September 10, 2007 02:24 AM

True story: When I was 9-weeks-pregnant I sat up in bed onemorning (at 4am, mind you) and woke my husband to tell him that we were havinga baby girl and that we would name her Catalina after my great-aunt. I swearit. Easy as pie.

Though we chose not to find out the baby’s gender, like mostfirst-time parents my husband and I poured over baby name books (yes, we boughtmultiple copies) searching for a boy’s name we could agree on just in case mymotherly intuition failed me.

So I have to admit that when I first received my copy of TheComplete Book of Baby Names: A guidebook for expecting parents I wasn’ttoo quick to move it to the top of my pile of products I need to review. Wrongly I assumed that this book, like allthe others, was your standard baby-naming book, a dictionary of Ashleys(Ashlee, Ashlay, Ashly) through Zacharys (Zachery, Zakaree, Zackary) that wouldtell me whether a name was Latin or Germanic in its root.

Then two things happened. First, I was flipping through the book with a coworker when I cameacross a list entitled “Popular Names in Spain”and lo and behold, the tenth name that was listed on the girl’s side (Nerea)happened to be the name of a cousin who lives in Spain. Seeing this got me excited and I picked upthe press release that accompanied my copy when the second thing happened. Iread the following: Princess Meadow Royalty called. She said she wants tokill her parents. It was at this point that I decided to really check outwhat this book had to offer.

At first glance, yes, this book does look like all theothers. Boasting that its contents hold“The 100,001+ Best Baby Names,” it seems like an easy marketing ploy thatserves to reach its target audience of newly pregnant couples seeking to find TheBest Name Ever for their new bundle of joy.  Upon further investigation, however, this booksurprises you with some interesting content, including a baby-naming history(quite interesting as a matter of fact), and the aforementioned lists ofpopular names by country, occupation and funny sub-categories such as “rednecknames” and “optometrists.” You could spend a good ten hours just going over thelists.

I do give this book a thumbs up, specifically because itmakes parents feel okay about naming their kids traditional things and alsodoesn’t make you feel bad if you want to go a trendier route – in other words,it finds a good middle ground which I feel a lot of these books lack.

And even though my own interesting name isn’t listed on its pages, there is a good selection of Galician names (my people!) printed in this book which I have never seen in an American baby-naming book prior to this so a big thumbs up for that!

Get it on amazon for $10.36.









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