Trendy Baby Naming Sites Have Taken Over -- Does ANYONE Use Books Anymore?

All the Rage 9

Remember the parents who named their baby "Hashtag"? Or the little girl who was named after the Facebook Like button? Apple, Google, Excel, and Siri are also on the rise, and while these certainly wouldn't be MY personal choices for a baby name, it's not much of a surprise. Given our devotion to technology, it's probably only a matter of time until classroom roll calls start sounding like inventory lists from Best Buy.

While most of us aren't actually naming our kids after websites and devices, the trend of choosing baby names has definitely gone digital. From crowdsourcing to specialized apps, more and more parents are going online to find that perfect moniker. I think little Hashtag would agree: baby name books are so two thousand and late.

Nymbler is a fun website capitalizing on the appeal of online baby-naming, using "insights from baby-naming expert Laura Wattenberg, author of The Baby Name Wizard" to help you narrow down your name choices. You start by choosing a few names that you like, or let Nymbler offer ideas. Then hit "Find Names" and the website brainstorms names tailored to fit your style.

The Nametrix: Doctor or Dancer? app tries to predict what sorts of jobs and political tendencies your baby will have, based on the name you've chosen. The Baby Name Voyager shows the global popularity of every name, along with reader comments and ratings.

Last summer, parents had the thrilling opportunity to purchase the name "Clembough" from Groupon. As the site put it,

Groupon, the official World's Foremost Authority in Baby Naming™ , will name your child or children "Clembough". No substitutes or modifications. Spelling non-negotiable. Any attempt to name your child "Clembough" independent of this exclusive Groupon will be recognized by the world as a cheap imitation.

Unbelievably, four people purchased this $1,000 deal.

Crowdsourcing -- the practice of asking for input from a large group to make a decision -- has become a popular way to narrow down name choices. Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer made headlines when she sent out a large group email to friends and family asking for name suggestions for her newly born baby, and websites like Belly Ballot are designed to help you tap your social networks on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest for feedback on your favorite name choices.

All in all, those giant baby name bibles are becoming a thing of the past, sort of like phone books and printed takeout menus. As for me, I have zero plans to be naming any babies ever again, but I've still got my dusty tome where I once looked up my own boys' names. Maybe I'll show it to them years from now when they're naming their own kids, so they see how the old people did it. Analog-style. Uphill, both ways, in the snow.

How did you pick your kids' names? Did you use any websites or apps to help you?


Image via kaatje/Flickr

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Julie... Julienikki06

I named my daughter Dominique because I just always loved that name and its not too common or too crazy. no book used 

Karma... KarmaGrant

Didn't need a book and it was before the birth of the internet. My kids are all either named after family or names that their father and I each had in mind and loved. 

nonmember avatar Me

I used books (6 and more years ago). I actually read thru the entire boys or girls section (depended on baby) of 25k or so names lol I loved it. I wrote down the names I liked,50 or so and then took tgat list to my husband and we wiggled it down from there. Lol

I think if I had to, id go that route again, it was a lot of fun

mello... mellowknees

I used babynames.com to look up the meanings of names we were considering and I used http://www.ssa.gov/oact/babynames/ to check the popularity of any name we thought about.  It was important to my husband and I that our child not have a name that every other kid also had.  I grew up in a time when every other girl was named Jennifer or a variation of Christy, and my husband also had a very popular name for our generation.  We didn't want our kid to have a name that he would hear 50 times in his school roll call.  Uniqueness was important to us.

JessL... JessLogansMommy

Why buy a book when the internet is free?  I'm a Jessica, uniqueness was very important to me! 

TeamT... TeamTARDIS

I like www.nameberry.com they give some great advice. I also like www.behindthename.com to further research names. I could never just put a name on my child and not know what it means, associations etc.

Blues... Blueshark77

I looked online because we were trying to find water related names. Couldn't really find any we liked, but then a friend said "River" and it clicked for both of us right away. We're expecting her any day now!

nonmember avatar Codeflow

I don't want to use a name that is too popular, so the info www.babynamely.com was helpful.

MaryC... MaryCimino

@Blueshark77 I hope her middle name is Song (It's a Dr. Who thing)


I named my kids after family, Hilda Maxine after my great grandmother and her friend. Samuel Wayne after his grandfather and mine as well. It worked for us.

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