Opinions on some baby naming rules?

[name]Hi[/name] Berries,

this baby naming caper is a lot harder than what I thought it would be…4 weeks to go and we’re still deciding :slight_smile:

If you could continue to be fabulous in helping me out, as so many of you have been, I will be eternally grateful! In narrowing down some favorite choices we are now asking ourselves about baby naming rules, namely:

  1. If first name is 3 (or 4) syllables and last name is one syllable, what syllable length is most pleasing for a middle name?
  2. My one syllable surname ends in “T”. Is it a mistake to have either a first name or middle name that also starts or ends in “T”? (eg. [name]Charlotte[/name] ----t, [name]Tabitha[/name] ----t)
  3. If the first name we choose is quite popular (dare I say “overused”?), will choosing a really unusual middle name help, or just draw unwanted attention to the normality/popularity of the first name?
  4. Is it asking for trouble if the initials spell out something, not horrible exactly, but something that kids could make fun of anyway? (eg. [name]CAT[/name], VIP, [name]PEG[/name], MOG, ESP, ETC)

As always, thank you all so much for any and all advice!

gilber

[name]Hi[/name] Gilber, here are my replies to your four questions. [name]Hope[/name] it helps!

  1. If you have a 3-syllable first name and a one syllable surname: two syllable middle middle name*
    If you have a 4-syllable first name and a one syllable surname: two or three syllable middle name*
  • my answers are “ideal” guesses since I don’t know all of the details (eg. name chosen, surname, which syllable is emphasized in the combo etc…). If you like multiple syllables for both names, disregard my replies :slight_smile: . Personally, I like to keep a middle name as simple as possible if the first name has numerous syllables and vice versa. If you have a more traditional first name, you can go a little “crazy” with the middle if you want to. Since middle names are rarely known by people outside of the family and close friends, you can get a little quirky and creative. If you pick a first name that is a little more “out there”, choose a middle which is more mainstream so that your child can always have an option of reverting to her middle name later in life.
  1. Depends on what first name is chosen and what syllables are emphasized (eg [name]Charlotte[/name]'s two t’s are at the end; [name]Tabitha[/name]'s is at the beginning). [name]Say[/name] the names aloud and listen to hear if the combo flows well together. Flow is very subjective of course because some names are pronounced differently if you take things like regional accents into account. You can always post your chosen names here and get Nameberries opinions when your final decision is made. We’d be more than happy to help!

  2. “Popular” means different things to different people. It could be Top 10, Top 50 or Top 1,000. A name can be popular in one area of a country and virtually unheard of in another area. I would advise that you research your names on a national website (eg Social Security Administration) or a local one if possible to see what names pop up. Keep track of the birth announcements where you live to see if certain names are taking off in popularity. But always ensure you choose a name you love irregardless of popularity. You have to live with your choice. However, if a name is popular in your area (eg. [name]Charlotte[/name] was No# 45 last year in the US), be prepared that your child may be known as [name]Charlotte[/name] (insert surname initial here) throughout her school year.

  3. As long as the initials don’t spell out anything embarrassing for your child (eg. A**, PIG etc…), I think you’ll be fine. I don’t see any problems with the ones you’ve stated in your post.

1.) I would say two syllables. However, I think syllable length is getting too much attention. If the names sounds good to you when you say it, it doesn’t matter how many syllables there are. Our boy name is 2-2-2, but it sounds great. As long as you like how it sounds, that’s what’s important.

2.) I typically wouldn’t like it. Our last name starts with a B and we just don’t like any first names that start or end with a B. I just don’t like the sound. However, it all depends on the names in question. If they sound pleasing to your ear when you say them aloud, that’s all that matters.

3.) Name popularity is a hot-button issue. And it’s not as cut and dry as you may think. DD’s name is [name]Grace[/name]. Pretty popular. However, we have yet to meet another [name]Grace[/name]. I only know one [name]Jacob[/name] (and he’s 20). On the flip side, I know 3 [name]Judith[/name]'s, #879 on the SSA list (two of whom go to my daughter’s preschool). I do like middle names that offset the first name. Like, [name]Abigail[/name] [name]Zara[/name], [name]Winifred[/name] [name]June[/name], [name]Ophelia[/name] [name]Rose[/name], etc.

4.) If we have a boy, his initials will be DAB. I think as long as the initials don’t spell out something negative or derogatory, there isn’t a problem.

With the names we picked out, we just had a feeling about them. Our rules kind of go out the window if we find a name that just feels right.

Here’s my two cents…(Note: for these purposes, I’m going to pretend that your last name is Two)

  1. If first name is 3 (or 4) syllables and last name is one syllable, what syllable length is most pleasing for a middle name?

For a three syllable first name and a one syllable last name, I think I’d probably opt for a two syllable middle. For example:

[name]Miranda[/name] [name]Sophie[/name] Two
[name]Miranda[/name] [name]Daphne[/name] Two
[name]Miranda[/name] [name]Alice[/name] Two
[name]Miranda[/name] [name]Posy[/name] Two

However, I don’t think a three syllable middle sounds bad here, either:

[name]Miranda[/name] [name]Leonie[/name] Two
[name]Miranda[/name] [name]Naomi[/name] Two

For a four syllable first name and a one syllable last name, I think either a two syllable or three syllable middle work equally well. For example:

[name]Felicity[/name] [name]Vera[/name] Two
[name]Felicity[/name] [name]Laurel[/name] Two

[name]Felicity[/name] [name]Adelaide[/name] Two
[name]Felicity[/name] [name]Caroline[/name] Two

  1. My one syllable surname ends in “T”. Is it a mistake to have either a first name or middle name that also starts or ends in “T”? (eg. [name]Charlotte[/name] ----t, [name]Tabitha[/name] ----t)

I don’t mind the alliteration of [name]Tabitha[/name] Two, for example. But I’d be careful, depending on the exact names. You don’t want to wind up with something that sounds cartoonish.

[name]Charlotte[/name] Two, on the other hand, I would probably avoid. It’s not horrible by any means, but I find the repeated sounds in cases like this a bit hard to say.

  1. If the first name we choose is quite popular (dare I say “overused”?), will choosing a really unusual middle name help, or just draw unwanted attention to the normality/popularity of the first name?

In my opinion, it usually helps! I think it makes the whole name more distinctive rather than callling attention to the popularity of the first name.

For instance, if I met an [name]Emily[/name] Serilda, I’d be struck by the unusualness of the combo as a whole–and not really thinking “why’d they use plain old [name]Emily[/name] for the first name after daring to go with Serilda for the middle?”

  1. Is it asking for trouble if the initials spell out something, not horrible exactly, but something that kids could make fun of anyway? (eg. [name]CAT[/name], VIP, [name]PEG[/name], MOG, ESP, ETC)

In my opinion, it really depends. I think [name]CAT[/name] is fine. ETC is funnier looking to me. I really think that the precise letters we’re talking about here make a big difference.

  1. If the first is 3 syllables, I think the middle can be 2, 4, or 5 syllables. Some might call me crazy but, for example, I like the way [name]Ginevra[/name] [name]Sebastiana[/name] Blank sounds. Most people don’t introduce themselves with all 3 names.
    If the first is 4 syllables, you can use 2, 3, or 5 syllables for the middle.
  2. I think a name that starts with a T will go well with a t-ending surname, but [name]Charlotte[/name] has an e at the end (although it’s silent). [name]Say[/name] your last name is Margalit (ends in a T), [name]Charlotte[/name] Margalit does not work.
  3. People do this all the time - unusual first name, common middle, vice versa. I think its great. But I personally prefer the first name to be the uncommon one, because I like the fact that a name can provide sense of individuality. Personally, being know as both my first and last name (not even initials, because there was another [name]Christina[/name] S.) from 1st grade to college, I definitely craved a more uncommon name. But having one common and one uncommon will give your child the option to choose between them later in life if they don’t like the first.
  4. Certain initials, yes. Others, no. I don’t see any of the ones you listed causing trouble.
  1. If first name is 3 (or 4) syllables and last name is one syllable, what syllable length is most pleasing for a middle name?
    It really depends. Your one-syllable last name allows you a bit more leeway with longer first names, so the flow completely depends on the individual name.
  2. My one syllable surname ends in “T”. Is it a mistake to have either a first name or middle name that also starts or ends in “T”? (eg. [name]Charlotte[/name] ----t, [name]Tabitha[/name] ----t)
    Probably not. [name]Charlotte[/name] Sit and [name]Tabitha[/name] Sit sound okay. [name]Tabitha[/name] [name]Cat[/name] doesn’t work so well. As a general rule, it’s probably okay, but use common sense so you don’t end up with a rhyming name or pun.
  3. If the first name we choose is quite popular (dare I say “overused”?), will choosing a really unusual middle name help, or just draw unwanted attention to the normality/popularity of the first name?
    No, that’s the best way to deal with it! [name]Ava[/name] [name]Grace[/name] is hopelessly boring; [name]Ava[/name] [name]Galatea[/name] is quite interesting. I love combos with a common first and an extremely unusual middle (like [name]Zoe[/name] [name]Esperanza[/name].)
  4. Is it asking for trouble if the initials spell out something, not horrible exactly, but something that kids could make fun of anyway? (eg. [name]CAT[/name], VIP, [name]PEG[/name], MOG, ESP, ETC)
    I really don’t think it’s a big deal. [name]Ava[/name] [name]Sophia[/name] [name]Smith[/name] is probably a bad idea, but [name]Ava[/name] [name]Sophia[/name] [name]Peterson[/name] or [name]Ava[/name] [name]Sophia[/name] Katz is fine, in my opinion.

I’ll take a stab at this!

(1) Well, if you’ve got a one-syllable last name, I’d always go first for a longer first name, assuming you love it. If you fall in love with a one-syllable first name, it’s not the end of the world (e.g., [name]Jane[/name] [name]Brooks[/name]), but something three syllables (e.g., [name]Lydia[/name] [name]Brooks[/name]) sounds just that much more melodic. As for your question, if you have a three-syllable first name and a one-syllable middle name, I like to balance it out with a two-syllable middle name (e.g., [name]Lydia[/name] [name]Charlotte[/name] [name]Brooks[/name]), but that doesn’t mean a three- or one-syllable middle name will sound horrendous (e.g., [name]Lydia[/name] [name]Caroline[/name] [name]Brooks[/name], [name]Lydia[/name] [name]June[/name] [name]Brooks[/name]).

(2) If your last name ends in T (e.g., Smart), then I see absolutely nothing wrong with any first name starting with a T (e.g., [name]Thalia[/name] Smart). Now, there’s nothing terribly wrong with both the first and last names ending in T (e.g., [name]Juliet[/name] Smart), though it does take away from a bit of the melody. So, I’d say [name]Julia[/name] Smart is better than [name]Juliet[/name] Smart, but that’s just because it has a more interesting sound. What you don’t want to do is have a first name ending in the same sound or letter as your last name starts with (e.g., [name]Lilias[/name] Smart), as it’s just challenging to say.

(3) If you choose a popular first name (e.g., [name]Olivia[/name]), I probably would go with a more unique or unusual middle name, if only because I personally find it to be more inspiring. Something like [name]Olivia[/name] [name]Grace[/name] isn’t terribly exciting - actually, it’s overdone - but something like [name]Olivia[/name] [name]Wren[/name] or [name]Olivia[/name] [name]Rowan[/name] or [name]Olivia[/name] [name]Scarlett[/name] is more interesting without being bizarre. Bizarre is fine, too, though, if you’re into that sort of thing (e.g., [name]Olivia[/name] Purple).

(4) Sometimes I think people make a bigger fuss about name teasing than is really necessary. Sure, kids find stuff to pick on other kids about, but at the end of the day, it’s not a huge, huge deal. My brother’s initials are BM - one that is oft shied away from here on NB - and he’s never been teased about it. I’ve heard people say that [name]Henry[/name] is a tease-able name, and maybe it is, but how did it get to be so widely used then? If your daughter’s initials spell [name]CAT[/name], she’ll probably think it’s cool. Other kids probably will, too. And I even know a girl who goes by [name]Cat[/name]. If they spell MOO or PIG, yea, those might be more tease-able and maybe I’d stay away from them as best I could, but if the only name I loved spelled those? I’d probably just go for it. Now, clearly you want to avoid initials from names like Sylvia Tamsin Doyle or Simone Elizabeth Xavier or Sally Tess Irving or Anna Sophia Simmons or Phoebe Emmeline Evans or Felicity Anais George or other inappropriate ones, but ATE (Adela Tamsin Everett) and EAT (Eugenie Alice Tate) and ICE (Isabel Cathleen Evers) and LAP (Lucienne Avril Piper) and that sort of thing are usually a-okay. GOD (Glory Ophelia Dulles)? Might want to re-think that one, though… :wink:

Good luck with your baby’s name!

[name]Lemon[/name]

[name]Lemon[/name], you said that a name shouldnt end in the same sound as the last name starts. So out of curiousity do you think a name that ends in “N” and starts with “M” would be bad since they are so similiar in sound (at least to my ears)? An example name would be [name]Carson[/name] Madoux.

I think that something like [name]Carson[/name] Madoux is fine, honestly, because you clearly pronounce the N in [name]Carson[/name] - at least I do! Actually, my own name is one in which the first name ends in -n and the last name starts with M-, and I don’t have an issue with it. Yes, M and N have similar sounds, but I think they’re often dropped off words in English. With names? At least I tend to pronounce them more…

I think this is particularly troublesome with letters prone to slurring or lisping. For example, S’s and R’s and F’s? Names like [name]Alice[/name] [name]Sanders[/name] and [name]Roger[/name] [name]Rourke[/name] and Khalif Farad spell trouble in my opinion. Names like [name]Caroline[/name] Nichols and [name]Phoebe[/name] [name]Baker[/name]? Less of a problem, but still maybe not perfectly ideal.

[name]Lemon[/name]