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Choosing A Baby Name | 8 Solid Bits Of Advice

Is Max just a bit posh? Will anyone talk to your daughter overseas if you call her Aoife? Pat Fitzpatrick plots a course through the minefield of choosing your baby's name:

1. The Grandparents

It never hurts to name your kids after your parents. If nothing else, it’s great emotional blackmail for a short spot of child-minding. (But she’s named after you! And we’ll be back in three weeks. A month, tops.) The question is of course, which grandparent. That couple whispering furiously at each other at the bed next to you in the maternity hospital? They were both under the impression that the first boy would be named after their father. The only way to get around this is pick a partner whose parents share a name with yours. Yes, that means there is a chance you are already related. But this is Ireland and these things happen on a small island.

REAL NEXT: 20 Baby Names From Mythology

2. Sorcha agus Óisín

Irish names have been in for a while. Particularly since they stopped being a signal that you are a mid-ranking official in the I.R.A. Here is the basic rule about choosing an Irish name. Apparently people who didn’t learn Irish in school for ten years have trouble pronouncing a word with three vowels in a row. So if you name your kids Aoife, Eoin or Caoimhe, they’ll never be able to get a job overseas. It will save you a fortune on flights to Australia. Look at you all planning ahead.

READ NEXT: 20 Gorgeous Irish Baby Names

3. Three Letters

A lot of people wonder why there is a sudden rise in three letter names like Ben and Ava. Until they decide to take their new-born on holidays. Those 15 hours you spent writing a name like Nathaniel on your passport form/EHIC application/flight-booking/travel insurance/hotel booking site? Well, that would have taken 4 hours if you called him Max. Reclaim your life with a three letter child name. As for people who ask if it’s OK to use Ben’s full-name and call him Benjamin? It isn’t. Life is too short.

4. Jack and Emily

Give me one good reason why I should choose from the two most popular names in Ireland last year? The price of birthday cards. The bad news is you will have to buy one for every kid in the class, and if you give them cheapo ones from EuroGiant, people will mock your sprogs for being poor. The good news is that when your child shares a name with half the class, you can just recycle the ones she got at her party. Dear Emily, happy birthday, Emily, xx. (You’re so cheap.)

READ NEXT: Top Baby Names of 2015 Revealed

5. Telly Names

“Why did you call her Cersei?” “She’s my favourite character in Game of Thrones?” “I haven’t seen it.” “Really? You’re such a loser, I’m never going to talk to you again.” Naming a child after a character from your favourite boxset is such a great way to put other people down. Who cares that you named your daughter after dangerous psycho, Cersei Lannister. The important thing is for people to think you are cool. This TV name thing explains why the name Skylar cropped up in the last census. She was a leading character in Breaking Bad. How do you mean you’ve never seen it? You’re such a loser. We’re never talking to you again.

READ NEXT: 20 Game of Thrones Inspired Baby Names

6. Boy Named Sue

You’re probably familiar with the story of the Boy Named Sue in the Johnny Cash song. His dad called him Sue to toughen him up. This won’t work now of course. The kids are all gender fluid these days and your son will probably end up as the coolest boy in the class. (Or girl, depending on who he is identifying as that day.) But giving someone a comical name doesn’t do much for a child’s confidence. Take that from a guy called Patrick Fitzpatrick. And yes, I’ve heard the joke about the two Irish gay men. 873 times.

READ NEXT: 20 Lovely Unisex Baby Names You’ll Positively Adore

7. Celebs

Here is an outline of why you shouldn’t name a child after your favourite celebrity. You name your child after your favourite celebrity. Four years pass. Said star goes on Big Brother to revive her career just as your daughter starts school. Said star has under the duvet sex with some former Hollyoaks star, live on TV. Everyone is talking about it at school the next day because there is no way to stop kids watching what they want. The children notice that your daughter shares a name with the under-the-duvet-sex celeb. Kids can be very cruel.

READ NEXT: Top 20 Celebrity Baby Names

8. Zach and Ruth

You should think long and hard about a name from the bible. A child called Zach or Ruth is such a good way of shouting “I’m rich, cool and middle-class”. And you don’t even have to eat kale or buy an expensive composter. There is so much to like here. There is another biblical option. Fintan. Seriously, it says here on the internet that Fintan was the only Irish man who survived the great Biblical flood. And we all know the internet is never wrong about anything.

READ NEXT: 20 Biblical Baby Names

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About the Author

Pat Fitzpatrick lives in Cork city with his wife and two small kids. He gave up a decent job in I.T. in 2008 to head for the lucrative world of writing. So don't hire him as a life coach, investment advisor or anything to do with your career. His Sunday Independent newspaper columns have been entertaining Irish people through some tough times. Pat is a regular on the on the RTE Today show with Maura Derrane and Daithí O’Sé and pops up frequently on radio shows such as the Right Hook. All of this is a bit too much like hard work, so he has started writing novels which will hopefully fund an early retirement to a hammock in the back garden. His first novel, Keep Away from those Ferraris, is available online and in shops outlined here http://www.patfitzpatrick.ie/novels/. Pat’s kids are both under two, so if you don’t mind, he is now going for a quick lie down.

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