A Rose By Any Other Name…

There has been a baby boom in the office. I was talking to a father of child number two about baby names and the politics of naming. It took about two weeks for him and his wife to negotiate a name that they would be happy with.

There are some boy names that I love (Connor, Owen) but both names are taken by friends of my boyfriend. I only have a loose connection personally but it is enough to put the kibosh on those names.


Some of my friends have had a lot of kids (by choice with bonus fries) so those names are off the table.

Ex-boyfriends, ex-girlfriends  and people who tortured you in school are obvious no’s as are names made popular by shows such as 90210.

There is a fine line between a unique name and one that is just plain weird (Apple, Kal-El, Pilot Inspektor, Moxie Crimefighter anyone?). You don’t want to give them a name that six other people in class will have and you don’t want to give them a name everyone will mispronounce despite their best of intentions (or worst of intentions- kids can be cruel). Interesting but not “interesting.”

Of course you have to consider how a name will sound with the surname. The basic rule of thumb is pairing a simple given name with a flamboyant surname and vice versa. Okay, that is my rule of thumb but I think it’s a good one.

If you want to get in the game of middle names- land mine. I always felt a little gypped that I don’t have a middle name. In school there were people who said my name in a way that sounded like a sneeze- thanks guys. When I made up personas for myself as a kid, I always gave myself at least three or four names. I used to love Veronica- I always felt she was misunderstood in the Archie comics. That Veronica Mars is one of my favourite shows (canceled way too early) and is also an Elvis Costello song, brings it back into running.

Something else to consider? Initials. Would you want your child to live under the crushing weight of P.I.G for the rest of their lives? If this doesn’t kill them, it will certainly make them stronger.

And what about nicknames? Does the name rhyme with anything salacious? Guaranteed, kids will find something to taunt you with.

I’ve had friends call dibs on names. This brings to mind an episode of Sex and the City where Charlotte learns (at a baby shower) that her prized name was about to be appropriated. Crushing. 

There are certain names that I love but I don’t want people I know to think that they are the inspiration. I don’t want to name any of my theoretical children after people I know or am related to except for Sandy. Good thing my boyfriend (whom I hope will be the father of my theoretical children) feels the same way. No Juniors or a legacy of Roman Numerals.

I hope my predilection for anglo-saxon and gaelic names will not limit in any way. I don’t want to saddle them with a name that condemns them to obscurity or one that will encourage a life of crime. I am enamored with a name from a fantasy classic…. I don’t know if I’ll be able to sneak it in but I will try.

At the end of  the day, it is all about options- give them enough names so when they have figured out who they are, they have something to work with. 


~ by angryegg on March 23, 2009.

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