Naming your baby is probably one of the most important things you will ever do. Not only is it essential to choose a name that you like, but also one that suits this little person who you don't quite know yet; at the same time a new parent must bear in mind that their child has to grow up carrying the name until they are using a free bus pass and getting a winter fuel allowance. In other words, a name is for life.
Names are chosen for many reasons, sometimes after someone special or a relative, sometimes it is something nostalgic or meaningful like a place name or character in a book; sometimes names are chosen because at that time they are popular or unusual or a famous person has brought the name into the public eye. There are several categories to consider when choosing a baby name:
Traditional names – Traditional names can be divided into several subgenres. These are Classic names (such as James, Robert, Emma), Biblical names (Adam, Paul, Sarah) and Virtue names (Faith, Hope, Charity). Also, a lot of names that fall into this category are names that have some kind of family history or meaning within the family.
Literary Names – These names are derived from books or plays, they may have existed as a name previously, as in Isabella (now the most popular girl's name in the US, after the popularity of the Twilight series in which she is a main character); or may be made up by the author such as 'Wendy' from J M Barrie's Peter Pan; Alternatively the name could be from a book or film of which the parent is a fan, there are surely some Scarlett's named by fans of Gone with the Wind; and young Romeo's, named after Shakespeare's star crossed lover.
Place Names- These names can also fall into several categories; the child can be named after a place or country, such as Vienna or China. Or the name is chosen because it is traditional in that country or area, for example David Cameron recently considered calling his new born daughter something Cornish (Tegen or Morwenna) as she was born in Cornwall, unlike his other children who were born in London.
Popular Names – These are the names that are popular at the time the child is born, and with time, they tend to change. Jack has been the number one chosen boys name in England and Wales since 1995. But 30 years previous to this it was not even in the top one hundred, and John, the name from which it derives, was instead favoured.
Celebrity Names – These names are usually of someone who is famous in popular culture (music, TV or film) around the time that the name is chosen. For example in the 1980's there was a surge in popularity for the name Kylie, thanks to Miss Minogue and the 1990's saw a massive increase in new born Britney's.
So, choosing a name requires a lot of thought, to stand the test of time and fads that fade, remember this when you name your baby, because this is one thing they'll be carrying every single day, for life.