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Is My Dream Name Just a Dream?

I have had a recurring dream that my son’s name is Astro. I like it but I am unsure if I should use it. I plan on using Michael or James somewhere in his name. Should I use Astro because of the dream, or just pick a different name altogether?

--Stargazing Mom-to-Be

I can see why Astro appeals. Having a name come to you in a dream feels like fate: a sign that can’t be ignored, or at least an awesome “How-I-got-my-name” story for your son. Plus it’s got that cool –o ending along with its starry sensibility.

But I’d advise you to keep your head out of the clouds on this one—at least a little. Let’s say you’re the kind of person who believes strongly in finding messages in dreams. Do you take them literally? Or do you believe they offer hints and guidance, but not explicit direction?  Suppose you dreamed that you drove a car covered in lizard skin. You wouldn't launch a car makeover, right? Maybe you’d just take the hint that it's time to wash your car. More seriously, you might ask yourself if you've been acting snaky-sneaky with people around you...or if you needed a thicker skin against criticism.

From the tone of your letter, it seems that you wouldn't have considered the name Astro at all if it we'ren't for the power of the dream. If that's so, consider looking deeper and asking yourself what that dream name could represent.

Perhaps you’re dreaming that your baby will be a star, soaring sky-high in whatever endeavor he chooses to pursue. Maybe you hope he’ll be curious like an astronomer or brave like an astronaut. Maybe the shining star represents the light he'll be in your life. In those cases, you don’t necessarily need the name Astro. You could respond to that dream and all it represents in a less literal way.

Some other starry names to consider that would work well with the two classics on your list, Michael and James:

· Orion (a constellation)

· Leo (an astrological sign)

· Sky (or Skyler, or Schuyler)

· Caelum (a constellation)

· Sterling (from the Old English for "little star")

· Stellan (a Swedish name that resembles the English "stellar")


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January 20, 2014 12:53 PM
By Jay (not verified)

Astro is a horrible name. Kids don't get teased for their names as often these days, but when a name starts with that particular sound it will be unavoidable.

Orion is a good name and he can be nicknamed Ry.

January 20, 2014 1:20 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I like Astro. You could definitely use it as a middle name paired with a more common and classic first name.

January 20, 2014 2:54 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Astro is the dog on the Jetsons. Please don't name your son after a cartoon dog.

January 20, 2014 9:08 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

What about using Astro as the middle name instead? That way you still get the cool dream name story, without making it the center of attention.

Your son could get heartily tired of the "my mom saw my name in a dream" explanation through his life. Might seem cute when he's 2, not so cute when he's 52.

I actually think Astro is a really cool middle name.

January 21, 2014 12:48 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

All I can think about is the dog on The Jetsons, but really, Astro is not that bad. We already have the female name Astrid, so Astro doesn't sound odd. It also works wrll as a middle name. James Astro sounds great.

January 21, 2014 12:59 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

My naming philosophy is very much "unusual names are better as middle names". That way, you get to name your child something that is offbeat but personally meaningful, and your child can choose whether to hide it or put it on full display later in their life. James Astro and Michael Astro both sound good to me (although you will get questions about the Jetsons and the Houston Astros, so be prepared!!)

January 21, 2014 1:52 PM
By Chrispy (not verified)

I concur with Anonymous. If you love Astro and you feel like it is a sign, use it in the middle. Even as a middle, you (then he) will be constantly asked if it has to do with the Jetsons, the Houston Astros or possibly just love of Astronomy & the people who don't ask, unfortunately, will probably assume that they know why you chose the name. Unusual names are rather common right now but Astro is a little more on the fringes than most. You could also use Astro as a nickname which would give you the option of keeping it or not, using it or not.

January 21, 2014 2:01 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Name your child what feels right to you. You don't need other people's advice. Every name is loved by some and hated by others.

January 21, 2014 2:03 PM
By Teddy O'Malley (not verified)

I felt the same way the first time I had a name dream, but then they kept coming. I first had a dream that I had a 3-year-old daughter and when I picked up her necklace it had her name on it. Serena.

The second was a dream I was pregnant and gave birth to a tiny little boy named Spencer.

The third dream, my mother got pregnant but didn't want a fourth child so I adopted her (as my mother's grandchild) and named her Grace Evangeline.

All of the names are names I either heard or had some connection with in real life at some point. Serena was a friend's nickname. Spencer I heard on t.v. And Evangeline Grace was on my short list for a future child.

I think if you want to use it, then go ahead and add it to your short list. If you like it, use it. If you are only using it because a dream thinks you should, then I would just stick with your other choices, Michael and James.

As others said, you could always go with Michael Astro or James Astro. I personally don't think anyone is going to blink at the name Astro (but I've never watched the Jetsons).

And when he's 52? Nobody will care. Names like that will be the norm.

January 21, 2014 2:16 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Oh no, Astro is really a strange name. He would need to have thick skin to grow up with a name like this. All i can think of is the dog on the Jetsons!!

Maybe take the columnists advice and go with something similar. Aston, Ashton, Astral, even Cosmo. I personally LOVE the recommendation Leo above.

January 21, 2014 3:57 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

It's better suited for a pet. Don't saddle an innocent child/adult with it. When he grows up tell him about your dream and if it's meant to be he can change his name to it but I would not impose it on him.

January 21, 2014 4:20 PM
By J (not verified)

I just had to comment. I had a pregnancy name dream in which I named my baby Teagan. It really felt like it was meant to be, both in the dream and when I woke. But Teagan is about as far from my style as it gets. I assume I dreamed it from reading baby name books so much, listening to the band Teagan and Sara, or that part of does like Teagan and names like it.
Anyway, my husband and I named our daughter Evangeline and don't regret it.
Astro is pretty out here, and the AS emphasis on the 1st syllable could invite teasing. But with all the kids out there with unusual names, Astro is not bad.
As a middle name, however, it's awesome. It's interesting, with a fun story to go with it. I wouldn't want as a first name myself, but would like Astro as my middle if I were a boy.

January 21, 2014 5:25 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I am a huge fan of giving a child an unusual/unique first name and a more commonplace middle, so that if they don't like their first they can always go by the middle. I have a very unusual first name (I have only come across 3 others with my name) and I feel it made me a stronger, more self confident person. So in my mind there is no reason to discount the name simply because it is unusual. If you like it, put it on the list of possibilities. Or, as some have suggested, use it as a middle name. If you decide not to use it as the legal name you can always use it as your private nickname for him.

January 21, 2014 5:45 PM
By Pamela (not verified)

Bah, nobody growing up nowadays watches the Jetsons. They might think of Sponge Bob's pet snail if you named your kid Gary, but only their grandparents are going to think of the Jetsons' dog if you name our kid Astro.

I know a guy who named his kid Atomic. It sounds great with the surname and suits the family, suits the kid, now an adult. Yeah, sometimes he goes by Atom, which sounds pretty much the same as Adam, but there is a creative and cheeky… power, in the name.

Do what you feel is right for your family and your kid.

January 21, 2014 7:01 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I also can't really applaud Astro, but constellation names are quite wonderful!

January 21, 2014 7:23 PM
By nedibes (not verified)

I polled my kids, ages 7, 11, and 11, and none of them thought of Astro the dog. They all thought it sounded like a "space" name, and the boys thought that possibly it would lead to teasing like "space boy," but overall didn't think it was that weird. My daughter (11) thought it was cool, and he might become an astronaut.

I did name my daughter from a dream, which I had before we were even trying to have a baby. It's possible that I had run across it in a name book (it's a rare-in-this-country Welsh name), though I didn't consciously recognize it. I loved the name even without the dream connection, so never seriously considered anything else (it helped that my husband liked it and my family mostly loved it, too).

If you want a related name, Tycho (for Tycho Brahe, the famous astronomer, pronounced Teeko or Tie-ko) has a similar sound without the cartoon connotation.

January 21, 2014 10:51 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Save Astro for a nickname. You can still use the "how I got my [nick]name" story.

January 22, 2014 9:50 AM
By Keith G (not verified)

In the American translation of the old Japanese cartoon series Astro Boy, the original boy's name was Astor Boynton, which is why the robot was named Astro Boy.

Why not go with Astor, which just has two letters reversed, and is an allusion to Astro?

January 22, 2014 3:53 PM
By Jenny (not verified)

Namelady, always enjoy your advice (avid BNW reader!), just wanted to let you know that there is a pretty intense ad on your page right now for a video game I think? League of something? I missed the name and it isn't moving now, it just says "Play Free," but it's mostly showing an animated woman in a skimpy bathing suit (and mostly her chest). Doesn't seem to fit with the tone of the site and since I know these are frequently managed by an outside company I thought you might want to know!


January 22, 2014 10:39 PM
By 3 sgc 3 (not verified)

How about Michael James "Astro" Smith? I hate that so many people today think a nickname has to be a literal re spelling of the first name. Polly is a nickname for Mary, and Peggy is a nickname for Margaret! You don't have to name your kid Jaxxon if you want to call him Jax. Jackson will suffice!

January 24, 2014 12:25 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

"If you decide not to use it as the legal name you can always use it as your private nickname for him."

This is always an option!

I call my son "Bunny". not his name. Or anything even vaguely related to his name. My father nicknamed most of my sibs (and me), but those nicknames were always for in-family use only. My father still calls me by my nickname more often than he calls me by my legal name!

January 28, 2014 1:31 PM
By Charly (not verified)

@Jenny -- Use an adblocker in Chrome.

February 4, 2014 6:46 PM
By Kathy (not verified)

you should definitely NOT use the name "Astro". That name belongs to one character only, and that is the Jetsons dog. That is the only reference people have for that name, so unless you want to get a whole bunch of comments about you naming your son after a dog, I would highly suggest not using it.

February 4, 2014 7:05 PM
By Kathy (not verified)

@Pamela - you don't have to grow up watching The Jetsons today, you only need to remember it to associate that name with the dog. and any American over the age of 35 would remember the Jetsons, which are more than the number of children alive today. Sorry, but I can just imagine people barking at your son when you say his name is "Astro".

February 11, 2014 8:38 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

What about Astro James (AJ)? I know several guys that go by AJ. James Astro also sounds good.

February 12, 2014 9:27 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

My daughter is Susannah, and every adult sang Oh, Susannah when they first met her as a baby, but no kids ever did. The only thing about Astro is that the first syllable starts with Ass.

February 18, 2014 1:43 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

My mom drove a Chevy Astro minivan. Actually she had two, and grey and black one with red pinstriping, and then a white one with black and yellow pinstriping.

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