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Very Best Baby Name Book In The Whole Wide World: Revised Edition Paperback – February 28, 1996

3.6 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 364 pages
  • Publisher: Meadowbrook (February 28, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671561138
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671561130
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,759,270 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is the only book I bought when I was pregnant with my daughter and the only one I am using now to find a name for baby #2. This is a great book if you enjoy searching through names and their variations. I wanted to see as many realistic names as possible and I knew I wanted an uncommon, but not weird, name. It also lists the ethnicity of the name and its variations. My only complaint (and I have an old version of the book, so this may have changed) is that the book does not lay out the pronunciation of the names. Overall, I love this book and searching through it.
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Format: Paperback
The market for baby name books must indeed be cut-throat. I mean, they're either THE VERY BEST BABY NAME BOOK (as claimed here) or THE ONLY BABY NAME BOOK YOU'll EVER NEED, or THE LAST WORD ON FIRST NAMES! Yikes! How daunting for those prospective parents who feel the need for such a guide. (I don't know how my own parents named EIGHT kids without ever purchasing such a book, but back then, I guess, people trusted their own instincts and sense of good taste).

Of course, back in the 50s and 60s, there were naming trends but not this near frenzy to be unique and original (but not so original as to be downright WEIRD), so the pressure wasn't so great. Nowadays, you gotta give the kid the right name, get him/her in the right pre-school and modern dance class and into a college prep program by age four or their lives will be ruined (and it'll be ALL your fault).

Bruce Lansky is nothing if not comprehensive, so for those seeking variety in naming, there will certainly be an abundance here. Of course, one of the book's selling points is the sheer number of names offered, but Lansky knows and you know that 99% are things most parents would NEVER even consider. It's nice to see what the most popular names in Bulgaria are, but most of them really won't fly at that trendy pre-school after all.

A look at the '91 edition (back when it was simply THE *BEST* BABY NAME BOOK (IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD) is instructive. Back the first name listed in the girls' section was (as you might guess) "Abbey, Abby." This time out, you have such exotica as 'Aolani and 'Aulani preceding (taking precedence, I guess, because there is an apostrophe BEFORE the actual "A").
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Format: Paperback
Lansky has written many baby name books and this one is really interesting. It is not as good as 35,000+ Baby Names or Baby Names Around the World both also by Lansky, but a very interesting book. I am addicted to baby name books and I recommend this one.
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Format: Paperback
I have to admit to being upset by the claim that this book is a knockoff of 50,001 Best Baby Names (and the piddly single star rating as a result), given that the first edition of Lansky's book was published in 1979, and the first edition of 50,001 in 2005. My 1984 edition does include multiple lists of the type to which MOM is referring.

I was astonished when I saw the updated copy of this book -- my skinny 1984 ed. has only 13,001 names! When I flipped through the newest edition in search of the obscure names I tend to like (like another reviewer's husband, I am a writer), I was thrilled to find most of them, in addition to more common names.

I also own Sherrilyn Kenyon's Character Naming book, and I have to say that the new version of The Very Best Baby Name Book may have it beat. My biggest complaint about Kenyon's book is that while it includes Hebrew and even a (very) few Sanskrit names, it is almost completely devoid of any Asian-based names (Chinese, Japanese, Korean, among others). Lansky includes lists of popular names from around the world -- from Canada to Russia to China to Kenya. Though Kenyon's book does categorize names based on nationality, it can be a little mind-numbing to page through the same names in nationality after nationality, so it's nice to have another reference with the more traditional alphabetical approach (and nationality of origin is included for each name).

I have also used websites that contain databases of thousands of names, and I adamantly believe that buying a book like Lansky's is *well* worth the money. Online databases, while useful, are riddled with advertisements and popups; typically the list of names fills only a tenth of the page, leaving you paging through short list after short list and spending as much time clicking and scrolling as you do reading names. Lansky's book is a compilation of lots of sites of this sort, and a must-have for any writer's (or future parent's!) shelf.
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Format: Paperback
Bought this book when I was pregnant with my first in 1997 and since then have had over 5 friends borrow it and loved it. Now I'm expecting again and using it yet again. The best part of this book is that it not only displays generic names but many variations of the name including spellings and still has the every popular "trendy" names. The beginning section is not only entertaining it's informational and really does make you think before you name. If you ever get the chance to browse through it, do it.
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By ellison on September 10, 2014
Format: Paperback
Begins with a note to Dear Abby about Jr names.

15 things to consider, sterotype names, gender-neutral names, popular names from around the World (1997).

5 pages of actual names of famous people (interesting). Name facts.

148 pages for girls and 160 pages for boys. Identifies the origin of the name, the definition, and alternate versions. Insight.

Is a name a name or is it who the person is/becomes?
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