the perfect gift for a friend who's already overstocked with baby gifts from last time

It's not always hormones that make you crazy during your first pregnancy. Picking a name? Your best friend suggests her favorite little boy's name and you break her heart by remembering the kid with smelly feet from fourth grade. You can't name the Next Generation of Us after someone with smelly feet. But you always kind of admired Laura (Little House? she was steadfast? she stood her ground? she held on to her imagination?) And then the father of Darling Blob admits that someone named Laura dumped him right after graduation. Someone's mother wants to honor a relative you never heard of. Someone else's mother's worst enemy had that name. Both mothers had a great-aunt or second cousin once removed whose name means "soul" in a lot of languages but "apple" in many others. There is a time limit to how long this can go on, but that knowledge  is not a stress reliever.

After that first experience, after an appropriate interval, you need a name or names again. This time, you know enough to listen to suggestions and smile mysteriously, it is to be hoped like Mona Lisa and not Hannibal Lecter. You have greater issues, like where will this one live once (you) are no longer an option? But when the Sibling-to-Be suggests Fluffy, you know a name or names should be ready before someone blurts "Wilberforce!" at an inopportune moment. 

I have a suggestion. Oh, do I ever. I recommend this helpful book:

And here is what its publishers (or maybe the people at Amazon) have to say about Traditional Molvanian Baby Names:

Molvania is just north of Bulgaria and downwind from Chernobyl. The funniest book about baby names you will ever read: every name available from European republic Molvania, birthplace of the polka and whooping cough. This book is full of traditional baby names from Molvania and their meanings. Are you stuck on what to call you new pride and joy? How about: BRUZVYLIZ - Bruce Willis JINKZTA - Unlucky MAYKUPPUTYANA - Fun Girl (literally - 'Heavily made-up working girl') There are hundreds of unique and meaningful names for any new baby. You're sure to be the envy of all the other mums with a Molvanian baby name!
In case you're still dazed from peeling the latest catalogs off your eyeballs  (if you think you've got trouble, guess what came to our house? the J.Peterman Company Catalog.  Worthy of its own post, so 'nuff said for now) - in case you're still dazed, as I said, let me make very clear that Molvania is a fictional country with fictional customs and fictional folkways. There is also a Molvanian guidebook, called Molvania: a Land Untouched By Modern Dentistry,  which is a send-up of TV travel personalities' books. Also amusing but nowhere nearly as practical.  You can bring this with you to baby showers, although probably not if the prospective mom is your boss.


  1. Oh, this is so well-timed. You do know how to make a girl's day, WFF. I am off to Amazon PRONTO. The status of the naming process Chez Dearest is similar to the Israeli-Palenstinian peace agreements. (Naturally I am the Israeli in this analogy.)

    I was shocked to find several years ago J. Peterman was a real company. I aways thought it was created for Seinfeld.

  2. And me thinking The Copywriter from Space was a reject from J.Peterman's internship program!

    I hope you enjoy the book!


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