Hey Internet, Help Us Name Our Child!

Happy Anniversary at Sarava My wife and I are expecting, and thus we have to pick a name for our new baby. We’ve perused baby name websites and tried the Freakonomics tactic of predicting popular names, but to be honest none of it was really working.

As a Googler, though, the answer should have been obvious – let the Internet do it! So that’s what we’re doing, opening up our baby’s name to an Internet-wide vote.*

In the next couple days I’ll also put up a live graph of the results. If you’d like to learn how to use Google Docs and Spreadsheets to put a poll on your site (or name your baby), check out this post.

Feel free to send this link to your friends, put it up on social news sites, or write about it on your blog – the more votes the better.

If you can’t see the poll, follow this link to get to it.

EDIT: Here’s a little preview graph, with the most popular boys’ and girls’ names so far. I’ll add a graph with user-suggested names soon too.

DOUBLE EDIT: I’ve moved the graphs to the next page, so as not to influence the voting.

TRIPLE EDIT: The form isn’t working for some readers, it looks like all the visitors from neatorama have taken Docs by surprise. I’ll talk to some folks at work tomorrow. If you can’t see the form, please try back again a little later. If you subscribe to my blog you’ll see an update when I’m sure everything’s okay.

* We do reserve the right to ignore the results of the poll completely. Otherwise we’ll end up with a kid named Mr. Splashy Pants. Actually, that has a nice ring to it…

142 thoughts on “Hey Internet, Help Us Name Our Child!

  1. Taking into consideration that your grandfather spent most of his time outdoors, and the fact that it goes so well with your last name, Rain (or Rainn, if you’re big fans of The Office) works well. And if you don’t spend a lot of time on the plain in Spain, there shouldn’t be a lot of teasing. :0 ]

  2. I don’t know why people are voting so much for “Dylan Morrison.” You really don’t want to mix your pop idols like that, people. Will his middle name be Hendrix?

    Also, while I like Isaac, I’d have a hard time thinking about the kid without imagining this.

    I voted for Olivia and Levi. I actually know a kid named Levi and he’s all right. Apparently, I am into the letter V, too.

  3. Bah! There are too many antiquated biblical names out there already. I don’t get the obsesssion with trying to revive 19th century (at best) names. We need more pagan names, maybe crazy new age ones like Sky and Mountain (I am in Seattle after all).

    That said, I vote for Fhqwgads. It’s gender-neutral, and has a nice ring to it.

    I was going to name my cat Hurdenflurst.

    I actually like Olivia and Erin. Or Aaron and Eric. Have you considered Adolph?

  4. Whatever name you finally decide on, just make sure it (or some close variation of it) is not too popular name. If you really want something unique, how about Ea? Some sites list it as boy name, but it can be either boy or girl. Actually, the only person named Ea I ever heard of was a girl. Origin is Irish/Celtic, and the meaning of the name is Fire. As for popularity in US, it is nowhere to be seen on SSA’s web site. It also not very common name internationally.

  5. Oh, BTW. With the way you present the poll, you are influencing votes towards whatever more popular names are chosen early on. No wonder some very popular names floated up to the top. Since they are the names presented to the voters directly. I’d just have a text entry for the name (not presenting any names to voters) and a link to complete partial results. Or you could choose names you like from already submitted names, and present those to voters directly. Just my $0.02.

  6. +1 to Nelson’s comment

    You might even want to consider a unique name where you can reserve a first-name-only email/twitter/ account. Those are all the rage these days.

  7. About the methodology of the survey – AM is right, this is not a very scientific study. I mean, there’s huge amounts of sample bias, for one thing. I probably shouldn’t show participants the results before they vote, and if I removed the choices and just had a field to enter a name I’d get closer to finding the absolute best name.

    But, on the other hand, I’m probably not going to try to get this published in a journal. :) Also, people like the see results in polls, and our goal is to narrow down the list of names we like and maybe get some suggestions, not find the objectively best name.

    So thanks for all votes, everyone, keep them coming.

  8. Responding to Nelson, AM and Reid, we thought about going for a totally unique name but I think Ann has seen too many horrible examples of that at work. I’d like to think we could come up with a unique name that’s actually good, but everyone who picks ridiculous names thinks they found a good one too, so we’re going to play it a little safe. I am very concerned about getting good domain names/account names… maybe we can add in a strange middle name.

  9. I like Ada a lot.

    It’s a simple name that sounds nice and will work well in most languages. It is a palindrome, refers to adamantine qualities, and did you know that the first programmer was called Ada (Countess of Lovelace)?

  10. Yes, to get .com baby would need to have a super long name or many misspellings in it. I like the idea of a very strange middle name. Let the voting begin! :)

  11. What a great idea. I voted for Olivia (my 4 month old) and Sydney (my father in law’s name is Sid). We allowed our 5 year old to help us name our daughter and thought he might suggest something like Banana or Spongebob, but he liked Olivia. And everyone says “what a beautiful name”. Of course, they could just be being polite, but I choose to prefer that she is truly one of the most beautiful babies they’ve ever seen with an appropriately beautiful name : ). bon chance!

  12. I chose Ada and Levi since you already show an interest in these names. I am of the group of people who chose unique names for my kids, and we’ve never looked back.
    Good luck, and whatever you name your baby, I hope you all are blessed with peace and love.

    (my kids are Jester and Jovy)

  13. Best of Luck with everything!

    I voted for Althea (so pretty and not overdone). Ada is a nice “Ava” alternative and Athena was on my short list (we named our girl Lilah). Cassia is also lovely. Olivia is a sweet name if the popularity of it does not bother you. TONS of little Olivias running around. Just PLEASE do not choose Asma…people will forever think of Asthma!

    For a boy I chose Isaac. I think it is a strong and handsome name. The others are great choices, too. I always think of Sydney as a girl, though.

  14. I like my name, but I think that it’s gotten too popular. You probably don’t want a unique name, but you don’t want something too common.

    There’s another problem here, though. I don’t like the unusual names you have listed. Althea? Never appealed to me. And Ada is just plan bad. Levi is either clothing or a “fucking redneck.” You don’t want that as a model, do you?

    Perhaps I am disqualified, for not liking the names that you like. Alas…

  15. I have a feeling you are going to have a girl… I usually can tell these things for some reason, just by looking at someone.
    With that said I think you will name her Ada. Another “gut feeling” if that is what you want to call it. Congrats, on your soon to be new addition to your family!!! I just found out that I am pregnant with my third! Best wishes for you and your family.

  16. My grandma says the best way to see if you like a name and see if it flows is to go yell it out your back door a few times, like you will when the baby gets older. Dont leave out the middle name in your yell. Like Jason William Morrison get in here and pick up your socks!!!!
    Revert back to your second grade year and rhyme the name with everyhting you can think of. Olivia Boliva What’s Aaron wearin’ etc.
    I really tried not to pick a name that would get mangled or get a mean kid’s attention.
    Congrats! I am sure you will do well by your child.

  17. I’m a teacher and I can tell you some of the names that are being WAY overused the last few years. If you don’t want your child to have common name then if it’s a girl avoid Isabell, Isabella, Olivia (it’s on your list and there are tons of new Olivias), Zoe, Stella, Ava, Tess (all the grandma names are coming back big)

    If it’s a boy avoid Jack, Jackson, Sebastian, or Max.

    One other thing. Pick a name that is spelled the way it sounds! Your child will be very grateful if you do.

  18. I tried voting when I first came across this site but I got some sort of error and now I can’t see the list at all… I didn’t pick from the suggestions on either list but chose Serena and Haden as possible names for your soon-to-be new arrival! Congratulations and good luck with your expanding family!

  19. I suggest “Ai” or “Aye” (pronounced as “eye”) which stands for “love” in Mandarin Chinese.

  20. I picked levi and cassia, they sound like good names although it seems like the majority of names you pick are increasing in popularity, which can suck for the kid. All 3 of my kids have fairly unique names al though #2 (jocelyne) starting popping up randomly after we named her. Our oldest girl is Aislinn and our only boy is Rowan, don’t hear those too often (never actually) and they love it and so do I!!!

  21. I voted for Olivia and Sydney . Olivia was one of the names I had picked out for our baby due in March but didn’t go with . Sydney is my father’s name, sister’s name and my nephew’s name. All spelled differently though.

  22. I thought most of your picks were pretty good. My boys are Jacob Galen, James Tyler, and Jeremy Daniel. Pretty common for the most part, but each having a special connection with loved ones. I had a few choices in mind each time for my boys, but I actually waited until they were born before I chose the name. When you actually see and hold your baby, the name will just come to you naturally. At least, thats the way it happened with us.
    Sydney is a great name. And actually, you could use that for a baby boy of girl! God bless you and your family. And don’t stress. That baby will be loved so much by everyone around he/she will probably be called pookie bear, snickerdoodle, or little munchkin or some other silly nickname by most of the family and maybe even you for the first year or two! LOL!

  23. Olivia is my daughter’s name. I chose it because it is classic, timeless and elegant. It appears in Shakespeare’s ‘Twelfth Night’. Also, just think of Olivia de Havilland, who epitomises the golden age of Hollywood. You can’t go wrong with Olivia!

  24. We had just a few important criteria for our kids’ names:
    1. We (parents) both like the name, and it doesn’t remind us of someone we dislike, ex-partners, etc.
    2. It’s easy to spell (so they don’t have to spell it every time they give it)
    3. It’s easy to pronounce (less embarrassment with teachers, etc.)
    4. Bonus points if it’s not on the list of 100 most popular names for the previous year.

    We gave more common names for middle names — in case our kids want to try something different than their less-common first names somewhere along the way. Middle names were also where we could name after family members — worked out well since we had one male and one female name that came from both sides of the family.

    We have one boy and one girl — this process gave us Theodore and Petra for their names. We get tons of good reactions to these names. Good luck finding a name you love.

  25. I think the name Althea is wonderful and more than classic. I stuck with family when naming my little girl who was born on November 16 last year and named her after my passed away nan. It’s an ‘old’ fashioned name but I love it (Sadie). I noticed that someone said naming a son Rain or Rainn would be nice after your grandfather. My younger brother’s middle name is Rayne and it’s a beautiful name, he uses it now as his common name.
    Good luck with the new little baby whatever his or her name turns out to be!! All the happiness to all three of you!

  26. We just had a baby and went with Emory. It can work for a boy or girl. You will get asked if either of you attended Emory University in Atlanta. Given that you live in Atlanta, I say go with it!! I picked Levi for a boy and Lexi for a girl – just to make you think more about it……

  27. Or “Ainee” (Ai Nee /Aini/Ayenee) – pronounced as “eye-knee” – which means “love you” in Mandarin Chinese.

  28. Nirvana for a girl
    Leon for a boy

    Nirvana is nice since it’s the state of enlightenment in buddhism. (It also would be a nice middle name if you decide to go with something else for the first! And it’s nice for boy or girl!)

    And for a boy Leon because it means Lion which is a figure in art and religious symbolism of many cultures, symbolizing kingliness and courage. It’s also french, so it’s one of those names that just sounds beautiful when you say it!

  29. I respect everybody’s name suggestions, but the names you’ve picked out are stereotypically religious!

    I would recommend the following Indic names:

    Simran (Hindi: ?????) means “Wind” in Indic languages [prounounced Sim as in SimCity … and Rin from Ring] … Simrin (say it fast … Simrin … not slowly Sim Rin)

    Kiran (Hindi: ????) means “Ray of Light” in Indic languages [prouncouned Ki as in Kim and Ran as Run … KiRun)

    Meera (Hindi: ????) means “Sea or Ocean” in Indic languages [prouncoued MeRaa)

    These are all female names, I don’t have any suggestions for boy names, sorry :(


    Has more interesting names :)

  30. hi, i think you’re joking, if not, the message is ‘race’ doesn’t matter!
    i think Page & Larry are good, but since the ‘baby’ will come in Nov, call him “Barack” or her “Obama.” this will be better!

  31. i also tried leaving a name but it came up with an error. my suggestion is alivia which is also the name of my first girl. livia was the mother of tiberius ceaser, alivia is a character in a book, and i didnt know this one at the time but alivia is some sort of whore in a shakespeare play apparently. but i dont mind it is a cool name

  32. HMMM…. I had a name for my boy even before I met his father so I didn’t have such problems… only with girls name :)
    When Your baby comes, he/she will show You how to name him/her. Sometimes the name we choose before, doesn’t suite with the face :o)))
    Wish You good luck and for the lady-easy birth :o)))

    Mirna from Croatia/Poland(4 months old Jan Jakov’s mom)

  33. Mr Morrison –
    I work in a school, and I can tell you that although it may be wrong, you can actually tell a lot about a child from its name. If I were choosing, I would go for Olivia or Alexander, simply because they’re both easy to spell (do you really want your child having to go through life having to spell out their name, which will be the case if you call them Alexandria, which is in any case a place not a name) or Nikolas? I know you’re American, so names might have different connotations over there, but names do have associations – a child called Levi might be expected to be Jewish, for example. Do think long and hard – there is also the fact that if you choose a less adventurous name, your child is less likely to be able to be pigeonholed by age later in life. It is a momentous decision that will affect someone else for their entire life – for which reason, save flights of fancy for second names.

  34. Creo que Javier es un nombre muy adecuado para vuestro hijo, si es varón. Significa : “casa nueva”. Es un nombre que tene un aire frescoy alegre, que puede acompañar al niño toda su vida.

  35. Jason,

    Is your wife’s name Ann? I have an algorithm that can find names
    from the parents letters (in this case, that would be AJNOS). Please let me know if Ann is short for something.

    I guess one possibility would be “Sonja” for a girl which is a complete anagram of your name.

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