Friday, July 25, 2008

Baby Names

Husband and I have finally settled on names for the tykes. To be honest, we ended up going with the first ones we liked to begin with. I tried a million other options with Husband but he wasn't interested. For a man who takes hours picking items out in the grocery store you'd think he'd spend more time on this but oh, well. I spent enough time for the both of us. After I drafted this post I saw an article about a judge allowing a child to change her name. I've also often played the game with my own name wondering if I really fit the name my parents gave me (give how 70s it is I would say no).

Every couple has "ground rules" about names. Here were ours:
  • No name can end in "n" - Husband doesn't like the way it sounds with his last name. Nevermind that both our names end in "n"! It actually ended up saving some time - do you know how many names end in "n"?

  • Easy to spell with good nickname (decided by us) potentials.

  • Look good on a business card/letterhead/title when they are grown up. [Chief Justice Baby B?]

  • Traditional (not unusual - recognizable as a "real" name) but not a name used very often. No trendy names allowed (that means you Addison, Delaney, Sofia/Sophie - all of which I like but are way overused). This put us in the early 1900s for name choices. According to Baby Name Wizard, in the 1910s our boy name was ranked 136 and in the 1940s our girl name was ranked 286 (interestingly with a spike in 2007 at a 412 ranking). This might make me reconsider the girl name. We also consulted with H, a teacher, to confirm whether she has multiple kids in her fifth grade classroom with the names. She has confirmed we are fine.

  • Middle name doesn't matter. How often do you see someone use both names in real life? I would say almost never (maybe a middle initial if that). I want to be realistic and makes sure first and last name fit together - middle name is superfluous and really only is used on birth announcements, wedding invitations and vows and possibly in court cases/filings.
I tried to convince Husband we should "try out" various baby name options on the tykes but we just could not bring ourselves to do it. Even though we've decided on names I still can't do it. For some reason I cannot bring myself to refer to Babies A and B by their given (by us) names. Usually I say things like "okay, little girl, time to stop beating me up" or "A, what are you doing in there?". To be honest I wanted to bring them home, get to know them and then name them. But then I'm afraid A and B will stick forever.

What was your naming strategy? We will let you know their names after they are born - people can be very judgey about names!


H said...

If A and B are going to stick, maybe you would go with that theme. "Albert and Beatrice" perhaps, or "Alex and Bathsheba"

I don't think it was totally on purpose, but my friend's twins- also referred to as A and B, became Ava and (Ara)Bella.

As the "teacher", I would like to warn people off trendy names. It's amazing to see the trends in the classroom of popular names. I had 4 Nicks in one class, one year, and 2 Monica Ms, which made life confusing!

Also people who feel the need to get creative with the spelling of children's names (adding extra vowels just for fun or to make the name unique). Mommy, I'm glad that you and husband took that in to consideration. Kids are always disappointed when their name is spelled wrong, but it's hard to keep track when it isn't a traditional spelling or someone else in the same class has a different spelling.

Anonymous said...

Here were our rules for naming:
1) No trendy names. (Noting that "popular" is different from trendy... Ex: Michael is a popular name, but Jayden is a trendy one.)

2) Must be easily shortened to a nickname, but not be a nickname in and of itself, like Jack.

3) No last names as first names. Yes, that means you, Connor, Brady, Carver, Morgan, and Madison. Also see #1 above.

4) Nothing unusually spelled or difficult to pronounce.

5) Needs to sound good after "President" and "Chief Justice." (You know, just in case!)

That's how we came up with Joshua (Josh) and Alexander (Alex). :-)

Almostima said...

I never realized how many names I hated till it was time to pick a name. I mean, you meet people every day and usually don't think "I hate your name so much!" Yet, that's the reaction I was having when having to figure it out.
Much like wedding dress shopping, we found one we liked very early on and it was hard to shake it off for any alternative.

When we found out we were having a boy, we started referring to him by the name we picked. We still haven't settled on a middle name. I think it's helping me bond with him and is making it more real.

But I also had friends who tried this method out only to discovery they tired of the name and changed course as soon as the baby was born.

Nancy said...

Ooops. We broke crapshack's #3 rule...Burke is Mike's grandmother's maiden name. (His middle name is the middle name of my grandfather, father, and brother - although, my grandfather used it as a first). Maggie is named after my grandmother (Marjory, although - we spell it Marjorie to match the "ie"s) And her middle name was Mike's mom's. Logan is just Logan - we were going to name him Jake, but changed our minds LOL (His middle name is Mike's dad's though).

So, except for "Logan", all names are family names. :)

SMNYC said...

I must agree with Nancy. I think #3 is questionable. I think Morgan is a perfectly fine first name. I don't even consider it a last name. Some don't work well though. Goldman Jones for example might be a little odd.

Question: When is the last time you're allowed to change your name about a name? At birth? At one week? Once you tell one other person? Just curious, not like it would make any difference to the kid after all...

SMNYC said...

I never remember everything I want to say in 1 comment. May I offer rule #6 in place of #3?

Nothing that rhymes with the last name.

What A Card said...

My husband gave us the craziest, most annoying rule: No names from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. That struck Xander (a pain since my 2nd favorite boys' name was Alexander), Anya, and Willow right off our list.

Ugh, the rules I'm forced to endure...

Anonymous said...

Um, TWO Monica M's? Seriously? I am almost always the only one. We Monicas hate when there's another one around. That must be really difficult in your classroom!

Anonymous said...

Um, TWO Monica M's? Seriously? I am almost always the only one. We Monicas hate when there's another one around. That must be really difficult in your classroom!
Monica M

Bessa said...

If the name is actually a family name, then I think you're totally exempted from the 'no last names as first names' rule.

Stacey said...

But I like Addison!!! :-)

Anonymous said...

Hey, name your kid whatever you want, even Goldman Jones. :-) I just said those rules were mine and my husband's when we were choosing names. I will point out, my husband has a (sort of) last name as a first name himself- Jordan. It was his mom's maiden name.

Rebecca said...

Hehe. That baby wizard site is the biggest time suck EVER. We had (ok, let's be honest---my husband had) so many rules about baby naming. Here they are:

1. Nothing too trendy. I loved Emma, but Rachel on Friends used Emma. That killed it for him. No Ella (also too "in". Also loved by me.).

2. Nothing spelled non-traditionally. No "Kalib" or "Abbigayle".

3. Nothing starting with M, as our last name starts with M and this is too alliterative for him. Bye bye Margaret (my godmother), Max (he hated it anyway), Matthew (I love it!) etc...

4. No names that reminded him too much of literary characters or famous people. Charlotte? A spider. Olivia? A dancing pig. (Who knew he even knew this book?). Etc...and etc...

5. Middle names must be family names. Which is fine, except I won't give last names to girls as middle names and we have no women in our extended family. Except our moms, and we both dislike their names. She ended up with my middle name, also a family name, as hers.

That man nixed, conservatively, 25 girls names I really liked. We ended up with Daniel & Abigail.