Getting Into the Name Game 28207

My name is Lisa, and sometimes, I wish it wasn't.

No offense to my parents, who fell in love with the name Lisa Anne after touring a local builder's model home by the same name (no lie). After all, Lisa wasn't the kind of name that would scar me for life. No one ever mispronounced or misspelled it. No one mocked me or seemed confused as to whether I was a boy or a girl. And when I went shopping for personalized gold-plated necklaces or mini license plates, the stores always had my name emblazoned on the merchandise.

But there were a few downsides to Lisa. Since my parents helped skyrocket that name to #3 in the year I was born, there was always another Lisa in my class. And since the nickname possibilities were limited, my name became "Lisa M." through much of my school career. The only song with Lisa in it was "Mona Lisa," and it always creeped me out when people (by and large older men) crooned it to me.

But the biggest issue, in my book, was that the name Lisa was just a little too plain Jane for my taste. It wasn't the kind of name that'd set the world on fire. When I played make believe, I chose long, flowery names, the kinds that came with nicknames and a little more pizzazz. Names like Anastasia or Alexandra, or even Melissa. (To my six-year-old mind, that extra "Me" and the double s made it just a little bit fancier.)

I've grown to love my name, but there were times there where I really wished I'd been given a different one.  So obviously, naming your baby can kind of be a big deal. Especially these days, when all the Lisas and Michaels and Jennifers and Jessicas and Jasons from my generation are going to great lengths to ensure our children's names are as unique as possible. We're dreaming up new names or new spellings, or dusting off old standards—and with so many options out there, it can be a big challenge to narrow it down to the perfect one for your little babe.

I'm here to help guide you through, to help you find that dream name for your child. Hopefully a name that your kid thinks is just as perfect for him or her as you do.