What’s In A Name?

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“Do I look like a Harold Harold?”

 

In my opinion, naming your children is one of the most important things you do for them in the first few years of their life. I think their name sets a precedent for their formative years and I imagine that giving them one they don’t feel comfortable with would be awful

I’ve always been happy as an Alice, bar a time at middle school when I tried to re-invent myself as ‘Ally’ (it didn’t catch on), but imagine if your child went so far as to change their name? That would be heartbreaking.

When we were naming our kids we wanted to pick ones that would suit an artist, a solicitor, an investment banker, a doctor or a rock star- covering all eventualities, you see. I also wanted a name that would be special to us and would carry some sort of a family legacy.

And so we first arrived at ‘Elfreda Daphne’.

Elfreda was my Nana’s name and can be shortened to so many things: Elfie, Freda, Freddy, Elly… if she doesn’t feel like an Elfie when she grows up (and she might not at 40!) there’ll be plenty more to choose from. Daphne was Will’s Granny’s name and I just love it.

Hux was a little different. We wanted an ‘H’ name to match our surname of ‘Harold’, but ‘Harold Harold’ seemed like an overkill. Seriously, we considered it, but thought the playground taunting would probably be a bit much for even the strongest of characters Henry was a strong contender for me but not for Will, and so we settled on Huxley. I wish I could tell you he was named because we’re big fans of the works of Aldous Huxley, but that would be a fib… we actually found the name by sounding out each H name from an American list of names with our surname. It’s a tradition in Will’s family that the firstborn son inherits their father’s first name as their middle name so that made it easy; Huxley William it was.

I find names so fascinating and love to see the stats for baby names following a particular celebrity being in the news, but more importantly the weird and wonderful things people name their kids. Tinkerbell, anyone? Similarly there are not many things as interesting as chatting to a primary school teacher and hearing some of the children’s names that come wondering into their classroom. Is it judgemental of me to say that I think plenty of parents might be drunk when naming their kids?

Bounty recently sent me this infographic tracking Baby Name trends in 2012. If you’ve ever considered calling your kid Harold Harold you should probably take a look…

Baby Names Infographic from Bounty

This infographic was created by Bounty. 

22 thoughts on “What’s In A Name?

  1. My eldest was very nearly Fulke – which is a character from a book we both love (and from off of actual history) but it sounds too much like a much used swear word so we thankfully changed it last minute!

  2. I love hearing the names people give their children (ironic considering I choose to keep my children’s names private!) and I agree that it’s a really important thing to get right.
    As a primary school teacher in my life before babies, I saw a fair few weird, random and downright bizarre names in my classroom and I think that really affected my name choices for my own children.
    And I love both your two’s names; they are unusual and unique without being wacky. X

    • Thank-you Lucy! I find chatting to Primary School teacher so fascinating. One of my friends says she finds it hard if she has a child with the same name as a previously difficult child. She says it can be hard to not start her relationship with the new child on a bad foot!

  3. Is it terrible to say we named our son after a tractor? We saw an old Dexta tractor at a friend’s wedding, put it with our surname and loved it. I also secretly love it purely for the fact it has an ‘x’ in it, which is possibly weirder…

  4. I find the whole thing fascinating, it’s such a difficult yet enjoyable challenge.
    We chose Ava a few years back, partly because it was way down the top 100 list…only for it now to be in the top 10!
    Now we’re trying to decide on a name for number 2, wanting something unusual but not odd, it’s a really difficult balance.

  5. Ramona was named after Ramona Quimby, basically because we wanted to turn out exactly like that (the details don’t matter – we just want her to have that curiosity and zest for life, and I think she does).

    That said, until 38 weeks she was absolutely 100% going to be Mina… because Ash was reading Dracula when I found out I was pregnant and it sounded nice. Definitely NOT because I wanted her to turn out anything like Mina Harker!

    My mum remembers chatting with a woman at the nursery gates when I was a tot, who throughout her pregnancy had referred to her son as ‘Kieran’… only to introduce the baby as Douglas. “His dad’s a plumber,” she explained, “and he looks just like him. That’s a plumber’s face. He couldn’t be a Kieran.”

    I wasn’t aware that you had to have a special name and face to be a plumber, but I’m sure it made sense to her.

  6. Ooh I love thinking about baby names. Your little ones are lovely-their names really suit them. We are not there yet but it’s still conversation fodder. My husband has a crazy name for a girl and we’ve bargained it down to him getting to name the 5th daughter. I fully intend stopping at 2-3 so figure I’m safe!

  7. We wanted Estonian names that’d be ok in the English speaking world as well. There are loads of cool options for girls (Klara is my favorite), but for boys the situation’s not too good. So we ended up with Oskar Joonas and Oliver Hugo. In hindsight Oliver should have been a Hugo Oliver, at the moment the boys names are too similar and we constantly mix them up :|

  8. I am so envious of people with “normal” first names. No one ever gets my name right on a first go, so I respond to Kirsty, Kayla, Kylie and Katie. A sister at the hospital would call me Kiwi as she said it kinda sounded like my name. It really doesn’t (Kayleigh? Kiwi?)

    I love the names Huxley and Elfie. Daphne is a brillaint name too.

    • KIWI?!

      My British friend living in America is called Kirsty and she says the things she gets called are laughable. She gets Kristy a lot, apparently.

  9. My nearly two year old daughter is Alice! We originally thought of calling her Ali but I can’t imagine us ever shortening to that now, it wouldn’t suit her. Apparently the odds of the Royal baby being named Alice are quite high….

  10. I like hearing how people arrive at name choices. However you get there you seriously have to like what you call your kids because you use those names A LOT! My mom is the youngest of 7 and they are all named after storybook characters like Wendy and Peter in Peter Pan and Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, which I always thought was cool.

  11. I love their names and the reasons behind them. Miss B has a traditional name and I think it really suits her :)

    It is a big responsibility and some people don’t seem to think about the consequences of what they pick for their kids, but each to their own

    Cx

  12. I am joining the masses of commenters who like hearing how people chose their babies names, so I’ll tell you how we came to ours:

    Ruby is a name I’ve always loved. Even before I knew Ross I knew I wanted a daughter called Ruby. Fortunate, then, that he liked the name too.

    Elliot, well, he’s named after Example. Not that I worship him or anything, I just like the name, but I didn’t think of Elliot until I was reading the inlay card of my Example CD. So not really named after, more inspired by.

  13. It is a massive responsibility!

    We liked Lilly but there had been alot of Lilly’s last year & usually in the form of a Lilly-May, Lilly-Rose etc. So we went for Millie instead – inspired by the Millie & Boris characters from our M&P record book! (I call my partner Boris for some unknown reason for a nickname so it just seemed right to have both lol). We have both toy characters at home too :) She is occasionally affectionately shortened to Mills but never Millicent as enquiried by her 82 year old great grandma! She’s now 20 weeks & I’m unsure if that’s her name.. I have said recently can we change it? How can a baby ever look like a certain name?! And then think of course she is a Millie! My partner and I met on a construction project called Kimberley and the joke was “if we ever…” so her middle name has always been sorted!

  14. Wonderful blog! I found it while surfing around on
    Yahoo News. Do you have any suggestions on how to get listed in Yahoo News?
    I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there! Thank you

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