But there are many 3-letter combinations out there that aren't meaningless. They evoke specific images or feelings by forming words, near-words, abbreviations and acronyms. Some of these initials have positive associations (CEO, GEM, WIN, OK). Others have negative associations (PIG, ROT, SOB, PU).
Studies have shown that one's initials carry a certain psychological weight. For instance, all other factors being equal, a child with the cheerful initials JOY may end up having higher self-esteem than a child with the lowly initials MUD.
For this reason, it's wise to steer clear of potentially burdensome initials when naming a baby. One easy way to do this? Just think about it. :)
What letter will the baby's surname start with? Now think of two- and three-letter words that end with that letter. Are there any really bad ones? Avoid them as you construct a name.
For example, if the baby has the surname Ellis, his/her initials will end with E. In this case, three-letter initials to avoid should include APE, DIE, IRE, PEE and WOE.
In general, you'll want to watch out for initials that:
- Spell not-so-flattering words, like BUM, DUD, DUM, ILL, MAD, POX, RAT, and SIN.
- Sound like not-so-flattering words, such as DED and SIK.
- Double as unappealing abbreviations, including KKK and UFO.
- Have slang meanings. HOG may be slang for a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, but it's also a pig. ICE may be slang for diamond, but it's also slang for methamphetamine.
And, if you're so inclined, now would also be a good time to identify some good -- or at least neutral/notable -- initials that you might want to specifically aim to give your baby. For the surname Ellis, for instance, you could think about ACE, BEE, ODE or ONE. Name-initials like JOE could be fun as well (especially if the baby's first name happens to be related, e.g. Joseph or Joel!).