The List

CompBKNames72So talking about “the list” got me thinking about the lists I’ve used in the past to name my children. Today being March 4th got me thinking about marching forth and doing all the things I’ve been planning to do for a long time but haven’t done for no real reason except I don’t much feel like doing them.

As an aside, my house is clean right now. Freakishly clean. It has been for over 24 hours and the children have even been allowed to roam freely about the house at times. You could eat off my kitchen floor – but please don’t.

Back to the list. A couple or 10 months ago, Sourcebooks sent me a copy of their new baby name book, The Complete Book of Baby Names for my review. It wasn’t until I got the lovely comment encouraging my children to jump off a bridge because of their misfortunate internet pseudonyms that I felt a burning need to check this authoritative list and let you know what I think of it.

First I will tell you that I’m very picky when it comes to baby name books. I flipped through no less than 15 before deciding which 2 to bring home when I was naming poor unfortunate little Magoo. It was really hard to find a book that was both complete and interesting so I settled for one of each.

The Complete Book of Baby Names attempts to do both, providing interesting and eclectic lists and a huge bank of 100,000+ plus names with brief explanations of their origins. It also provides enough baby naming guidance to send any perspective parent into convulsive fits, twitching on the floor and deciding to forget it all and name the baby after the epidural salesman.

There are a couple of things this book is lacking. While it contains lists like “Pirate Names”, “MTV Names”, “Patriotic Names”, “Farmers” and “Geniuses”, there is no index so if I decide to name my next child Juwon, I will have no way of knowing that this is considered an “Urban Name” unless I read through all 276 lists to see if it’s on one of them.

At almost 700 pages in length, the book’s main problem is that it’s very much like me. It tries so hard to do everything that it doesn’t end up doing anything perfectly. The gazillion name origins are a little brief. The fabulous lists are un-indexed and the vast section of things to consider when naming your little darling is a tad overwhelming.

That being said, if you’re going to choose one baby name book and get the most bang for your buck, this is a good one to go with. It’s more complete and helpful than any other single book I’ve seen out there and short of turning it into an OED-style multi-volume set, I’m not sure there’s much more the author Lesley Bolton could pack in.

Now a quick peek into my twisted mind. Although I have yet to conceive my next child or really even seriously think about it, I’ve already been thinking of internet names for him. If he’s a boy, I’m thinking Kip. If it’s a girl, I may go with Wanda.

Laylee, Magoo, Kip and Wanda Daring. Only half of the names are on “the list”, not that I’m keeping score.

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16 Responses to The List

  1. Kimberly says:

    Hee hee…lovin’ Wanda…Kip brings back bad childhood memories though. I’ll save that story for another time…when it’s not five minutes past my bedtime.

    Love your review…really got across what potential readers would want to know. I’m a ways away from baby number three myself, but I love flipping through books like that and compiling my “List”. I have to keep it in my head because if I scribbled it down anywhere and my husband were to find it…

    Well, let’s just say there are heart problems in his family. =P

  2. Did you really get a comment telling your children to jump off a bridge??

  3. Karen says:

    Wow…I’m with Shannon…did someone really say that?? It seems I remember you commenting about that in an earlier post (a week or two ago), but still…

  4. Tune in with the Darings next week, as Laylee dresses Kip as a ballerina and Magoo tries to flush Wanda down the toilet. I think I’m going to create an animated series of your family, just based on the names. I changed one of mine, cause my mom didn’t like “Gozer.” It’s fine if random people on the internet don’t like it, but grandmas…

  5. Farm Wife says:

    I used to call B.B. #2 Son, but decided he might object when old enough…

    We have a goat named Wanda (we also have a Timmy, Cosmo, Bluebelle, Milo, & Otis). I figure with all the critters around here, I can use all the names Husband vetoed for the kids…not that I ever really wanted to name my child Cosmo.

  6. Erin says:

    I like your kids internet pseudonyms. Much cuter then when people just use the first letter of a name or their age.

  7. Karen says:

    Are you sure you don’t want to call her Lafawnda?

  8. Here’s the real issue Mrs DYM: is this book the authorized Official List of Official Acceptable Names for Childrenâ„¢? Hmm?.
    “Pirate Names”, “MTV Names”? really? what is a pirate name? ARRty?

  9. PS. Kip Daring has a nice ring to it. I approve.

  10. bon says:

    Hmmm… does the list contain names like LaLa, Birdie and Pearl?… If not, I’d ask for my money back if I were you.

  11. heather says:

    I like that their internet names really don’t indicate what their real names are. At least in the case of Laylee (as I don’t know what Magoo’s real name is, but if we end up moving to Tacoma, I will definitely stalk you and find out!). When you mailed me something with her real name on it, I was surprised that it was not a name that I would have guessed, as it had nothing similar with Laylee, except maybe a few letters.

    So, inspired by you, I stopped referring to my children by their initials and went for some off the wall “names” as well. The Nut & Tiny Toes.

  12. Margaret says:

    For a good time with baby names, check out a little book called “Don’t Name Your Baby.” It gives you all the reasons why you SHOULDN’T name your child any name.


  13. Margaret says:

    P.S. But don’t let it make you hate your parents for the name they gave you. I don’t know if this book, or “The List,” for that matter, existed back then.

  14. I love a baby name book! The only thing that was wrong with the one we have bought over and over for our children naming is that it didn’t give pronunciations. I have to guess how to pronounce Trygve. Mmmhmmm. Well, being Norwegian, I think I know, but how many people would know about Ole? Someone could think it is Ol’ like that ol’ shoe, instead of Oh, Lee.
    So, if pronunciations are included, I just may purchase that book for our next little bundle, even though bundle #8 is not concieved yet, and already named, lol. Trygve Thor or Larkin Isobel

  15. Erin Marie says:

    I was actually given a baby names book for my bridal shower. It was one my best friend and I had spent awhile in WalMart looking at, so it made me smile. It also has lists, although i never thought that an index would be helpful, although i should have. Also, it only has 50,001+ names, so it’s far inferior. i threw a baby shower for a friend, and I pulled it out. We had fun suggesting odd names. Since three of us have SOs that are gamers, Zelda made us smile. I think I’ll have to go with that one.

  16. KYouell says:

    Late to the party (as usual), but I like names with a certain significance. If the soon-to-be-born Cupcake had been a boy she would have been named Logan, after the city in Utah we stayed in overnight while driving home at the end of last summer’s vacation. The Hampton Inn has some really comfy beds. 😉

    As it is The Cupcake is getting a first name that came to me out of the blue while I was driving (as far as I’m concerned she named herself), and a middle name that was my grandma’s.

    The Biscuit’s name is almost exactly Hubby’s name reversed — swapped first for middle name and middle for first. And I didn’t even know I’d done it at the time.

    Oh, and their internet nicknames are because my husband thought it was too mundane to say I had a “bun in the oven” so he always said I had a “biscuit in the oven.” I picked Cupcake this time to keep the bakery theme going.

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