Naming a new baby is hard. Not only are there family traditions and individual preferences to consider but there is also the added stress associated with not giving our children a name that will haunt them forever. No pressure.
So how can parents choose the perfect name for their children? Here are some fun ways to test whether your name will lead your child to a life of success or doom them to total failure.
*Disclaimer: This article is intended as humour and should not be taken too seriously.*
Ask a teacher
Every teacher has a list of names that have been ruined by simply belonging to their least favourite students. If you believe that certain names come with particular personality traits, ask a teacher to tell you which students have these traits. Who are the studious kids? Who are the funny kids? Who are the little monsters they secretly hope are sick on school trip days?
They probably have a list of names that they will never use because they will be constantly reminded of that student who threw a mouldy sandwich at them, destroyed all the saxophones and never once seemed to be holding a pencil. Just hypothetically. (Okay, you caught me. I’m a teacher and that one was real.)
Yell it randomly in different places
If you really want to get a taste of parenting, just go to different places and start yelling the name while no one responds. This does two things: 1) It helps you gauge the popularity of the name and 2) It allows you to see whether you are capable of yelling the name without messing it up or sounding ridiculous.
Here are some places you may want to yell the name: a dog park (to see if it is popular with canines this year), playground, outside a hipster bar, at a McDonalds, in a department store and around the house. Also try it using different emotions or inflections.
Now, before you try this one, and I cannot stress this enough, do not do this repeatedly in the same place. For example, do not go to a park and start yelling random kids names unless you go with one of your older children/child relatives or friends with kids. You will look creepy and probably social media shamed. Also, warn the people you came with, so they can pretend that this is normal.
Try it using different parenting phrases
Now that you have yelled the name several times, you may want to add popular parenting phrases, such as: “We’re leaving! No, not in 5 minutes, NOW.” or “Because I said so!” or the popular “I’m counting to 3!”. Also, is the name short enough that you can yell something like, “______________, get that out of your mouth!” before they have eaten it all? Does saying their full name strike just the right amount of fear into their hearts? If not, try again. This has to be perfect, damn it.
Think of all the people you have ever met
Now, for this to work properly, you need to go way back. This is not a list of the people you currently know. This is a list of everyone you ever met in your life. Like, your 2nd grade bully, your barista at Starbucks and your aunt’s friend that you met at a party one time.
If you are super organized, make sub-categories for this list, such as jerk, usually cool, super nice, weirdo, great hair, etc. Now ask your partner to make a similar list. If you have time, also get your nosiest neighbour to make one. This will save you from listening to them tell stories about how they once knew someone by the name you are considering who was absolutely horrible.
Go into the personalized item section in souvenir stores
Do you see the name you are considering? This could be good or bad – either your kid will love unique name or hate that they don’t get these items because their name never appears. This is an exercise in how well you know your unborn fetus and their future personality. What do you mean you don’t know your unborn child’s every thought??! You can’t guess how they will feel about this super crucial thing that they might mention a couple times while travelling? How can you even name them? Get it together!!
Put it on a business card
Have you heard of the CEO test? This is where prospective parents name their child based on how the name would sound as head of a company. Is it professional? Competent?
Well, we can do one better than that! First, go online to a site that allows you to design your own business cards. Now have like 200 made with the name you like. Here’s the key part: just put the name, no job title. Now get them printed and express shipped. Expense be damned! This is important!
When they arrive, show the cards to people and see what they think the person does for a living. If they keep saying freelance butterfly therapist, you might want to try again. Same goes for unemployed body builder or failed sandbox designer.
Leave it up to chance
You’ve tried overthinking and this has gotten you nowhere. Now time to try under-thinking. Put names on a dart board and throw darts blindfolded. Randomly flip the page of a baby book and point at your future child’s name. Go back to 1992, find a phone book and flip to a random page. Go back to that personalized item aisle and choose a funky pencil at random. What could go wrong?
Search it in various databases
For example, go to IMDB and search the name. What kind of roles do they play? All extras? How will your kid achieve greatness with a name like that? Only mobsters? Is that what you want for your child? Exclusively elves? How can your child develop the versatility needed in today’s job market? How?
If you type the whole name, what comes up? Is it nice stories about humanitarians or news articles about serial killers? Will your child share their future name with accomplished, interesting strangers or scary strangers who don’t know basic grammar? Oooh, only one way to find out.
Make a poll on social media
This one is not for the faint of heart. Make a social media poll using all your favourite names. Ask your friends to share and comment. This is the modern way to test for the things people will make fun of about the name. Just be prepared, the trolls will come out.
Well, you’re done! Congratulations on choosing the perfect name using these clearly foolproof methods. (And it only took the 2 years, $300 and a few warnings from police about being creepy at the park.) Nailed it!