Fancy spending your days picking baby names?
But what if your job was to come up with them? Because apparently this job really does exist.
The person doing it is 16-year-old schoolgirl Beau Jessup, who runs a site called Specialname.cn that helps Chinese parents choose a suitable western name for their baby.
Beau came up with the idea after travelling to China on one of her father’s business trips. Over dinner with his work colleagues, Beau was asked by one lady what she should call her daughter.
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Now, this might sound a bit unusual to entrust a stranger with the responsibility of naming your child. But speaking to The Times, Beau explained: ‘An English name is vital because you can’t use a Chinese name on an email or a university application to the UK. Your English name stays with you for life.
‘She said “I want my daughter to surpass expectations and to surprise people with what she can achieve.” So I said Eliza, because of Eliza Doolittle.’
The woman was thrilled and from there a business was born. With the help of a £1500 loan from her father, Beau set up Specialname.cn – a site dedicated to helping Chinese parents pick culturally appropriate Western names for their baby.
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The website provides a database of 4000 names, each of which is accompanied by correlating qualities that are most often based on characters from British children’s books. Parents pay approximately 60p, select the five characteristics they want for their child from a list of twelve and are then sent three names to choose from.
Once the decision is made, the name is printed on a certificate, along with its relevant characteristics and an example of a famous person who shares the name. As simple as it sounds, the concept has proved popular for a reason – Chinese babies being named Gandalf, Cinderella or Rolex by confused parents isn’t unheard of. This, according to Beau, is a way for Chinese parents to pick an appropriate name from the start.
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Curious to see which names are popular with Chinese parents? These are Beau’s best sellers (and their meanings):
Emily Elegant, sensitive, reliable
Madeleine Honest, creative, empathetic
Annabel Confident, optimistic, honest
Rose Elegant, sensitive, reliable
Isabella Active, creative, keen
Henry Clever, active, sensitive
Archie Honest, insistent, sensitive
Jake Clever, confident and active
Alexander Creative, reliable, keen
Harry Confident, honest and clever
So far her website has named over 220,000 babies, earning her a whopping £48,000 – money she plans to use to pay her university tuition fees. Not that it wasn’t hard work – Beau still has to come up with another 30 names each month to upload to the site and spends two hours a day monitoring feedback.
‘It’s nice to be a part of such a happy experience and be a part of those young stages in a baby’s life,’ said Beau.
Sounds like the dream job to us…