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Monday, January 11, 2010


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Ooh, I love baby name discussions! I've been thinking of writing abut how we named Grace, so I'll do that (eventually) and if I am really on the ball I'll remember to come back here and link to it.

We knew we wanted to go with Biblical names and to have the same initials for our kids. So, when we were pregnant with AJU5, we had PJ names picked out - Paul Josiah and Phoebe Joy. But, we didn't really like the Phoebe, and if we ended up with two girls, we were totally out of luck (we don't like Priscilla). So, when AJU5 was born, it took up almost 48 hours to name her. My husband came to the hospital the next day with a list of names. He, his brother, one of our friends, and I spent the evening picking out a name. The next morning he called before heading to church to confirm the name, and we both had the same idea- change the middle name.

With AJU6, we had a boy name (his name) picked out even before we were pregnant. We still don't have another girl name... So, if we have another kid, hopefully God will place a name on our hearts long before the baby is born!

You're so timely with this, as it is actually this week's Girl Talk Thursday topic. I love both your kids' names. Camilla is just beautiful, and I'm a huge nerd, so Blaise appeals to me on that level.

I keep trying to respond about my girls' names in a brief manner, but it's turning into a whole post, which I should probably save for Thursday!A

Heh, "Hissy-sounding." We have a whole list of requirements that make naming very complicated. We live in Israel, and wanted names in Hebrew but that would sound okay in English- not necessarily recognizable, but not weird. That rules out Hebrew names like Mor, Alon (alone?), Osnat (self-explanatory), etc. Names also had to be fairly easily for English-speakers to pronounce, ruling out phonemes that aren't found in English. I also wanted two-syllable names, but in the end we broke that rule with our daughter's name. Our son is named Eyal Natan, and our daughter is Avital Esther. For some reason Eyal is so hard for English-speakers to hear and pronounce, but they do fine with Avital!

Anyway, I could go on about the biblical significance of their names, but I think I've written enough!

We didn't have any requirements. And I had Favorite Names my entire life, but somehow suddenly forgot them all when we were naming our kids. It was MUCH harder than I expected. We have a Jackson, because once Phillip heard it he was sold. The end. And I was super anti-trendy-last-name-as-first-name. And we have a Molly because, and I know this sounds sort of stupid, I just think THAT'S HER NAME. It's neither of our favorite names, although we both like it, but through months and months of discussion, Molly was only the ever name that seemed Right. I hope our next baby, should we get to have one, is a boy, because it's already been decided that I get to use the names P wouldn't agree to after he heard Jackson. If it's a girl, God help all of us.

Friends of ours named their first boy Rudy Charles...both family names for them. Months later, we met a man who is a referee for televised professional wrestling (the kind that is cheesy and staged), and his stage name is Rudy Charles. He has a fan club and everything! They had no idea.

My problem is that I consider my own name to be the best name EVER. You'll notice I named my son Eli. But then what do I name girls? Or future boys? I like classic old fashioned saints or kings names for first names, and then for middle names we use family last names. I think we have names picked for Number Two, but the girls name is still up in the air, so I am totally going to study those lists you linked to. Thank you!

Our daughter is Clare Nicole. I knew a Clare when I was young that was bright, intelligent, funny and kind, and because she was the only Clare I knew, I assumed that was the usual way to spell it. Nicole came from a friend of mine who is brainy, beautiful and hilarious, and is someone I hope my daughter grows to be like.

It wasn't until my daughter was about 7 that I looked up Saint Clare (although I knew that she existed). Imagine my surprise when I discovered that the date of St. Clare's canonization is my daughter's birthday. Fate or coincidence, I'm not sure, but I like it.

My son is Scott Gregory. Scott is the middle name of my brother, and Gregory is the middle name of my husband's brother. We like that it honours both sides of the family, and we also like how the names sound together. My daughter pushed hard for George as a name for her brother (a la Curious George and George Shrinks), but was overruled. Since then, however, his favourite stuffed animal is a little Curious George that he takes everywhere and he also seems very suited to the name George. Alas, he is stuck with Scott.

As a Jennifer, I wanted a name that wasn't quite so common. Plus, I wanted an old fashioned sounding name and a name that honored both sides of our family. So we chose Elizabeth Rose. Elizabeth is my sister's middle name and Rose is Matt's grandmother's first name. Elizabeth is more common than we would have liked, but by the time I got around to looking it up, the name was just too perfect.

Also, if we ever have a boy, we'll have to be more creative with the family names. We don't have many good boy names floating around.

My strategy is just try to find something my husband likes . . . he is VERY picky, to the point where I think it is pathological!

Anthony was too Italian at first and just one of many names I was throwing at him indiscriminately. But for some reason it stuck.

But for another kid? I have no idea b/c we already went through all the saints names for Anthony.

No kids yet but my husband and I discuss this quite a bit. He has nixed almost every name I have ever liked. But since I have a pretty common name (though I was the only Lisa in my grade in my small town thankfully) I would like to give my kids an uncommon name. My husband, however, has an extremely uncommon and very difficult to pronounce name and suffered a lot of teasing growing up, and still suffers name bungling constantly. He would probably have rather had a more ordinary name. And adding to the mix is that three of our four grandfathers were named Joseph or a variation on Joseph, so that is a front runner in terms of honoring them.

I do love your choices. I knew a guy named Blaise years ago and I always liked the name.

I've always loved coming up with names, so my husband and I have been discussing it since we were married (5 years ago)!

We only have one kid - John Diego Garcia (two middles) - and the John part, which I always liked, was clinched when brian's dad died after we were married.

then, because there are no boys left in my family, i wanted my maiden name to be in everyone's middle name. plus, turns out, there is a saint garcia - who knew! :-p

we both like using family names (after people) AND saint names, so the john part is family (and also, my grandfather, godfather, the list goes on - lots of bases) and originally, we were pretty sold on john paul, but i have spanish roots and loved the name (and saint!) so, when he was born on the anniversary of OLof Lourdes, we knew a mary name was the one! so we have a little juan diego :)

the next boy will be joseph miguel (we love both saints, and one of DH's grandfathers is named joseph). i like the idea of having spanish middles for the boys, since the first one does and since john actually goes by johnny, it would be cute to have a johnny and a joey :-p

i promised st. rita that if she helped us pay for our wedding, i would name my first daughter after her, so.... if we have a girl, her name will be rita maureen (my middle and my grandmother's name). that st. rita, always comes through in a pinch! and, the name has really grown on me, and i love the sound of it.

then, the next girl would be maria patricia (our lady and patricia is my mom's name and those are both two rockin' saints :-p)

and, embarassingly, i have a 3rd girl's name - evangelina claire (my name is Lina, which i really love, and my DH's g.grandmother was evangelina, so it seems nice. plus, i have a great friend named claire and she's also a rockin' saint). AND, a 3rd boy's name - something with Sebastian (a family patron) and Augustine (a rockin' saint and my great-great grandmother (lina, who I'm named for)'s husband). only we'd spell it the spanish way - Agustin. well, if my husband lets me!

so yea, we have one kid, and no signs of another at the moment, although hopeful!, and yet we have FIVE names all lined up. in order.

pathetic much? lol

As an Elsha I also grew up feeling sorry for the Jennifers. I love having an unusual name and I knew when it came to naming my kids I wanted unusual names for my daughters. The funny thing is, I'm pretty much at the opposite end of the spectrum when it comes to boys names. I like traditional, classic, and well known.

Most of the unusual names that I liked my husband didn't; Kalena (a Danish name meaning pure) was the first one we agreed on so that's what we stuck with. We did go with a traditional middle name (Elizabeth) in case she hates her first name she has something more common she can go by. For our son we went very traditional. His name is William Henry (both family names) or Will for short.

I"m with Elizabeth, I've always thought I had the Best! Name! Ever! But, Chris didn't think we needed TWO of us in the house.

(Honestly, an apostrophe? A capital letter? Who did my parents think I was going to be??!)

We always liked Claire for reasons that we still don't understand. Back and forth through the book and every night we stopped on Claire.

I desperately wanted to spell it as "Clare" and Chris had none of that.

And today I look at her and I think, yes, your name is spelled correctly my child. Thank goodness for your traditional, Americanized father.

Frequent reader but infrequent commenter here . . . my Franco-American daughter is named Sophie Claire Jean-Louis. We needed a first name that was easy for both the Americans and the French and also flowed with our hyphenated last name. Sophie had been my favorite girl's name since I married my French husband a looooong time ago. I always envisioned "Sophie Ann" (4th generation to have Ann) but at the 11th hour, my husband suggested Claire as a first name and pushed to name her Claire Sophie. I couldn't/wouldn't budge on Sophie and sacrificed Ann for Claire :) If we have another daughter, her middle name will be Ann! Coincidentally, Sophie was born on her dad's feast day (St. Pascal) . . .

Once we found out we were having a boy, we came up with a list of several names. We knew we wanted Nate's first name to be a saint's name, and we had a slight preference for names that were actually biblical. Nathanael was not initially on the list, until I happened to think about it, look it up online, and find out that (1) the name means "gift of God," which was wildly appropriate for a surprise baby after 3+ years of TTC, and (2) it's the alternate name for the apostle Bartholomew, used in the Gospel of John. After that, the name shot to the top of our list. We ended up rejecting some of our other name choices for various reasons-- Noah was too trendy; we love the name Thomas but not Tommy; etc. In the end, Nathanael just felt right, and we loved the nickname Nate.

The only drawback is that we've already had people misspell it "Nathaniel," which is the more common (but not the biblical) spelling. I'm not a fan of people purposely changing up a name's spelling to make it more "unique," but I feel we were justified in going with the less-common spelling, given that it's, you know, how the gospel writer spelled it.

I, too, like old-fashioned names that also happen to be names of saints or biblical names. I am Sarah Helen (Helen after my Dad's favourite great aunt) and I loved having someone for whom I was named. We knew that if we were having a boy, we'd like to name him FOR someone, and coming from Catholic families, we had a number of names to choose from that conformed.

Teddy is Edward Vincent - Edward was my paternal grandfater (who died when my Dad was a teen and who actually used his 2nd name) and Vincent is the middle name of Dave's late Poppy. It came up early in the naming discussions and remained the front runner. We still love it.

If we are blessed with a girl, then one non-negotiable is her middle name. Since I was a child, I always wanted my daughter's middle name to be that of one of my beloved aunts - Floriana, the one who was unmarried and had no children, the kindest person I knew (much like Aunt Helen for whom I was named). When Flo got sick and then died, the tribute has become that much more meaningful. Dave was also very close to Flo and is totally supportive. We have a few first names that we like that would go with it - if we end up having a girl, I will share!

I don't know that I have a naming scheme so much as favorite names in general. If I have my way maybe one day I'll have a Seth Richard and a Jack Leslie and a Grace _____ (Anne or Elizabeth or Marie). I like middle names to be named after people meaningful to the family, and so often is the case that they are saints names too. Both your kids have lovely names!

Lots of Clares on here! Our oldest, Rebecca Clare, is named for my husband's deceased sister and my confirmation name. I like the euphony of the repeated R and C sounds as well. Our second, Nina Kathleen, is named for my mother and my two closest friends. Again, the repeated long e vowel and N sounds help make it pretty, and the N is repeated in the last name as well. Our youngest is Nora Bernadette because we love Nora, and hubby's dad is Bernard. Her name also repeats the N and R sounds, which both appear in the last name.

The names are recognizable but unusual (not Becky so much, but there aren't that many Beckys right now), they don't invite too-weird nicknames, and they'll grow into adulthood well. The poetry of the names was not so much intentional as subliminally pleasing and serendipitous.

Oh, also lovely biblical/saints' names are part of all the girls' names. If we'd had a boy he was to have been Thomas Bernard, with Peter a close second.

Our son's name is William, common...but a family name. We chose Liam as a nickname, which he will insist is his only name. It is not uncommon and is getting more common by the minute, which makes me sad (but I still love, love, love his name). His middle name is Arden, actually after a Physics professor my husband once had, but also because of the Shakespearian connection.
I'm Kether, so I grew up with an unusual name and wanted my kids to have the same. this was our compromise.
My nieces on the other hand... they have very unusual names. The older is named Io after the moon of Jupiter and pronounced eye-o, but when people ask how to spell it I say Heigheaux, 'cause I'm snarky.
Her sister's name is Azha, which is a star.
You'd think these names were very, very unsual, but it cracked me up the other day when I googled them and found a line of wallpaper with both an Io and an Azha. So, now I call them the wallpaper girls. It is such a strange coincidence.

Interesting discussion, Arwen. I am a big fan of the old-fashioned and unusual names - as you know. I love the names you and Bryan have chosen for your children.
The way that I found my oldest child, Danika's name was in a Czechoslovakian history book. I was trying to find a Czech girl's name that would fit well with our Czech surname. Danica was a princess in the middle ages and the name means morning star. That sold me immediately, and my husband eventually agreed. Her middle name is Caitlin to represent the Irish on both sides of our family. For my son Jakub, I emailed the University of Prague and asked them for a list of Czech boy's names, because I couldn't find anything I liked in the history book. Jakub is a good biblical name, but has the Czech spelling. His middle name is Christian. Our 3rd child is Thomas Andrew Patrick. Pretty ordinary names in themselves, but they are special because he is named for both grandfathers and for his patron saint (he was born on St. Patrick's Day).
It sure is fun reading how everyone here has chosen their baby names!

When I was growing up, Melissa was still a very unusual name, and I liked being different. The last class I taught before I got pregnant with my first daughter had 7 Jennifers in it, which made me even more determined to choose names that stood out. I have Norwegian roots, and had loved the name Kiersten for many years, so our first daughter is Kiersten Melissa. The choice for a boy would have been James for my husband, with Aaron for a middle name. With daughter number 2, Gretchen was the only name we both agreed on, Marie for a middle name as a version of Mary that fit better with Gretchen. We were told then that any more children were impossible. Eight years later we were blessed with a suprise pregnancy, but told the chances of the baby's survival were slim. We chose the name Bridget because it meant strong. Her middle name is Jaime because we knew that there was no chance of having a James after that. She is now a healthy 10 year old, and a joy to us all.

This might because I am social worker and I think all of the kids on my case load since I began this career in 2005 have had either "made up" names or common names spelled oddly but I am all for common and spelled correctly names! If we are blessed with a child we have a girls name picked out and we are still debating on a boys name.

We had a pretty easy time choosing names for our kids. We knew we wanted powerful names and something that wasn't too common but not too bizarre either. For my son we decided on Riley Taylor, both names of powerful Irish warriors. They suit him too. He is very headstrong. At five-years-old he knows what he likes and what he doesn't like but unlike a lot of five-year-olds he wont cry to get his way, he'll be very diplomatic about it and try to argue his point until mommy's heart melt and I'm forced to give in. For our daughter, who will be born this April, we chose Ayden Karleigh. Ayden mean fierce or fiery. Karleigh means feminine strength. We haven't met her yet but if her attitude in utero is any indication of what we can expect from her at birth than this name will suit her perfectly.

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