- Paperback: 342 pages
- Publisher: Everything; 1st edition (January 1, 1997)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1558506551
- ISBN-13: 978-1558506558
- Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 8 x 0.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 15 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,725,788 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Everything Baby Names Book: Everything You Need to Know to Pick the Perfect Name for your Baby Paperback – January 1, 1997
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A chatty, opinionated book listing a huge number of unusual names and their derivations, as well as helpful lists of the most popular names from each decade. If you're thinking of naming your baby girl "Alonsa," it might be useful to know that it means "ready to fight."
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Any reader, or thumber-through, or this book, who will (of course) be looking for ideas on what to name an upcoming addition to her family, will be completely snowed under by the absurd profusion of exotic names contained in this book, and will end up wasting approximately 90% of the time spent poring over this waste of paper. The emphasis here is overwhelmingly on sheer quantity of information, rather than quality. I was not surprised to read from some of the other reviews here that the author has played fast-and-loose with meanings and authenticity of certain Japanese names, and this flaccidity-with-the-facts undoubtedly runs throughout the entire course of the book. As well, one might expect such a voluminous catalog of (to say the least) UNUSUAL names, to provide a pronunciation key for those parents-to-be who might actually take some of the suggestions seriously, but this book has no such help. As such, the information that is here, undoubtedly error-ridden to begin with, can be nothing more than an idle curiosity.
Above all, the vast majority of names in here are just so outlandish that NO ONE would begin to consider them. Dead set on a girl's name that begins with the letters "Tz"? No fear: there are OVER A DOZEN of them in here (I swear I am not making this up).
This book is a perfect example of the worst excesses of both reality-immune multiculturalism as well as the make-a-quick-buck-off-new-parents industry. Undoubtedly, Lisa Shaw never had in mind to put together a book that would actually help parents decide on a name for their child. Presumably, such a book exists, but this is decidedly not it.
The only thing I thought needed some work was that, 9 times out of 10, Ms. Shaw's assessment that the reason a certain name became popular was because of a particular celebrity. While that is obviously true in some cases, some of the more modern names--like Ava--I know are not popular right now because of the actress Ava Gardner. I'm pretty sure the people my age having babies right now do not remember and perhaps have not even heard of Ava Gardner. (To be totally honest, the only reason I have heard of her is because of crossword puzzles!) So, for me, the repetition of "because of such-and-such an actor" got pretty old pretty fast. Many of the celebrities she mentioned were from much older generations than mine.