Before embarking on the important task of giving your child a name, it’s useful to understand exactly what kind of names appeal to you. This will help you to check out if you and your partner have similar or vastly different naming styles…
Try this exercise: Start with making a list of names you like from names of people you don’t know (so that you can look at them without any pre‐conceived bias). Sources for names can be business directories, members of organisations, student lists or baby name lists. Give each chosen name a rating between one and five. Look at the highest scoring names and look for similar patterns in type of name, recurring initial letters, length of name and sounds.
Also, check out these broad naming categories to see whether your style falls within any particular style:
These tend to be names that have been around for so long that they have become timeless in their appeal. They may come and go out of fashion but they form the central stock of names and are associated with old‐school values. These tend to be names that you know well and have heard often, usually with just one spelling and pronunciation.
Example: Elizabeth, Michael, Jennifer, Alexander.
Namer’s personality: conservative, practical, safe.
Often these are a new variation of an old standard or names that shoot up into prominence by being associated with a popular figure. Their popularity can drop as soon as there is bad press associated with those that carry it. Over time some of these may become established names. Although harder to spell, they are usually easy to pronounce.
Example: Kylie, Justin, Jordan, Shane.
Namer’s personality: follower of fashion, seeks approval, sociable.
This style often has names that are created by combining two names or by converting everyday names into first names. Usually hard to pronounce or spell, they are motivated by a wish to be seen as ‘different’ to everyone else. These names tend to suit extrovert natures but can be a disaster for more retiring types.
Example: Fifi‐Trixibelle, Peaches, Jermajesty, Satchel.
Namer’s personality: strong sense of individuality, likes attention, adventurous.
The names in this category have references to classic literature, art, history or figures who are associated with these fields. The namer will have a good understanding of what the name is associated with and usually the name will carry some personal resonance. The names are generally rich with sub‐text and meaning.
Such as: Carmen, Byron, Hermione, Sylvia.
Namer’s personality: enjoys reading, classical music, inquisitive.
Names are usually linked to a belief system or religion. A great deal of effort may be made to attract the highest blessing and most fortunate association.
Such as: Shiloh, Siddharta, Tallelulah, Krishna.
Namer’s personality: belief in a supernatural power, intuitive, imaginative.
Names belonging to this style can come from any part of the world. They can be adapted from another language, belief system or faith.
Such as: Aurelie, Olafia, Kofi, Sakura.
Namer’s personality: likes to travel, humanist, open to ideas.