Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Great Baby Name Debate: My 2 Cents

I know, I know… I know what you’re all thinking. 

Here she goes again with the baby name posts!!

Yes.  For a girl who has absolutely no children to speak of, I do seem to spend an awful lot of time talking about naming babies.  I actually did have another post in mind for today, but we’ll blame Lena at Mom2MemphisAndRuby for this… She started it! ;)

Ah, who the hell am I kidding.  Any opportunity to talk about naming babies.  I’ll take it.

So, I share Lena’s sentiment in her post today… It’s no secret.  I love baby names.  And I guess I’m sort of a baby name snob, too.  I’ve been known to curl up my nose when I hear baby names that don’t float my boat.  I would never tell someone that I didn’t like their baby’s name, and most often I come around on the name eventually – I do truly believe a baby becomes their name – but I have my preferences, for sure.

I’ve been naming pretend babies in my head for as long as I can remember.  I recall, even as a young child, often telling my mom, “Some day I’m going to name my baby [fill in the blank with whatever name I loved at the time].”  For a while there, I was convinced I needed twin girls so I could call them Bobbi & Billie.  I remember my mom laughing and saying, “I used to want twin boys named Ronald & Donald.  You’ll change your mind about that one, I promise!”

Well, she was right.  Long gone are the days of Bobbi & Billie.  But since then, I have put a lot of thought into the names I’ve chosen over the years, and there are a few keys that are important to me when it comes to naming a child.

1) Meaningfulness – For me, it’s important that my child have a name that really means something to me.  Not just a name that I like “in the moment”.  I like the idea of using family names, and I have a rich history of beautiful names to choose from on both sides of my family tree.  I think it would be such a shame not to draw from that, especially for middle names.  My Aunt Linda once told me she named her daughter Paula Kristine, and while her first name was a combination of the parents’ names, her middle name was just a name she liked at the time, and she regretted that choice.  If she could go back, she’d have picked a family name for her.

2) Easy/Standard Spelling – I’m all for coming up with unique names, but I’m really not a fan of changing spellings of names “just to be different”.  For years, your kid will be correcting teachers and classmates and friends and co-workers.  I mean, I’ve had to deal with it myself, to a certain degree – everyone wants to spell Jillian with a “G” (and I loathe seeing my name spelled with a “G”!!) – and it’s a total pain in the ass.  So if you want to name your daughter “Lindsay”, go for it.  Just don’t go with “Lyndsea”.  (Yes, Linds.  I’m using you as an example. lol!)

3) Forget about who else has used your name – It’s one of my biggest fears… That someday, someone close to me will use one of the names I have coveted for so long before I get to use it.  But honestly, unless it’s a really close relative, or your very-best-long-time friend, I wouldn’t refrain from using the name.  I heard my co-worker once say she wanted to name her son Derek years ago, but because their neighbour’s son was named Derek, she didn’t.  Now, that neighbour Derek is long gone, and it wouldn’t matter one bit if her son had that name.  See what I mean?

4) Go with your gut – If there’s anything I’ve learned watching my friends and family go through the baby naming process, it’s that everybody’s got an opinion. Including me!!  At the end of the day?  Don’t let your mother-in-law or your best friend or your second-cousin-twice-removed deter you from a name you really love.  (Unless, like my sister, you are thinking of Lincoln or Blaise.  Then listen to your family when they tell you those are terrible names!!!)  (Thank God she didn’t have a boy that time.)

5) Think of the nicknames/shortened names, but don’t worry too much about it – This will always be a serious concern for me.  A – I live in Quyon, and pretty much everyone in Quyon has a nickname.  B – I am a Young, and the Young family are notorious for coming up with nicknames.  HORRIBLE nicknames.  Several of my cousins call me Gilly (my dad did, too) and it makes me cringe.  (Don’t even ask me about the terrible nickname they’ve stuck on my beautiful little niece.  It is awful.)  I remember warning Kara about it when she was talking about Lincoln and Blaise.  “Lincoln?  He’ll be Linky.  Little Linky.  Slinky Linky.”  “Blaise?”  Like, ‘Shot down in Blaze of glory’?  Oh, and it reminds me of the word ‘blouse’.”  …Now, all that being said, if you really love a name, forget about what people might shorten it to or use as a nickname.  I admire my sister-in-law’s ability to laugh off the terrible name they’ve given Neve.  She doesn’t care, because she loves her name so much.

So… If I was to have a baby tomorrow, what would I name it?

If it was a boy, I’d have a real struggle on my hands.  I’ve always said I wanted to have a boy named Charlie.  It was my Grandpa Schock’s name, and though I never met him, I always told my grandma I’d name my boy after him someday.  She loved that name so much, and wished one of her own kids had used it.

Just recently, though, I’ve discovered that James is a very important name on my dad’s side of the family, and I’ve fallen in love with the idea of one day having my own little James.  My dad’s father was James Bay Turner Young, his oldest brother was James Claude Young, and my favourite cousin (who shares my birthday) is James (Jim) Bay Young.

My only issue with either name is that I don’t want them to be Chuck or Chucky or Jimmy or Jamie.  I like Charlie.  And I like James.  No nicknames necessary, thanks.

And since I can’t pick…I guess I’d better hope for twins!!

Names I like for middle names: Brent, Cowan, Bay, Turner, David, Jeffrey, Troy

Names I like but can’t use: Blair (because of a guy I liked in high school), Joel (because of a guy I liked in college), and Wade (because of Wade Redden, I’d be teased for the rest of my life.)

As for a girl…I really only have one right now that I really love.  I had this wonderful brainwave several years ago.  I remember my Grandma once telling me that if she could go back, she wouldn’t have named my aunt (her youngest child) Marion – she would have called her Mary-Anne.  She often called her that, anyway.  It got me thinking of how much I like just the name “Mary”, but that it’s just a teensy bit too plain for my taste.  Then I got thinking of female names in my family that I liked, and I got the idea to combine my aunt’s name and my mom’s.  Marion + Elizabeth = Maribeth.  That would be my girl’s name.  Not a doubt in my mind.

I also like the idea of using my Grandpa Young’s name for a girl, and it works well – Baylie.

Names I like for middle names:  Elizabeth, Hazel, Brenda, Marie, Anne, Grace, Pearl

Names I like but can’t use:  Sadie.  For obvious reasons.

I’d also like to mention that I love love LOVE  the names of my nieces and nephew.  Caden arrived kind of before the “ADEN”-hyped names, and if it had been me he would have just been Cade, but I love his name anyways.  And I think Danica and Neve are two of the most lovely little girl names ever. :)

OK.  So.  Thank you, Lena, for rekindling my BABY FEVER!!  Now.  To just find a husband so we can get this show on the road… ;) 

Oh, and for those of you wondering how I’d feel if my future husband and baby daddy doesn’t like the names I’ve picked?  Um, I’m sorry?  Are you telling me the man has a say in this???? ;)

So?  Are you a baby name snob?  Do you go for traditional or trendy?  What are you drawn to?  Do you have rules?  If you’d like to join in the discussion, you can link up on the Great Baby Name Debate over at Lena’s today!


Stacy said...

you missed number 3??

VandyJ said...

WE had fun coming up with names. It was easy for a girl--if I had had a girl her name would have been Leanna Eileen. It's my middle name and Nick's favorite Grandmother's name.
A name for a boy was more troublesome. WE searched long and hard for Turbo's name. The name we settled on was one that he could have a variety of nicknames from, but not a nickname that could have a y ending--Nick's family are notorious for shortening names to things like Nicky and Scotty and it sticks for life. For Bruiser, we found a name that would work with Nick grandfather's name as the middle name. We are quite happy with what we chose and again the nickname was a factor in our decision.

Lindsay said...

Ha ha Thanks for using me as an example. I always wished in high school that my name had a creative way of writing it. Now that I'm older, I just think it would be a pain in the butt!

I love your Maryibeth name and I know it's a family name but I may always brag and say your daughter has part of my middle name! ha ha!

What's poor baby Neve's nickname?


Kara said...

Everyone has a different interpreation on spelling of names - I can't count the number of times I have seen Caden spelled Kaden or Kayden and with Danica it always seem that people spell it Danika. When I was looking at your post - I thought Baylie should be Bayley. Now that I type it, I don't like all the "y's" - go figure.

Nadine Hightower said...

I like family names. I realize that it's old names like walter or fred but it's a good name. And I hate when people misspell my name.
it's too flippin' easy so why misspell it?

Amanda said...

heeey, I actually like the name Lincoln... lol. Felicity was actually going to be Ivy but that name was used in Shawville 3 weeks before her birth and I just couldn't use it anymore even though i barely know them, don't hang out with and hardly ever run into them. Kind of bad, eh?

You kind of have to let your husband think they have a say but really they'll go with whatever you want after they see what you go through ;)

I like maribeth very sweet meaning for you. :D

Stacie said...

And if you work with children like I always have you have to rule out the troublemakers' names. Don't want to give the kid bad juju...

Steph said...

I always loved the name Aubrey but I wanted it to be something more than just Aubrey. I liked Aubrielle but Matt decided that was too long. A week before we had her I thought of Aubria. It was between that and Kylin. When she was born we knew she was an Aubria.

Also, my cousin knocked up some girl. (That's exactly how it went down.) She's 19 and the day she found out she was having a girl she blabbed to all of Facebook that she was naming it Aubree (dumb spelling and all). It kinda pissed me off because I knew that that was one of our names. She was due 6 weeks after me. She did end up naming her kid that but I don't care anymore. Whatever. Mine's cuter anyway.

And i hate the Aden craze. Caden isn't as bad as some. I know a girl with a kid named Brytin. ???? WTF!

Anyway, I guess I like the trendy names better.

Unless, one of use gets an awesome job and we move to a bigger house, we aren't having anymore. But if we did, for a boy I like, Wyatt.

Nicole said...

My husband's cousin's name is spelled Ambyr. Even I screw it up not intentionally, but generally tend to catch myself. And people stick an H in my name all the time. Even when they type my work email out as nicole..... they address an email to me as Nichole. gah! People, read what you're typing. I try to double check to make sure I spell people's name correctly. My other suggestion, do name your kid one thing and plan on calling them by their middle name. Sucks first hand!

HickChickBritt said...

You definitely like classic names huh? I am kinda a big fan of last names for first names, obviously. I think names are so cool and they can definitely shape who a person is, or at least how they are viewed by people who don't know them. Hmm you got me thinking :)

Magical Mystical MiMi said...

I was going to name my son, Gunnar until my dad reminded me of how cruel kids can be.. He said, "Gunnar, like gonorrhea?" - Thanks dad, not anymore. I ended up naming that son Brian Joseph Ray after all of my brothers and my dad but mainly because I thought my lit'l sis was going to have kids and I wanted to steal all the boy names, - I know, I'm such a bitch - turns out she never wanted kids and ended up marrying a man who had custody of his own 3! I got to name my oldest grandson. I picked Seth and then I thought, wow, I hope he doesn't have a lisp.. :) Maribeth is a great name btw.

Magical Mystical MiMi said...

I was going to name my son, Gunnar until my dad reminded me of how cruel kids can be.. He said, "Gunnar, like gonorrhea?" - Thanks dad, not anymore. I ended up naming that son Brian Joseph Ray after all of my brothers and my dad but mainly because I thought my lit'l sis was going to have kids and I wanted to steal all the boy names, - I know, I'm such a bitch - turns out she never wanted kids and ended up marrying a man who had custody of his own 3! I got to name my oldest grandson. I picked Seth and then I thought, wow, I hope he doesn't have a lisp.. :) Maribeth is a great name btw.

Jo said...

I love names.... it's my only regret that I stopped at two kids cause that means I can't name any more babies. I did tell my best friend what she has to call her son, when she has him one day, Jo after his godmother (joking joking)

I agree, names should have meaning. My two kids both have family names as middle names. For the first names my husband picked the first kid's first name and I picked the second kids first name.
I also like using surnames for first names ...

Connie Weiss said...

Once upon a time....I was going to name my baby, Bailey Jo(e). Everyone knew about it.

Then my sister named her dog Bailey.

Nancy said...

Wow, you really hit a hot topic! I love Maribeth, that's friend of mine's name. Oddly enough, her grandparents lived in Quyon, they were Chabots. Rhyming with toe, not butt, lol!

My kids have family names for middle names. Sancia has my middle name and Quentin has my brother and his father's middle name.

We had so many names picked out for the twins...all combinations. covered.Simon would have been Emily Arwen (Arwen is a character from Lord of the Rings I liked)

I am forever grateful to my Mom for not caving in to family pressure and calling me Muriel, Maude for short.