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Create Your Own Baby Name

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Written by Mary Fetzer   

Roy and Nikki were expecting their first child when they drove through the town of Hazen, Pennsylvania. Inspired by the sound of it, they made a slight alteration and named their newborn daughter, Cazen. More and more parents are steering clear of the Top 100 Baby Names of the Year and creating their own unique baby name. If you’re such a parent, roll up your sleeves, put on your thinking cap and find out how to create your own baby name!

Baby hands and feetChange the Spelling

Perhaps there’s a name you love that’s become all too common. You can make it your own by altering the spelling or capitalization. Take Carly and change it to Carlie, Carleigh or even CarLee. Change Colby to Kolby, James to Jaymes or Andrew to AnDrew.

Substitute y for i or vice versa. Allison becomes Allyson. Tyra becomes Tirah. Turn Ryan into Rhian or Phillip into Phyllip.

Use contractions. Just as you change “is not” to “isn’t,” you can use an apostrophe to make an ordinary name extraordinary. Turn Jeanette into J’nette or Thomas into T’mas. Justin becomes Just’n, and Jocelyn becomes Jocel’n.

A word of caution: Changing the spelling of a common name could mean a lifetime of headaches for your child – everyone from friends to teachers to employers may have trouble reconciling the name with its unique spelling.

Use Dad’s name

If you want your child’s name to pay tribute to the father, you don’t necessarilly have to use Junior or the 2nd. If the father’s name is Nicholas, for example, a son might be Nikko or a daughter Nicole.

Or try reversing Dad’s first and middle names so that Martin James becomes James Martin (Jaime Martina would work for a girl).

Passing along a first name through the generations is a beautiful way to honor your heritage, but it can create problems for your child down the road. It’s not unusual for credit and governmental agencies to mistake Murray Senior for Murray Junior or Murray the third. If keeping that first name is important to your family tree, consider giving your child a unique middle name.

Use Mom’s name

It’s common to use the mother’s maiden name as a middle name, but oftentimes Mom’s surname makes a great first name, too. Last names such as Parker, Taylor and Morgan are ideal first names for boys and girls alike. Using a modified version of the mother’s first name -- Emily’s son could be Emil or her daughter could be Amelia – is another way to keep Mom in the equation.

Unisex names remain popular, so Lynne can name her son Lynn, while Erin’s son would be Aaron. And this works both ways, so Gene can call his daughter Jean, and Jerry’s daughter would be Jeri.

Combining names

If Mom and Dad each has a favorite name, why not combine them? Mom likes Susan, but Dad prefers Hannah, so how about Susannah? Or create something complely original – combine Daniel and Steven to get Daven, Deven or Staniel.

Be unique while keeping it all in the family by combining the parents’ first names. John and Angie’s baby would be Anjon. Larry and Karen’s kid could be Karry or Laren. Brian and Teresa’s child might be Briesa or Teran.

In today’s society, just about anything goes, so don’t be afraid to use your imagination and come up with that one-of-a-kind name for your special offspring.

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