Column: Rules of naming a baby takes three-part test and delivery

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 29, 2005

A friend of mine recently called with the great news that he and his wife are having a baby. We talked about being a parent and the worries of a child growing up in today’s society.

As we kept talking, I asked if he and his wife had picked out names. He expressed his dismay in trying to dwindle the names down to a respectable dozen from which they could choose from. I jokingly said to my friend that the Hollywood stars name their kids whatever they want &045; do that. He laughed and said &uot;no way, but my wife has come up with a few names that are like that.

&uot;I told him good luck and I’ll talk to you later.&uot;

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I started thinking of his dilemma and how naming your child is a big deal. I remember going through name books. Bonnie and I sampled of variety of different names. I do not know if this is an exact science, but we tested names three ways:

Put the name at the end of &uot;dinner’s ready&uot; test. Example: &uot;(place test name here),

it’s time for dinner.&uot;

You can also use supper if you want, but you always have to yell it, as if you were calling your child in from outside. Names like Voldemort, Cruella, Wolverine, Quasimodo and Sasquatch usually get eliminated during this stage.

Testing the name against any nickname or abbreviation that might be used against this child in school.

I don’t know if all parents do this, but they should. Example: If the name was Scott, you would list all the nicknames like Scooter, Scoot, etc. You should also double check that with your last name. For example: Take Schmeltzer and come up with more nicknames like Schmaltz, Smelly, Alka-schmeltzer, SS, etc.

This stage should help weed out any blatant teasing in school and give the poor kid a chance during the ever-tough blending-in era of kindergarten through third-grade. Later in your child’s life, you will screw this up by giving them a hug or kiss in public or driving right up to the school to drop them off. If that doesn’t do it, try walking in the mall with them when they are 14 years old.

The middle name test. For example, try &uot;Scott Paul Schmeltzer, get your butt over here.&uot;

This is a great way to test the middle name and at the same time, let out some stress. This is also the portion of name-picking that has important ramifications, because during this test you do not want to laugh &045; you only use the first, last and middle names in times that your child is in trouble (it is a rule).

Names like Sunshine Rainbow Anderson do not work well, because you are supposed to be mad and it is hard to be mad and say Sunshine or Rainbow at the same time. (Go ahead; try it. Say Sunshine Rainbow Anderson. See, you smiled. It made you happy. It won’t work, you need an edge.)

So you see, with the combination of these three rules, use some common sense, like stay away from all Hollywood names. Only in Hollywood can you get away with Apple, Andre 3000, Lil Bow Wow, 50 cent, Fabio, Moon Unit, Axl, Poet, Rumor, Finneus and Usher. The only way you could get away with those names is if you are rich and famous

or your parents are also rich and famous.

So you see picking out names is really a lot of work and, men, here is my last bit of advice, you can give your opinion on all the names in the world, but the mother of this child will always get to make the final choice. Here’s why: The day that men can carry a baby around inside them for nine months and then deliver this bundle of joy, is the day they get the final say.

Until then, dads, just nod and say &uot;yes, dear, that is a great name.&uot;