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What's in a Name?

Friday, April 29, 2011

Hi. My name is Teresha.

It is pronounced just the way it is spelled, but you would not believe how intimidating my name is for a lot of people.

As someone with a "unique" name, I can give sworn testimony that what you write on your child's birth certificate has real consequences far beyond your imagination. Baby names are serious business!

I grew up being called Teresa, Treesha, Trisha and as many other variations as there are stars in the sky. I have seen my name misspelled in more ways than I care to remember. To this day, my mother-in-law cannot remember where to put the "h" in my name so she has resorted addressing her letters to the Mrs.

It can be a headache growing up with a hard-to-spell/hard-to-pronounce name. Here is some advice for you soon-to-be parents when it comes to selecting a baby name:

  • Don't wait until your child is born to name her. You might be so high on pain killers that you leave the hospital with a little Epidural (or Epi for short). At the very least have a list of possible picks at the ready.
  • Resist the urge to invent a name. You think you are being clever by adding some vowels and consonants to a common name or taking a word and spelling it backward. This, my friend, is one rung above the celebrity couple name-mash.
  • Do not follow trends. It might be popular right now to name your kid after fruit, but it might not be so cool 18 years later when Kiwi is applying for college scholarships and jobs. Oh, and your child is not destined for stardom because you named her Starr.
  • Do some research. Whether you want to find a traditional name, an ethnic name or you just want to know what the popular names for 2009 were...it's all online!
Your name is often the first impression you make, gift your child with a moniker that he will be proud to wear.



Brandy said...

I am super proud of my daughter's name, even though it is spelled "differently". And by differently I mean the traditional Gaelic way - Orlaith. Even though it looks tough, it is just pronounced Orla, and she can always opt to spell it that way, the "Americanized" version, if she chooses later in life. Naming a baby is hard work!

Anonymous said...

I know this post may offend some people but I agree with you on this one. I mean people do get judged by their names. I remember 20/20 did a show about names and how people with "odd" names were often passed over because of it. I thought about that when I was thinking of names for my child.

Maureensk said...

My mom would love to jump on your band wagon. She was named Wawona, after the Wawona Hotel in Yosemite Park, where she was born during WWII. Oddly, her parents were extremely conservative. I'm not sure what they were thinking. Se grew up in a very small southern town with Betty Sue's and Mary Jane's, so stood out big time. She now goes by her very ordinary middle name.

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