Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Please don't give your kids names that will make them hate you

Today I want to talk about names. The countdown to the birth of our baby begins in just over a month. The expected due date is end of June but the doctor said we should be ready by mid June. God willing, all will go well. We have short-listed names that we both like. We've more or less agreed on a girl's name but we still can't decide on a boy's name just yet. We do know the sex of the baby, but doctors have been wrong before.

OD wants me to make a final decision on the name. She's fine with whatever I choose. She loves to plan everything in advance and wants to order the giveaways and gifts to give to visitors from now. I don't disagree with her forward planning, I just don't want to lock-in the name from now just so that we can have cards and gifts ordered. My experience, just from observing friends and family has been that people do tend to change their mind at the last minute when it comes to naming their kids. Throughout the pregnancy they're agreed on a name, and then two days after the birth all of a sudden they have a new favorite name. Maybe I'll be like that too. Who knows?

But at the very least, I know the names I have chosen are all nice sensible names. There's a trend these days. Everyone wants ultra unique names for their kids. That's ok. I want unique names for my kids too. But for God's sake, why give your kids names that they'll hate you for?

Al Shabiba has been running a contest for the best looking kid in Oman. Thousands of parents have sent in passport pictures of their kids hoping to win the title of best looking child in the country and the cool RO. 5000 that goes with it. I went through the supplement that has the pictures many times, not to see which one's the best looking kid but to read their names. The good news is old fashioned heavy Omani names like Khalfan aren't popular anymore.

I haven't found a single good new name which I hadn't thought of before, but I did find lots and lots of weird names. And when it comes to these weird names, for some reason people keep the worst names for their girls. Of course there were some boys with weird names like Dulaif, Al-Nawras, Nuhair, Shubail, Asba6 and Al-Yase3 but they were few and not very common. But I was surprised not only by some of the girls' names but also by how they kept repeating. I'm talking about girls named Salsabeel, Ababeeha, Iqtibas, Ishtiyaq, Al-Yamamah, Sulafah, Orchid, Ma'wiyah, and Al-Yaqeen (very popular this last one).

I predict that 20 years from now the government will have to simplify the procedures for name changes because they won't be able to deal with the pressure of all these kids coming of age and filing to change their names.


hibbalicious said...

lol i agree with you completely about giving kids names they will like, Before my mum became muslim her name was Valerie because she was supposed to be born on valentines day she then changed it to Noora which i think is a nice name.
Im also tryin gto choose name for my sister as shes having a baby also she already has two daughters Amira and Jowhara so i thought maybe Amir if its a boy or Jawaher lol
I like some of these old names like hazaa or Rayan etc lol let us know what you choose because it could become inspiration for me lol

muscati said...

Interestingly, the name Rayan is very popular in Oman as girl's name while in the rest of the gulf it's a boys name. It's one of those names that can be used for both but I've never heard of its use in Oman for boy.

Kay said...

i hated my name when i was younger.. i used to get comments and question about it all the time. now i dont anymore.. i ADORE it.. my name can work for both genders too.. but i think it suits me only !

and i totally agree the choice of name sorta define the person in a pyschological way. look for the meaning of the name, and how it would sound with ur name... its falan bin/bint falan here so that should count for something...

so good luck deciding... and u dont have to right away..i remind a whole week without a name! but i'm sure whatever u two choose will be nice.

ps. no one try and attempt to guesss my name ;)

Devilish said...

On another thought, u 2 r probably gona be choosing not only ur baby name enshallah, but also ur own new kinda name, the local society might gona start referring to u 2 as Abu/Um fulan.

OceanDream said...

Oh yeah! Thats true! I can't wait to be Um someone.. Sounds so cool! And mature *dreamy look*

I just hope Mux doesn't go crazy after I deliver and come up with a wierd name! I like all the names on our lists, but I'm leaving it up to him to make the final decision.

Blue Chi said...

Would there be any chances for us to know what name you guys choose when the baby is delivered hopefully? ;)

OceanDream said...

Are you kidding! Ofcourse we'll tell you guys what name we settled on! If there was Internet connection at the hospital I'm sure Mux would probably get straight to it :)

she said...

hi - agreed with the weird names. my own name has been mispronounced so many times. the most common one among most indian couples nowadays is aryan for boys. it just seems rampant with a hundred variations across all religions. and rhea (or riya) for girls.

Kazablanka said...

my name is like a really old name.. but I like it..

I was actually named after OceanDreams cousins grandma.. yeah.. how did that happen? Ok, like long time back when we were in America and my mom was pregnant with me. This omani family came to visit us. Like the WHOLE family.. the grandma, the girls, their husbands, the guys, their wives.. etc.. so anyway my mom really liked the grandma I guess and they stayed at our house for like a week and right after they left my mom had me so she named me after the grandma.. end of story! :)

Kazablanka said...

OD, can you guess what my name is now? :)

OceanDream said...

Ohmygoodness, my cousin's grandma? Wallah I have no clue... I'm trying to think, I used to live in the States as well, DC, and most of my family were East Coast people.. Trying to remember if anyone was in Cali for a while....

Kazablanka said...

Your cousins grandma from HER MOMS side..

keep thinking and let me know when you get it :)

Sowhat said...

I hate it when some one choose very BIG name for his son you know those ALFLAN thing .. i wont be cute calling 50 cm child a name taller than him !!

Laith said...

Hi there Muscati & OD.

Wish you all the best for your baby and peaceful & smooth delivery for OD.
Regarding naming babies, Well last year me & my wife b4 delivery of my first baby we had chosen certain names and guess what at the day of delivery we named him a different one , popped up all of sudden. So it can happen.
But choose a loveable one.
I can imagine naming him/her Khalfan/ Khalfan. LOL ;)
Hey Why don’t you name him my name if he is a boy ;)
Wish you all the best guys

And by the way You both are having a wonderful blogger.
I like it.
Keep it up.

Laith said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
OceanDream said...

Hey Laith! If you are who I think you are, then your baby was lucky with that last minute name you gave him. Its a nice name. Some babies might not be so lucky! Gosh I hate leaving anything to the last minute!! But, what to do! Inshallah khair.. And thanks for dropping by our blog :)

hibbalicious said...

OceanDream , you know i like names that have special meanings even really old names, my cousin she got married to this guy from egypt and she wanted to call her daughter karra after some mummy god lol and when she was born walla everyone was calling her kid 7'ara lol. Another unrelated thing, when i was born my mum named me hibbatulla and i hated it so much although everyone called me hibba just knowing the tulla was there was horrible and in saudi i couldnt get my name changed so as soon as i got to uk again i got it changed by deed poll, :( lol so think carefully and let us know what you choose.

And btw id like to thank you alot for posting on the story, its all done and posted in complete, were looking for a title.

take care Allah ma3ak xxx

illogicist said...


Thats not a bad name at all, but...I wasnt aware that it was an arabic word...thats like saying, 'Hi, Im Khalfan Jones...'

muscati said...

Sowhat, I don't mind names that begin with Al. In fact one of the names on the shortlist is like that. I have a few cousins whose names begin with Al like Almuntasir, for example. I agree it's a heavy name for a kid, but no one calls him that. Everyone has a nickname for him or they call him just Muntasir. I think it's ok. Plus it's better to have a name like that fits when you're a grown-up than have a name that sounds cute when you're a kid but doesn't work when you're a man.

hibbalicious said...

muscati lemme ask a Q my bro in laws family name is Ambu saidi do you know what the Ambu is supposed to mean?

muscati said...

I have a colleague at work who's Ambusaidi. We used to always make fun of him and say what kind of name is that. At least he was a good sport about it and never got mad. I never got to know where they got the name from or if its got any zanzibari connection since most of them are swahilis (ie Omanis who migrated to Zanzibar in 1800's and came back to Oman in the 1970's).

hibbalicious said...

tnx muscati - i dont think theres a zanzibari connection, itslike in saudi they call the black saudis takanori as if they came from chad or somethin when inface many of them could trace there families back hundreds of years.
My brother in law is from salala and i always make fun of his name lol but he was born in oman and his family as far back as 9 or 10 generations his mother showed me a family tree of theres which went back so so so so so many years i just wondered where he got his weird name from he gets pissed everytime i ask him lol

anyways thanks :)

Wardat_il'7leej said...

It has been said that babies are born with names already given to them i.e. the parents are just insinuated as to the name they are supposed to give to the child (Allah a3lam)

Note: Mux those who come from Zanzibar are know as Zanzibari and the language used is Swahili.

Wardat_il'7leej said...

Hibz- Abou to my knowledge came to those who severed during the Bu Said time, they were given the name to honor their loyalty to the Bu Said family

Memo said...

ambu in old arabic means "the" like al in arabic. moreover, ambu saidi are from Saudi Arabia from Quraish, the most famous Tribe in Arabs. Ambusaidi came from Sama bin Luai who came to Oman. Luai is the grandfather No. 9 of Prophet Mohammed.

By the way; My name is Almuntaser Ambusaidi!

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