to answer a lot of “Boy or girl?” questions after you've told them your child's name.
Ultimately, this is your child and the name you give him or her will be one that they will have to live with for the rest of their lives. So, don't let anyone bully you into naming your child anything you're not happy with, and choose the names wisely, lest your child never forgives you for their name.