One of the five million important decisions new parents must face, picking a name for your bundle of joy is one of the easiest tasks to screw up. It’s generally a good idea to make this decision early because as time goes on you’ll begin to second guess yourself and before you know it you’ll be standing in the bakery ordering a cake for your child’s 18th birthday with the inscription, “Happy Birthday Baby Smith!”
Modern psychology has shown time and time again that choosing your baby’s name is one of the most significant and proven ways you can assure that your child will blame you for everything from the ages of 3 to 63. You want your child to be successful and confident in the world. You want your child to take charge of life and be able to face others. You want your child’s introduction to make a good first impressions.
And that’s why very few children are named “Otis” anymore.
Now, before I start getting email and nasty comments from hundreds of people named Otis (as if someone named Otis could use a computer!) I want to assure you that I think there is absolutely nothing wrong with the name Otis if you never want your child to be anymore than a truck mechanic or run a roadside barbecue pit in Kentucky. And with a name like that you can easily save money on clothing because you know there are plenty of bowling shirts and overalls at your local Goodwill that already have the name “Otis” stitched right on them. I mean, are there any astronauts named Otis? How many Nobel prize winners have been named Otis? I’m too lazy to actually check this, but I’m pretty sure the number is right around zero, give or take a few.
So how do you go about picking a baby name?
The big trend in naming babies these days is picking a common name and then giving it some sort of “alternative” spelling which breaks most of the common sense rules of the English language. For example, one of the trendiest new boys name is “Dylan” but that’s a very traditional spelling. Modern parents would likely use one of these alternatives:
- Dil8an (the 8 is silent)
If you really want to be on the cutting edge of baby-naming (and, really, who doesn’t?) then you’ll make up some sort of name using the parts of various other popular names. For example, some of the popular girl names right now are: Emily, Emma, Hannah, Madison, Olivia, Grace, Elizabeth, Abigail, Samantha and Alexis. A truly progressive parent would come up with one of these variations:
If you’re still having a hard time picking out your baby’s name, you’re not alone. There are, however, a lot of different ways to go about it. Here are a few:
Baby Naming Books
Lots of people turn to baby naming books to suggest a monicker for their new child and it’s pretty evident who these parents are. If you can walk around your block and see little Zeus and Jeronin digging with shovels in the sandbox while Lucritia and Saranese are playing jacks on the sidewalk then you can be pretty sure that your neighbors had a stack of these books on the nightstand (and a drinking problem).
Getting Baby Names from TV
If books aren’t your thing then maybe you should turn on the television for a few hours and simply write down every name you hear. Being selective is the key here. No matter how pretty you think your daughter is she probably won’t be named prom queen if she’s named “Anderson Cooper,” “Snooky,” or “Spongebob.”
Lastly, you could always look back into your own family history and name your baby after a particularly important relative. If you don’t have any particularly important relatives, then aim to name your child after a particularly old and wealthy relative.
Hey, it never hurts.
Announcing the Baby’s Name
Now that you’ve finally picked out a baby name you can relax, right? Wrong! Far from it! This is your first chance of many to screw with people’s minds. You’re going to be a parent soon and your mind-screwing ability is going to have to be pretty top-notch. Do you think it’s going to be easy to get a three-year old to go to bed on time every night? Is it easy nailing Jell-O to a tree?
You’re going to have to tell all sorts of fantastic stories about monsters coming to get him or killer robots enslaving the world if he doesn’t get to bed at a decent hour. Really, one can argue that most of child-raising is based on the idea of tricking the little buggers into doing what you want them to do. Get used to pulling this sort of stunt. You’re going to be a parent. It’s your duty now.
You see, the last thing you want to do is pick out these the perfect baby name and then tell you friends and family. They’ll immediately make comments like “Oh, are you sure about that?” and “Oh… that’s…. interesting…” and “Oh, dear God!!” And then you’ll be forced to listen to hours and hours of stories about why the name you like for your baby is all wrong and why you should really name the baby “Dillynn”.
No, what you need to do is now spend some time picking out the worse possible names you can possible think of and beginning telling people that those names are what you’re going to give your child. Got that? Let’s review:
- Pick the perfect baby name and tell no one.
- When asked, say you’ve settled on the name “Englebert Horatio” with a straight face.
- Stick with this story, even if you’re expecting a girl. Tell your parents you’re planning on calling him (or her) “Eggy” informally.
This way when your baby is born you can surprise your friends and relatives with a the real name and they’ll all sigh with relief (except for aunt Jane who already purchased a silver baby rattle with the initials “EH” engraved on it).
This will especially please the person you named your new baby after: your favorite relative – Rich Uncle Otis.