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Baby Names Around the World Paperback – May 1, 1999

3.3 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Bruce Lansky has edited a number of poetry anthologies (including Rolling in the Aisles, Kids Pick the Funniest Poems, If Kids Ruled the School, A Bad Case of the Giggles, Miles of Smiles, and No More Homework! No More Tests!), and 3 silly songbook anthologies. Lansky created the popular GigglePoetry.com website for children and the PoetryTeachers.com website for teachers. He also created the Girls to the Rescue series, the New Fangled Fairy Tales series, and the Can You Solve the Mysteries series.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Meadowbrook (May 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671316583
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671316587
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 8 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,174,376 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
While this name book claims to list over 50,000 names, it is a bit deceiving. The 50,000 includes one name and its variant spellings listed separately, beefing up its numbers. It can be frustrating to find the meaning of a name, because so many variants are listed and only the original name has the meaning. On the bright side, this book does include a wide variety of names not necessarily found in other books and in an easy to read format. As one who enjoys researching names, I found the meanings to be brief and not all inclusive. I enjoyed the most popular naming lists from 1880-1990 and the top 100 list from 1998. It also has a name index by country/language, allowing a direct search instead of flipping through every name. Not a bad book to have in your library of naming books, but certainly not the only one to own.
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Format: Paperback
In the lists of names from Scandinavia, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Iceland about halv of the names are not first names. Many "names" are unknown as names and words at all. There are a lot of surnames. Ola is not a girl's name, but a boy's, and Bodil, Inger, Mette and Valborg is not a boy's name. Kari is not a typical Danish name,but a Norwegian. Also some misspellings.
For other languages I find that Charles is German, that Che is Spanish for José, Ivar is a variant of Ivor og Ivo, Yves is a French form of Ivar. Van (p. 381) and Von (p. 383) are short forms of first names. Mac is a Scottish first names for boys. All this do no correspond to my information from other sources. In the lists of German, French and Spanish first names there are a lot of surnames. But may be all the surnames in the English-list also is used at first names for boys?
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Format: Paperback
Before becoming a dad (well, I will be one in October), if you paid to me I would have never guessed I'd be reading a book on this topic today, but you see: here I am, browsing through a handful of books off of the shelves looking for ideas. Here's our case: my wife and I wanted to name our baby with a beautiful name (how original, huh?) that is not repeated anywhere near (family and close friends) and that plays well both ways, in English AND Spanish without anyone needing to twist their mouths to pronounce it.
I had a chance to check out this book and found it to be a waste of anyone's time and one with a misleading title. After a few lists of top 10 and top 100 names under different criteria (which you can get off the Internet without much effort) it goes into a list of names supposedly from different countries that, more than names sound like figments from the author's imagination. Here goes the worst example of what I don't want to see anyone named: for a boy, "STARBUCK". This is an actual suggestion from the author!! I am NOT kidding. When I saw this, I closed the book. It officially topped the list of worst baby name books I reviewed today. I recommend "A World of Baby Names" or "From Aaron to Zoe".
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Format: Paperback
The best part of this book is the adorable illustration on the cover -- If you're looking for an unusual, foreign name for your child, particularly from a country or culture that is not in the mainstream (Tamile, Twi, Zulu, Zuni, Kakwa, Kukuyu -- you get the idea) this book would provide a good starting point, but I would certainly do additional research to confirm that the definitions and spellings are accurate. One section of the book lists names by country of origin. The largest section of the book provides a dictionary-style listing of names, definitions, and variations for boys and girls. I get a sense that the lists of international names are sometimes little more than lists of international words, some of which may not be well-suited for a name. There's also very little (make that no) information on how parents in different cultures choose to name their babies, so a name that makes sense in a foreign culture may make no sense in American culture. One of the reviewers below comments that when he saw the name "Starbuck", he put this book down. I've found that all of the baby name books contain names I wouldn't dream of imposing on a child (names like Eleven) and the trend in naming books is toward the unique -- I don't know that this book is any different. In any event, naming a child is a very personal decision and this book could provide a fun, useful starting point.
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