Baby Name Advice Column: Ask the Name Lady Baby Name Blog

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Is My Nephew The Spawn of Satan?

My nephew's baby has already been born, but the name they chose will give you goosebumps. Damien. Are they in their right minds? I find it truly embarrassing. I think so many people have seen all the "Omen" movies. I know there is nothing you can do. I just felt like talking about it.


Don't give up hope, there may be something I can do after all. I can persuade you that a demonic child in a horror movie isn't a bad association for your grand-nephew's name.

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Should I Choose a Name My Husband Hates?

I have loved the name Sloan since I heard it about 3 years ago and immediately knew that's what I would name my daughter. My husband has never liked the name. We have disagreed on it since. He has recently told me that if it is that important to me, he was fine with it. Is it really ok? - Sloan Dreamer

Oh, what a happy problem! I know it doesn't look that way from where you sit, agonizing over a name that has held a special place in your heart for years. But trust me, this is the best kind of naming conflict you can have.

The baby naming process is a snapshot of how a couple makes decisions. My inbox overflows with sad examples of how badly it can go. I hear from many parents who were bullied or tricked into the name of their partner's choice, or whose partners refuse to participate in the naming process at all except to reject every suggestion they offer.

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The Hottest Baby Names of 2010?

With half of the year behind us, it's time to check in with our friends at BabyNameWizard.com for a baby name trend report. We know that Jacob and Isabella are the reigning king and queen of American baby names. But what's coming up next?

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Why Does Everybody Get My Name Wrong?

My birth first name is Garold. My mother intended for it to be pronounced like Harold, but with a G instead of a H. She went to school with a Garold. I've had an English teacher tell me my name is not spelled correctly -- that my mom made a mistake naming me with that spelling. I was told by another teacher it was Old English for Harold. It seems like most people want to call me Gerald. I'm curious to know what your opinion is about my name, and how it should be pronounced. - Garold

For all that folks complain about eye-popping, unpronounceable names, it's a more modest group of names that are the true mistake magnets. Names like Katheline, Johathan...and Garold. These are the "almost names," just a slim step away from something more common and familiar.

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Does the Dog Have Dibs on My Grandma's Name?

My grandmother's name was Annabelle, and I was very close to her and would love to pay tribute with my daughter's name. Recently, my friends got a puppy and named her Bella, when I mentioned it, people have asked why I would want the same name for my baby as a dog. Is there a way to address this in a day when people are taking dog names from baby books?! - Bella Lover

If a dog steals your grandma's name, you have the right to steal the dog's name, don't you think? Fair is fair.

Seriously, there's a pecking order when it comes to names being "taken," and the number one spot is occupied by parents honoring someone who was important in their lives. In fact, you could name your baby after your beloved grandmother even if the other Bella were your friend's daughter, not her puppy.

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Is the World Ready for Another Grace Kelly?

My daughter has always wanted to name a baby girl Grace, and it's especially great because her great-grandmother's name was Grace. However, she has married a Mr. Kelly, making a prospective baby girl Grace Kelly. She is wondering if this would target her baby girl with a life-long problem, or if time has moved on enough for people to not associate the name with the beautiful Princess of Monaco? - Planning ahead Grandma

Dear Grandma,

Please pass on my condolences on the loss of your daughter's favorite name. I wish I had better news, but the original Grace Kelly will always keep at least partial ownership of her name. That means that it can never fully belong to your granddaughter.

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Your Baby's Name Is Not a Battleground

Last time, I wrote about the desperate need for baby name manners among strangers. Today, I'd like to bring that closer to home. The most heated -- and saddest -- baby name conflicts I hear about happen within families.

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Do We Need New Baby Name Etiquette?

America, we are facing a crisis in baby name etiquette. Names have changed dramatically over the past generation, and our manners haven't kept up. As you can see from my "Grumpy" and "Steamed" correspondents, tempers are rising on both sides of the divide. It's time to take a step back and rediscover common courtesy.

If you're in "Grumpy's" spot, you have to face facts. When it comes to names, normal just isn't normal any more. Last year alone, at least five American babies received each of these names:

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Is The Name I Love "Taken"?

I have always loved the name Jack, so when I got pregnant I chose Jack as a boy's name. My boyfriend and I never even considered other names. I've told all of my MOM'S family and my friends the name for four months now, but just found out that my cousin on my DAD'S side has decided to name her baby (due two weeks before mine) Jack, completely by coincidence. Can I keep the name or should I give it up?

It's admirable that you're prepared to give up a name you've loved all your life to promote family harmony . But I'm glad to tell you it's probably not necessary.

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I Gave My Baby the Wrong Name!

I heard the name Nevaeh (pronounced neh-VAY) and liked it for my daughter. To prevent people from pronouncing it neh-VAY-uh I spelled it Nevae. Now everyone completely mispronounces it. I have even had people ask if it's a boy or girl name. I want to change it now to prevent my baby girl from having major frustrations but everyone thinks it's weird to change her name. She is only 7 months old. Am I being too sensitive about people mispronouncing it? Is it a bad thing to change someone's name? - Nevae's Mommy

What's so weird about wanting your daughter to have the name you chose for her from the beginning?

Most parents who choose the name Nevaeh do it for the spelling, which is heaven backward. But you fell in love with a sound. Guessing (rightly) that people would pronounce Nevaeh as three syllables, you changed the spelling in order to capture the sound you love. But it didn't work. People didn't get Nevae.

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