Friday, 22 April 2011

How did you name your child?

Babies & pregnancy at

Oh how we struggled to find just the right names for our children.
It went something like this:
Me, trailing lists of baby names, books on the subject, top 100 baby girl names and baby boy names of about 20 countries or so. I obsessed. I had to find the PERFECT name. The one and only. Easy to pronounce, slightly unusual, not too unusual, international and all that.Mr Cartside just listened and vetoed.
When suggesting names I liked to Mr Cartside, invariably, he seemed to not like the ones I liked best. And when he liked one I suggested, I wasn't sure I liked it any more. At least that was my impression, some severe case of reverse psychology.

With Cubling, we knew we were having a girl. When I went into labour, we still had a list of about 15 baby girl names. Many of my favourites weren't even in because they had been vetoed by dad-to-be. I named Cubling in a drugged daze; I generously (for once) picked the name I thought Mr Cartside had favoured (Just that he may not in fact have favoured it, it was just my impression).

When we were expecting Snowflake, we didn't know if we were having a boy or a girl. Well, we still had that list of unused baby girl names and over the years, I couldn't get one name out of my head. Fortunately Mr Cartside liked it too so we were sorted for a girl.

But a baby boy name? Could we agree on one? It was all in vain. There were no arguments mind you, just an inability to find a name we were both really keen on. Take Alan or example. I think Mr Cartside suggested it, but I'm not sure any more. All I know is that initially I didn't like it so much, but did put it on the list, then really got into it, thinking it may be the perfect compromise, not my favourite but a lovely name, only for it to be vetoed in the end, with great disappointment on my part, I'd really grown rather fond of it. As for the obvious names we both liked, each seemed to be taken by about 3 or more children already (there are a lot of Finlays and Calums running about) or Rafael Nadal was getting a tad too popular for our liking. For obvious reasons I fancied Raul (pun intended), but with the whole Raoul story in the news I didn't even suggest it. Or did I? Well, it wasn't on the list that's for sure.

Just as well we had a girl then.
When we registered her name, we both eagerly read the 2010 list of top 100 Scottish baby names displayed in the office. We were surprised that Snowflake ranked rather high and that all the boys' names I liked were really rather popular.

And I had thought we were going for the slightly unusual. How wrong. We're just your average Scottish family, and our name preferences influence by what's popular right now.
Maybe Snowflake will share my plight of having more than one namesake in her classroom. Little chance of that for Cubling - though her name is well known, it's not currently popular.

With both names, I love their meaning. They are international and easy to pronounce in many countries. For middle names we used names of loved ones no longer with us.

PS we did involve Cubling in the naming game, just she wasn't playing and came up with ideas such as Snowflake. Silly isn't it?

How did you pick names? Did you consider their meaning or anything else that had to be just right?


Dot said...

I love discussing this topic. I posted about it a bit over a year ago:

We also found that it was harder to agree on boys' names than girls' names, and that we were surprised by how popular some of our choices were (though I think that 'Hugh' and 'Francis / Frank' both are in fact a long way down the top 100 lists, so we managed to be unusual in the end).

If we have a third child I've said Ken should have the initiative in choosing the name. Both the first two times I took the lead and, though we did discuss it a lot, I got my own way. I fear that if we do go for a third I might not be able to stick to letting him have the choice, though - my feelings about this kind of thing are just too strong...

cartside said...

It's interesting - I also would have been happy to delegate the initiative this time (with a right to veto of course) but it was clear that I was the parent who cared far more about names. For me, a name has to be just right, and I totally agonised over it. And loved doing so ;)

PantsWithNames said...

By the time we were choosing Sam's middle name it was the 6th boys name we had had to agree on... I lost the will to argue any more and let Dave go to the Registry Office on his own and to choose a name on the way. He did, however, have a list of names that would NOT under any circumstances be acceptable!

Jen said...

How familiar - I was also more into the name search than hubby, we found it easier to find girls' than boys' names, we wanted names that were pronouncable and written the same in our 3 languages (that excluded a LOT of choices - anything with a "w" or "th" in English or a "ch" in German, or the c/k divide between English and German), and we went through a phase where I actively searched and hubby just vetoed everything. This was particularly annoying for our second girl, as the only name he liked was the one we'd already given to our first daughter. Ahem. Not very helpful. And then the one we settled on for n.2 was one of my favourites for n.1 but which he had strongly vetoed the first time round. I only brought it up again for fun, not expecting at all to get anywhere with it, and all of a sudden that's what we called her. I was really happy.

Muddling Along said...

With Bigger Mr Muddling went with a name we had dicussed and that I wasn't convinced of but since I was unconscious at the time it was in his hands and I do now like it (and even more like the shortened version)

With Littler I knew what her nickname would be and we sort of worked back from there

In each case we have gone with names that are a bit unusual, that belonged to strong role models for them and where we like the meaning

But it is awfully tough to get it right, isn't it



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