My pregnant girlfriend is having her first child, a boy, and she’s already got his name picked out.
But she’s not telling anyone yet.
I thought that was strange since she’s not the superstitious type. But she decided to keep the name a secret for a very different reason: she didn’t want people to criticize it.
“I didn’t want to see people’s reactions when I told them his name,” she explained to me. “I’d just rather not say anything.”
Naming your baby — and this applies to dogs, too — can be one of the most difficult decisions you make prior to arrival.
Another girlfriend had picked out a name for a future daughter years before getting pregnant — only to have her sister-in-law use that same name, foiling her plans. (She wished she had never said anything.)
And another couple I know had to make a list of all the names they didn’t want — bad bosses, exes, weird classmates — before deciding on the ones they did.
Still another wrote a list — then came up with all the nicknames, insults and bad jokes that could be associated with each one. (Names like Beta and Magnum wouldn’t have made their final cut.)
It’s interesting the process soon-to-be parents go through when naming their child. I believe, like many of my friends, that names matter. They mean something. And you want a name your child can grow into. Try living up to a name like Adonis or Princess.
The Social Security Administration publishes the Top 10 list of popular names for boys and girls, and last year’s top names — Jacob, Isabella, Sophia, Emma, Alexander, Abigail — were throwbacks to common names generations ago.
Back when I was born — 1975 — the most popular names were Michael, Jennifer, Jason, Amy, Christopher and Heather.
I was named Catherine because my parents wanted a strong name. I got my middle name — Elizabeth — from a family friend who died of lupus. Put the two together and I sound like English royalty — or a very devout Catholic.
So what’s your process in naming your children — or pets? And how did you get your name?
first thing my parents saw out the window when i was born……Luckily they let me change my name to Bob from Pigeon Crap. Ahhhh,the 60’s …magical times. *sigh*
We picked both of our sons’ names before they were born. Their names are ordinary in both what they are and how they are spelled. But they themselves are unique individuals. We decided to give our sons first names of their own meaning they were not named after any relatives, etc as far as we knew. They second names were after my husband’s dad for the oldest and my husband’s maternal grandfather for the youngest. Then they each got Japanese names from my side of the family. My oldest has my dad’s name and my youngest has my mom’s name but made into the male version. I think it’s funny when we tell people their names (doctors, school teachers, etc). A lot of them expect their names to be spelled unusual and are pleasantly surprised when they are spelled the traditional way. As for myself, my parents adopted me. An aunt told me my parents were so glad to have me that they gave me a name that reflected how they felt!
My son’s name is a blend of traditional family names. He wound up with two middle names in order to make sure enough people were included. It was also important to have a unique first name and Nathaniel is definitely that. Of course most shorten it to Nate or Nat. A lot of people call him Nate, I call him Nathaniel. My grandfather was Nat. My dad who was also a Nathaniel went by his middle name Macon.My dad thought he was doing me a fasvor by naming me David… can see the point but try going to the mall and yelling ‘Hey david’ and see just how many people’s heads turn around. as far as pets go, and I hate to admit this, I call all of my dogs the same thing. Now keep in mind they have names like Socks and JJ and Chelsea etc but I call them all Dogbreath. And yes I call the cat Catbreath. As they say in these parts, ‘it doesn’t take much to keep a moron happy.’
My wife and I gave considerable thought and discussion to our children’s names. Both times, in or around delivery of the babies, my wife changed the agreed-upon names. A man does not argue with his wife in the midst of such things. Through the pain, perhaps even hallucinations, she had moments of absolute clarity as to what the children should be named.
Since she was changing to other names we had discussed and which we had high on the list anyway, there was no reason for me to complain. They are perfectly nice names; they just aren’t the ones we settled on before she went into labor.
Cat, this thing about the sister-in-law using a name, foiling the plans of another soon-to-be mom is odd and funny to me. I was to learn of a deep resentment in my own family years after the baby naming “incident.” We named my son Michael (one of my wife’s chage-ups at a moment of extreme pain and extreme clarity). I did not know it at the time, but that was the name my sister-in-law had chosen for her son, who would be born five weeks later. They named their son something else, but she was mad at us for years, and probably still is. As it was relayed to me, my wife and I “stole their name.”
And why couldn’t two boys who are first cousins have the same name? It used to happen all the time, and some old-country naming conventions require it. This seems crazy to me that anyone could “steal” someone else’s name, especially one as common as Michael. This was 1997, and Michael Jordan’s celebrity and skill probably influenced 5 million American parents in the 1990s to name their sons Michael.
Remember the Seinfeld episode where a couple stole George’s idea for naming his “in-the-future” kid’s name of “Seven?”
I’ve have a cat. I like simple names. My orange tabby is named Max.
I knew a person who gave their kid the middle name ” Dracula”
That kid must’ve been teased big time in school
Parents think they’re being clever with names.
But they have to think about what their kids have to deal with in school, their friends etc.
Let’s see, there’s Moon Unit and Dweezil Zappa! That has to be the oddest celebrity baby names ever, haha!
Hello Cat, we didn’t want to know the sex of our first born so we pick a name that could go both ways. Our second child we knew it was a boy so we picked a biblical name from the bible. Both of our kids middle names is hawaiian given to them by a hawaiian kapuna.
I got my name from being born on a Catholic holiday, St. Michael’s Feast Day. Of course, every fifth male baby was being named Michael at the time too, no matter what day they were born. As for my middle name, Bruce, all my mom had to say about it was “it sounds really masculine.” What’s odd is how my parents chose not to give me and two brothers a Hawaiian name, especially since we’re 9/16 Hawaiian! When people see my full name they tend to think I’m pure haole.
Hey Cat: … let’s see, I was the youngest child and only boy … so, of course, I was named after my Dad … I didn’t feel any pressure of living up to my Dad’s name, just hope I made my parents proud …
… yes, names do matter … but regardless, I think that as long as it feels right to the parents … no other consideration should weigh in as heavily … after all, you’re not naming the child (or pet) to please the world, are you??? …
… shoot … if I were named Poop, I’d be proudly rocking the name poopboyjr here on your blog!!! … wait a second, then I wouldn’t have been a Junior …
…and from now on, that will be your nickname here poopboyjr…
Juuuuuuuust kidding, LOL!
We named our daughter based on going back and forth with a name book till we found a combination that we both agreed on. Her name is Alexandra Nicole, and it was very close to being Isabella which I noticed is one of the popular names from last year. For our next child I think it will end up much the same way, getting a book of names out and going back and forth till we find a name that we both like. Luckily for my wife I have a VERY short attention span, so I am sure she will win next time like she won this time, as the Cuz just doesnt have the patience anymore…..
my wife picked my kids’ names and they weren’t too wacky/trendy so I was ok with them. pick your battles, right? their japanese names are from my grandfather and great grandmother
some friends of ours pulled the naming equivalent of the asian character tatoo on a drunken frat boy. they liked the sound of japanese words (not japanese themselves) so they named their second son “Ronin”. I didn’t have (and still don’t have) the heart to tell him that a ronin is a masterless samurai and that he probably has to be assassinated for his son to live up to the name.
My name was originally supposed to be Kyle, but a cousin was born right before me, and his parents ended up naming him Kyle, so my parents came up with the closest thing they could think of that started with a K, and my name means watcher of the sheep, which doesn’t make a whole lot of sense being that I was born in Hawaii (yup, TONS of sheep out here haha).
One of my best friends is also having a kid, and he’s not telling anybody the name until he/she’s born
We named Kaya after the Bob Marley song. We were listening to it one day and I just said, “What about Kaya?” My husband liked it and we never found another name we liked more so we stuck with it. I wanted something not too common but not weird, so I think it’s perfect. Plus, no one else we know personally is named Kaya. Well, besides a couple dogs but that’s another story.
I picked out a name for one of my brother’s twins. At the time (’86) I was in college and a fan on “All My Children.” Two deliciously bad characters on that show were named “Tad” and “Zac.” My brother vetoed “Tad” stating he did not want people making fun of him by calling him “Tadpole!” Haha! Pretty good reasoning. But, he did go with “Zachary” for one of them.
For my dogs, we were planning on getting two male pups! I had picked out names from my two most favorite renaissance men, “Michelangelo” and “Leonardo.” The plan was to call them “Angelo” and “Nardo” for short. Well, the plan to get the pups fell through as the person giving the dogs away wanted to give them away between the age of 3-4 weeks. WAAAAY too early. I couldn’t be apart of what I felt was basically animal abuse taking them away from their mother at such an early age before they could even get properly immunized from the mother’s milk and socialized and trained by the mother and the rest of the litter pack.
We wound up getting two girls instead from a local girl who had both parents. We wound up going with names from my a couple of “Beatles” songs: Penny (from Penny Lane on the Magical Mystery Tour album), and Julia (a song named for John Lennon’s mother from the White Album!)
As for my name, my mother kept with the “R” theme of my other brothers. However, I learned later that my family had a dog ten years prior to my being born with the same name:
i came up with my son’s first name from a character from my favorite tv show, his middle name came from my favorite movie. they were both very handsome. i always look for names based on good looking characters, haha. even girls names, if the character is beautiful and the name is different, thats what i’m naming them next…too bad mia has been a popular name lately (jordana brewster character in fast and the furious), that would’ve been my girls name in the future.
my parents named us alphabetically and it happens that my godmother’s name starts w/ a “C”. Not sure if that’s why/how she was chosen to be my godmother & namesake lol!