What's in a name? Shakespeare himself said that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet—but as it turns out, names (and the baggage that goes with them) were enough to kill off his two protagonists in Romeo & Juliet. And for so many people, emotional baggage has a major impact on the names that they choose for their own babies.
Take this example: My sister wanted to honor our grandfather by giving her son the middle name Louis—but her husband refused point blank, since there was a kid named Louis at his school who had bullied him. And I see that story play out over and over again on the internet and in real life, where people sour on one name or another, because of some awful incident back in high school or their experience that every Bradley or Joe they ever met "sucks." (Even if they really don't!) Even something as simple as a celebrity or TV character that you despise could turn you off of a name permanently. (For instance, I'd never consider naming my daughter Paris, as Paris Hilton tends to make flame come out of my ears...and I don't know why.)
And I have to say, thanks to my past run-ins, there are names I definitely wouldn't have chosen for my kids—no matter how much my husband loved them, or how beautiful they were if I looked at them objectively. Why would I want to be reminded of bad boyfriends or mean girls on a daily basis? And I'm sure that my husband would have felt the exact same way about the people he disliked from his past.
Photo: Baby by Julie Phipps