Choosing baby names

Phoenicia Hebebe Dobson-Mouawad (yes, really) for The Guardian:

  • Have you heard the name before? If not, no one else will have.
  • Can you pronounce it without having to look it up? Because if you need to look it up, I can tell you firsthand that you will be the only person your child ever meets who has taken the time to do so.
  • Avoid hyphens unless both names are easily pronounceable. Dobson – that’s fine. Mouawad – more than enough effort on its own. Dobson-Mouawad – no comment.
  • Can a child of primary school age say it? If they look confused and say, “What?”, take that as a strong no.
  • Remember that your child’s name is for their happiness alone and not to prove to the world how cool and creative you are. That’s what Instagram is for. Take it from someone who knows or in 19 years’ time your child will be as fed up as I am.