Tuesday, January 3, 2012

what's in a name?

what's in a name? 
a lot. 
...especially when you're deciding another persons name that they're going to have for the rest of their lives.

when DJ and I first started trying to get pregnant one of the first big discussions that started was about names we liked for the baby... first things first, we grew up with VERY different names - his one that was more popular and very well known and me - well let's just say most people cannot pronounce it right on the first try and am always questioned on the ethnicity [Persian], did my parents make it up [no, jackass], what does it mean [ancient goddess of water, among other things], how do you spell that [a-n-n-a...], etc.

well, my dad wanted to name me Pat. I guess I should be glad my mom won that argument [especially considering my unfortunate androgynous short hair cut for a period of time growing up partnered with my hairy arms - It's PAT! not good]. 

anyways, I digress - basically, DJ liked the idea of going with a different sort of name, I wanted something easy to spell. but seriously. something that had personality but not too much personality. also, DJ liked to start name conversations with "wouldn't it be funny to name the baby..." - I mean, REALLY. no. that's not how I'd like to start this conversation, nor would I like to name our baby something that you find amusing after a few beers.

In short, once we found out we were pregnant we got a baby name book - the best one I've come across - Bring Back Beatrice: 1,108 Baby Names with Meaning, Character, and a Little Bit of Attitude and we started flipping through it casually and discussing names for both boys and girls. We pretty much had middle names set for both genders since we wanted to use names of family members as the middle name and then worked from there for find first names that we loved. We kept a running list in my iPhone of names and would add a name when we both agreed to it... then every now and again we would review the list and delete one off due to not loving it anymore. When we decided on a name we had a list of five boys names and five girls names that we both liked.

We decided we wanted something classic and timeless and a name that wasn't extremely popular but that was simple enough [aka easy to spell and pronounce] but that had elegance as well as a fun, sweet nickname.... enough about that, don't want to give too much away.

I don't remember where we were when we thought of "the name" but DJ swears he was the one that suggested it [I hate to admit it, but I think he's right] but since then we knew we had it. DJ actually said he started really thinking it was a girl once we found that name because it was just so right for our little girl. It was our baby's name. 

In fact, when we went to get the ultrasound to find out the gender we were talking to "the baby" and said something along the lines of "Come on little baby, are you a [#1 Boys Name] or a [#1 Girls Name]? we really want to know!" And when the tech finally figured out what she was she said, do you want to know?? [clearly, we said yes - that's why we were paying her] and she said "You're having a [Baby J's name]!" 

Now the question of the month -- what is the name?  Well, we've decided we're not going to share the name before she's born with anyone*... will that actually happen? who knows. The problem is that we both refer to "baby j" by her name when it's just the two of us and we're bound to slip [in fact, DJ already did but luckily his grandmother was enthralled in her bagel and didn't hear him]. So for now, it's our little secret. [...Now, taking bets on how long this will last before one of us slips...]

I will say one thing though, it was nice to be able to say - "It's a GIRL.. we already know the name, no need for suggestions!" Now that might sound like a mean thing to some people but in reality - we wanted this to be ours, we love the name - no one else's opinion really matters... and trust us our family is sure to give us their opinion. In fact, I think for the next baby I'm going to just say we have the name even if we don't!  Don't worry though, plenty of people are still telling us what they think we should name her, I've gotten plenty of suggestions of what we should name her even though I've repeatedly said we already have a name - I'm getting really good and smiling and just ignoring. It's amazing.

One last thing, one of the parts of our baby name book that I loved was in the Introduction when the author talked about the Flaky Test... I loved it these tests to determine if the name will possibly be "flaky"or if it could be outgrown:
  • Imagine your child saying, "Ladies and gentlemen, I'd like to welcome you aboard the aircraft, I'm your captain [name].
  • Imagine your doctor tells you that you need to see a specialist about your condition and hands you a business card.  Imagine your child's name on that card with a medical speciality below it.
  • Imagine a political advertisement with your child facing the camera saying, "I'm [name] and I endorse this message."
  • Imagine a court bailiff announcing a trial and saying, "Court is in session, the honorable judge [name] presiding."
Just thought those were fun little "games" to play with yourself when you choose a name -- sometimes it's easy to forget that your adorable newborn/toddler/five year old [whatever cute young age you picture your child in your head] is going to grow up to be a forty year old professional at some point... for me it was important that she have a name she can grow into and not outgrow.

so yup, that's what's in a name for us. 
what's in it for you?

*This is a lie, I did tell the Starbucks barista the name... but I figure I'll never see him again and sometimes it is fun and exciting to say in public. 

**Also, just in case you were wondering I started typing baby j's "real name" 8 different times during this blog post. Yeah, this secret is real safe with me.


Tara said...

lovely entry :) I'm still not sure on the kids thing but we've already picked out names for ours just in case...they're all family names, so plenty of "meaning" and easy to spell as well. my sister had a baby recently and combined her own name with the father's name and she's pretty much the only one who likes the baby's name...haha

Anna said...


I love the part at the end - I always wonder if parents ever actually imagine their children having a real life with the names they gave them. Our Sheriff's name (the man Mike works for) is Mike Hunt. NO JOKE.

I hated my name growing up - I asked my parents to call me Jasmine for a while (I went through an Aladdin phase...)

Now I love my name. PLUS I have no problem finding souvenir keychains when I visit places. I never buy them, but it's nice to know I could.

Stephanie said...

I can't wait to hear the name when she finally gets here!!! I'm so excited for you guys! The very fact that you put so much thought and love into choosing a name shows how great you two will be as parents.

PS - love the blog redesign!

PPS - my mom told me that if I had been a boy, she was going to name me Regis. Thank god I was not a boy.

shellandbake said...

Im new to your blot & I love it! Especially the new header!

I understand wanting to have easy to pronounce & spell names. My name is Shirrell & people always get it wrong. I hated it when I was little, but I love it now!

Cant wait to see your baby name! :)

Oh and loved your Athens... I went there for the first time a few weeks ago!

dave and jenn said...

Oh, did we have a time picking a name. :) Dave's suggestions were so different from mine (his probably wouldn't have passed the "flaky test"). Jade was the only one we both really loved. If we ever have another girl, I have no clue what she could be named... :) Looking forward to hearing what you decided!

Christina said...

Yay! Sean and I already have a list of names in my iphone for when the day comes and I am always adding to it. I like different names too but agree with easy spelling. Can't wait to find out the name! Love the new blog layout too!

melissa said...

SO, SO, SO smart not to tell people the name until after you've decided on it. Isn't it shocking how people will offer their opinion when it isn't asked for? As if the child's name was up for popular vote. So rude. Good luck keeping your secret!

Maria said...

Omg! Now I am dying to know the name! But I think you did the right decision by not telling anyone. My husband and I started discussing names with people when I was pregnant and always got unwarranted opinions and advice. So we decided to keep the name our little secret and loved having his name just for ourselves. Then, when he was born, well everyone HAD to like it. Ha!
Love the Flake Test- yay, my son's name passes!

Jordan Streetman said...

Whatttt you are for real going to make us wait that long!!! Aghhhhh!!! (Love your new blog look)

Jordan Streetman said...

Whatttt you are for real going to make us wait that long!!! Aghhhhh!!! (Love your new blog look)

Gia said...

Ohhh I wanna know!! Picking a baby name sounds crazy stressful. You could really mess them up for life with a crappy enough name! I'm sure yours is lovely, though ;)

Joe + Tara said...

I was sooo excited when I started reading this post...I was thinking we were going to find out what the name is....no such luck today! (can you at least tell me which starbucks you went to so I can hunt down the barista? Maybe he can tell me! Haha) Can't wait to hear what name you & your husband decided on!

Nikki said...

Oh come on just say it. We'll all be very positive I promise!!!!

Wiz said...

Cant wait to hear the name!! We liked different names with mean. Hence Coltman "Colt" (my mother in law's maiden name and Sula (My grandmother's name.) So excited for you! It always made it even more real when we found a name :)

Lil' Woman said...

Let it slip! Let it slip!
C'mon, we won't tell anyone :) lol

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