Book Reviews of What NOT to Name Your Baby!

What NOT to Name Your Baby
Author: Linda J. Beam
ISBN-13: 9781581733181
ISBN-10: 1581733186
Publication Date: 2005
Pages: 128
  • Currently 1.8/5 Stars.

1.8 stars, based on 4 ratings
Publisher: Sweet Water Press
Book Type: Paperback
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2 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed What NOT to Name Your Baby! on + 4 more book reviews
A great book to guide you in choosing a tease-free name for your baby!
reviewed What NOT to Name Your Baby! on + 10 more book reviews
I've had a life-long interest in baby names and collected quite a few baby name books over the years. I visit blogs, pay attention to statistics, and just basically try to stay up to date on naming trends (everyone needs a hobby). I'm afraid I really can't recommend this particular book. Not only is it not very useful, it is not well-designed and contains information that is confusing, dated, or even downright false. So Calvin means 'bald' and Abby is sometimes used for dogs. Is that truly a reason not to use those names? Ashley, Brooke, and Courtney are unisex names--really? Not since 1980, they're not.

The nickname section is the worst. I'm convinced the author, or at least the copyeditor (if there was one--errors are rampant enough to make me doubt), completely lost track of what they were doing in this section. Nabby (but not Abby) is listed as a nickname for Abigail. "Dicey" is listed as a nickname for Diane/Diana--okay. I've never heard it, but okay. Also for Eurydice and Laodicia. Well, I don't think either of those name gets enough use to warrant an official nickname, but Dicey makes as much sense as anything. But Dicey is listed for Edith and Elizabeth as well. What? There's the clear reversals of format-- Charlotte is short for Lotty? And then there's the absolutely bizarre. Susannah is a nickname for Hannah. John is a nickname for Ian. Meaka for McKenna, Pony for Napoleon, Agnes for Nancy, Parsuny for Parthenia (I'll take your word for that one).

This book has good intentions: it wants parents to think through their name choice before saddling a child with it for life. I entirely agree with that sentiment. But I can't help thinking that the author can't have done more than an afternoon's research into modern naming. I honestly wonder how the thing got published, especially as recently as 2005. There is exactly one sentence in this book that impressed me. Here it is:

"Before you name your child for a well-known personality, you may want to ask yourself if the person really has qualities to be admired, or is merely famous."

There. Now you have no need whatsoever to buy this book.