Book Review – Baby’s Name Countdown, by Janet Schwegel
Babble recently published his list of “The 33 Worst Famous Baby Names”, which included names like Tu Morrow (Rob Morrow’s daughter), Fifi Trixibell (Bob Geldof’s daughter), Pilot Inspektor (Jason Lee’s son), and Kal-El. . (sound of Nicolas Cage). I was surprised to see that they left Tallulah, Rumer and Scout (daughters of Demi Moore and Bruce Willis)! No one thinks twice when celebrities give their babies weird names, but most of us would certainly have some pained expressions or even a little “What were you thinking?” comment if we named our daughter Moxie CrimeFighter, like Penn Jillette did.
It goes without saying that choosing a child’s name is very important. According to Janet Schwegel, author of The Baby Name Countdown, “Many parents want a unique name for their child, something that sets them apart.” They can choose an unusual name, like Gwen Stefani did recently when she named her son Zuma, or just an unusual spelling, like Erykah instead of Erika.
So how do you choose the right one? Schwegel tells us: “It is not enough to know what a name means or where it comes from; you need to know how popular that name is.” A great place to get that information is in his book, The Baby Name Countdown: 140,000 Popular and Unusual Baby Names. The book is divided into three parts:
Part 1: The main names The main names of the 100 girls by region
Top 100 names for boys by region
The 100 best girl names from the years 2001 to 2006
The 100 best names for boys from the years 2001 to 2006
Top 500 Girl Name Rankings of the Last Century
Ranking of the 500 main names of boys during the last century
Part 2: Popular names with popularity ratings, origins and meanings
Popular names for girls
Popular names for boys
Part 3: Popular and unusual names with popularity ratings Girl names: the complete list
Names for boys: the complete list
I had a lot of fun looking at the names in this book, which have been compiled from actual birth records. Can you imagine a poor girl going to school and having to announce that her name is Somfechukwu? And I found it interesting that my oldest son’s name, Dylan, means “the sea” in Welsh, because he is currently studying Ocean Engineering at university! My name, Susan, means “a rose”, which has always been my favorite flower. Whether you’re expecting a baby, thinking about one, or are even done having children, this is a fun and interesting book to read. (I would also recommend this to fiction writers looking for names for their characters!) The Baby Name Countdown is one of the most comprehensive sources for choosing names.