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Beyond Jennifer & Jason, Madison & Montana: What to Name Your Baby Now Mass Market Paperback – March 15, 2000

4.0 out of 5 stars 72 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

For expectant parents, it's part of the tradition to pore endlessly over baby-name books searching for the perfect moniker. Names carry stereotypes, vary in perceived attractiveness (a blond bombshell named Gertrude?), and help influence how we see ourselves. As Sigmund Freud once said, "A human being's name is a principal component in her person, perhaps a piece of his soul." In Beyond Jennifer and Jason, Madison and Montana, name experts Linda Rosenkrantz and Pamela Redmond Satran present a baby-name book that goes far beyond the usual name lists and definitions. Satran and Rosenkrantz provide a thorough history of American naming traditions, discuss the psychological and sociological impact of names, and, yes, include list after list after list of possibilities organized into categories: popular names, old-fashioned names, comfy names, yuppie names, African-American names, androgynous names, Shakespearean names, unpopular names, creative names, mythological names, effective and ineffective middle names, classical names... and so on. Annotated with humorous notes, descriptions, quotes, and name-derivation definitions, the book is a fun and fascinating read even for those not debating between Gravity and Jane or Mason and Hendrick. --Ericka Lutz --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"The all-new edition of the "classic baby name guide."--The New York Times Magazine

"The best baby-naming book ever written."--The News Journal

"The arbiter of hip baby names."--The Wall Street Journal

"If you want some inspiration in naming your baby (or if you just want to spend some amusing moments), pickup Beyond Jennifer & Jason."--Family Circle

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks; 3rd edition (March 15, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312974620
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312974626
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.9 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,276,896 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jennifer Fowler on December 3, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I purchased this book along with "20,001 Names for Baby." I wanted the standard long list of names book but I also wanted something a little different. Well, this was differnt!
At first I wasn't sure how I would like it as the book is divided up into numerous categories and subcategories. Some names are seen several times throughout the book. Needless to say, I started with the other book but once I got tired of reading name after name after name in alphebetical order (and being put to sleep), I switched to this one and haven't put it down since.
The book often gives a couple paragraphs of info for each category of names it presents. Off the top of my head, some of the categories are last names for first names, place names, nature names, boy names for girls, timeless names, way out there names, ethnic names, etc. Most categories have subcategories and are also split between boys names and girls names, although some lists are gender-neutral.
There are some really far out there names that probably could have been omitted, but then that wouldn't have been fair to those far out there people. :) I found several (normalish) names that were left out of other books. It gives advise on middle names, and what to watch out for (words spelled from initials, etc). One thing that this book doesn't have is a meaning for each name. Personally, I was fine with that but those that are looking for name meaning might want to pick up another book to suppliment this, or just search the web.
Overall, the book is great. It's thought provoking and really does help make the naming process more enjoyable.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
If you are tired of baby naming books that don't go beyond the origin and meaning of hundreds of names, then you will love this book! In it, the authors include trends and classifications of names that will help you to avoid the most overused choices. Of particular interest to me were the "So Far In They're Out," and "So Far Out They're In" sections which pinpoint some of the most popular names being used today.
This book will also help you choose a name that will suit your child, whether from the "Fashionable Classics," "Creative Power Names," Feminine or Manly," or any of the foreign name sections. I really found this book to be useful because it helps you to see what other people find attractive or unattractive in a name so that you can settle on one that will make you (and hopefully your child) happy.
If you prefer really different, or maybe somewhat bizarre, names then this book won't disappoint in that area, either. Suggestions for naming after objects, places, and soap opera characters abound...and you also get the (true, I've noticed) observation that more and more girls are receiving very "boy" names, while the same boy names are being used over and over for...boys!
This is a must-have book for anyone laboring (pun intended) over a name for their baby. The options, descriptions, and creativity shown here will really help make the job a little easier.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is not some list of origins and meanings, it actually gives you valuable information. When you name your child do you really think all his friends are going to care that his name means "little king"? This book is pure fun and education for those of us who love the name game. Beyond that it does something that I would love to be able to do with the same tact, it says "hey you, that name you're thinking about has been used way too much!" This book was written for all of us who think if we meet another Ashley or Brittany we just might scream. But it's also for those soon to be parents out there that still think Jennifer is hip and Sophie is an old lady name. I had this book long before becoming pregnant and still flip through it now that my daughter is three. I buy a copy for every close friend that become pregnant. I personally love this book!
One warning though, if you like really common 80's type names i.e. Jennifer and Jason, you will probably really not like this book, however if you're ready to really explore all your options, this is the one for you! It's a great journey!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
An amazingly informative, helpful, and fun book, BJ&J is the best guide for parents who are new to the naming scene, and it's also great for name-pros like me. <g> I love the upbeat, unusual style of the writing and format; so many other name books that have commentaries are kind of depressing in their negativity. This book is not judgmental, it's simply honest, and it gives you the plain truth about how people will see your child's name. Many of the recommended names are classic, and it's not hard to see that the authors like unusual classic names.
I also think all the lists are wonderful. The compelation of names in other countries is fabulous (especially the French and Greek names), and also the list of exotic/creative names. I recommend the larger edition, simply because the fonts are nicer and the format is overall more professional.
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Format: Paperback
I came accross this little gem right before I got pregnant with my son. Bored with traditional baby naming books, the title to this one caught my eye, and boy am I glad I found it. I already owned the first edition which is also great, but this one contains new sections such as president's surnames as first names, and regular words as names. I agree that some of the suggestions were silly at best, but some were intriguing as well. Are you a writer? How about Story for a girl?
I think that every first time parent should take a look at this book before making that final decision on what to name their baby. I used to work at a daycare where we had three girls named Jordan in the same class. I'm sure that their parents thought that it was a creative name and had never met another little girl with that name before, but a quick look at this book will let you know that it's one of the trendiest names around. A first time parent who's not around children very much most likely doesn't know what's hot and what's not and this book is invaluable. We had been considering Taylor for a girl before we read this because we thought it sounded unique. How wrong we were! Now, I still think it's a beautiful name, but if I ever do decide to use it at least I'll be prepared for the possiblity that she'll have a couple of other girls with the same name in her class.
This is THE book to look at if you want to make sure that you pick out a name you'll love. We decided to name our son William Noel (Will) after much deliberation. William, while popular, is a classic name that will never go out of style, and my grandfather's name was William, so it has special meaning to me. Noel, we just thought sounded good with the first name.
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