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A Name is Forever

(FeatureSource) Did you know that many people think girls named Victoria are stately, rich and conservative? Or that the moniker “Rachel” now conjures an image of a blonde, well-coiffed “Friend” also known as Mrs. Brad Pitt?

Naming a child is one of the first and most important decisions a parent will make. The birth name will stay with a child throughout his or her life unless, of course, the child feels compelled to change it in adulthood. In addition, many believe that names have significant influence on a child’s personality and development.

To assist expecting parents in their search for the perfect moniker, there are several online tools that can help. Americanbaby.com, for example, provides a tool called “Baby Names” that guides site visitors to the different meanings and origins of almost any name.

Expecting parents interested in finding a name that reflects certain personality traits or physical attributes can search “Baby Names” to put a name with a face or character. For example, if you want your child’s name to be associated with the “popular” trait you may want to name your daughter Bobbie, Cassie, Ella, Joy or Kimberly (for a complete listing of all “popular” trait names go to americanbaby.com). If you want your son associated with the “creative” trait you might want to consider the following names: Jay, Kirby, Nicholas, Ricky, Terry or Wally.

Others looking for (or trying to avoid) a celebrity tie-in can also find information about famous people who are associated with a particular name. For example, celebrity associations with the name Tom include: Tom Cruise, Tom Hanks and Tom Selleck.

Site visitors may also browse lists of names, searching by first letter, gender, and/or origin. For parents who are not sure where to start, americanbaby.com’s “Baby Names” provides top 10 lists of the most popular names for both boys and girls.

“It is important to think a name through and not make a spur of the moment decision,” said Bruce Lansky, author of 'The Baby Name Survey Book.' "It is also important for both parents to like the name. Create a list of names that are appealing to both the mother and father.”

Still stumped for a baby moniker? Americanbaby.com offers a “Name Style Quiz” that allows expecting parents to take a personality test and find out what kind of baby names best suit their personality traits.

An online forum is also available for users to post thoughts and comments about specific names. Americanbaby.com’s experts also give parents-to-be their own list of things to consider. The experts’ questions include:

  1. What are the initials? Caitlin Olivia Wells, for example, would probably never monogram her towels.
  2. Does it rhyme? Just imagine what kids could do with a name like Randall Crandall.
  3. Have you spell-checked it? Remember that an original spelling of an old standard (Catherine as Kathourynne, for example) can look ditzy or pretentious to outsiders. Also, do you really want to burden your child with correcting everyone she meets?
  4. What's the nickname? Everyone's going to want to shorten Bartholomew or Barnabas. So if you're not wild about Bart or Barney, keep looking.

For expecting parents, online resources such as “Baby Names” can make at least this one aspect of parenthood easy.

See Also:

How to Pick a Name That You and Your Baby Will Like
What’s in a name? Everything! Naming your baby is a huge task, and parents-to-be can use expert advice. Baby name guru Bruce Lansky offers advice on how to find the perfect name for your baby.

Celebrities' Babies' Names
My advice to parents. Pick a name that will give your child a head start in life - a name your child will feel good about that will make a positive impression on others.

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