What’s in a name? There are several important factors to consider when choosing a name for your baby. How does the name sound? Is it compatible with your surname? Sometimes longer first names go well with shorter surnames, and vice versa. Also you should consider whether or not combining vowels at the end of the first name and the beginning of the surname works, because they often tend to run together when spoken.

More unusual names are good too; it’s not much fun for your son being Dave G because there are three other Davids in his class.

You may also want to consider your family tree in terms of names, to honour a grandparent or auntie that you loved.

In terms of familial traditions, your religion may guide the name you choose, or perhaps your family has a tradition of naming their first-born sons after their fathers.

All names have a derivation; both in terms of origin and meaning, that you should consider before bestowing your newborn with a name that means something like ‘sullen one.’

Try to anticipate potential nicknames that may be derived from either your child’s initials or name and circumvent the teasing that will result by choosing something that won’t be shortened to ‘C.O.W.’ from Caroline Odette Wilson or something equally as embarrassing.

Don’t choose the name of your least favourite person, the name of a past boyfriend/girlfriend or a name that you have bad memories of. You won’t be able to shake the association!

Unless you like the shortened version of a name, try to think of names that won’t constantly be edited, like Beth for Elizabeth, Nick for Nicholas or Pat for Patricia.

We have a bunch of articles with ideas, like the Top 100 Baby Names in Canada and Unique Baby Names.


A good place to start is your local vital statistics website, which lists all the names and the number of times given in your province by year.

The address for the British Columbia department of Vital Statistics is: http://www.vs.gov.bc.ca/babynames/

Babynames.com lets you browse names by origin.

Hanks, Patrick. Babies’ Names.

McMurray, S. Hey Baby! What’s Your Name?: A Canadian Guide to Naming Your Baby.

Rosenkrantz, Linda, Beyond Jennifer & Jason, Madison & Montana: What to Name Your Baby Now.

Wattenberg, Laura, The Baby Name Wizard: A Magical Method For Finding The Perfect Name For Your Baby.