By calling your bundle of joy Apple, Zuma or Fox, are you giving them the gift of a name that is as special and unique as they are, or condemning them to a lifetime of teasing? Two mothers share their thoughts…
Corrine Fuchs is the blogger behind Mommy in Dubai. She is mum to Ruby and Nate
“I am all for the rise of unusual baby names. The new generation of emerging Millennial parents are taking the opportunity to push the envelope. Inspiration for names can come from nature, the world map, history, a popular TV show… the options are endless!
I like that parents are really able to express their style through the name of their baby, and I personally don’t think a child will be teased for their name in years to come; as it’s likely the majority of their classmates will have equally unusual, meaningful names too.
“I LIKE THAT PARENTS ARE ABLE TO EXPRESS THEIR STYLE THROUGH THEIR NAME OF THEIR BABY”
I still regret not naming my daughter Peach after my favourite fruit. It conjures memories of summer, the smell of peaches, the sweetness of their pulp and the smoothness of their pretty complexion. We opted for a more “normal” name: Ruby. It’s unusual where I come from in North America, but it’s very popular in England. It was planned that any of her future siblings would also be named after precious gemstones – Pearl or Jade would have been so pretty for a girl!
My son was to be called Onyx, but my husband (being more conservative) didn’t like it – even after months of negotiation. I gave up the battle and ended up letting him make the final decision, and our now two-year-old son is called Nate. Generation X-ers ask if it’s short for Nathan. My answer is: “It’s just Nate!” Millennial parents hardly bat an eye. I say go with what YOU like. Let your heart guide you, and forget what others have to say.”
Heidi Raeside, mum to James and Teddy, is the founder of parenting blog Tuesday’s Child
“Naming the fruit of your loins is the ultimate branding exercise. You need to consider every possible take on the name, every cultural association, every nickname, before you dare to bestow it upon someone who will reap the reactions for a lifetime.
You need to think about a baby name that’s as personal and special as it is strong and impactful. As a feminist, I’m afraid that like many parenting challenges, this is twice as important for parents of girls. The female of the species are judged far more quickly. When choosing a name for a girl, please consider her chances as a power CEO, a movement leader or a changemaker.
“IT’S BEEN PROVEN THAT EMPLOYERS MAKE JUDGEMENTS BASED ON NAMES.”
I don’t agree with prejudice. I am raising my children to fight against it. But it’s a reality, and I want my kids to have every possible bridge across it, and to have access to any route to happiness or fulfilment they may choose. Sad though it may be, a name that reminds me of a nice holiday, a momentarily fashionable TV star, or an abstract term that reflects my current interests might just close doors to them. It’s been proven that employers do make judgements based on names at the CV stage.
I’ve had lengthy arguments with my husband about naming my sons anything “too East End London”, such as Sonny or Ronnie. It sucks, but when considering the reality of who or what our boys might like to influence one day, we had to play it safe. It goes against everything I’ve lived by to date, but it’s not my life I’m playing with now.
It’s so hard to contain my argument sensitively within the word limit of this piece, which just reminds me that the tighter the limit, the more thoughtful you have to be to make the right impact.”