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Chosen your baby's name? Ask these 8 questions next to make sure it's future proof.

Choosing a name for another human can be really really stressful. If you get it right, you may be attending your daughter’s rock concert one day. But if you get it wrong, you’re potentially setting your son up for years of torment (I’m talking to you, Ben Dover).

Unique names are cool, but endless “it’s actually pronounced” moments are not. And getting your name spelled wrong on a coffee cup may be momentarily annoying, but starting a new job only to realise that there are fourteen other Sarahs is a pain that will last a lifetime. Sorry, Sarahs.

Sean Szeps shares his baby name philosophy and how they came to the perfect baby names for his twins.

Basically, it’s hard to win when you’re naming a child. And while I’d like to believe that finding the perfect balance between ordinary and unique is the best way to go about choosing your unborn child’s name, I’m sure that backfires too.

So I’ve recently come to terms with the fact that all that really matters is that you truly adore the name you choose for your child. Because you’re the one that’s going to be screaming it down the hallways for twenty-something years, right?

To help you double and triple check that you’ve selected the perfect name, ask yourself these eight questions to ensure you’ve made the right decision:

1. What nickname will your unborn child be given?

Aussies like to shorten, well, everything. So while Hunter may be a truly adorable name, Hunt is too close to a very naughty word, which may result in a little “C**ny Hunty” name-calling on the playground.

2. How might people misspell their name?

Nothing is more annoying than someone spelling or pronouncing your name wrong. You may love the unique spelling of Cydnee, but it’s their name that has to be called incorrectly in class each morning.

 

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I ♥️ all of☝???? people.

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3. What does the name sound like in a different accent?

If your family comes from different countries or is planning on moving around quite a bit, then you may care whether his or her name is mangled outside (or inside) Australia. My husband is Aussie and I’m American, so we played the “what will it sound like in Australia” game each night, which helped eliminate Harper (or “HAAAAAAA-PUH” in an Aussie accent).

4. What does the name actually mean?

This isn’t important for most people, but it will be when you find out later in life from your new fiance that Gary actually means diarrhoea in Japanese. Just give it a Google to be safe.

5. What famous people already have that name?

There are certain names that are almost exclusively off limits due to previous owners, like the name Hitler for example. So while it’s virtually impossible to predict which modern-day celebrities will quickly destroy their reputation and kill off fondness for the name in seconds, it’s helpful to do a quick Google search to see what and who comes up.

6. How does that name sound like in sentences you’ll use frequently?

I think it’s really important to give the name a test ride. Walk around your house and give it a shout. If it feels strange, then ditch the dud.

"Ask yourself how you feel about the name. Look at it constantly and test it out. If you hate it, ditch it." Image: Supplied.
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7. How does the name sound in full?

The middle and surname are just as important as the first, so use the other names to help narrow down your first name pick.

I’m not a naming expert, but I feel it’s important to have a nice flow from start to finish. Try to alternative syllable counts, avoid vowel run-ons and steer clear of repetitious sounds. Vera might a beautiful first name, but not when it’s packaged with Vera Dina Opal.

8. Is it a family name?

One of the things you realise as you get older (or so I’ve been told) is that the importance of family and tradition becomes more and more clear. If you’re debating between a family name and a popular newbie, I suggest you go with the family name. That will be much more meaningful in the long run.

Does your favourite baby name pass these tests? Let us know in the comment section.

And make sure to listen to the most recent episode of The Baby Bubble, where my co-host Zoe Marshall and I talk in more depth about choosing the right name for our babies...

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