Naming a much-hoped-for baby might seem like a walk in the park, but for many parents it’s a journey to the depths of compromise — one which they’re worryingly unprepared for.
Fortunately, we’ve got some helpful pointers on how to navigate the tricky bits and come out the other end feeling awesome and avoiding a baby called Figwit.
1. The Loch Ness stage
Also known as the “That is too a name stage” or “The Pluto stage”.
Perhaps this is ringing bells with you? The Loch Ness stage occurs when your partner suggests words like Burgim or Swinglow or Glipsted or Womblethwang as appropriate monikers for your impending bundle of joy. This insistence may be accompanied by furtive pointing at some medieval scroll or ancient, strobing Geocities page, and is often served with a generous dose of pleading-eyes and maybe a kilt.
Note that if your brain makes a bewildering twanging noise when your partner suggests a name, it might be a Loch Ness moment.
Back away and know that all ‘proof of existence’ will be slow-loading, blurry and groundless (and possibly haggis-tinged.) Just, no.
2. The ‘this baby is not a character from Game of Thrones/Lord of the Rings/Outlander’ stage
It’s super-easy to get swept up in the all-consuming drama that these epic shows – and books – portray so well, but that does not mean you should make lofty plans to call your newborn Figwit or Sassenach or Cersei. #StopItRightNow
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If you are the one threatening to bestow a folkloric fantasy name on your wee bairn, breathe into a paper bag.
If it’s your partner scribbling Hodor on the baby name shortlist, give him a bracing poke in the ribs and turn the TV off this instant.
3. The Ancestry.com stage
This stage is easy to spot, because it’s accompanied by squinting, furtive searching for dusty, old photo albums and wildly inaccurate explanations of family trees. Imaginary moustache-twirling or pipe-smoking may be involved too.
Names of relatives you never knew existed may be thrown around, along with pompous and earnest explanations about their important role in family/global history and why Eadwig is the best choice for the infant you’re about to welcome.
The Ancestry.com stage can often be averted by saying things like – “No. Eadwig is not a beautiful name. It’s something you find under the fridge, honey.”
4. The Dr Seuss stage
This stage can seem like a great idea, and Jamie and Jools Oliver exemplify its results perfectly.
The Dr Seuss stage happens when happy, strung-together words that are seemingly unrelated form an actual proposed name.
Buddy Bear, Daisy Boo and Poppy Honey, for instance, are all Oliver offspring and the unfortunate results of this Dr Seuss phase.
It’s surprising that neither One Fish, Two Fish Oliver, Green Eggs and Ham Oliver nor Hop on Pop Oliver have joined the ranks, as yet, but we note there are still a couple of baby-making years in the life of Jamie and Jools, to be had. We’re excited for what the future holds.
5. The my-way-or-the-highway stage
This stage is the trickiest of all. You and the other baby-maker, standing 20 paces apart, hands on hips, baby lists tucked in pockets, brow set, iron will activated.
When you’re in the ‘My Way or the Highway’ stage you are dead certain that your preferred name is the only possible choice for the little person, you are secretly making plans to overthrow the other, stupid name suggesting person and keep your perfectly, named-by-you baby all for yourself.
Luckily this moment is fleeting and you will soon remember why you hooked up with the other baby-maker and that it’s very hard to find lethal stretches of quicksand or rattlesnake-infested pits these days, anyway.
6. The parallel universe moment
If you’re going through this stage, your inner voice might be saying things like “WHO EVEN ARE YOU? Where is the delightful person I married/had sex with?” as your staring eyes bore a hole in your partner’s forehead.
You poor thing. It can be hard to imagine how your soulmate/baby dada/baby mama can think that Snooker or Esmeranderly are nice names for your beautiful new baby. Sometimes peoples’ minds mirror a cuckoo popping in and out of a little door.
The only thing that can snap popping-cuckoo-types out of these undesirable-naming behaviours is a disciplinary bucket of cold water. Metaphorical or not. The choice is yours.
7. The Frankenstein stage
This stage is denoted by its loosely-labelled “collaborative” approach. You take a little bit of this and a little of that and you’ve got a
monster perfect name for your new baby.
Perhaps it’s “your” chosen middle name and “their” name as baby’s first? Or it might be half of “you” and half of “them” cobbled together to make a whole new name?
Whichever it is, GOOD FOR YOU GUYS. We’ll just back away slowly and you keep on cuddling adorable little Beyonce Edna or Anast-ella or Christobastien over there.
8. The Rubiks Cube stage
This is the final triumphant stage when, after all that swivelling, switching and searching, everything makes sense.
It’s when all the sides finally match up and you’ve chosen a name that fits perfectly and feels snazzy.
If you and your partner have reached the Rubiks Cube stage you should high five yourselves. You’ve reached peak SMUG and you must press your lips together in a self-satisfied manner as you cradle your perfectly named progeny.
Achievement unlocked, guys.
If you’re still workshopping the naming of your baby and things are a bit flip-floppy or fraught, know that our thoughts are with you and we feel your feels. May you beat a speedy path to Rubiks Cube and find peace.
To paraphrase one Game of Thrones character, LittleFinger who you absolutely will not be naming your child after, “Chaos isn’t a pit, chaos is a ladder.”
May you climb out soon.
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