My Friend Named Her Baby After Auto Parts

Filed under: Baby Names

Someone I know is having a baby boy, and her husband has a family tradition of giving car-related names, like Mercedes and Axel and such. I'm fine with that (it sounds like fun), but the name she wants to give is Jackford. I won't criticize her name choice, but how do I come to terms with a decision that I feel is bad when there are so many better names out there?

- Ruby

First off, bravo for what you didn't ask me. You didn't say, "How do I tell my friend that the name she's chosen for her baby stinks?" If any other readers want the answer to that question, it's simple: You don't. You don't tell expectant parents that the special name they've selected for their precious new child makes you want to retch. The most you can do is say "Oh, interesting," with a polite little smile, and hope they take the hint. Otherwise for the rest of Jackford's life, his parents will remember that you're the one who said his name sounds like a lab experiment gone wrong.

Now on to the trickier question you did ask: How does an interested observer come to terms with a name she doesn't like and has no control over?

There are three paths to name-acceptance. The first is to wait and let the baby do the heavy lifting for you. Have you ever heard parents talk about the process of naming their children and the various names they considered while pregnant? They always conclude with, "And now we can't imagine him as anything other than an Oliver (or a Hayden, or an Alejandro)." Names take on the characteristics of those who carry them. Six months after little Jackford's birth, his name will be attached to a living, breathing, adorable little boy, and you'll start to wonder what you ever had against such a cute name.

But perhaps you're impatient to make peace with you're friend's choice. Path two is to give yourself a pep talk. Remember that you're not the only audience, and no name pleases everybody. One friend thinks Nevaeh is a made-up name; another thinks Katherine is too plain; a family member went to school with a girl named Gwen whose nose was always running. And hey, it could be worse! Think of the terrible names you've encountered, from bizarre celebrity concoctions to names that sound like dictators or baldness cures. Plus consider that this baby will never have to be called "Jackford B." in school to tell him apart from all the other little Jackfords.

The final tip to help you get over your frustration: Find another outlet for your naming opinions. If you don't happen to be pregnant, then name a pet, write a story with lots of characters, or name your car and coffee pot and washing machine. Pick your names carefully, relish your own exquisite taste, and stop worrying.

Has somebody in your life chosen a name that gives you fits? Share your experiences! And if you have a question of your own to Ask the Name Lady, drop her a line.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.