Top 3 Tips in Choosing A Good Name For Your Child

Or how to make sure your children don’t hate you in the future.

Agnes Louis
Jun 18 · 5 min read

I’m not a parent (yet). But sometimes, searching for a name for my beloved characters requires me to Google “Boys and Girls Names. I have often been bombarded with pages and pages of beautiful names and their beautiful meanings.

I have also came across quite a number of books written on the topic on choosing a name for babies but there seems to be quite a few important considerations missing from these articles and books.

So I took it upon myself to sum up what I think are the most important 3 items to consider before you decide a name for your little ones.

The top 3 tips to prevent future problem(s) for your children:

Consult with the elders in your family.

By consulting, I don’t mean asking for their opinions or permission. I mean…

AGUS.

I kid you not, that’s the name my grandmother registered me as, in a clinic when I was a child.

Agus is a male name in Indonesia for crying out loud.

The nurse had to call my name so many times before my mother, who came later after she finished her work, realized that her daughter had turned into a son in the clinic registry.

The story didn’t end there. Grace becomes ‘grease’, Nathan becomes ‘neyten’, Stanley becomes ‘tenli’, I can go on forever but you get the idea.

So here’s Advice #1:

Before you decide on a name for your precious baby, write a list of chosen names, take it to the elders in your family and make them read it one by one. Your child will thank you one day.

Where do you live?

This is another important consideration not entirely dissimilar to the previous point.

The case of Catherine versus Kathryn or in the Starbucks term, the case of Catherine with a ‘c’.

For some reasons I cannot fathom, people in Indonesia tend to spell my name with ’n’ in between the ‘a’ and the ‘g’. Honestly.

How on Earth can Agnes sounds like Angus?

My dearest people, I’m a person.

NOT A TYPE OF BEEF.

Advice #2:

Do a little research on the common names with easy spelling in your country. Everyone can probably spell Genevieve in France but not in Indonesia, for example.

Why should I always be the first?

I don’t know if they still do it in schools these days but back then, teachers used to call the students in alphabetical orders for things like exams and jabs.

Okay, some people like to be the first to be called just to get it over and done with. But some people just don’t.

What if you’re not ready for say, a singing exam (yes, I had singing exam back in school) but your name starts with ‘A’?

You just don’t have a bloody choice.

I used to hate it so much — having a name that starts with ‘A’ — that I vowed to just name my kid ‘X’ so that he or she would be the last called in exams and thus have more time to prepare (wow, I just unleashed my inner Asian mom thinking).

On the other hand, now that I’m a bit older, I have to admit that always being called first had shaped my character. I now like being called first because I can just get it done and over with instead of living in the famous anxiety hell (the period of time you have to wait for an inevitable thing you don’t really want to do but have to).

Advice #3:

I suppose it’s wise to opt for the middle way. Try to aim for the middle alphabet as an initial for your baby. This way, he/she will have enough time to see how things go before his/her turn but at the same time not too much time that he/she just explodes in anxiety attack.

BONUS: Please give your children a last name.

This is a special bonus for you for staying with me till the end.

Please, please, please GIVE YOUR CHILDREN A LAST NAME.

Louis is my family name. It should have been my last name. Emphasis on the word should.

Instead, I have only ‘Agnes’ in my passport and identification cards.

Do you know how difficult life can be for people with only one name?

Do you know how difficult it is for us to navigate a world that put so much importance on having a last name?

Please, let me enlighten you.

I used to study in England for a while. Do you know how important it is to have a last name in England?

My debit card, my student ID card, my memberships cards for various establishments, my bachelor degree certificate, EVERYTHING had Agnes Agnes written as my full name.

No it’s not a typo. Yes, Agnes, twice.

Agnes Agnes.

That’s my name in England.

Do you know how ridiculous that sound?

“Hi, nice to meet you. I’m Agnes Agnes.”

Oh, I’ve also got asked a lot of this question, “Your name is only Agnes? Like for real?

*Rolled my eyes to heaven*

“No, that’s not my actual name. I’m lying to you because I’m actually a secret agent working for the government. My mission is to dismantle an evil organization and my code name is Agnes. If I tell you my last name, I would have to kill you.”

Are you kidding me? Does bear shit in the wood?? Yes of course my name is only Agnes!

Bonus advice:

Whatever the circumstances are, always THINK LONG TERM.

Things you need to consider:
1. How will the name I’m about to give my child affect him/her for the rest of his/her life?

Actually, that’s all. That’s all you need to consider for the long term bit .

If all else fail and you end up being even more confused in choosing one out of so many beautiful names, you can (maybe) ask your child. Like (maybe) whisper the names you have in mind in your child’s little ears and see which one makes him/her smile or laugh.

Or maybe just combine all the names you like?

I mean, the longest name in the world belongs to a girl with over 1,000 letters in her name (that’s practically a short essay). She’s in Guinness World Records and had been invited to the Oprah Winfrey Show.

How awesome is that? You actually stand a chance to meet Oprah!

Pickle Fork

Letting creative juices flow.

Agnes Louis

Written by

Writer by heart. Teacher by trade. I teach English, Yoga and Pilates. Avid reader. World traveller. Model.

Pickle Fork

Letting creative juices flow.