Saturday, August 09, 2008

Names

Lately the popular question we get is "Have you picked a name yet?" Nope, we haven't. And chances are the little lady won't have one until after she makes her debut into the world. We (I) have made a list, and it's currently under revision and a one-by-one elimination process. No, I'm not going to tell you what some of them are. I really don't like telling because when people start spouting off baby names, you get one of three reactions:

1. A genuine compliment of "that's cute!", which is what I always hope for, but probably won't get every time.
2. A fake compliment of "that's cute!", which is lame because it's fake.
3. Either raised eyebrows, "huh", or "are you serious?"

Not that I have a lot of crazy names on my list or anything. (The baby will be born in Berkeley, so we would have a good excuse to give her a hippie name.) I just like keeping it a surprise. Or maybe I'm afraid of rejection. Ya, that's probably it.

To aid our hunt for names, I re-read my favorite name book: Cool Names for Babies (2003 ed.). I also swiped a book from PaperBackSwap. (60,000+ Baby Names by Bruce Lansky) I've never liked those all-encompassing encyclopedia-type name books, but I got one anyway. I finished wading through the girls names and . . . dang. I think this book is trying to be more than it should be. There are not only lame, sorta-lame, kinda-cute, and way-cute-but-everyone's-already-used-it names, but also names from lots of different cultures (Indian, Japanese, Swahili, Arabic, etc.). I'm sure those names are beautiful in their own culture, but honestly, I'm not going to be able to sleep at night if I name my daughter Fachalig.

There were some that simply floored me, and I had to give them some kind of an award.

Best meaning:
Radegunda (German) she who counsels regarding battling.
At least she won't get beat up on the playground.

Best "ring" to it:
Miao (Chinese) wonderful.
Here, kitty kitty.

Overall best of show:
Mehbooba
(Indian) beloved.
Does this really need any comment attached? I think it speaks for itself.

6 comments:

Tagen and Eric said...

I am with you on telling people the baby names I like. Most of them think they are weird. Except I tell my sister and she steals them.

Bryan said...

We held off on telling people Jonathan's and Emma's names until after their births for the exact reasons you mentioned. Both names are fairly plain and unadventurous ("Emma" was the #1 girl name for 2006, the year she was born), and since we'd already found out and revealed the gender of both babies to our friends and family, we wanted to preserve at least one "surprise" until after their births to keep everyone mentally invested in our pregnancies.

With our third baby, though, we've started telling everyone the name early. And there haven't been any of the negative reactions from others that we feared. What it has done is really increased the emotional buy-in and preparation of her two siblings. They talk about Kathryn "in Mommy's tummy" all the time, and how the crib and new baby clothes we got are "Kathryn's bed" and "Kathryn's clothes." I'm amazed at the love they've demonstrated for a little baby they can't even see yet! I really ought to blog about it sometime.

Brynn said...

Amen, amen. We had it narrowed down to 4 names when Kate was born, and didn't tell even our family who we are living with, the options. We still haven't told them the runners-up because we could still have 3 more daughters. And, who would've let us actually name Kate Katurah if they'd known ahead of time what it was?

Cassia said...

To add to Bryan's comment--I must admit that it really helps that we have relatives who aren't likely to meddle in our naming adventures. :) We have gotten a mix of responses #1 and #2, but thankfully none like #3. It does help, though, that none of their names have been very "different," which is actually funny because I had a list of quite unusual names before we had children.

*Sigh* Naming is such an adventure... and a challenge. :)

Marsh Mayhem said...

Amen!! We learned our lesson with Charlie ... everyone, especially people who have no right, will express their opinions (which are of course gospel -- blech) about your chosen names, and then Baby comes out with an entirely different and undiscussed name tattooed on their forehead. Both of our kiddos had their own ideas about their names, we just had to listen and comply. Made it bunches easier, too!!

Team Chilton said...

Weren't you there when bishop's daughter Aylssa said to me "I'm sorry, if you name your child Cordelia, I will soooo make fun of her."??? She just tells it like it is. Good thing we had a boy huh (after contemplating it though, Cordelia was moved to potential middle-name status). It's hard for me to keep my name options a secret, but next time maybe I will. We've seemed to start a tradition with our names that unintentionally started with JD's family (scriptural first names and middle names of people who are important to us).