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An A-Z of Baby Names Paperback – 10 Jan 2013


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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford; Reissue edition (10 Jan 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199669856
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199669851
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 2.5 x 13 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 8,904 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

About the Author

Patrick Hanks has been a lexicographer and linguistic researcher for almost three decades. He was Chief Editor for Current English Dictionaries at Oxford University Press, and is now a professor at the University of the West of England in Bristol. His books include Dictionary of American FamilyNames: 3-Volume Set.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Darren Simons TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 31 July 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
With the imminent birth of our daughter (we did not know boy or girl at the time), my wife and I used this book amongst others to get some inspiration for baby names. Most of the book is taken up with a description of names sorted alphabetically, their origins and some famous examples. I was a little disappointed by this as I thought combining the male and female names was silly (it's much easier in my view separating them into two sections), and I didn't get a sense there were that many names. In fairness, my wife thought it was quite good.

However, where we did agree there was value in the book was the list of names at the end, where lots of categories of names are listed for boys and girls - eg. most popular names in England for each of the last 5 decades, country specific names, religious names, unisex names and some original names. This in itself was really useful and although we didn't end up with anything from the more obscure lists it gave lots of food for thought.

Our daughter was born last week and we named her Lucy Olivia.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By S. Wilson TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 13 April 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
If you are looking for a baby name book with thousands upon thousands of names including multi-cultural ones and new 'fashionable' ones such as Apple then this book is not for you as it consists of what I can only describe of as being 'traditional' British names such as Michael and James. For us this book is perfect as we don't have to weed through the zillions of names that we know we won't end up choosing and centers of those more 'traditional' ones that we will no doubt end up choosing. I really liked that the book also doesn't separate the girls and boys names as most other name books do but rather put's them all together under their letter which again for us is perfect as we don't intend on finding out the sex of out newest arrival. The book also has further tables showing the most popular names in England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland along with other tables for most popular religious, mythological and popular culture names to name a few other tables. So in summary a really good name book if you know that your names choice is going to be on the more traditional route but not so much if you are looking for a multi-cultural or more 'modern' name.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I did quite a bit of research when buying a baby names book (Amazon's look inside feature was a godsend!), and ended up with this one. I've nothing to compare it to but I'm pleased with this book. It's an A to Z so the names are mixed by male and female but this works for us as we don't know whether we're having a boy or a girl.

There aren't a great deal of totally bizarre names, and there's quite a good selection of normal names, as well as more unusual names to consider. At the back there's also a section on popular names throughout time, and popular names in different countries.

I liked how for many names it gives examples of notable people with the name - though perhaps naming Aaron Livesey from Emmerdale was a bit random! My only criticism would be there isn't a great deal about the origin of many names, though the historical information is great.

Overall we're happy with this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Pots TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 11 July 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This paperback is exactly what its title suggests. It's a handy resource to help you when searching for a name for your baby. It contains over 2500 names, with etymology and cross-references to related names.

It begins with some friendly guidance on choosing a name that will work well for your child, and will not mark it out as an oddity. To illustrate this, it refers to various bizarre celebrity names, such as those of Frank Zappa's children, Dweezil and Moon Unit (though neither name is listed in the book). It also considers religious and royal names, novelties, trendy names, nicknames, and surnames as forenames. The bulk of the book is a simple A-Z of names, giving simple descriptions of origins, famous connections, and reasons for the rise and fall in popularity of names.

It focuses on popular and common names, so omits oddities such as the aforementioned Dweezil and Moon Unit. I think this decision works well, as almost any word could be used as a name, and most readers probably aren't considering calling their offspring CHIMNEYPOT or IVEGOTALOVELYBUNCHOFCOCONUTS.

One thing that might be useful, but which isn't in the book, is some mention of possible nicknames, insults and jokes that could be attached to a name. Being a Stephen myself, I know all the nicknames that go with it - all of which are okay with me. However, while calling a firstborn son Gaylord may be a family tradition, it may expose the child to a lifetime of embarrassment and name-calling. I recall terrible memories of a school friend who suffered with the forename Beowulf...

Forename-surname combinations are also not mentioned. For example, if your surname is STILL, calling your child STAN is probably not a good idea.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Victor HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on 20 May 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
For most parents to be, the greatest worry is probably choosing the right name. I know it is for us - six months to go and we don't yet know if it's a boy or a girl, but we are already wracking our brains trying to find just the right name.

This book lists 2500 names in alphabetical order. Each name comes with a short paragraph describing it's history, meaning and famous bearers. It also gives common shortened forms of names. There are indexes of names in `categories' such as biblical names or TV personalities. The compiler has tried to give every scrap of information needed in making a choice, and organised it in such a way as to make it as easy as possible to find something that suits.

After leafing through it we still haven't settled on a name, but we do now have a lot more ideas... A useful book, well orgnaised and with lots of good information. 5 stars.
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