Your Trusted Resource
60,001 Best Baby Names is the essential resource you need to find the perfect name for your baby. This invaluable book includes not only Hollywood's latest picks (think Monroe and Bear) and modern trends in baby naming, but also thousands of classic and traditional names that even Grandma will like. Creative lists, indispensable information, and thousands of options will help you choose the right name for your baby.
Over 60,001 names, with meanings, origins, and derivations
Over 200 thought-provoking lists
The most popular names for boys and girls (and twins!)
Worksheets for parents to list their favorites
Hollywood's hottest names
Ethnic names from around the world
Diane Stafford is the author of twelve books, including the #1 bestselling 50,001 Best Baby Names. She lives in California.
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About the Author
Author of the wildly popular books 40,001 Best Baby Names and 50,001 Best Baby Names, magazine editor (five times running) and book editor. Diane Stafford has 25 years of experience in writing and editing-but nothing has rivaled the indecent amount of fun involved in turning out a third edition, called 60,001+ Best Baby Names, with 10,000 more names for readers.
Adding names from numerous sources, including radio talk-show listeners who called in when Stafford did first edition interviews, this high-energy author gamely enlarged the scope of a book already filled with great names, fun anecdotes, and baby-naming tips.
"Today people are more creative than ever when it comes to naming their babies," notes Stafford. "Though it may be hard to believe, the fact is, every name in this book belongs to someone out there-even ones as off-the-wall as Dijonaise, Zero, and Oddrun. Although the traditional favorites like Emma and Joshua still reign supreme, lots of people enjoy making up names for their kids, thus adding to the huge universe of options. While name inventing is controversial- people even talk about it at cocktail parties-my feeling is that you have every right to relish choosing a name for your baby. Sure, take it seriously, but not too seriously."
Stafford adds, "Having a baby is absolutely the most wonderful thing that can happen to a person, and I hope this book reflects my enormous respect for parents and my celebration of the special privilege of parenting."
Living with her husband, Civil Court judge Greg Munoz,in sunny Newport Beach, California, Stafford-a transplant from Houston, Texas-writes and edits books. Her published books include:Migraines For Dummies, Potty Training For Dummies, The Encyclopedia of STDs, No More Panic Attacks, 1000 Best Job-Hunting Secrets, The Vitamin D Cure (with Jim Dowd, M.D.) and her latest, 60,001 Best Baby Names. Four of these books were co-authored with Stafford's daughter, Jennifer Shoquist, M.D.; her job-hunting book co-author was Moritza Day.
Read an Excerpt
Excerpt from Chapter 1: Tips for Naming Your Baby
Ten Great Tips for Successful Baby-Naming A "set of rules" can ratchet up your confidence. If you don't really need a framework, just read the following tips as a fun diversion.
Here are ten steps for naming your baby:
1. Consider the sound-does it work with your last name?
When the full name is said aloud, you want something that has a nice ring, not a tongue-twister or a rhyme. You may find that a long last name jibes best with a short first name; by the same token, put a long first name with a short last name, and you may have a winner. The union of a first name ending in a vowel paired with a last name that starts with a vowel is not the greatest choice. For example: Ava Amazon. It's just hard to say. Puns aren't good omens for a happy life, either. Look at the infamous Ima Hogg name of a Houston philanthropist. If the poor woman wasn't burdened enough, she also had to deal with lifelong rumors of a sister named Ura.
2. Know exactly what happens when you give your baby a crowd-pleaser name.
Give your kid a common name, and she'll probably end up Sarah B. in a classroom with six Sarahs. She may be comfortable with the anonymity that a plain-Jane name lends her-considering it far better than being the class Brunhilda, who gets ridiculed daily. Or she may ask you every other day of her childhood why you weren't more original in naming her: "Why did you give me the same name fifty million other kids have? Why couldn't you have come up with something better? Why didn't you take more time?"
3. Think seriously about the repercussions of choosing a name that's over-the-top inuniqueness.
You are definitely sticking your neck out by giving your child the name Rusty if your last name is Nail. Sure, he may muster up enough swagger to pull it off, but what if he doesn't? Lots of people with unusual or hard-to-spell last names will purposely opt for a simple first name for their child just to ease the load of having two names to spell over and over. Some research suggests that kids with odd names get more taunting from peers and are less well socialized. You can be sure that junior-high kids will make fun of a boy named Stone, but later, as an adult, he may enjoy having an unusual name. Just make sure you don't choose a "fun" name simply because you like the idea of having people praise your creativity-instead, ask yourself how your child will feel about being a Bark or a Lake.
4. Ponder the wisdom of carrying on that family name.
Aunt Priscilla did fine with her name, but how will your tiny tot feel in a classroom full of Ambers and Britneys? Extremely old-fashioned names sometimes make their way back into circulation and do just fine, but sometimes they don't. (Will we really ever see the name Durwood soar again?)
5. Consider the confusion that is spawned by a namesake.
A kid named after a parent won't like being "Junior" or "Little Al." Ask anyone who has been in that position about the amount of confusion it generates about credit cards and other personal I.D. information. You'll spend half your life unraveling the mix-ups. Psychiatrists (many of them juniors themselves) will tell you that giving a child his very own name is a much better jump-start than making him a spin-off or a mini-me. At the same time, we have all run across someone who absolutely loves being Trey or a III because the name represents tradition and history.
6. Make your family/background name an understudy (the middle name).
Let's say you want your baby's name to reflect family heritage or religion, but you strongly prefer more mainstream names. You can fill both bills by using the ancestral name as a middle name.
7. Ponder whether the name's meaning matters to you.
For some people, knowing a name's meaning is extremely important-often much more so than its origin. Your child could turn out to be the type who loves investigating such things. So what happens when that offspring of yours finds out that her name, Delilah, means "whimpering harlot guttersnipe"? She may wish you had taken a longer look at the name's baggage.
8. Look at shortened versions of a name and check out initials.
Don't think your child's schoolmates will fail to notice that his initials spell out S.C.U.M.
And you can be sure that Harrison will become "Harry" or, occasionally, "Hairy." View the teasing as being as much a given as school backpacks-and think twice about whether you want to give your child's peer group something they can really grab onto. Tread lightly. Naming always starts with good intentions, but you can do your kid a favor by considering each name-candidate's bullying potential.
9. After you've narrowed your list, try out each name and see how it feels.
Say, "Barnabus Higgins, get yourself over here!" Or, "Harrison Higgins, have you done your homework?" Or, "Hannibal Higgins, would you like some fava beans?"
10. Once you and your mate have decided on a name, don't broadcast it.
You may want to keep your chosen name a secret, otherwise relatives and friends are likely to share all of their issues with the name accompanied by a long string of other, "better" options. Another possibility is that people will start calling the unborn baby that name, which will be unfortunate if you happen to find another you like better.
Table of Contents
Introduction Part One: Tips for Naming Your Baby Part Two: How Names Shape Our Lives Part Three: Choosing Names that Project Success Part Four: 222 Fun Lists Part Five: Boys Part Six: Girls Bibliography About the Author