Baby naming etiquette

Picking a name is a decision that is going to affect Baby every single minute of every single day of her life - it’s an identity builder! So even though her name is yours and yours alone to decide, you might want to consider the following before she is stuck being a “Fido” for the rest of its life.

  • Don’t name your baby after a pet: It’s pretty impossible to give Baby a name that no pet in the world has, due to sheer numbers, but you should probably avoid naming your daughter “Annie” if that’s also the name of your dog.
  • Don’t steal names: Mentioning a prospective baby name at some point during life doesn’t give one exclusive rights to the name, but if your sister has been dead-set on having a baby Sally since the day she got her first doll, it might be best to avoid this name.
  • No offensive names: It’s probably a good idea to avoid naming your children something that can touch a sore spot for people, as Baby will have this name for life, and may have trouble progressing in school and life with a name like “Josef Stalin”.
  • Cut the confusion: Although it’s totally okay to name baby after a grandparent, parent, aunt, uncle, or some other older family member, it’s probably unwise to give baby the same name as a brother, sister, or cousin. The boxer George Foreman has five boys, all named George - don’t let this be you.
  • The Thurston Howell III: If you or your partner has a Roman numeral attached to his or her name, there might be a large expectation to continue the trend with your child. Just you and your partner should discuss how you want to proceed, and come to a decision together - leave the in-laws out of it!
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