Tuesday, April 23, 2013

How to Test Out a Baby Name Before You're Stuck With It

When you're picking your baby's name, you always wonder what it will sound like in real-life situations.

Well, here's a site that purports to show you just that. You enter your choice into BabyGenie and then it uses the name in a series of hypothetical scenarios.

To show you how it works, let's try it with one of my favorite wife-rejected names, Wilhelmina. (For testing purposes, I'll use the last name Lerner.)

How does Wilhelmina Lerner sound in the real world?

  1. Wilhelmina, could you please set the table?
  2. I am not joking around Wilhelmina, this is really important to me!
  3. Wilhelmina--Wilhelmina! Are you listening to me!?!
  4. Hello, Wellington Inc. this is Wilhelmina.
  5. Wilhelmina Lerner, come on down! You're the next contestant!
  6. Hey Wilhelmina. How are you doing?
  7. Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Wilhelmina Lerner.
  8. Wilhelmina! Pick up your toys. I am not going to ask you again.
  9. I am at Wilhelmina Lerner's house.
  10. Do you Wilhelmina Lerner take this man to be your lawfully wedded husband?
  11. I talked to Wilhelmina this afternoon.
  12. I am sorry, Wilhelmina isn't here right now. Can I take a message?
  13. You'll have to see Wilhelmina Lerner about that. She will know what to do.
  14. Yes? Wilhelmina? Do you have a question?
  15. Mr. Lerner, if Wilhelmina would consistently turn her homework in--on time--she would be one of my star pupils.
  16. Would passenger Wilhelmina Lerner please see the nearest ticket agent?
  17. Wilhelmina. Is that you?
  18. And the winner is... Wilhelmina Lerner!
  19. Mommy! Wilhelmina ate my cookie!
  20. Hello, you've reached the voice mail of Wilhelmina Lerner. I am away from my desk right now. Please leave a message and I will return your call as soon as possible.
  21. Wilhelmina, it's not the end of the world. It's just a car. You are more important than a car.
  22. Wilhelmina, I love you!
  23. Write back soon. Your Friend, Wilhelmina
  24. Does Wilhelmina like avocado?
  25. Wilhelmina, it's time for dinner.
  26. WilhelminaLerner. Spelled W-I-L-H-E-L-M-I-N-A.
  27. Oh, there you are Wilhelmina. I've been looking all over for you!
It probably works best if you have a friend read it aloud to you. (I recommend using British accents!)

But one thing this doesn't prepare you for is how your baby's siblings are going to pronounce his or her name.

We gave all our kids names with prominent L syllables, not realizing that they're basically impossible for children to say.

When Alice was born, Elliot called her something close to "Ice."

Now that Alice is 2, she calls her sister "Ooh-see" and her brother's name sounds very similar to the title of this song.

I'm sure it will all sort itself out eventually.