Should we go with Kaisley or Bajango? Oh wait, how about Muffet?Besides my severe case of poop-o-phobia, one of the things I stressed most about prior to becoming a parent was finding a decent name for our kid.
We absolutely had to pick the perfect name. Right?
I actually think we couldn't have had it more wrong. Naming a child does not have to be a big stressfest. Besides thinking up a few strategies for baby naming, the single most important thing you need to understand is what a name does.
And that's very little.
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As someone who works in good-for-the-world branding for a living, I am constantly struck by how little great logos and great brand names say about the companies they belong to. Mercedes is not called The Expensive Quality Car Company for a very good reason. Names and logos don't define a company. They don't explain it. They simply represent it. And by representing a brand over time, they become associated with what that company does. And that's how they become valuable.
The same can be said for a child's name.
Names aren't born perfect - they are made perfect by the child themselves. You can think of it like a little burr that travels with the child, collecting meaning as it travels through the world. If a child does good things, the name will feel good. If they don't, it won't. (There was a time when Adolf was a perfectly sensible boys name.) A name shouldn't seek to define who a child will be.
It should quite simply feel "right", and provide enough room for a child to make it their own.
Of course having some meaning doesn't necessarily hurt. But that meaning is often best when it is obscured. We're happy to call a child Max. But calling them "Great", which carries the same meaning, sounds a little arrogant. It is just worth remembering, as a colleague of mine wrote about company naming, that "the potential to become proprietary rises or falls inversely with the condition of being understood."
Ultimately, whatever naming strategy a family chooses is their own business, but I'd suggest that of all the things you want a child's name to be, one of the most important is that it is theirs. They can take ownership of it and make it their own.