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What's in a Name?

By Lee Hoskins

There are lists of things to "be aware of" as parents go to naming their little one. Things like "Name him this" or "Don't use John because it's too common" or "Don't pick that name because she will get made fun of". Some might also say, "You should name him after your great uncle Harvey." "Don't name her Susan because it means...," it's all a bunch of hype. Parents shouldn't get caught up in all the do's and don'ts. Parents need to just pick a name they like. If you like the way it sounds, and you like the name, you're done. That's it. It's the parent's responsibility and the parent's privilege to name their child, so they shouldn't give it up to anybody else.

It is a fact that as parents draw nearer to the day of delivery, they will find, everyone, even perfect strangers will come out of the woodwork, suggesting names. No worries, the parents of the upcoming newborn can get past this. All parents need to do is ignore these people. Sure, they should feel free to humor them by nodding their heads in an almost agreeable way, then, the parents just do what they were going to do in the first place. It's their kid. They decide what the name will be.

Another thing, some say don't give a child a common name. Pick something original. This idea is unrealistic. There are upwards of 6 billion inhabitants on this earth, and if a person thinks that they are not going to get some repetitions in names, they are lying to themselves. The parents need to pick a name that they like, even if it's Michael or John.

Also, a parent might be tempted not to pick a name because they think that their child will get made fun of. For example, a name that begins with certain letters, or a name that rhymes with mean words. It won't matter what the name is, every child will get made fun of. Everyone on the planet gets made fun of. Getting made fun of is part of life. So, parents shouldn't choose a name based on the meanness of other people. Most kids and lots of stupid adults are mean. It won't matter how much a parent tries to safe guard their child's name, mean people will be mean. So parents can't let this influence the name they choose

What about tacking on a family name? Like naming the child after Grandma Hazel or Grandpa Harold. This can also be a difficult decision. The grandparents of the child may push heavily for one of these names. The counsel to the parents, however, remains the same; if the parents like the name, use it. If the parents do not like the name, then the parents should nod their head with enthusiasm at the grandparents. Then, the parents should just pick a name that they like and tell the grandparents that it was a toss up between Harold and the real name.

Parents should also not worry about the meaning of their child's name. Nowadays names are just names. Not very many people know that Nicholas has Greek roots and means "victory of the people." Not very many people care. Your child will not be treated any different based on the meaning of their name. Parents should pick a name they like and go with it.

In the end does it really matter what their name is. The author of this article's name is Lee and for most of his life, his family and friends called him everything but Lee. Even when he was little, his family made up names for him. Growing up he thought his name was "little Lee", because that's what everyone called him. In school, mean little kids called him "Lee go Pee". As He got older he got more names. Some called me Leeroy, others Leonard, others Leeland, He was even called WEEboy for a while. Nobody cared that his name means "the side of an island sheltered from the storms." Nobody cared that his great grand father, grandfather and father all carry this name. His parents just liked it and it stuck. And that is what parents should do. Pick a name they like and they are done.


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