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What's in a Baby Name Wizard Name?

Posted by Kristen on February 19, 2009 at 6:28 AM in BabiesBaby NamesKristenNew Baby
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K: There is probably something I should tell you.

My husband always gives me the exact same look when I say these words. It's a combination of "oh no, what now" and "how do you get yourself into these messes."

K: I may have told PBS that they could name our Baby #3.
D: What are you talking about? Please tell me you aren't serious.
K: What's wrong with that? They just want me to talk to Laura Wattenberg from Baby Name Wizard.
D: You told PBS that they could name the baby.
K: Stadiums do it all the time.
D: So you are saying you would name the baby "Citibank" if they paid you enough.
K: AbsoLUTEly. If Citibank offered me $5 million to name the baby, that baby's name would be First Name Citi, Middle Name Bank.
D: That is wrong.
K: Since when do I call our children by the names on their birth certificates? Try never.
D: Wait. Laura Wattenberg? From Baby Name Wizard?

Sometimes my husband pulls things out that never cease to amaze me. It's not that Laura isn't wildly popular and wildly well-known. It's just that my husband is constantly living under a rock.

K: Yeah. Do you know her?
D: She does excellent data analysis. She's linked on Freakonomics.

Laura, you have absolutely no idea what a big deal it is that Dr. Snotty Economist thinks you do excellent data analysis. I mean, I thought your stuff was cool but this is high praise indeed from my husband.

So I called Laura and we talked for about a half hour about baby names. Laura was adamant that she was not in the BABY NAMING BUSINESS and that she just provided the tools to help other people come to a natural conclusion for a name that best fits their baby. She said that people often second-guess their chosen baby name after birth when the baby doesn't look like the baby they thought they would have. I let her off the hook and told her that I already knew my baby's name. We decided to chat some more before I told her, just to see what she would find when she plugged my requirements into the baby name wizard.

I told Laura that we were leaning toward a name that ended in "N," if only to confuse ourselves more when we yelled at our children in public. I told her about how our sons have the middle names Lewis and Clark and how my husband was so disappointed that he wasn't going to get his little baby girl with the middle name "Sacagawea" because we were having a boy (like that EVER would have happened). I told her that we were such suckers for historic names that we were probably the only people to confess that they picked their new baby's middle name "Gray" by googling American Explorers. That's right. Google picked our baby's middle name.

Laura ran a search and guess what happened? Her "best match" for our baby name was the very same as our own...


Actually, number 1 on the list was Aaron, but with the whole historical importance in a name in our family, she said, and I quote, "Aaron Burr might be a tough one for your family to get past." LOL

I'm happy to say that the NameMapper feature made me feel better about not worrying about living on the same block as 17 Masons (which really doesn't matter since you've named your firstborn "Ethan").

So I guess what I am trying to say is that Baby #3 is going to have the name Mason Gray. There has been some concern that he will be mocked for being named so closely to Macy Gray but I maintain that anyone making that connection will be opening himself up to having that mockery returned for knowing who Macy Gray is.

Already we have gotten a little backlash from people we've told, but people are funny about baby names. It's our choice and everyone else has to have their own kids (or dogs or cats) to live out their fantasy naming. Know what I mean?

***Derek doesn't think I told you enough about what the website offers. According to him, "It has great dynamic data analysis. You type in a name and as you type it shows you the historical usage of all of the names starting with those letters."
***Snooze. Me: It's cool. Just check it out by typing in your name.***

***Disclosure: PBS never offered me money to name the baby. But I would have totally taken it if they had***


Sky writes...

I love the name Mason Gray. It's perfect! You've got great naming skillz! :)

I'd like to note, that I should have been a professional baby namer, or at least a cabbage patch namer. I narrowed, yes narrowed, it down to 60 names after Pea was born. To which, I still call her Pea, even though it's Paige. I was suckered into that name, I think she should have been named Campbell, Harper, Beatrix. A year and a half later and I'm still bitter. I'll get over it, right?

The Bearded Lady writes...

Mason Gray is a WONDERFUL name!!!

The Baby name wizard/software/data analysis looks very interesting!!

devan writes...

love it.

Danyelle writes...

Awesome name. I remember the first time I heard you call the boys by their full names (I think they were in a heap of trouble for trying to burn the house down). I asked you if you meant to name them after Lewis and Clark and the look you gave me was AWESOME. I only wish I 'd had a camera. I too would sell out in a heart beat if it meant college would be paid-in-full. Seriously. I would totally call my next son Home Depot Ballard. Or Hot Dog on a stick

Amber writes...

That site is cool! Apparently I chose the correct sibling names. Fun stuff! Although as a Canadian I'm a little disappointed that I can't use the Name Mapper. I may be just a little bit of a numbers geek myself. ;-)

Vicky writes...

Go ahead... steal my last name and use it for your precious baby.

I kid. The name is great. We're honored you thought of us. Ha.

nancy writes...

My nephew's names are Aaron and Mason! How weird is that?

VMama writes...

So funny!

Jess writes...

I know you dont care one way or another, but I love the name you picked for him. If this baby had been a boy, not only would his name have to end in "n" but it would also have be 7 letters...and a 6 letter middle name. Yes, I'm psycho like that.

I can guarantee you, that there is a good chance that baby girl will never even encounter someone with her name. And I'm cool with that...even if everyone else hates it.

Joshua writes...

Nice to know that my sons first and middle name will exist with another child... Too Bad my son, Mason Gray MAXWELL already exists.

Don't worry about the Macy Gray thing. Nobody will remember who the hell she was in 10 years anyway.

Charlotte writes...

I've always been fond of Japanese names myself. They sound so lovely and their meanings are very beautiful. We gave our daughter a Japanese name and almost everyone who hears it says, wow what a beautiful name.

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