Saturday, April 01, 2006

What's in a Name ? Effective suggestions to find a Good Baby Name

The following article appeared in the Sunday Review of Times of India on Sunday, October 18th. It is written by Ms.Shabnam Minwalla.

In the old, most parents took the easy way out. The moment their bundle of joy was placed in their arms, they dipped rather randomly into the pool of acceptable names and came up with Rajesh or Geeta, Sanjay or Archana. Today, however, parents spend months mulling over possible names. They draw up shortlists, conduct spot polls and consult innumerable tomes. Not surprisingly, then, dozens of sites on the Internet are devoted to this all-consuming issue. The ‘Name Popularity Finder’, ‘Ancient and beautiful baby bible' names-both bizarre and conventional seem to attract enormous traffic. Unfortunately, most of these sites are America centric. But pop in and take a look. May be you could provide the Indian Element. Here, from the Internet, are some helpful hints for naming baby:
* The name should have positive connotations for you.
* The first name should complement the last.
* The initials should not spell anything undesirable.
* Check the pronunciation and spelling of the baby’s name. If you use an unusual pronunciation, your child will have to constantly correct people.
* You could honor a family member or literary character with the name. In order to this you could check with your parents and grandparents and collect as many family names as possible.
* You could combine names of the mum and dad to come up with a unique name and unusual name. The middle name provides a unique opportunity to honor a family member.
* Be conscious of possible nicknames and variations that can emerge from the name.
By Shabnam Minwalla

Baby Names Humour by Melvin Durai

My wife, Malathi, and I have spent several weeks discussingnames for our baby and we've finally agreed on something: We hate each other's choices.At this rate, giving birth to the baby will be a lot easierthan naming it.

Only one person gives birth (thankgoodness!), whereas, in some families, naming a baby caninvolve as many as 50, with suggestions pouring in fromparents, grandparents, siblings, friends, co-workers, andeven the idiot next door. The one who named his sons Laxmanand Taxman. If he has a third son, he's already thought of agood name: Relaxman.

Luckily for us, no one else is suggesting names. But thereare certainly enough names being tossed around. I neverrealized that name-selecting could produce so muchname-calling. I don't know how many times I've had to defendmy honor: "Hey! My name is Melvin. It starts with an 'm' andends with an 'n' but I wish you'd stop confusing it withMORON."

If we don't decide on a name soon, we'll be forced to followthe tradition of some cultures: naming the baby after theloudest sound the mother makes in labor. How else do youthink Oprah got her name? Her mother obviously meant toscream, "Oh pray!"Among my wife's favorite names for girls is Tarangini. Sheconsiders it rather melodious, I consider it just odious.Tarangini. We might as well name the baby Tarantula. Thatsounds a lot better.If your name happens to be Tarangini, please don't get angrywith me. Get angry with your parents. They're the ones whonamed you.Perhaps they weren't thinking straight. I'm not suggestingthey were drinking, but that could explain why the word"gin" appears in your name.

Among my wife's favorite names for boys is Kashyap, a namethat's almost as melodious as Tarangini. I can't helpimagining the teasing he'd get at an American schoolcafeteria: "Hey, Kashyap! Please pass the ketchup." Not tomention the ribbing during running competitions: "Hey,Kashyap! Please catch up!"Malathi has a theory why her "unenlightened" husband can'tappreciate these beautiful names -- he didn't grow upreading literature in Tamil, Sanskrit and Bengali. "Justbecause you didn't learn to appreciate sounds in theselanguages doesn't mean these names aren't beautiful to theears." She makes a good point. Now all she needs is a goodname.She believes that her favorite names may one day becomeuniversal, just as Indian names are gracing westerners suchas Canadian humorist Chandra Clarke and Hollywood actressUma Thurman. Malathi may be right, but I'll be absolutelystunned the day I meet a non-Indian named Tarangini.Of course, I have no right to make fun of names, because myname is not only old-fashioned, it doesn't reflect my richIndian heritage. But it's too late to change my name. I'vebeen a Melvin for so many years, I don't want to suddenlyturn into a Melvinder or Melvinathaman.Malathi has convinced me that it's important to give ourbaby an Indian name. Though she likes some western namessuch as Olivia, she says, "I don't believe it's our role topropagate them." As far as I'm concerned, if we end upnaming our baby Tarangini, we'll be done propagating!

(c) Copyright 2001 Melvin Durai. All Rights Reserved.Melvin Durai is a U.S.-based writer andhumorist. A native of India, he grew up in Zambiaand moved to the U.S. in the early 1980s. Read hisprevious columns at http://www.melvindurai.comFor a free subscription to his columns,send a blank mail to

North Indian vs. South Indian

1. In Tamil, and sometimes other southern languages, names end in '-an' when a person is namedafter a god, such as Ramnath, Badrinath, Narayan etc. These becomeRamanathan, Badrinathan, Narayanan etc. the '-an' denotes that the personnamed is a mere mortal and not a God. An individual is not to be calledRamnath, Badrinath etc. because those are the names of the Gods,exclusively.

2. The Gods themselves are referred to Ramanath-ar, Badrinath-ar etc. the'-ar' being similar to '-ji' in Hindi, as in Badrinath-ji etc

.3. And when people pray in South India and address God directly, it becomesNarayan-a, Ramanath-a etc. the '-a' being a direct form of address, as inSanskrit.4. Under influence of North Indian culture, some of these conventions areeasing, as you do sometimes see younger people with North Indian stylereligious names.
For example, Narayanan is shortened to Narayan, Ramanathan to Ramanath, etc.They are usually not aware that doing so usually offends the personaffected, as the South Indian usually feels that the North Indian inquestion is being regionalistic and dismissive of other Indian's names,preferring the equivalents in their own (Hindi or Punjabi) language
Contributed by

Lists of Hindu Names

You may know that the three most common lists of religious hindu names are
  1. The Vishnu Sahasranamam
  2. The Lalitha Sahasranamamand
  3. The less well know Shiva Sahasranamam.
Each has 1008 names of the particular deity, of which many are namescommonly given, especially within the Brahmin community, who memorized theseancient hymns.Less well known is the fact that each of these long hymns is itself merelyone of several hymns with names. For instance the Lalitha Sahasranamam ismerely one of 10 lists of Goddess names !
Contributed by

Know your Name - Know yourself

"Sigmund Freud, often began his sessions by asking about a person's name. You can know more about yourself through your names by these queries:-

* Imagine your parents discussing what name to give you a week before you were born. Did they want a boy or a girl?

* Some babies are named after other people-either relatives or friends or famous personalities. Were you named after anybody? If so, who and why? Has it had any effect on your personality.

* Many children are named after legendary heroes. Later in childhood their stories are retold to them. Can you remember any such stories you have heard as a child.

* Nearly all names have meanings. Were your parents aware of the meaning of your name ? Who chose your name ? Was it chosen for its meaning ?

* Do you have a nickname ? Do you remember when and why you started using it?

* How and by whom were your parents named. Have you noticed any relation between their names and personalities.

* Do people make jokes about your name ? Do You like it

* There is definate Karmic reason behind your name. You are what you are called. So you are what you are called.

--Extract from Life Positive Magazine

What is a Rare Name - Definition

Are you wondering what is a Rare Name ??? Well, Here is our definition of a Rare Name.
"A Rare Name is like a Coat made out of the finest material. Envied by those who don't have it. Worn with pride and confidence by those who do. A Rare Name surprises you. Makes you exclaim that I have never heard this name before! What does it mean? " -By Gauresh Mehra


A rare name is a size 11 Italian leather shoe to an infant. To the child they are useless, chunky and regrettable. As the infant grows into the shoes and is able to stride confidently, the now adult can respect the uniqueness of the valuable shoes; besides they make him stand out. -By
Kijuana Wilks -----------
A rare name is a sound you hear and will never forget -By
A rare name is finding a poppy in the middle of a field of white daisies. It comes as a shock, a surprise, and is most often welcomed as a pleasant change from the mundane. -By
Meghan Ferguson
Rare Name is the precious pearl got from the deep sea. -By
A rare name is the best gift a mother and father can give their child, it gives some one the confidence to say "I AM DIFFERENT, AND SPECIAL". Sent by
To have the utmost satisfaction and pride to say that I am over 30 years old, and I have yet to meet or hear of an actual person with MY name.
Ada Bucholtz
What is a name? Is it what defines who you are on a first impression? How can you be the same as all the other people who might share your name? How diconcerting to hear, "Oh yes, I know people with that name too, they're just like you." I am my own person. Rarity in a name, is a burst of the unexpected in a crowded concert of people all screaming the same name. Scream something different, and see how many people turn their heads to look at you. By
Kerri Afira Cordle
A rare name, is more than rare. It is when you look up your name in a baby name book and find your name not there. When you can spell one hundred and one words out of your name. When you think someone else has it tough, they look right back at you with the same thought. When you are the only one with a golden compass pointing your way and somehow, through all of this amazing stuff, you realize what life would be like if everyone had the same name. Or, if it was all different. What would life be like, if life were all the same or all different? Only you can decide on that.
Given By
Rachel Lee
‘A name is a lifelong gift of parents to a child, a rare name makes him stand out in life for long long time. It’s like that beautifully hand crafted unique gift which gets admiration from everybody who sees it. The simple words with honestly positive meanings can be used as a name, and these are timeless. Above all, a rare name gives the owner the benefit of that uniqueness that all around him/ her envy. Bless your child with a unique name today’ Given By
Sanjay Malik
If you have an e-mail id as then you can be assured you have a Rare Name - A Definition by a Hotmail Employee