What to put on the birth certificate?

We are deciding between a few different names but we are leaning toward calling our daughter Nomi. I would like her name to be Naomi with Nomi as a nickname, but husband prefers Nomi as her official name. 



October 24, 2019 10:05 PM

I'd definitely put Naomi on the birth certificate

October 25, 2019 6:32 AM

Naomi for sure

October 25, 2019 4:10 PM

I would ask yourself: 1. Do you love Naomi as much as Nomi? 2. Does your husband at least like Naomi? 3. Would it be OK with both of you if, at some point, your daughter dropped the name Nomi and just went by Naomi all the time?

If you can answer yes to all three of those questions, Naomi on the birth certificate is a good choice. If the answer to any of these is no, especially 2 or 3, I'd say stick with the name that you really want on the birth certificate.

Nomi is not a natural nickname for Naomi that would easily co-exist with it in folks' minds (like Maddie for Madeline); they're more like two different names that happen to sound alike—like Kristin and Christine or Joanna and Jenna. I suspect that lots of folks will assume that one or the other is an error: that they've misheard, or there's a typo somewhere, or that the person they're talking to is confused somehow. Since Naomi is quite a bit more familiar than Nomi for many English speakers, you're more likely to get people assuming that Nomi is the error. I can picture her correcting someone who calls her Naomi with "It's Nomi" and getting "That's what I said, Naomi." You'll probably get this reaction even if Nomi is on the birth certificate, but if Naomi is on the paperwork I think it will not be very long until Nomi is just a pet name in your house, with Naomi being the universally-used public name.

October 25, 2019 5:05 PM

I think this is excellent advice. What is your hestitation about using Nomi as her legal name? Is it because most people will be unfamiliar with it? Or do you prefer it to Nomi? 

October 25, 2019 7:18 PM

Hesitation is mainly that she may want to go by a more traditional name professionally at some point and I'd like her to have that option. 

all this advice is really helpful though! 

October 25, 2019 7:25 PM

Yes I think that is best to have the option, cute nn though

October 26, 2019 2:27 PM

Parents worry a lot about this issue, but I don't think it's as big a deal as we think. I know many folks who use their nickname exclusively and wish it was their official name because the longer form just doesn't feel like them. I also know people who use nicknames like Katie and Bobby professionally, even in fields like law and academia. As the naming landscape expands, "diminutive" names will stick out even less. I know children and young adults with birth certificate names like Fia, Ellie and Ace and I think by the time your daughter hits the job market a name like Nomi will sound perfectly formal on its own.

Having said that, if you love both the more formal name and the nickname and want to use both, then that's a great two-for-one option. 

And if you really want a more formal option but are only meh on Naomi, we might be able to brainstorm other possibilities for you. Maybe you (and/or your husband) would like a different cognate of Naomi better, such as Noemi, the French/Italian/Hungarian/German etc. version of Naomi. Other variants include Noemia and Noam. Moving away from Naomi, Eunomia and Nomiki are both names from classical Greek. Or something like Nora Miriam, for example, would lend itself to No-Mi as a contracted nickname. 

October 25, 2019 4:27 PM



BtN suggests Nomi may be an English and Hebrew contracted form of Naomi, meaning that it does have some history as a variant/derivative in much the same way you're thinking of using it.  It's a user-submitted name though so I'm not sure if that's accurate information.

October 27, 2019 3:29 PM

I'm feeling a little bad about the news that I'm delivering here, especially when the username of the poster suggests a degree of religious devoutness.

I cannot possibly see the name Nomi without thinking immediately and lastingly about Nomi Malone, the protagonist of the 1995 NC-17 cult classic movie Showgirls. (It's a really clever name, suggesting "No me, I'm alone", although there's debate about whether the first part is "Know me" or "No... me!")

It's not a totally dated cultural reference like the age of the movie would suggest. It lives on as one of the most beloved movie flops of all time, with screenings to raise money for charity ("one disaster to benefit another") some with live comedic interpretation, as well as a second wave of defense of the movie as a serious satire. 

I just went to see at the theatre a documentary about the movie entitled, "You don't Nomi". This is part of a general uptick in scholarship about the movie in recent years (including the book, "It doesn't suck" by Adam Nayman and a volume of sestinas -- no, I'm not even kidding) plus a recent musical adaptation. 

I am speaking as someone who just named a new chicken Nomi... but it does not seem like a usable name on a human baby, especially as the birth certificate.

I think it's fine as a nickname, but as much as I love this movie (it is my favorite movie of all time), it would not pass the "would I want it to be my name" test.