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Baby Name Books: The Lighter Side

by Jane Wangersky | November 20th, 2012 | Pregnancy

Baby name books have come a long way since they consisted of alphabetized lists found in tiny booklets in the checkout lane at the supermarket, or in the back of the unabridged dictionary. They’ve even come a long way since Beyond Jennifer and Jason. Now you can get whole books of boys’ names, girls’ names, Biblical names, literary names, numerological names and “cool” names, plus specific names from every country from Thailand to Serbia.

There are also books clearly meant to get you to lighten up on the subject (like The Expectant Geek’s Guide to Boy Names — 26 Names Your Wife Won’t Let You Use for Your Son, which Amazon’s description tells you won’t help you name your baby) and some that try both to help you choose a name and laugh a little while you do it.

I sampled a few of them on Kindle and thought I’d pass along some suggestions:

Hello, My Name is Pabst, by Miek Bruno and Kerry Sparks, talks about “poseur names” — nicknames not formed in the usual way. Instead of calling your Alexander Alex or Xander, they say, try “Lexan”. (I think it’s too late for me to start calling my kids Ichola and Ephe.)

“Most Harolds tend to marry women named Gladys,” says Don’t Name Your Baby: What’s Wrong with Every Name in the Book by David Narter. “So until Gladys picks up, you might want to stay away from this one or your boy will be lonely.” Surprisingly, Dave doesn’t cite his source for this fact.

Laura Wattenberg, author of The Baby Name Wizard, says it’s okay to get “namer’s remorse” and change your baby’s name after you see how family and friends react to it: “Perhaps they all said, ‘Oh, Ariel like in The Little Mermaid?‘ when you were thinking ‘Ariel like in The Tempest.’

As I wrote last time, pregnant women are always being advised to stay in a good mood, but that can be really hard at times. Reading one of these books could help you feel happier — and it just might even help you find the right name for your baby.

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