Urban parenting is a battlefield. The best nannies, the right schools—the pressure is immense. Every decision, none more so than what to call your child, is an opportunity to stand out and gain an advantage. Sure, your suburbanite friends might find it distasteful and intense, and perhaps they’re right: not everything needs to be a competition—not a close one, anyway. Most points wins.
Will your child’s name upset your parents?
Congratulations, you are about to be given the world’s most beautiful blessing: the chance to exact revenge for years of slights, both real and imagined, by instilling deep, lasting resentment in the people who gave you life. Without that, what’s the point?
Will it upset your partner’s parents?
That’s the point.
Can the name be easily spelled on the first try?
Respect for the historical roles of vowels and consonants would remove the opportunity to feel superior at least a few times a week. How did they not know that there are three y’s in Krystyyn? Plebeians.
Is it unjustifiably Welsh?
You’ve never been to Wales. You don’t know anyone who’s been to Wales. You have referred to it in at least three different texts as “Whales.” You simply must go with Rhys.
Is it derived from a wildly antiquated profession?
Be forewarned: Young Cooper, Tanner, and Mason may struggle to find time to properly ply their trades in between Tuesday’s intensive Mandarin lessons and Thursday’s toddler pilates retreat. Alas.
Have you ever met anyone with that name?
Convention? Tradition? How quaint. That’s no way to start the life of your predestined overachiever. Not only does a unique name spur creativity, it provides an important safety mechanism against potentially damaging situations. Do not risk her future greatness being irreparably derailed by her getting caught up in even a moment’s confusion regarding which Jessica set the fire.
Does it have astronomical significance?
Humans have been awestruck since first gazing toward the heavens. Look skyward, and it’s impossible not to be captivated by mysteries like “Why are we here?” and “Is there life beyond Earth?” But not you, Urban Sophisticate. You look up at a light-polluted celestial sphere and wonder, “Are the rats on that fire escape fighting or boning?” Nonetheless, go ahead and name your progeny after objects in the unspeakably beautiful sky you’ve never seen. Besides, “Luna Aurora” has a better ring to it than “Newark-Bound Commuter Jet.”
Is it in honor of, for absolutely no good reason, a country musician?
Waylon and Emmylou will know just how deeply the dusty twang of the hardscrabble south spoke to you during your formative years on the long, lonesome trails of greater Westport, Connecticut.
Will it almost certainly result in your child being relentlessly taunted?
Ugh, other people’s children are the worst. The havoc inflicted by kids at recess is enough to pause at deciding on even the most innocuous of names. Bullies will find something—an unfortunate rhyme, an ill-chosen first letter, anything—to weaponize. You will no doubt attempt to account for all possibilities in your role as protectors. Fear not, loving parents: there will be myriad other causes for derision. This is, after all, your kid. They, too, will be positively insufferable.