Names, Naming, importance of:

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” from Romeo and Juliet.

I find people, mostly women fall into certain categories while on the perfect name hunt for their child. I know people who will not tell you the name until it is revealed at the birth. Others will tell you up front. And others have not a clue until weeks and weeks after the birth. I fell into category two. As soon as I knew the name I told EVERYBODY. Mostly because I had a lot of friends who were pregnant the same time and there was no way they were going to steal my name.

My search for the perfect name began before I was even pregnant. I kept lists of boy and girls names. Every time I heard a unique (but not too unique) name I added it to the list. I was a name collector. I was certain I would have a boy so that side of the list was much longer than the girl side. Oh, I had the perfect boy name chosen, one that would honor my grandfather who passed away when I was young. But wouldn’t you know, the ultrasound tech. said “it’s a girl.” We were exuberant about our little girl but that put us back on the name search.

I wanted the perfect name, one that exemplified classy, whip smart, thoughtful, funny, athletic, full of potential…..all those and more. A name that was a perfect fit for my little girl. My first choice was Madeleine as in Madeleine Albright; AS IN THE FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE (who btw went to a high school in this town!). Thinking that if I gave my girl this name she would come out brilliant and ready to take on the world. My husband thought it sounded old fashioned and wouldn’t go for it. No Madeleine. BUMMER. My second choice was Katherine, as in Katherine Hepburn; AN ICONIC AMERICAN ACTRESS. She was a very classy lady. If my kid bore this name she would also be classy and sophisticated. Katherine is pretty formal so she could use Kate or Katie when she younger and if she became a Dr. or lawyer or humanitarian or school teacher or entrepreneur like her daddy she might choose to use formal Katherine. Again, shot down by the husband. No Katherine. This man was a pain in my ass. Two perfect girl names shot down.

It took great searching and a lot of thought but we finally found it; the perfect name to fit our little girl; something strong and beautiful oh, and the nick name, simply perfect.


9 Responses to “Names, Naming, importance of:”

  1. Well, as I know P’s real name, I can say, IMO, you picked one that does fit all that you hoped for. I love it. I also think I know what you might name another girl (recent celeb baby name right??)
    I absolutely agree that what you name your baby should be your own thought and that you shouldn’t worry about if other people like it, if it’s popular or not, if it’s original enough, or if your friend is using it,(sorry here), because ultimately this is your child and you may or may not be lifelong friends with that person. Now, I do feel there is taboo within families about stealing names for sure. I was fiercely protective about my names to those who knew in advance, even years before I had the G’s I made it clear to my sisters and sister-in-law that I was using these names if I had girls so hands off. I wasn’t a girl who had my wedding planned for years before I ever got married but I was a girl who has kept a name list since I was about 10 years old!

  2. ggsmama, you are so right as usual. you wise girl. thanks for helping me put it into perspective.

  3. Melissa the Mouth Says:

    We kept our names a secret with #2 because with #1, my MIL was a total bitch about letting us know how much she disliked it. Didn’t matter in the end, becuase minutes after giving birth, when my MIL heard #2’s name, she left us know – once again – that she detested it.


    Kate is my all-time favorite name, and Katharine Hepburn is my IDOL. I wanted the name for one of my girls so badly, but my husband said it was too “plain.” I like the classics, he likes a little more panache. In the end, we agreed on names that were classics in other countries. Clever, right? So I got the classic names and he got the panache. Everybody won.

  4. Melissa, my grandpa had a few choice comments about the name we picked too. It didn’t bother me though because well, he’s old and doesn’t “get it” 🙂 but I still love him.

  5. Everyday Yogini Says:

    I wanted to name Clara, Hazel, but my husband totally wouldn’t go for it. Then I wanted to name her after his aunt, Alta, but he thought that was weird.

    In the end, she is a total Clara, so it works. The next one, I’m going to fight for a Hazel…

  6. Nona, I like Hazel. Hope you win!

  7. The Cole Mine Says:

    I was just thinking about this the other day…how people choose names for their little ones. It’s so interesting. We used the first two letters of each of our names “Jo” in Joe and “Sh” in Shannon to choose our first son’s name: “Josh”.

  8. GreenStyleMom Says:

    I feel for you on the stolen name thing. I had always wanted to name my daughter Kate Lynne as Kate is my favorite name and Lynne is my mom’s name and my middle name. A pg girlfriend and I were discussing her name options. I told her my name idea only not the spelling (I wasn’t pg yet). 6wks later she called to tell me she had a baby girl and said, “Our daughters our going to have the same name! We named her Kaitlyn!” It wasn’t even a name in the running when we spoke. I choked out a congrats, hung up and cried. I couldn’t even bring myself to send her a gift. Years later I now have my Kate with a formal name of Mary Kathleen after both of her grandmother’s (Kathleen is my mom’s middle name). Of course my friend then decideds to shortened her daughter’s name to Kait. Ugh, ugh, ugh!

    I’m dying to know what your daughter’s name is!

  9. Sheesh! Greenstyle Mom, I feel for you. What a bummer. I guess I feel it’s such a personal decision that really someone else should also make that very personal decision ON THEIR OWN! Oh, well. Your daughter’s name is beautiful. Of course I would think so since Kate was my second name choice:)

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