Friday, 16 December 2011

The Pressure of a Name

(I really hate when bloggers offer "5 [mythical] points to whoever recognizes the movie that the title comes from", like it's so obscure.  We all know what movie the title comes from, right?  Right.)

Ross and I have been noodling over names for some time now.  We'd had a girl name picked out since before we got married.  Which is probably why we're having a boy.  They didn't want to make things too easy on us.  (What?  You don't have a mythical "they" that you blame for stuff like this?)

One of Ross' earliest suggestions was "Wells Fargo".  Our last name is not wagon.  But it's not far off.  So yes.  My husband actually thought it would be a good idea to name our son "Wells Fargo Wagman".  Ugh.

So that's the kind of help I'm getting... We've got a short list.  Sort of.  Informally.  But we haven't felt moved to fully commit to a name yet.  There are a few factors we're taking into consideration.

1. Jewish naming conventions- In Jewish circles, it's traditional to name a child after a deceased loved one. This doesn't mean that the baby is named the exact same name as the dead person, but usually that the name starts with the same first letter.  This means that we've looked hard at names starting with B, L, and A for Ross' sister, mom, and dad.  We'd definitely like to us at least one of these letters for a first or middle name.

2. Family names- In my family, Charles was a family name that was passed down.  My beloved Papa is named Charles.  That stopped with my mom's generation.  My mom had a younger brother named Charles who died after just a few days.  He died because of a defect with his heart that would now be fixed easily with surgery, but at the time there was no option other than for my grandparents to watch him slowly die.  They don't talk about it much and it was a dark time.  My mom remembers it vaguely.  Part of me would love to bring back this tradition, but another part of me isn't sure about the name.  I can't imagine calling a teeny baby Charles (or Chuck, which is what Papa goes by) and I personally don't want to use any "ie" nicknames like Charlie.  That said, Charles is on the short list for a middle name.

So far, our technique for finding a name has been to randomly suggest any name we can think of.  We've taken to referring to the baby by a different name every time we talk about him, hoping something will stick.  No dice.  We want a name that is traditional, but not too common (alas, my long-time favourite- Oliver- is currently topping the charts here in the UK) .  Nothing that's too weird.  Nothing that is pronounced differently in the US and the UK.  No normal names made unique by spelling them funny.  (Gee- I wonder why we're having a hard time finding a name we like...)

We settled on our girl name so easily, that I never imagined we'd have such trouble settling on a boy's name.  I keep thinking divine inspiration will strike and the angels will sing and it will suddenly become, like, totally obvious what our son should be named.  Keep your fingers crossed everybody.

Do you have any brilliant suggestions that we might not have thought of?
Did you have trouble picking a name for your children or did it come easily?


  1. MEG!!! OMG you and Ross are having a baby!!!! I'm SOOOOOOOOOOO Happy for you!!! I haven't been on blogspot in a while so i'm behind and many sorries for not saying Congratulations sooner! I'm so happy for you both! Good luck on picking a name! Craig and I talk about baby names too and have trouble agreeing lol so I feel your pain a little bit on name picking! :)