Choose Your New Baby"s Name With Care

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The trend for unusual and exotic baby names shows no sign of slowing down.
People are calling their kids the oddest things; take 'Geronimo', 'Princessing' and 'Guvna' for a start.
Yes, Guvna.
So what's in a name? A surprising amount, as it turns out.
Many people choose girls' names because they sound so pretty.
April, for instance.
Or Rosie.
Or Summer.
But girls' names can be deceptive.
'Kate' is a pretty-sounding name.
But Kate has three possible meanings.
One, a tribute to the Greek goddess Hecate.
Two, some scholars say it has Coptic origins.
In which case it means 'My consecration of your name'; a bit of a mouthful.
The third option? There's every chance that the name Kate actually originates from the ancient Greek word for 'torture'.
Not too pretty after all! Boys' names fall into different categories.
Things like 'Oliver' and 'Charles' have a classy ring whereas names like Frank and Steve sound slightly more macho.
At the far right of manly, and in the USA, you'll find tiny boys with huge caveman-like names such as 'Butch' and 'Buck' and 'Rambo'.
Poor little souls.
In 2004 England's most popular male baby name was Jack.
Literally millions of birth announcement cards went out that year and countless thousands of little Jacks were welcomed into the world.
Closely followed by masses of Joshuas, Thomases, Jameses, Daniels and Samuels.
Plus major numbers of Olivers, Williams, Benjamins and, at ten, Josephs.
All startlingly traditional, mostly biblical names without so much as a sniff of a Darren, Kevin or Dwayne.
Apparently once upon a time in the '80s, almost every single little girl was called Kylie.
And the media has been moaning ever since about the so-called epidemic of celebrity naming.
Apparently we're all naming our kids after celebrities.
But do media complaints stand up to scrutiny? Or is the whole celebrity naming thing an urban myth? A couple of years back the top ten girls' names encompassed gentle Victorian-sounding Emily, Ellie, Jessica, Sophie, Chloe, Olivia, Charlotte, Kaite and Megan.
No sign of a celebrity name.
Not a Jay-Lo or a Jade or a Paris in sight.
What surprises will 2008's baby name statistics bring? Choosing a name for your baby before the birth can be dangerous.
You could find yourself backpedalling furiously as little Fran comes out looking more like a Jess.
Or newborn Phillip (which actually means 'friend of horses') turns out to have an undeniable look of 'Harry' about him.
Made up names are great fun.
But one piece of good advice - if you create a name for your baby from scratch, Google it before you book the christening.
You don't want to find out too late that your beautiful-sounding, creative, made up name actually means 'Big bum' in Swahili or 'Untrustworthy monster' in Japanese.
And it makes sense to check you're not naming your new baby after a serial killer! Sometimes a name hits the nail right on the head.
In retrospect it seems fortuitous, almost like magic.
Take the name Barack - as in Barack Obama.
Barack means 'blessing' in Arabic.
Whether he really does turn out to be a blessing is yet to be seen.
But things are looking good so far...
Once you're sure the name you've chosen doesn't mean anything silly, and it suits your baby to a tee, you're ready to introduce him or her to the world by sending out your birth announcement cards.
But until you've done your homework, you're in dangerous waters!
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