by Jake McMillan
I don’t know if it is something to do with hormones or becoming delirious at the prospect of becoming a parent, but often mums-and-dads-to-be lose the plot when it comes to choosing a name for their child.
I have always known my parents to be very sensible and straight forward people (save for some mild silliness now and again) and so was shocked to discover what they almost named me? My name was a compromise choice, being number two on each of their lists. My mum’s first choice was Felix?! She still thinks I should have been called this … which is even more disturbing. Why would I want be named after a tin of cat food?
Then I heard what my Dad wanted to call me … Ludovic???! My parents are both British, so this is a very odd choice. I asked my Dad why and it turned out there was a journalist and broadcaster called Ludovic Kennedy and his friends called him Ludo. My Dad thought Ludo was a cute name for a baby.
My Dad made the same mistake that most parents do. You shouldn’t name a baby, you are actually naming an adult person who will only be a baby and child for a small proportion of their life.
The impulse for this post has come from some friends who were trying to decide what to name their son. The father is Swedish and the mother British, so name options become even more complex. The father wanted to call his son Vilgot. This may be a great name in Swedish, but in English it sounds like a 17th century venereal disease.
So, the key things you need to do/remember:
1) Your kid will be an adult far longer than they will be a child, so don’t think of a “baby’s” name, think of an adult’s name.
2) Whatever name you choose, other kids will find a way to tease them about it, so try to not to pick a name that makes it too easy for the other kids.
3) 3-syllable names will be difficult for other kids, when very young, to say or pronounce.
4) Think about how the name is thought of internationally or whether it has another meaning? For example, my friend Dom told me his name means King in Portuguese, but in Dutch it means idiot or stupid.
5) Don’t call your son Vilgot.