What’s in a name!



“What’s in a name.  That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet” – Shakespeare

A name for your li’l pet.

All parents have pet names for their children and they use these with a particular tone of voice, which shows the deep affection for the child. This baby pet name may stick with the person through life! In fact most kids, even when they grow up, expect their parents to only address them using this pet name. That’s why even a really tall adult will expect his mom to only call him Chintu if that was his pet name as a kid. Yet, even though pet names are more loving and personal, a large and exciting part of becoming a parent is trying to hunt out a unique, formal name for our little ones.

Everyone needs an identity.

While Voldermort may have been He Who Must Not Be Named, most other mortals need a name to create an individual identity and legalise their presence in the world. But names also convey a social, cultural, spiritual meaning for the family and community. Calling a child by a name is like tapping into the qualities embodied in the meaning of the name. That’s why Vijay (Victory) is a far more popular name than Parajit (Defeated).

Naming rituals.

Different cultures and religions have different ways of naming babies. In the Hindu tradition, the time of the child’s birth is noted and a horoscope is made or the holy scriptures are consulted for the most auspicious alphabet to begin the baby’s name with. The Muslims and Christians too have auspicious names from the Quran or the Bible. In some cultures, the child takes on the name of the grandparent or father or the village that the family belongs to or, sometimes, all of them together. The full name of the now retired Sri Lankan bowler Chaminda Vaas is Warnakulasuriya Patabendige Ushantha Joseph Chaminda Vaas. Try fitting that onto a passport!

Names have hidden power!

Many parents believe that the name of the child exerts influence over his or her destiny and hence select a name that sounds positive, prosperous, pleasant, powerful, to bring good fortune into the child’s future. All parents hope for their children to have a life better than they themselves experienced. Starting on the right note, with a good name, is the first step in this direction. Sometimes parents choose names of historical figures or sporting heroes. When Tendulkar was at his peak, Sachin became the most common name in India. We’re sure, the name Virat, must be equally popular now.

The name game.

Of course, every decade has its own set of popular names. There are some names that are timeless and parents choose them for the sake of them being familiar, easy to pronounce and acceptable. Some parents want to be different and choose names that sound good or set them apart like North West and Chicago, the children of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. Some names become the trend and suddenly in a classroom, there are many kids with the same name. My daughter’s name is Kaavya and her best friend shares the same name. When her friend is visiting us, everytime I call out KAAVYA, I get two resounding yeses!

What does your baby’s name reflect?

Whatever your choice, whether traditional or trendy, it is your baby and you should feel happy naming them. Just remember that everything in the universe is energy, so too is the name that you will call your baby. Choose a name that will create powerful and positive vibrations of good energy for your baby.

This is Us!

Here are a few anecdotes from Smart mums relating the stories behind the names they chose for their children.

Mrs. Iyengar

“I was delighted when I had a baby girl. I’ve always been fascinated by the Russian culture and loved the name commonly used and spelt as Anuschka. It means grace or princess. I found its meaning in Persian to be “a gift of love” and in Sanskrit to be “one who fulfils dreams”. My little Anoushka is all of these”.

Mrs. Kakar

“I’ve named my children Pound and Dollar. These names often draw much amusement from other parents and I’m regularly asked why I chose these names. The reason is simple. As parents we wanted fun names and to be so different that our girls would draw attention wherever they went”.

I’m Nisha Gupta, the writer of this blog.

Our daughter was third time lucky when it came to choosing a final name. We loved the name Jahnvi and started calling her that. The elders in the family who were staunch believers in astrology, insisted on sharing her birth details with the family pandit, who vetoed the alphabet J and suggested K. We then named her Kusha but didn’t quite like the ring of it, once we started calling her that. Finally we found the name Kavya in a book of names by Menaka Gandhi and settled on calling her Kaavya. We’re so happy with the name we finally chose. I hope she’s happy too.

So smart mums, let’s take this theme forward. Do tell us the name of your son / daughter and also the reason, you chose that name.


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