What are some rules/tips you have (personally or in general) when it comes to naming a child?
My rules personally:
1. Gender specific names strongly preferred. I have gotten a lot of flack for this one, but I cringe at masculine names and surnames for girls (James, Elliot, Maxwell, George, Charlie, Wyatt, Aubrey, Mason, Quinn, Sloan/Sloane, Avery, Sawyer, Payton/Peyton, Tyler/Taylor/Tanner, Parker, Spencer, Addison/Madison). More so if they're respelled to "feminize" them.
As for "unisex" names, I almost always prefer them for boys, but there are a few that I don't mind for girls: Sasha, Erin, Meredith, Jules (as a nickname for Julia or Juliana/Julianna), Ariel (prefer Arielle). Kelly, Dana, Shannon, and Robin are okay too, but they feel fresher on the boys' side.
2. No names that people give to their pets like Fifi or Coco, brand names, cars, drugs, food/drinks, titles, or words as names (especially something like Danger or Maverick).
3. Nothing like Adolf, Fidel, Judas, or Lucifer. Too strongly associated with evil people/figures.
4. No names obviously tied to pop culture, particularly made up ones like Maeby (too close to "maybe"), Renesmee, or Khaleesi. I could never picture an actual adult with those names.
5. Most names ending in the -lyn or -lee sounds, or trendy names are a no-no. I don't find names like Olivia, Emma, Benjamin, or Jacob trendy btw. Those are classic names that are just very popular.
6. No "kre8tive" spellings, pretty much anything respelled with Y's (unless it's an international variant. Some Polish and Russian names are spelled with Y's), or unnecessary letters or punctuation. I am fine with minor spelling variations like Catherine/Katherine or Victor/Viktor. Also, no pronunciations that don't make sense phonetically.
7. Names must age well. Braelyn (or any spelling of it), Jaelyn/Jaylin/Jaylen, Paisley, Brooklyn, Rainbow/Reignbeau, Rocket, Chance, Blade, Rowdy, and Boomer sound silly for an adult.
8. No Paris, London, Egypt/Cairo, China, Phoenix, Bristol, Trenton, Camden, Dallas, Boston, Alaska, Bronx, etc... A lot of place names give off the impression that you're trying too hard to be hip. But I like Florence, Geneva, Alexandria, Georgia, Aurora, Odessa, and Siena (I prefer the Sienna spelling).
1. Avoid using stage names as given names. Let your kids choose them for themselves when they're playing pretend or when they grow up and decide to get jobs in the entertainment industry such as acting, music, dance, modeling, fashion, or comedy.
2. Be careful with names that are hard to live up to like Aristotle or Mozart. If you must use them, it's best to stick them in the middle or use them as nicknames. Or use a variation.
3. Beware of unfortunate initials.
4. Avoid anything that's unreasonably long or contains numbers or special characters, or may cause embarrassment for the child.
5. Don't give siblings rhyming names or names that are too match-y, especially twins, triplets, and other multiples. They are individuals too and they need to have their own identities. Samuel and Stella sound great together, but Holly and Hailey/Haley are too close.
6. Consider whether or not a name's meaning is important to you.