Two of the most popular baby names in 2015 were Sophia and Liam, which would seem to indicate a lot of … Modern Families … have been quite … Taken … by the allure of vaguely European-sounding nomenclature. Baby naming is a fraught experience and the need to be on trend can lead otherwise together parents into a tailspin of paranoia and remorse. Just think about all those parents who named their children Atticus only to have Harper Lee’s lawyer turn their angelic, justice-driven hero into a bitter racist in one money-hungry book deal.
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There are a few well-defined rules you can abide by to help you avoid name shame. First, don’t give in to your parents who’d rather you name your baby after Great Aunt Bertha. Second, as noted, don’t get caught up in trying to have the name make you look cool and progressive. Your kid will not buy that argument every time they have to tell a teacher how to pronounce Shia. “It’s Shy-a. As in, ‘I’m so Shia because I hate having to explain this stupid name to people.” Lastly, whether the name you choose is trendy, classic, or, a numerical living tribute to your favorite ballplayer, consider Hannibal Buress’ kind of ingenious backup plan: 3 middle names. “It’s a name bullpen. Just in case you messed up.” Spoken like a true uncle.
Most importantly, if you do feel a pang of regret, know you’re not alone. A 2012 survey of British parents found that a whopping 54 percent regretted the name they chose for their child, mostly because the name became too popular or because the parents felt it didn’t wind up fitting their kid’s personality. Oddly, a similar survey of U.S. parents found just 8 percent in the same predicament, but that sounds more like good ol’ American vanity, because their rationale was the same: the name was too common. Something to consider before you end up on the playground like, “Sophia! No, not you! The other Sophia! No, the other other Sophia!”