What's In A Name? Tell Me More Producer Rob Sachs and his wife are eagerly expecting their second child. Besides diaper duty and a soon-to-be little one to love, the Sachses are facing a dilemma — what should they name the baby, whose gender they've chosen not to know before birth? Sachs talks about his search for the perfect baby name.
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What's In A Name?

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What's In A Name?

What's In A Name?

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MICHEL MARTIN:

And finally, to another dad. Rob Sachs, the director of our program is about to welcome his second child with his wife Anna, of course, in just a couple of weeks. Now, besides his work with us, Rob Sachs hosts the podcast called "What Would Rob Do?" He's authored a book, "What Would Rob Do?" which is, as the title says, "An Irreverent Guide to Surviving Life's Daily Indignities."

We told you about his book just a few weeks ago and now he's back for a little advice on naming that baby. Heres Rob with more.

Mr. ROB SACHS (Author, "What Would Rob Do?"): When Anna and I decided we weren't going to find out the gender of our new baby, we thought it would be a fun surprise and add some excitement to the whole birthing process, as if it needed any more.

One thing we overlooked is how this decision doubled our burden of coming up with possible names. To be sure, choosing the name Rachel for our first child was an agonizing process that involved list upon list and lots of late-night bargaining. But we're very happy with our choice. And thats a good thing.

It turns out that three percent of parents regret the name they gave their child, according to 2007 survey by the website BabyCenter.com.

To make sure we steer clear of that statistic, Anna and I have gone back to many of our old trusty resources. The first being a free one: the Social Security Administration's list of the thousand most popular names. This is a great place for getting a sense of all the names out there. It's also good to note that we dont have to fret about being unoriginal if our choice happens to be among the top 10, because in general, baby names are much more varied than they were in the past.

When my parents were born, the top 10 list accounted for nearly half of all the names out there. These days, it's less than 10 percent. So should we choose one of last year's number one names, Jacob or Emily, we dont have to worry about 20 other kids in the neighborhood having the same name.

Of course, there's far more to consider than just popularity. In her many baby-naming books, author Linda Rosenkrantz shares the origin and meaning of names and groups them in lists like celebrity names, ethnic names, and names that are associated with everything from hippies to cowboys. Rosenkrantz also has cautionary tips for namers such as watching out for the ones that are hard to pronounce. When I talked to her, she warned me about the perils of potential tongue-twisters like Sacha Sachs.

Ms. LINDA ROSENKRANTZ (Author): I mean, Samantha Sachs, okay. But Sacha Sachs gets stuck in your mouth a little bit.

Mr. SACHS: One Jewish tradition my parents followed was naming a child after a relative who has passed away. This explains how I got stuck with the middle name Eugene. While there's always been a part of me thats been proud to carry on the memory of my grandfather, there's also the practical side of me that knew it's best to keep that personal tidbit a secret throughout my teenage years. Fortunately for our future offspring, it's also a Sachs family tradition to just reuse the initials of relatives.

The last lesson Anna and I learned from our first baby-naming experience was to keep our list of potential names on lockdown. It's not that our family, our friends are particular nosy. It's just that Anna and I dont need anyone else butting in with their negative opinions. I mean, haven't I just explained this process of naming your kid is tough enough already?

(Soundbite of music)

MARTIN: Rob Sachs is the director of our program and he is the author of the book "What Would Rob Do: An Irreverent Guide to Surviving Life's Daily Indignities," which is adapted from the podcast of the same name.

And thats our program for today. Im Michel Martin and youve been listening to TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Dont get me started on the process for getting that name. Let's talk more tomorrow.

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