The business of naming babies.

The WSJ calls it “branding” your newborn. Don’t name that child after his grandfather! He needs a previously unheard of name.

Sean and Dawn Mistretta from Charlotte, N.C., tossed around possibilities for five months before they hired a pair of consultants — baby-name book authors who draw up lists of suggestions for $50. During a 30-minute conference call with Mrs. Mistretta, 34, a lawyer, and Mr. Mistretta, 35, a securities trader, the consultants discussed names based on their phonetic elements, popularity, and ethnic and linguistic origins — then sent a 15-page list of possibilities. When their daughter was born in April, the Mistrettas settled on one of the consultants’ suggestions — Ava — but only after taking one final straw poll of doctors and nurses at the hospital. While her family complimented the choice, Mrs. Mistretta says, “they think we’re a little neurotic.”

I am reminded of the Lewis Black routine about kids named “Asshole” (As-show-la) and “Shithead” (Shi-theed).

When I went to school (Mother of God, that makes me sound old), there was another Chuck the whole time and I knew five Kathys. Somehow, we all survived this debacle.

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One Response to The business of naming babies.

  1. Timmy says:

    I have a sister who is a nurse. She once told me the story of a soon-to-be mother and father who decided to combine a couple names for something unique, and came up with Vagina (vah-GEE-na). Once she realized they were serious, she sat down and had a little talk with them.

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