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Baby Names

Baby Naming Tips

Most people don't know the meaning of their name, but most names do have meanings. You should at least find out the meanings of your favorite choices before giving one of them to your child.  The meaning of your child's name probably won't greatly affect his or her life, but may help you to make a decision between your favorites.

Many names are shortened to nicknames during childhood, or other stages of life, so be sure to think about what shortened forms of your child's name may be.  Also consider that names we might think are cute for a child could be embarrassing later in life, before giving your child a nickname as their legal name.  For instance - shortening Samantha to Sam or Sammy while your daughter is young may be fine, but will she mind having to put Sam on her business cards or college application later in life if its her legal name?

No one likes having their name constantly misspelled or mispronounced, so keep this in mind before choosing a unique pronunciation or spelling of a common name.  Remember that your child will spend his or her lifetime explaining to others how the name is really spelled or pronounced.

Unisex names, like Chris, Robin or Terry, may make it easier for you to choose your child's name before you know their sex, but others argue that it can be unfair and psychologically harmful to a child, especially to boys who may feel more insulted when presumed to be girls, than girls do when they're mistaken for boys.

Namesakes, or exact reproductions of a person's name, even if followed by II or Jr., are quite often confusing to everyone involved.  Worse yet, the child never gets the satisfaction of having a clear identity or name of his own.  Although namesakes can be complimentary to the original owner of the name, consider the impact to your child, and how you plan to differentiate between the people who share the name before you choose to name your child after someone else.

To find the meanings and origins of thousands of popular names, take a look at our lists of boy's names and girl's names.

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