Guest Post : How to name your kids


Yet another lovely guest post by my favorite guest author on the blog. This time around he deals with the nuances of how to name our kids keeping in mind the various points to be considered while doing so.

Read on to enjoy this timeless piece of advice.


‘***********chary’ is quite a mouthful. I figured out quite early that if I had to get anywhere in my love-life and work-life, I should have a shorter (& sweeter) name and so I became ‘Nandu’. My paternal grandfather wanted everyone in his clan to have a ‘Swamy’ or ‘Chary’ in their names. Normally, these appellations are given to learned scholars, but my paternal grand-pa took the easy way out. My maternal grandfather wanted his entire clan names to start with the letter ‘V’. The number of hindu names starting with the letter ‘V’ is mind-boggling. I sometime feel I have descended from loonies in both sides of the family tree.

bram2My favorite fantasy these days is listing out all the things that I will do post-retirement. My wife then gently reminds me of my responsibilities – bringing up both our kids, their education, their marriage and then grand-kids, their education and their marriage… I didn’t go through the fine print carefully when I signed-up for marriage and parenthood.

Whether it’s a love marriage or arranged marriage, the true test happens when the baby is born and you are trying to figure out a suitable name. Our family friend has delivered a baby. Though the baby is nearly a month old, they are undecided on the baby’s name. The baby is referred to by them as – ‘The Baby’. Should be tough for the baby, I think…

When my elder one was born, we took the easy way out and she was christened with all the names (about half-a-dozen) that my parents and in-laws came up with. But, my wife and I agreed that we will call her legally as ‘Anjana’ thanks to our fascination with Hanuman. When the younger one was born, Anjana took the responsibility of finding a suitable name and the younger one was duly called as ‘Ananya’. Thanks to her involvement in selecting a name, I think Anjana feels some sense of ownership or responsibility for Ananya!

Some Dos and Don’ts when choosing names

a. Most schools sort lists on the basis of alphabetical order. Kids with names that figure early in the attendance list generally catch attention from the teachers.

b. The flip side is if the kids are too ahead in the alphabetical order (like mine are), they get called out for surprise quizzes and recitations without time for preparation.

c. Don’t try to name your baby after your ex-flame. Your wife will soon find out.

d. Naming your baby after a relation or an ancestor is a nice gesture. But, do bear in mind that some of those names are really old fashioned and can be hard on the baby.

bram3e. Beware of quirks in local pronunciations. Vidya becomes Bidya in Kolkata. Ramya becomes Remya in Kerala. Shruti becomes Suruthi in Tamil Nadu.

f. Should you consult a numerologist or an astrologer to name your baby? I think there is no harm if you think an extra alphabet will give an extra edge to your baby. Why leave things un-tried?

g. Don’t name your baby after any cine-star or celebrity. Sooner or later these folks will do something silly and you will regret your choice.

The elder one writes ‘Anjana *****’ in various fonts and styles and admires her creations. While I watch her with a smile, I realize that in some time, ‘*****’ will be replaced by a ‘XYZ’ when she finds her love.

That’s when I feel like freezing time, stop my children from growing up and holding on to them forever. At these times I how I used to tease my wife (she has no siblings) when her parents used to come visiting her almost every day when we were newly married. Life takes time but makes sure that you learn your lessons the hard way.

The younger one says she should have a more glamorous name like Barbie or Dora perhaps. Then I take her into my arms and tell her a rose by any other name would smell just as sweet. 🙂


Didn’t I tell that this post contains timeless nuggets of information which would prove invaluable when naming your kids. While the rest of the post was awesome, that last line simply tugged at my heart strings, am sure you also felt warm and fuzzy when reading it, didn’t you 😀


All images used in this post are courtesy Google Image search results.

21 thoughts on “Guest Post : How to name your kids

  1. Nice tips there 🙂 But the part where he says ” I realize that in some time, ‘*****’ will be replaced by a ‘XYZ’ when she finds her love.”.. I think that is passe nowadays. Girls prefer sticking to the identity they have always had… practically speaking it means a lot of change as well..

    • @Seeta, well, some of us still belong to those old traditional communities where the father’s name is pretty much forgotten in the passage of time after getting married 😦

  2. Lovely post…his fear of the daughter taking up another name after marriage is my fear too. Though I preferred to keep my maiden name, I really don’t know about her. I loved the tips he’s given too. Some really practical. Thanks

  3. My son has 38 students in his class out of which 30 have names starting from A. I suppose everyone wanted their child to be 1st in everything.
    Yes we chose a name from ancient text but it is short and can be remembered easily 😉

    • @Bhagyashree, yes, the obsession with numerology and number of alphabets in the name, etc are quite funny traits that we Indians have when naming our kids 🙂

  4. Beautiful post! Now I can relate more to your favourite guest, because my firstborn too is named Ananya. 🙂

    “The elder one writes ‘Anjana *****’ in various fonts and styles and admires her creations. While I watch her with a smile, I realize that in some time, ‘*****’ will be replaced by a ‘XYZ’ when she finds her love.”
    This reminded me of my Dad. In Kerala, my birthplace, we have a custom of including father’s first name as a child’s last name instead of the surname. And I so wanted to have his name as my last name in school that I used to write it like that in many of my books (I still have some of the books with that name scribbled by me). But, he didn’t do it officially for the same reason sighted above. When my surname got changed after marriage, I could feel a little pain in his eyes when he first saw them printed. 🙂

  5. Aawww !! Such a nice, short, heartwarming post. I could identify with so many things mentioned here. Lovely tips 🙂 My little P at home has a very difficult name, thanks to her mom 😀 😀 who dug it out of the ancient texts 😀 I’m just waiting for her reaction when she learns to speak her name out 😀 And as for the name change after wedding, in my case it hasn’t happened yet in the documents ; I’m waiting for PP renewal to change it 🙂 🙂

  6. I am going to name my kid Kal-El…he is going to made fun of early in his life…but in college…he is going to be Super-cool

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