Hi Jennifer,

I’m wondering about your thoughts on the name India. When choosing a name for me twenty-two years ago, my parents considered both India and Hilary, however, they went with the latter because they were too nervous to give me such an exotic name.

To this day, we all love the name, however, many people have criticized it. They say it sounds, for lack of a better term, like a stripper name. My mother’s name is Jane, my middle name is Jane, and I think India Jane sounds classy and unique. Not only that, I am a huge fan of Gone With the Wind, and I know there is a character named India in the novel/movie. It is easy to spell, and pronounce.

Is it cheap sounding? Would it be associated with the country?

Thanks, Hilary

Hi Hilary,

I’m not sure if you’re asking about the name India for you (changing your name) or for a baby or a character in a novel. Either way, I can only give you my opinion.  I do not perceive the name India as being cheap, at all.  Yes, it is a place name and therefore will be associated with the country. For a fictional character, you are right: it is easy to spell and easy to pronounce and therefore gets my approval! As an aside, Margaret Mitchell did an awesome job naming her characters in GWTW.

From the point of view of an American, the name India could seem “exotic.” But exotic does not equal exotic dancer! I don’t see India as a stripper name, at all.  But like I said, everyone has their own name perceptions.  Maybe I can put a call out to the readers of the column?  What do you think?

Sincerely,

Jennifer

Jennifer Moss is the founder of BabyNames.com, author of The Baby Names Workbook, and Producer of The Baby Names Podcast. Jennifer is widely regarded as the leading expert on popular baby name trends and the naming process, serving as the authoritative source on the subject for national and international media.

Jennifer entered the tech arena in the 80s as a software developer and database architect, and became a pioneer in the Internet industry. In addition to operating BabyNames.com, Jennifer owns a web development agency in central California.