Advice Column, Parenting

What Is In A Name?

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Well if you look at all the baby naming sites it can tell you what type of person your baby will be, what colours they will like blah blah. I believe that your personality is not decided by the name someone else gives you, but I also believe that deciding on a name should not be taken lightly.

It can be a daunting task to select a baby name and I would like to suggest a few methods that I found very helpful.

Don’t be selfish. You might not be happy with your own name and as such you might have the inclination to give your child an ‘interesting’ name, e.g. North West. Keep in mind that your child is the one that has to carry their name for the rest of their lives, they are the ones that will have to stand up to ridicule if you name them Cinnamon. So if you are not going with family names try and keep it simple and practical.

Shorter is easier. I come from an Afrikaner family and it is our tradition to pass on family names. If my mother did not put her foot down I would have been known as Dawid Frederik Christiaan. Drikus is a lot easier on the tongue and luckily my mother had the sense to realise this. Don’t get me wrong I am a firm believer in tradition but instead of just following it, try and embrace your tradition family name by giving it a twist. My name for instance was derived from Frederik. So while still keeping with a tradition to name the first born son starting with a ‘D’ and using one of the traditional family names my mother still managed to make my name unique and keep the family happy. Her philosophy was to try and keep our names to six letters or under.

Ask. This might seem simple but ask your family what they think of a name you have chosen or perhaps to give suggestions. My sister for instance gave various family members a list of names that she was undecided about and requested we ‘vote’ on our favourite and so my god child received a beautiful name.

Say the name. My lovely fiancé gave me this idea. When trying to decide on a name use the name as often as possible when referring to your baby or when talking to them. I talk to Jandri on a daily basis. This method helped us immensely as we were uncertain about a few names and could easily eliminate almost 50% of them as they just did not sound right after using them in conversation for about a week each.

They are not a baby forever. Keep in mind that a name that sounds cute when your child is a toddler might not be so cute when they are 23 and doing job interviews. So once again try and remain practical.

In the end it remains your choice as parents and be careful of being pressured into a name by family and friends. Everyone is allowed an opinion but it remains your choice in the end.

We thought it better to follow a more traditional route and combine our names. After various variations and suggestions from friends and family we have decided our little princess will be known to the world as Jandri. Jani + Drikus = Jandri

To me she will always and forever be my little princess, but that is a dad’s privilege.

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  • upasna April 4, 2016 at 7:36 am

    I did try one of the idea- “Say it” and I figured out a name which will not be an odd one, even when he will be a Grandfather.
    Nice article! Love to see a parenting article from a Father.


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