So talking about “the list” got me thinking about the lists I’ve used in the past to name my children. Today being March 4th got me thinking about marching forth and doing all the things I’ve been planning to do for a long time but haven’t done for no real reason except I don’t much feel like doing them.
As an aside, my house is clean right now. Freakishly clean. It has been for over 24 hours and the children have even been allowed to roam freely about the house at times. You could eat off my kitchen floor – but please don’t.
Back to the list. A couple or 10 months ago, Sourcebooks sent me a copy of their new baby name book, The Complete Book of Baby Names for my review. It wasn’t until I got the lovely comment encouraging my children to jump off a bridge because of their misfortunate internet pseudonyms that I felt a burning need to check this authoritative list and let you know what I think of it.
First I will tell you that I’m very picky when it comes to baby name books. I flipped through no less than 15 before deciding which 2 to bring home when I was naming poor unfortunate little Magoo. It was really hard to find a book that was both complete and interesting so I settled for one of each.
The Complete Book of Baby Names attempts to do both, providing interesting and eclectic lists and a huge bank of 100,000+ plus names with brief explanations of their origins. It also provides enough baby naming guidance to send any perspective parent into convulsive fits, twitching on the floor and deciding to forget it all and name the baby after the epidural salesman.
There are a couple of things this book is lacking. While it contains lists like “Pirate Names”, “MTV Names”, “Patriotic Names”, “Farmers” and “Geniuses”, there is no index so if I decide to name my next child Juwon, I will have no way of knowing that this is considered an “Urban Name” unless I read through all 276 lists to see if it’s on one of them.
At almost 700 pages in length, the book’s main problem is that it’s very much like me. It tries so hard to do everything that it doesn’t end up doing anything perfectly. The gazillion name origins are a little brief. The fabulous lists are un-indexed and the vast section of things to consider when naming your little darling is a tad overwhelming.
That being said, if you’re going to choose one baby name book and get the most bang for your buck, this is a good one to go with. It’s more complete and helpful than any other single book I’ve seen out there and short of turning it into an OED-style multi-volume set, I’m not sure there’s much more the author Lesley Bolton could pack in.
Now a quick peek into my twisted mind. Although I have yet to conceive my next child or really even seriously think about it, I’ve already been thinking of internet names for him. If he’s a boy, I’m thinking Kip. If it’s a girl, I may go with Wanda.
Laylee, Magoo, Kip and Wanda Daring. Only half of the names are on “the list”, not that I’m keeping score.