What’s in a name? As it turns out – everything. 37 weeks and we’re still only at a long list …
During our recent babymoon, Charlie & I set ourselves the important task of deciding on a name for our little girl. With three weeks to go to the due date, we’re already cutting it quite fine. But we thought it would be fun and relatively straightforward. Armed with the chunky text ‘Best Baby Names for 2014‘, boasting 8,000 options, there had to be at least one we both liked.
It turns out, we have a lot more reasons for discounting names than for adding them to our long list. Did anyone else fantasize about their children’s names when they were younger? For a long time mine were theoretically called William and Amber. But now we have to actually pick one it’s less simple.
Here are the many reasons we rejected names:
- Names beginning with an ‘S’ (avoiding first name, surname alliteration)
- Names that rhyme, or almost rhyme with our surname
- With the surname ‘Sell’, any first name that makes the baby sound like a household product or a caricature. For a boy, ‘Max Sell’ would have been a no no
- Our own first names (I know some people choose ‘xxx junior’ but that’s not for us)
- The first names of immediate family, closest friends and their children (this was slightly contentious. Charlie didn’t see the problem. But unless there is no other option, I don’t want our child to have the same name as any nieces etc. It makes Christmas presents confusing for one)
- Names of exes. This one we’d both consider overlooking if we absolutely loved the name and there was a good memory of the ex.
- Names that instantly remind us of people we wouldn’t want our child to be like. This is probably the worst one. Just because we knew an ‘xxxx’ 15 years ago who wasn’t a nice person that shouldn’t make any difference. But somehow it does.
- Names with origins in countries we have no connection to (particularly the Sanskrit, Japanese, Arabic and African ones. Charlie is much more bothered about this than I am.)
- Names that can easily be turned into silly alternatives (“Pia? – sounds like pee” / “Lua? – sounds like loo” / “Laiba? – sounds like – well – use your imagination)
And on top of this, there were the gut instinct reactions from both sides – “too old-fashioned” – “no place names, car names or drink names” – “too plain”.
So what do we have left?!
A long list of about 12 first names that we both like, don’t fall foul of any of the above and, we think, would sound equally fitting in the school room or the board room. And of those 12, really only one that we both strongly like. One. Out of 4,000. There were better odds of surviving on the Titanic.
But, in the end, I guess we only need the one … let’s see if we still like it when she arrives.
We’ve also taken the decision to keep the name as a surprise from everyone else. Frankly, we can’t afford to lose the few names we have left because they’re not to someone else’s taste.
Did anyone else find baby naming trickier than expected? And did you have any other reasons for choosing / rejecting names?