Weekend Word Wrap: What's in a Name?

David K. Israel

I'll tell you what's in a name: money, that's what—at least according to the Wall Street Journal, which recently ran a story on baby-name consultants who are popping up across the country and getting around $500 a pop to come up with just the right name for your little one. Can you believe that malarkey folks? $500!

Oh, and apparently there've been 80 baby-naming books published in the last 3 years. THREE YEARS!

If you're sensing that I'm a little worked-up over all this, it's probably because my wife and I are expecting our first in a matter of days and we still haven't found the right name. Which is to say, we're still looking. Which is to say, we're actually considering a naming consultant. Which is to say, the sum in our bank account is about to shrivel even further—as if all the baby-paraphernalia hasn't created a big enough hole, now there's the hiring of the word guru.

I mean honestly. Has it really come to this? Do babies really need to be branded?

How about some help from you loyal readers on this one? Save my wife and me half a grand and help us come up with a name, won't you?

And remember: it has to go well with Israel, which is a tall order, we realize, because most of the biblical names are immediately ruled out. Abraham, Isaac, Moshe, all a bit too raging-Heeb when put in front of Israel. Jacob, which we actually like, doesn't work either because he was Israel. Melvin Israel, Sidney Israel, Seymour Israel, they all sound like babies admitted to the geriatric center 80 years prematurely (and perhaps babies with rank halitosis, as well).

Jack, I like. Henry, she likes. Oliver, she likes. Lenny, I like. Wolfgang has even entered the running, believe it or not. Mangesh has been discussed, but only because I work for the _floss. I mean honestly, Mangesh Israel ? It's a great name, Mangesh, but not for us. Sorry.

Anyway, drop your suggestion in the comments and hopefully someone will come up with something that saves us from the baby-naming consultant! [ed note: yup, it's a boy folks!]