The perfect name will speak to your heart, give your child a great start in life and maybe even satisfy your relatives! But finding such a name is not always as easy as we hope. THE BABY NAME WIZARD was created by a name searching mom and uses groundbreaking research and computer generated models to pinpoint each name's image, examine its usage and popularity over the last one hundred years, and suggest other promising ideas.
Laura Wattenberg explains, "When the time came to choose a name for my second child, I set out to find a map of the name landscape. Name dictionaries were an obvious place to start, but names are far more than words. Knowing that Olivia comes from the Latin word for olive doesn't tell you that there will be three other Olivias on your block. And learning that Elmo has the same root at "helmet" doesn't clue you in that Elmo is a furry red Muppet. What I wanted wasn't a dictionary, but a practical guide to name fashions, history, and style."
Over the following years she compiled a huge database of name information. She developed computer models to spot trends and pick out names with similar styles. She knew she was on to something when she told one of her program models the names of her two daughters, and the top boy's match it suggested was the very name her husband and she had picked out for a boy.
The author shares her five rules of thumb for choosing a name, below. See our article in our Baby Names Cubby for a full explanation of Wattenberg's five rules.
- Personal taste isn't so personal - Don't be surprised to find someone else using the same name!
- All last names are not created equal - tips on how to and not to pair up first names with last names.
- All naming is local - expect to see more and more diversity!
- Other people's opinions matter - "You are just a trustee in this matter" (I love that!)
- Choose the name you would like to have yourself - Stop and give the name that final test.
THE BABY NAME WIZARD is not only an excellent research book, but also a "good read." You'll enjoy browsing through and learning little tidbits about each name, it's popularity, style, variants, suggested sister and brother names, and then a short commentary on the name's image, usage and cultural associations. The Baby Name Wizard will engage you from the first name you look up and keep you enchanted through your journey to the just-right name for your baby.
• The Baby Name Wizard at Amazon.com
• The Baby Name Wizard at Amazon UK
• The Baby Name Wizard at Amazon Canada