Read this article from Wall Street Journal on the stress that parents go thru’ when choosing and deciding on a name for their lil’ humanoids.
These American parents are not just picking up ideas from books, mags or Googling it, but also paying consultants to help them.
Taken from the article, “And the growing brand consciousness among consumers has made parents more aware of how names can shape perceptions. The result: a child’s name has become an emblem of individual taste more than a reflection of family traditions or cultural values. “We live in a marketing-oriented society,” says Bruce Lansky, a former advertising executive and author of eight books on baby names, including “100,000 + Baby Names.” “People who understand branding know that when you pick the right name, you’re giving your child a head start.””
There have been reports of an NZ couple who wants to name their newborn “4Real” and another baby girl who has about 20+ names cos of her boxing-crazed family. And what about the kids and adults in HK and China who have interesting names (the most recent name I heard is “Wonderman”).
And being a Chinese, we not only have to grapple with English first names ‘cos it’s easier to remember (at least for D and I), but we need to decide on a Chinese name too. So that’s like double the stress.
At least for D & I, we don’t really care about the number of strokes for each Chinese character (some will see a fortune teller/fengshui master to do the calculations based on the child’s birthday so that good fortune will follow the kid throughout his/her life). Neither do we care about the need to check some old family almanac or speak to some ancient relative to find out the Chinese character (other than the surname) that must make up the rest of the name.
My Chinese name was thought of by my grandfather and I have asked my dad to think of one for his grandson. At least that will give my dad something to do too, since he is now retired. I reckon this will be a nice tradition that I will start in my family. In the future, when my children have their own kids, it will be D’s turn to think of a Chinese name, provided his Chinese improves. 🙂