What’s in a name

Once upon a time, when I used to have a job, a coworker gave birth to her second child. (At the hospital, not at the office, just to clarify.) Everyone was excited to learn about the details: time, weight, length and of course, the name. I just happened to tell one person the name of the baby, and she scrunched up her nose and stated that she didn’t like the name, which I found to be odd because it was a “normal” name and also just so happened to be on my “list” of names for a future Baby Evans.

There are plenty of baby names I don’t like for one reason or another; perhaps I don’t like the way it rolls off my tongue when I say it, or it reminds me of someone I don’t like. But never mind what I think, because the number one thing parents need to remember when naming their baby is that they shouldn’t give two flying woo-hoos about what other people think about what their baby is named. (Unless, of course, they sign the birth registration while they’re still high on pain meds and name their baby Hashtag or La-ah.* Expect a lifetime of “La-what-ah?”) I’m a big advocate for not revealing a baby’s name until after he or she is born because I’m afraid of the people who will try and talk you out of the names you’ve chosen. If you tell them afterwards it’s more of a done deal and they just have to live with it: Too bad, so sad!

Whether it’s a normal family name that’s been passed down through generations (I know someone who’s a “III” and not just a Jr.), or something as simple as the only thing you could agree on (like my own), you’re probably going to be judged by someone at some point. It most likely won’t be to your face, but it will happen and you’ll be able to tell when a person questions your choice. I know for damn sure that there are people who aren’t fond of the names Kyle and I gave our daughters, even though they’re relatively normal names. Some may argue that Isla’s name is too complicated to pronounce (damn those silent letters!) or that Norah’s middle name is too masculine, but we don’t really care because those were the names we liked.

Nowadays when I hear a name I don’t particularly like I try to remind myself that it’s their child, not mine, and they can name it whatever they want. Margaret Catherine Elizabeth Victoria IV? Why not?! I may not have to like it, but it’s not my child to name. That being said, please remember that the majority of children are not the children of super celebrities. They can get away with naming their kids Saint or Blue or Pilot Inspektor** because they will all go to school together and bizarre names will be the norm. Don’t punish your child by making them the only Sunrise Moon Blossom in a classroom full of Olivias, Jacobs, and Mallorys.

How much thought did you put behind the names you chose for your children? (Or future children?)

* These are actual names of actual children. I wish I was kidding.

** Again, actual names.

One thought on “What’s in a name

  1. I would let people know the middle names I was considering prior to baby being born with my last babe (I’ve always gone with family names as middle names, because I’m traditional and it’s hard to hate on a namesake!) but I’m with you in keeping it to myself until after the baby’s here. I love the surprise and the “you can’t say boo about it now” effect :).
    I named my first after her father (the feminine version), Charlotte Ryan, my second after our dads, Gavin William Brian (Gavin was the only boys name we could agree on) and the baby after my namesake and her first name was picked by her dad and siblings, which I loved because they were so invested in it, Eleanor Jean.
    I really like the names you picked for your girls. They’re feminine and unique, but not uncommon, as in you didn’t make up a name for them! Good choices all around :)



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