What’s in a Name?

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Our name is something that comes to define us. And yet, for something so personal, we have no real say in what it is. Our parents name us quite often before we are even born, using only the knowledge that we are either a boy or a girl. They use family names to carry on tradition, names they've loved since they were little themselves or pop cultural references that were important to them at that time. Next to making sure mom and baby are healthy, coming up with a name is probably the most important decision you make when having kids. whatsinanameIn the UK, royal names like Harry or Victoria are forever popular. In China, fathers traditionally have the final say on what the baby's name will be and a decision isn't made until the child is born, because the birth date carries a lot of significance. German parents have to choose from a list of "approved names" and the registrar's office can decide if a name violates a child's rights. They have to follow naming guidelines, which include rules like no unconventional spelling and nothing deemed offensive or ridiculous. And as we all know, all bets are off when it comes to naming a baby born in the United States. While lots of parents still stick with traditional names, it's grown more and more popular over the years to name your child something interesting or unique. Celebrities seem to be leading the charge when it comes to different names. Kanye West and Kim Kardashian recently had a baby girl and named her North. Gwenyth Paltrow and Chris Martin's daughter is named Apple. You would be hard-pressed to find those names on license plates at any amusement parks. My parents named me after an Irish princess, Sarah; she and I share the same middle and last name as well. I never really liked my name because I thought it was too common. (It was in the top 10 most popular girl names the year I was born.) I've had lots of friends with the same name over the years. When I was in college I attempted to start going by my middle name, but that proved to be too hard. Historically, middle names were always lineage-related, typically using the maiden names of mothers or grandmothers. As the custom grew more popular, different types of names were given, often as a way to honor a relative or important family friend. Now middle names can be used as a way to differentiate people with the same or similar first name. I always liked middle names, because it's a fun way to make your name even more unique and special. Deciding on what to name your child is an important and personal process. I don't have any kids (yet), but when I was a teenager I was convinced that if I did have a little girl, I would name her Roxanne. Yes, after the Police song. I've changed my mind on that name since then (still love the song, though), and have some ideas on future names for future "little mes." Here are a few helpful questions to ask yourself before you commit to a name for your baby: Does it fit well with your last name? Can any weird nicknames be derived from it? What will the baby's initials be? All things to consider. Whatever name you decide on, you'll surely know as soon as you hear it that it's the perfect fit. Trying to decide what to name your future Rockabye Baby? Check out these releases for some inspiration!

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