Bayo Ajibola

What’s in a Child’s Name

One last task you will have to have done before you head to the hospital for delivery is picking a name for your child. After all how long will you call him baby? Choosing a name is a cut and dried process for some people considering the rules are already laid down (like the first boy has to be named after the paternal grandfather) but for some there is a little more leeway.

Having the freedom to choose any name actually makes the work a little harder because the list is endless. You probably have preferences and just need to narrow down to one name. Before you make that final choice here are a few things you should consider.

It’s theirs, not yours

Just because you love a name doesn’t mean your baby should have it. Otherwise you would find many babies named chocolate or cookie. You don’t have the privilege of asking them in advancewhether they would like it or not so you have to be wise about it.

What does it mean?

Different names have different meanings and some nice names have not so nice meanings. It is said that the meaning of the name you give to your child will somehow infuse into the child’s character as they grow up.

It may or may not be true but do you want to take the risk and give your child a name that means pai or rejected? Probably not. Thanks to the internet you can now run a search and find out the different meanings of the name you would like and you will be able to make an informed choice. Your baby will thank you for not naming them after an ogre when they are all grown up.

Tongue twister

If your last name is long and complicated it would be better for your child to have a simpler first name. Giving your child a long first name will make it seem like the child is reading out a sentence while he was just halfway through his second name.

Does it age well?

It is so cute when a baby is called Coco or Candy but how would it sound in her teens, her thirties, her fifties? Would it give people a funny impression of her? Would she always have to explain herself out of a situation? Will she have to work extra hard to convince people to take her seriously?


Consider how all your baby’s three names will turn out if they were abbreviated. Ann Susan Smith and Seth Liam Owen Barnes will not want to reveal their full names to anyone for the duration they will be alive.

Possible nicknames

You will have given your child a very pretty name but wait till he gets to school-going age and he comes back home wanting a name-change because his classmates tease him a lot about it. Try and think of all the possible nicknames that could be derived from it and put yourself at ease knowing that even though your kid may be teased in class (it happens a lot) it will not be about the name you chose.

You can find out how it will sound by saying it out loud together with all the other names you intend on calling your child. Does it sound pleasing to you or a little harsh? Don’t give in to pressure to name your child Slakovstik just because that was your great grandfather’s name.

Family and friends will come with also come with their own suggestions as well but you do not have to accept them. You can politely say thanks, but no thanks and cross it off your list. You can also just smile at the suggestion and let it slide. Remember that your child will have to live with the name you choose for a very long time so choose wisely.

Bayo Ajibola

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