Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Look of a Name

One day, not too long ago, I found this link - Build a Name. It is a very fun way of looking at a name in many different fonts. How would your kid's name look in lights on Broadway? How would it look written by a young child?  How would it look if typed by a label maker? While it's an enjoyable time-spender, cruising this website makes me ask the question, do the results help or hurt the way I feel about a name?

It doesn't even have to be in a cool font for me to wonder the answer to that question.  We all know of the daydreaming activity of writing our name with a crush's last name or our future spouse's last name to see what it would look like if we married him.  And I know I wrote down, in print and in cursive, the many names I was considering when naming my children.  Not only for list-keeping purposes, but to see what it looked like written down. This is the name that will be typed out on the birth certificate, printed on birthday invitations and graduation announcements, and calligraphied on wedding invitations.  (Is calligraphied a word?  If not, I just made it one.)  Does looking at and thinking about this make a difference when making a decision?

Personally, I would have to answer "sort of."  For example, I LOVE the look of Josiah Brent. It was a contender when we were naming Simon.  But the look of it wasn't enough for me to choose it.  I loved the look and the sound of it, but I just couldn't "see" it as the name for my son.  I also didn't like how it felt yelling the name.  And we all know the frequency of which we yell out our kids names.  The name that we eventually chose, Simon Brent, looks pretty cool to my eyes.  I don't think I could have chosen a name that I didn't like the look of.  It's not as "pretty" as Josiah Brent, but it's perfect for my son.  So, while the look of a name is important to me, it's not the top factor when making the final decision.

In thinking about why I find certain names unattractive written down and therefore would make it not considerable when choosing a name for my child, I came to the conclusion that it mostly has to do with spelling.  I love the look of Simon, but not Symon (which 21 babies were named last year).  I may think a certain name is nicer looking than another, but I don't find it unattractive unless it's spelled differently than I prefer.

So, NameFreaks!... does the look of a name influence YOUR decision in whether or not you like a name, or like a name enough to choose it for your child?



  1. I'm often telling people who are new to us that Gillian's name starts with a G because that is my favorite thing about her name. I also like the look of Reuben because it's a cool spelling. These are my bookend children whose names will always be misspelled. Then there's sweet George, whose name does not get misspelled, but it looks cool to me too because of the Ge at the end and beginning and you can take the last two letters and the middle two letters and the first two letters and make George again. I am taking this way too far ;). I'll just say that for me, YES!, the look makes a huge difference!

  2. Yes, I had a very hard time when we were choosing Ian's name because I didn't like the way it looked in certain fonts, etc. It's a 3 letter name, so it could easily be mistaken for initials/monogram. That drove me nuts, but my husband was so in love with the name that we went with it. I love it now too.


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