How to Pick a Baby Name: 8 Suggestions

By Willow Breckenridge | Apr 26, 2021

Choosing your baby’s name is one of life’s most exciting events. It can also be stressful — after all, you only get one chance. 

This process used to entail sitting down with a big book of names, whereas nowadays, you’ll probably turn to the internet first. What other sources of information can you find? Here are eight suggestions for how to pick a baby name. 

1. Loan One from Lit

If you love nothing more than losing yourself in a juicy novel, then why not turn to some of your favorite reads for inspiration? Even though names like Arya became popular after HBO turned George R.R. Martin’s works into the hit series “Game of Thrones,” you know that you refer to the novel version. 

You could also steal the moniker from one of your favorite writers. If you can’t get enough of Ms. Angelou’s poetry, Maya makes a lovely first name. Whoever said that you can’t name a boy “George?” Ms. Eliot, aka Mary Ann Evans, would beg to differ. 

2. Steal One From the Big Screen 

Maybe you’re more into cinema than books. If so, why not look to your favorite actors or their roles to inspire your choice? Your choice of “Diana” could refer to the singer Ross or Wonder Woman’s true name as an Amazon princess. 

You can also get cute with this method if you like. For example, if your last name is “Barry,” maybe you want to go with “Halle” to celebrate a favorite actress and make your twist on the wordplay. You could summon some old-school “Lost Boys” vampire mojo by naming your baby boy “Keifer.” 

3. Consider Works of Art

Do you love nothing more than browsing a museum? If your lifelong wish is to see the Louvre, you can nevertheless create a miniature “Mona” or “Lisa” right at home. 

Who says that you can’t steal inspiration from the artists themselves? Ask Leonardo DiCaprio’s mother if she took her son’s name from the famous Renaissance painter. 

4. Travel Back in Time 

If you are a history buff, there’s nothing wrong with borrowing a baby name from a bygone era. There was probably a flurry of young Martha’s anointed after the United States had its first first-lady. 

Your chosen baby name could become ironic, depending on your child’s future career. If your last name is “Smith,” and you name your baby “Thomas Edison Smith,” how crazy would it be if they grew up to become an inventor? 

5. Get a Little Biblical

Are you strong in your religious faith? For decades, people turned to the Bible or Talmud to get names for their babies. 

In English-speaking countries, it’s unusual to name your child “Jesus,” although it is common among Spanish-speakers. However, “Joseph” and “David” both have Biblical connotations. So do Mary, Anne, Elizabeth and Rachel. 

6. Consult a Top 10 List

Of course, you could hop on the world wide web and Google how to pick a baby name. You’ll find no end of websites devoted to the task. 

If you want to spare your child the misery of being one of six kids with the same name in her class, go ahead and look at those top ten lists of baby names that come out each year. Then, select anything that doesn’t appear. 

7. Recall Your Favorite Things 

Maybe you don’t want to name your child “raindrops on roses” or “whiskers on kittens.” However, your favorite things can sometimes inspire. If you can’t get enough daisies in your bouquet, why not name your baby after the flower? 

You can even get creative with location names, especially if you suspect that’s where your baby was conceived. Consider “Orlando Bloom,” for example. Even though the spiritual southwest town of Sedona was named after the founder’s wife, it makes a unique way to remember the babymoon you took there. 

8. Keep It in the Family

Families used to pass down Bibles containing their lineage — and the list of names they kept repeating throughout generations. Why not name your child after someone in your clan? 

For example, you might decide to honor your mom using her first name as your daughter’s middle one. Even if you have a girl, there’s nothing wrong with using “Jr.” if you decide to go the mini-me route and share your full name with her. 

Learn How to Pick a Baby Name With These 8 Suggestions

Deciding what to call your infant is one of life’s greatest joys — and stresses. Learn how to name your baby with these eight suggestions. 

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