by: Julie Parker
Getting ready for a new baby can be exciting, exhausting, and exhilarating all at once. One of the most challenging obstacles for new parents can be choosing a baby name. A name will identify your child throughout their life, people will form opinions about your child based solely on their name, and the name you choose will also play a role in molding your child's personality and behavior. Learning baby name meanings is a good first step in narrowing your choices.
Biblical and Hebrew Names
Biblical and Hebrew names are probably the most popular names in the United States. Michael is consistently one of the most popular name for boys. In 2004 it was second, with the other four top five boy's names in order being Jacob, Joshua, Matthew, and Ethan. The origins for all are biblical or Hebrew. Biblical names for girls also endure consistent popularity with Hannah, Abigail, and Samantha being in the top ten most popular. Sarah, Rebecca, and Jessica also have enduring usage.
It is sometimes possible to "date" someone by knowing when their name was popular, especially for fad names that are used for only a short period of time due to the current popularity of a singer, movie star, or fictional character. Consider Marilyn, Jacquelyn, and Shirley, all examples of names that became popular for brief periods because of public figures. Another source of old-fashioned sounding names is classic literature.
Baby name meanings are often less important in vintage names, since usually the original meaning is secondary to the cultural associations. Girl's names seem to be more subject to trends and fads, as well, with boy's names changing less. For old fashioned names, look to your grandparents or great-grandparents, books, and movies from the era you would like a name from.
Choosing a name based on your ancestry can be a way of showing pride in your heritage and passing that on to your child. Names from other cultures can also be a way of giving your child a less common name, but without some of the negative associations that can come with making one up. You can look to other languages for different spellings of common names, too. Using a common name in a foreign language can result in a distinctive name for your child, for instance the Swedish Mattias instead of Matthew.
Another option for a distinctive name is to use family names. Find out what your grandparent's or great-grandparent's middle names are. Using a mother or grandmother's maiden name can be a way of providing a unique identity for your child while preserving family ties and heritage.
Choosing a unisex name can be an easy compromise rather than coming up with a "boy name" and a "girl name", but it is rarely necessary now that most expecting parents know the gender of their child before birth. Unisex names can seem stylish and clever, but be aware that gender confusion can upset children. It's a safer choice to give a unisex name like Mackenzie, Tracy, or Morgan to a girl. It is more accepted for women to go by seemingly masculine names than for men to go by feminine sounding names. Plenty of girls with feminine names like Samantha or Maxine may even go by shortened forms that are male names like Sam and Max.
Choosing a Baby Name They Can Be Proud of
About The Author
Julie Parker is a successful writer and publisher providing valuable tips and advice on finding the top baby names, unusual baby names, and baby name meanings. http://www.about-baby-showers.com.