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Baby Names for the New GenerationA Comprehensive, Mulitcultural Guide to Finding the Perfect Name for Your Baby
By Pamela Samuelson
HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.Copyright © 2006 Pamela Samuelson
All right reserved.
By choosing the perfect name for your child, you are making the first gesture of helping your child forge an identity. You may want a name for your child that reflects family heritage, an interest in arts or literature, or aspirations that your child will become the next Nobel Laureate in Physics or a future Baseball Hall of Fame athlete. While you are browsing through the thousands of names available, you are searching for that one precious name that conveys a singular meaning you can offer your child as an indication of what his or her future holds.
Ultimately, of course, the person makes the name; as we mature, our personality and character expand to become the ultimate markers of identity, while a name takes on the lesser role of our most familiar label or appendage. In so many instances, however, a name is one's first method of introduction, identification, and presentation. When we enter a new situation, we are usually introduced by our names. One of the most powerful, primal statements we make about ourselves starts with the words "My name is . . ."
Baby Names for the New Generation is designed to giveyou a comprehensive and pleasurable strategy for choosing your child's very first gift: her or his name. Containing over 10,000 names from all over the world and throughout history, this book offers a careful balance between the contemporary and classic, the exotic and traditional. From time-honored names such as Adam, Michael, Jacob, Mary, Linda, and Elizabeth to cutting-edge monikers like Dakota, Rena, and Jazlyn to multicultural names including Anzu, Mandara, and Marar, this all-new compilation pulls together the widest breadth of choices of any baby-name book available.
How to Use This Book
The components of each entry are assembled in an efficient, easy-to-read fashion, providing you with fascinating information about a name's pronunciation, derivation, meaning, history, and variations. You'll also find out who has held the name, from ancient Greeks to Renaissance scholars to contemporary movie stars.
Here's how to read an entry:
ALBERT (AL-burt) Germanic: "bright" or "noble." This name became popular in England after the marriage of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in 1840. Literature: Albert Camus, French novelist and philosopher. Science: Albert Einstein and Albert Schweitzer, scientists. Eng: Adelbert, Al, Bert, Elbert; Czech: Albertik, Ales; Fr: Aubert; Pol: Albek; Ital: Alberto; Ger: Albrecht, Bechtel, Bertchen.
The main (root) name is in bold type. The phonetic pronunciation is in parentheses. All pronunciations are as simple as possible. Rather than employing an arcane system of syllabication, this book spells out the sounds to echo the way we read and speak. The accented syllable appears in capital letters, as in "AL-." The linguistic derivation of the name is followed by a brief meaning. Often, you'll find an informative comment or historical note, followed by a list of noteworthy people, famous or fictional, who have borne that name, giving the book the air of an almanac. Finally, a list of variations appears in bold, italic type, showing you how you can customize a name to reflect your own ethnic heritage or interests.
The Baby Name Data Bank
In searching for the perfect name for your baby, you may become overwhelmed at times -- the dazzling array may seem as vast as the universe. To help you along, The Baby Name Data Bank, located at the back of Baby Names for the New Generation, provides an innovative and unique tool for sifting through this book's vast selection. The Data Bank enables you to look at names by category, spanning many interests, including "Astrology," "Education," "Mythology," and "Sports." Say, for instance, you have a passion for gardening. Turn to the Data Bank's list of "Botany" names to gain an at-a-glance look at all the entries in this book that are of a horticultural nature, including female names like Brier and Jasmine or male names like Florian and Waverly. Thinking about naming your child after a famous painter or sculptor? Browse through the Data Bank's "Arts" list for reference to names contained in the main body that have been held by artistic figures.
Within the Data Bank, you will also find a list of "Most Popular" names. These are names that enjoy current popularity within North American culture. The "Cutting Edge" list refers you to names that have only recently appeared and are just starting to gain widespread use.
Now, not only can you use familiar criteria for name selection, such as the way a name sounds or the appearance of a name within either parent's lineage, but you can also apply this book's imaginative cross-referencing system to uncover a name's rich legacy.
Making the Decision
Use Baby Names for the New Generation to learn about the myriad possibilities that await you and your child. With its unique format and extensive, worldwide selection, this book aims at exposing you to new names, reminding you of old ones, and setting you on your way to the perfect choice. Read through the entries, say names you most favor to yourself, out loud, and to others, and try to project each possible selection into the future -- you and your child will be using that name for a long time to come. The intention is to give you all the information you need to think through this delightful decision thoroughly, but in the end, you are urged to pay closest attention to the name by which your heart refers to your new baby.
Excerpted from Baby Names for the New Generation by Pamela Samuelson Copyright © 2006 by Pamela Samuelson. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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