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40,001 Best Baby Names Paperback – July 1, 2004

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Ebury Press (July 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 009190000X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0091900007
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.4 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,630,127 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

With daughter Jennifer Shoquist, MD, Diane Stafford co-authored Potty Training for Dummies, No More Panic Attacks and Migraines for Dummies. Stafford has been Editor-in-Chief for a variety of health and fitness magazines and co-owned Health & Fitness and Texas Woman. She writes and edits books and does volunteer work for Houston's Emegency Aid Coalition Clothing Center. She has written hundreds of magazine articles.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Tips for Naming Your Baby
What do most people do? Some of the baby-naming approaches frequently used include the following:

--Mesh two names together to form a new one.
--Pick a name you've always loved.
--Find a name that bodes well for a promising career.
--Go with a name that connotes a trait--honesty, friendliness, savoir faire.
--Use the mother's maiden name for the first name.
--Honor a beloved relative by using his name.
--Stick with something time-honored and safe.
--Make up a name, a practice that some people consider tres gauche, and others rate high on the creativity scale.

And while you are dabbling in the name game, be sure to remember these naming taboos:

--Avoid a name that's carrying baggage equivalent to Amtrak, as in Cher, Michael Jackson, Richard Simmons, Billy Joel, or Sting.
--Don't let family members talk you into a "junior" unless you don't mind your child being called "Little John" or "Junior" lifelong. Listen to all the suggestions relatives fling your way, but you make the call.
--Don't be too bothered by existing connotations that you associate with a name ("I knew a Margaret in school, and she was the meanest person in our class," "I sat next to a Stone in college, and he had a million moles," or "I dated a Morgan, and she was the most boring girl I've ever known"). The reason you shouldn't let old associations trip you up is that once you name your child Tasha or Truman, there isn't another person in the world with that name who matters. Trust me on this.

Ten Great Tips for Successful Baby-Naming
A "set of rules" can ratchet up your confidence. If you don't really need a framework, just read the following tips as a fun diversion.
Here are ten steps for naming your baby:

1. Consider the sound--does it work with your last name?
When the full name is said aloud, you want something that has a nice ring, not a tongue-twister or a rhyme. You may find that a long last name jibes best with a short first name; by the same token, put a long first name with a short last name, and you may have a winner.
The union of a first name ending in a vowel paired with a last name that starts with a vowel is not the greatest choice. For example: Ava Amazon. It's just hard to say. Puns aren't good omens for a happy life, either. Look at the infamous Ima Hogg name of a Houston philanthropist. If the poor woman wasn't burdened enough, she also had to deal with lifelong rumors of a sister named Ura.

2. Know exactly what happens when you give your baby a crowd-pleaser name.
Give your kid a common name, and she'll probably end up Sarah B. in a classroom with six Sarahs. She may be comfortable with the anonymity that a plain-Jane name lends her--considering it far better than being the class Brunhilda, who gets ridiculed daily. Or, she may ask you every other day of her childhood why you weren't more original in naming her: "Why did you give me the same name fifty million other kids have? Why couldn't you have come up with something better? Why didn't you take more time?"

3. Think seriously about the repercussions of choosing a name that's over-the-top in uniqueness.
You are definitely sticking your neck out by giving your child the name Rusty if your last name is Nail. Sure, he may muster up enough swagger to pull it off, but what if he doesn't? Lots of people with unusual or hard-to-spell last names will purposely opt for a simple first name for their child, just to ease the load of having two names to spell over and over. Some research suggests that kids with odd names get more taunting from peers and are less well socialized. You can be sure that junior-high kids will make fun of a boy named Stone, but later, as an adult, he may enjoy having an unusual name.
Just make sure you don't choose a "fun" name simply because you like the idea of having people praise your creativity--instead, ask yourself how your child will feel about being a Bark or a Lake.

4. Ponder the wisdom of carrying on that family name.
Aunt Priscilla did fine with her name, but how will your tiny tot feel in a classroom full of Ambers and Britneys? Extremely old-fashioned names sometimes make their way back into circulation and do just fine, but sometimes they don't. (Will we really ever see the name Durwood soar again?)

5. Consider the confusion that is spawned by a namesake.
A kid named after a parent won't like being "Junior" or "Little Al." Ask anyone who has been in that position about the amount of confusion it generates in regard to credit cards and other personal I.D. information. You'll spend half your life unraveling the mix-ups.
Psychiatrists (many of them juniors themselves) will tell you that giving a child his very own name is a much better jumpstart than making him a spin-off or a mini-me.
At the same time, we have all run across someone who absolutely loves being Trey or a III because the name represents tradition and history.

6. Make your family/background name an understudy (the middle name).
Let's say you want your baby's name to reflect his heritage or religion, but you strongly prefer more mainstream names. You can fill both bills by using the ancestry name as a middle name.

7. Ponder whether the name's meaning matters to you.
For some people, knowing a name's meaning is extremely important, often much more so than its Greek or German origin. And your child could turn out to be the type who loves investigating such things. So what happens when that offspring of yours finds out that her name Delilah means "whimpering harlot guttersnipe"? She may wish you had taken a longer look at the name's baggage.
8. Look at shortened versions of a name and check out initials.
Don't think your child's schoolmates will fail to notice that his initials spell out S.C.U.M. And, you can be sure that Harrison will become "Harry" or, occasionally, "Hairy." View the teasing as being as much a given as school backpacks, and think twice about whether you want to give your child's peer group something they can really grab onto. Tread lightly. Naming always starts with good intentions, but you can do your kid a favor by considering each name-candidate's bullying potential.

9. After you've narrowed your list, try out each name and see how it feels.
Say, "Barnabus Higgins, get yourself over here!" Or, "Harrison Higgins, have you done your homework?" Or, "Hannibal Higgins, would you like some fava beans?"

10. Once you and your mate have decided on a name, don't broadcast it.
You may want to keep your name choice a secret, otherwise relatives and friends are likely to share all of their issues with the name and a long string of other, "better" options. Another possibility is that people will start calling the unborn baby that name, which will be unfortunate if you happen to find one you like better.
Bottom line: take the Name Game seriously, but don't be afraid to go with the one that just feels right. That precious infant who will change your life dramatically is sure to be the best thing that has ever happened to you--give him or her a name that you will love singing and saying every single day, a million times over.
Baby Ben (Jen), I'm so glad you're mine.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Diane Stafford is an award-winning writer and editor who is known for her lively, upbeat writing style. She has been featured in dozens of articles and broadcasts nationwide. With a two-year bestseller (50,001 Best Baby Names, Sourcebooks), Stafford has fourteen published books and has sold more than a million books.
Stafford lives near the Pacific Ocean in Newport Beach, California, with her husband, Gregory Munoz, an Orange County superiorl court judge. Stafford has one daughter, three stepdaughters, and two stepsons.
Some of Stafford's published books include: Migraines For Dummies, Potty Training For Dummies, The Encyclopedia of STDs, No More Panic Attacks, 40,001 Best Baby Names, 50,001 Best Baby Names, 1000 Best Job-Hunting Secrets, Parent's Success Guide to Parenting, The Ultimate Baby Name Book, The Big Book of 60,001 Baby Names, and The Vitamin D Cure (with Jim Dowd, M.D.). Four of these books were co-authored with Stafford's daughter; her job-hunting book co-author was Moritza Day. Stafford's newest book is 60,001 Best Baby Names (Sourcebooks, September 2011). A new edition of The Vitamin D Cure comes out this summer.

Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
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Please, buy a proper baby name book.
S. Fackler
We found this book very helpful, among other features it lists the origin of a name (German, Hebrew, American...) as well as the meaning and other similar spellings.
With its fun categories of names to its easy to read format, this book is a definite must for expecting parents!
Debbie Melzer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By S. Fackler on September 17, 2004
Format: Paperback
Because I can't imagine anyone seriously recommending that people use these names, or honestly expecting us to believe that these names mean what the author claims.
I knew I had made a mistake in purchasing this book when I saw the list of "Alternative Spellings for Girl Names you Can't Pronounce". Are we seriously expected to name our daughters "Afrodytee"? If you don't know how to pronounce "Aphrodite" then perhaps that is not the name for you. Perhaps we should not give our children names that will forever announce to the rest of the world that her parents are culturally and intellectually illiterate. "Salowmee" instead of "Salome", "Dafnee" instead of "Daphne", the list is endless, and endlessly insulting to potential parents with at least a 6th grade education.

As is the rest of the book. "Jaylo"? It's apparently an American name, a combination of Jennifer and Lopez (duh) and the best part is, the author has decided it means "Charismatic." Uh-huh. I thought it meant, "I'll name my child after a singer/actress's nickname." Guess I was wrong.

And "Jaylo" is only one of the fabulous names the author wants us to consider inflicting on an innocent child. (...)I honestly cannot believe that this author did not just sit down one day with a bottle of vodka and put this book together. The huge number of names that appear on both lists (good to know that "Velvet" is a unisex name), the seven or eight versions of the same name that appear with different spellings, or variations on the theme that appear as different names (someone else already mentioned the page worth of "Billie Christine Billichristine Billikristine Billikris Billie Kris etc. etc.") and the made-up or regular object words as names with invented meanings (I'll name my baby "Couch.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By lisa terwilliger on August 23, 2004
Format: Paperback
i gave this book two stars because, yes, it has a bazillion names in it but whether or not they're the "best" is up for discussion. some memorable names include schmoopie, chubby, dijonnaise, and flirt.

my family and i got a kick out of it but we'll be using another books for name ideas!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Anja Clarke on March 24, 2005
Format: Paperback
As has been stated in other reviews, it is hard to take a book seriously when it features lists such as "soap opera names" or "cool names for athletes" (how biased is that??). As well, why even mention names such as "Bulldog" or "Money"? "Milagros" features under boys' names (as does "Citronella"!!), whereas it's a girl's name. Additionally, some names are in actuality non-existent - like the supposedly Scandinavian "Ikea" and "Jenz". Being Scandinavian, I can verify that only a furniture chain goes by the first name, and the latter name would correctly be Jensine. The French "Jamais" is described as meaning "ever", whereas the word actually means "never" (a very different meaning). It might be a fun book for those who love - and have time to spare for - reading endless lists, but for the serious ones, you'd be better off with a shorter, more accurate book.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By "gab_peterson" on May 23, 2004
Format: Paperback
My first child is on the way in October, and although we have a first name in mind, we wanted some ideas for middle names. If you are thinking about this book, don't do it based on the following names I found in the book: celery and dijonnaise. Were they just trying to reach 40,000 and 40,001 name so they could call it a day?
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13 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 10, 2003
Format: Paperback
This is probably the most disappointing baby name book I've ever read. The 75 fun baby name lists are promising, but overall the book description, no doubt provided by the publisher, is blatantly wrong. Supposedly this book contains "40,001 full names-not the derivative names and nicknames other books include." Not only are the derivatives and nicknames counted in the total, but so are seemingly endless compound names and multiple spelling variations of same names. Even if I could convince myself that Bobbiechristine is an independent name, rather than a combination of two names, I could never get behind a name classification system that has BobbiChris, Bobbichristine, Bobbie-Christine and the aforementioned Bobbiechristine counting as 4 names towards its inflated total. Interestingly, the one variation of this name that is present in pop culture, Whitney Houston's daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown is completely absent.
The "important sections such as 10 steps to naming a baby and real-life stories" are both about the length of typical magazine articles at 4 and 4 and a half pages respectively. They provide little in the way of fresh advice and the real-life stories seem to be culled primarily from people who I can only assume are the author's friends and acquaintances in south Texas. This approach is symptomatic of the superficial level of research that has gone into this book. I'm not a baby naming expert, but even I'm not fooled by the spurious definitions given for many of the names in this book. When in doubt (or unwilling to do even basic research), the author seems willing to go with the impression she feels a name creates rather than any kind of actual linguistic meaning. Just try to count how many girl's names mean pretty.
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By Laura on February 25, 2013
Format: Paperback
In the B section for girls' names, it suggested Badger, Bubbles, and Butter, leading me to give up before we named our daughter Balloon Bradley without realizing it's not a name.

The authors seem to have missed the point that when it comes to baby names, quality is more important than quantity. 40,001, indeed.
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