Tips to Finding the Names You Love?

Just curious what things people have done or suggest to do when you cannot seem to find “the” name, or any names that you feel particularly connected enough to give to your baby? (Other than the obvious “go on nameberry!”) I don’t necessarily have this problem for myself right now but know that many do. Or, I think if I were having a baby right now I think this is the position I’d be in. So I just thought I’d ask, both out of curiosity and in the chance that it might help others. What things have worked for you or someone you know to get to that place?

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I am into names so I see them everywhere. In movie credits or playgroups for example. So I find I easy to discover names everywhere around me.
As for trying to sort though all the names to find one special one that feels right to you, I would suggest first trying to work out what you want in a name and what is most important.
As in is easy spelling important to you? Familiarity? Popularity? cultural/heritage links?modern and stylish? A name that stands out or fits in? do you want it honor anyone? [name_f]Do[/name_f] you want it to be an easy down to earth nickname or have a formal version? Unisex? Is there siblings and is it important that the name goes? [name_f]Do[/name_f] you mind repeating initals? How does the surname limit the name options in terms of length and rhyme sounds ect. Consider what is a must and what would be nice to have.
Then I think it is much easier to look at long lists and sort which ones are going to fit best with what you are looking for rather than having no idea but hoping you will know it when you see it.

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For me, the story behind a name and it’s meaning is what makes it special to me and makes me fall in love with names in the first place. Meanings are incredibly powerful, i.e. [name_f]Belinay[/name_f] (“reflection of the moon on a lake”), and can instantly change how I view a name, regardless of how it sounds. Namesakes from history, mythology, literature, fairytales, etc., can really make you feel connected to a name as well. So, meanings and namesakes are very important to me in my naming process, as well as links to my ancestry. :slightly_smiling_face: This is just my personal experience, of course.

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I’ve never named a baby, so take this with a grain of salt! But here are some places I’ve found names I love, and common threads I’ve heard in “how I got my name”/“how I named my baby” stories…

  • Family tree (as far back as you have access to!)
  • Book characters, TV/movie characters
  • Names in songs or titles of songs
  • Place names: some are obvious, but think smaller scale too (maybe the street you grew up in, your mom’s home town, the restaurant where you went on your first date, a favorite local hiking spot, etc.)
  • Word names/nature names
  • Subtle honor names (your grandma’s favorite flower, your dad’s birthstone or birth month, etc.)
  • Overhearing names at the coffee shop, doctor’s office, or pretty much any public place
  • Scrolling on Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest, etc. (search “baby names”)
  • [name_u]Read[/name_u] birth announcements (maybe in the local newspaper, on NB, on other name blogs, etc.)

Often the key to helping a name stick for me is it having a good meaning or backstory, and a lot of these sources naturally help with that!

If none of these sources were drumming up anything you loved, I’d say to write down any and all names that you at least sort of liked and then use a tool like NB to search for similar names (available towards the bottom of most names’ entries on the site). Write down what you like from the similar names, then search for similar names for those names, etc.!

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Keep an open mind to names, styles, and so on that aren’t normally something you’d consider.

Don’t feel like every name has to have some elaborate back story to it and why you chose it. [name_m]Just[/name_m] liking it is enough. I wish I would’ve learned this a long time ago myself because I’ve gotten very stressed trying to find something meaningful for my kids’ names.

I don’t get out of my house too much and don’t have cable tv but I’ve found names:

At the library, store, zoo, etc
Obituaries and graveyards
Family tree
Movie credits

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