Back to School at FamilyEducation.com
Home > Pregnancy > Baby Names > Choosing a Name > Do's and Don'ts of Neo-Names
|

Do's and Don'ts of Neo-Names

In This Article:

Page 1

Misnomers

Neo-names often work best and have the strongest impact when they're paired with a more common first or middle name. Don't get carried away by the creative process and decide to come up with created first and middle names for your baby. One is generally enough.

Before we get any further into the process of creating neo-names, it's time to issue a strong caution to all of you who are going to attempt this. Please, please, don't go overboard with neo-names. There's no denying the thrill of creating a wonderful new name for your baby, but unfortunately, this name fashion is one parents can take to extremes. Some expectant moms and dads get so wrapped up in the process that they develop tunnel vision when it comes to the name or names that they create, much to the dismay of their relatives and friends when they hear the name for the first time.

Save yourself from the embarrassment of having to answer the question, “How could you (did you) choose THAT name for your child?” Be sure to keep the following points in mind as you embark on this process:

  • Remember that whatever name you create will have to be spelled and pronounced many times during your child's life. Try to keep things simple and logical.
  • There's a difference between creating an unusual and lovely name and one that's unusual because it's so awkward and ugly. Stay away from such unfortunate combinations as Chalaydriaor Maksymilia (which are both real names, unfortunately).

  • Follow the same rules in test-driving any created name you come up with; i.e., how it works with middle and last names, whether it lends itself well to pet names or nicknames, how the initials of all the names line up, etc.
  • Finally, this is a time when you absolutely should get input from other people. If the looks you get when you tell people the name range from mild amusement to horror, please think twice about using it. You may be the only ones applauding your creativity.

For some examples of names that probably should have been left at the bottom of the creativity pile, turn to the end of this chapter. In fact, it might be a good idea to do that now so you get a better idea of what to stay away from!

Into the Wild, Blue Yonder: A Neo-Name Road Map

What's in a Name

Sometimes, all it takes is the change of one letter to create a new name. Actor Rick Schroder (NYPD Blue) and his wife Andrea came up with a great one when they named their daughter Cambrie, a nice variation of Cambria.

What's in a Name

Brianna, one of the most popular girls' names in the 1990s, is a created name. The name and all its spelling variations—Briana, Breanna, Breana, Breeana, Breiana, Briannah, and so forth—is one of the few created names to crack the higher echelons of the most popular lists.

Many parents who decide to create a new name for their baby feel at a loss over how to go about it, especially at first. This is understandable, given the fact that they're creating something entirely new that they couldn't find after pawing through lists of names or after digging around in family genealogies. However, you don't have to feel like Christopher Columbus casting off for the New World as you consider the journey that lies ahead.

While it's true that you're probably going somewhere you've never been (unless you're one of the select group of people that creates names for a living), you're not necessarily sailing uncharted waters in order to arrive at your new creation. Fortunately for you, other parents have blazed this particular trail, and they've left you some path marks for how to go about it. One or several of them should provide the guidance you need in creating your own neo-name masterpiece.



Next: Page 2 >>

More on: Choosing a Name

|

Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Baby Names © 1999 by Sonia Weiss. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit the Idiot's Guide web site or call 1-800-253-6476.


stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

highlights

Printable Fall Fun To-Do List
Celebrate the cooler weather with this printable checklist of fun fall activities for your whole family.

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

Top 10 Care Package Items for College Students
Show your college student that you love and miss her by mailing a care package full of dorm room essentials and comforting treats. Whether it's her birthday, exam time, or just because, get care package ideas to brighten her day.

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!