Seven Things You Should Know When baby naming in Singapore
Selecting the perfect name of our children can be both exciting and intimidating for parents-to-be.
Names are extensive sources of knowledge. They denote a person's gender, ethnicity, or social status on the one hand; and can also suggest morality and other positive traits of character, such as warmth and joy.
With over 10,000 different baby names in the world, across religion, culture, language, selecting a name for your baby boy or baby girl is likely to be a battle of choices, preferences and familial influences.
In fact, the team at Gigacalculator¹ quizzed 5,842 parents about their baby name choices. They found that 73% of mums and dads had thought of better monikers for their children after naming them!
With less than a year to think about it before you ink it in the birth certificate, here are seven things you need to know while naming your baby!
1) Baby Name By Origin and Religion
The name of a child is an essential part of his or her identity. In general, the meaning of the name or character embodies values, traits and well wishes for the child. Expectations and pressure to choose a name with "meaning" are ever present in the process of baby naming in Singapore. The name we choose proclaims their personality, outlook, and our parenting tenets! Ironically, it does so by and for a child who can't quite sit up and say otherwise, yet! The very first gift you give your baby is his or her name. And it's the only thing that’ll keep for the rest of their lives. Moreover, there's always the nagging chance that you'll make a wrong decision, which can now be easily avoided with the use of recommended name generators that do all the groundwork for you.
Many names have deep seated meanings with its roots in languages such as Hebrew, Greek and English. For example, the name “Liam” is the popular Germanic form of “William” with Irish origins, meaning “The Guardian’.
Depending on specific beliefs, you might want to consider the religious representations. Christians and Catholics for example, tend to select names of saints, apostles or biblical characters as a way to represent their beliefs with their children.2
For the Chinese, the character “Jun” for example means handsome, “Wei” means courageous, “Jie” means outstanding. Does Wei Jie or Jun Jie sound like a pretty common name to you?
2) Know your culture’s naming rules!
Baby naming in Singapore is influenced by a variety of cultural and ethnic traditions.
For instance, if Muslims want to name their child after one of Allah’s 99 names, they must follow Islamic naming conventions and rules³. The naming systems and traditions for Indian and Tamil names are often derived from religion, caste, or epics. There are even considerations between a birth name and an official name!
For the Chinese, some traditional families include a “Generation” character and bestow it upon children belonging to the same generation. These characters are decided by the elders and are listed in their family tree!
Some families name their children using Feng Shui principles. It is believed that a child's destiny is influenced by the strokes in a name's traditional Chinese character. The sum of a name's letter strokes yields a number, and that number must match the child's numerology chart.
Checking in with your family is a good place to start. Embracing cultural roots is important to keep family values close to heart and a great wish for our children.
3) Make me a name – variations and modifications to common names in baby naming in Singapore
Modifications of common names have been a trend in the modern age to help names stand out. One of the common baby boy’s names, Sean (or Shawn, Shaun or Shon), is a perfect example of spelling variants.
With English names, you can also consider the first letter of the child’s name to be the same as the rest of the family! Imagine 3 kids in the bunch – Charlotte, Charmaine and Caleb! Famous celebrities such as the Kardashian family is known to stand out with the letter “K” and in a Facebook study done in 2014, siblings have a 11% probability to be named with the same first initial.⁴
Other known modifications include using hypocorism (using pet names / short form of names). For example, variations of Elizabeth are Lizzie, Liz or Betsy or that of Margaret with Maggie, Marge, or Meg.
Add your creative flair to naming your children. Bear in mind though that uncommon modifications might just make it harder to read or worse, pronounce.
4) Is it hard to pronounce?- baby naming in Singapore
While unique names help our children stand out, hard-to-pronounce names can lead to a lifetime of correcting people or having to accept mispronunciations.
Because these names have non-English roots, they may be difficult to pronounce in English. However, if you understand the name or hear it spoken by native speakers in the language of origin, you might be pleasantly surprised.
A prime example would be the name Joaquin, the Spanish equivalent of the Hebrew name Joachim. It is pronounced as ‘wah-keen’, with the J staying silent in Spanish. The Swedish name Bjorn is pronounced as be-YORN, with the J once again silenced when pronounced.
Keeping your child’s name short, sweet and not too much of a mouthful, helps in the long run. Imagine longer names and having to reproduce on exam papers and essay scripts!
Simple names have many advantages. It reduces pronunciation errors. According to a research journal on name-pronunciation, simple names are judged more positively than difficult to read names.5
Not surprisingly, simple names such as James, John, Patricia, Mary, Jessica made it to the top 100 most used names in the US over the last 100 years
Simple names can be made cool too! Consider one-syllable such as Ash, Blake or Jade or modern names such as Emma, Sam or Ada!
6) Does it have to be famous or does it need to include a family member? - baby naming in Singapore
The choice is entirely yours.. Naming your child after a famous celebrity, an influential figure or even someone “famous” in your household, or that of your ancestors, is more popular than you think. Harry, Hermione, and Oliver have all become household names thanks to their literary characters!!
In the UK and the US, where middle names are frequently used, adding a close family member’s name as a baby’s middle name is highly favoured.
Some parents prefer to name their children after themselves. Examples include Henry the I, Henry the II, Robert Downey Junior and so on.
If necessary, parents can consider adding such names as middle names for their children while keeping the first name as the unique identity for the child.
7) Don’t Stress about it - pressures of baby naming in Singapore
The pressure to choose the ideal baby name can be overwhelming. In the long term, if you ever feel that you named them poorly or regret it, you may want to think about addressing them by their nickname or by their middle name, whichever may be appropriate.
To help our parents with baby naming in Singapore, here’s a list of names for baby boys and baby girls! Select among the top 100 baby names with the Enfamama A+ Baby Name Generator tool. Know all about the name and be inspired by the stories and origin behind each name over here!