What’s in a name?

The husband: Have you thought of any other names lately?
Me: I keep going back and forth between our two favorites but I can’t think of a  middle name I like with the first one.
The husband: How about Anna?
Me: It doesn’t sound right. What’s another feminine name that isn’t a mouthful?
The husband: I have always liked Hannah but I know it’s not your favorite.
Me: True. And you dated a Hannah. I would never name our kid Tom.
The husband: See, in my mind anyone before me in your life is dead, so who is this “Tom”? He doesn’t count.
Me: Hahaha! Yeah sorry, I still don’t like Hannah. Are there other Bible names you like?
The husband: Jezebel.
Me: Wrong.
The husband: Hadassah.
Me: Why do you hate our child?
The husband: Hadassah is Hebrew and awesome.
Me: Hebrew, yes. Awesome, no. Try again.
The husband: I could go all day with this, baby.
Me: It’s a good thing you’re cute.

Something I read said it’s a good idea, when trying out baby names, to call the baby one of those names for a day and see how it feels (‘it’ being the baby? because I feel like the little oyster does have some opinions on these names), or to go to the park and shout the name as if you are calling for your child. But then I wonder what the other parents would do when no kid comes running and you leave anyway so I don’t think that’s smart, really.

Another suggestion is to wait until the baby is born, look at her, and pick from the final list at that time. I feel like no child looks like a Helen or a Petunia right off the bat, so we’ll probably go into labor armed with a name. She’ll fill it out regardless.

But that brings us back to what that name will be. Right now we call her ‘the baby’ to one another except when she she’s moving a lot in an awkward (for me) position, then I refer to her as ‘your daughter.’

I had a dream a few weeks ago that the husband picked the final name because I couldn’t make up my mind and I didn’t like the one that he decided on so I cried and wanted a do-over. It helped that I told him about this dream, because now I think we’ll avoid this situation, which was fairly far-fetched in the first place.

We took a quiz, or rather I took on our behalf a quiz, that tells you what kind of baby names you like and should look for. The husband and I fall into the “unique names” category, which isn’t as terrifying as it sounds when we considered that the other options were classic, family, ethnic, and imaginary or something like that.

We don’t want our daughter to go through school with her last initial tacked on to her first name at all times, like I had growing up. In elementary school, I was in classes with two boys named Andrew T. so they were differentiated by the first two letters of their last names, Andrew Tr. and Andrew Ti. I still think that made them look like periodic chart elements and I want to avoid that for my child.

But the mom, who is a teacher, has years of horror stories of children with unique and unpronounceable names and we also want to avoid that extreme. Fortunately, many of these names have stuck with me the way food truck Chinese sticks with me so we should be in the clear.

After months of discussion and paring down the long list to the short list, it’s really a matter of pairing up first-and-middle, although we’re both willing to consider game changers of extremely high caliber. Anyone have any of those?

Me: Dietrich, what do you think of Liesl or Gretl?
Me: Come on, those are good German names just like yours.
Me: Don’t you want people to know your family heritage?
Me: And now you’re licking your toes. You’re not help at all. So disrespectful.


4 thoughts on “What’s in a name?

  1. Hey I think you should post the link to that quiz so we can all take it and know whether our names are likely to be of the outlandish, I mean creative, variety or more on the milquetoast, er, classic, types. Before we suggest something and get shot down in your next blog post, I mean.

    • well i can’t actually find the quiz–i took it when i was much more willing to read new-mom blogs and websites–but rest assured that if there’s no one in the church nursery with that name and it is of british isles origin, we have either considered it or would consider it.

      • Bronwen, Morgyn, Fiona, Fae, Brynn, Lara… wish I could think of more Welsh ones… Taryn (though that’s trendier than you would do)… what’s the girl equivalent of Colum MacGregor? Cara Madeleine?

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