Some people have names picked out for their children long before they reach marrying age. Particularly for girls, I think it starts with naming dolls. Every doll should have a name. Even our two-year-old has names for most, if not all, of her inanimate creatures, human or otherwise. Boys don’t care. For this reason, the only acceptable doll for boys, GI Joe, comes pre-named so they don’t even have to think about it.
My wife and I didn’t decide on Ally’s name until we saw her picture. Before that it was just one of several possibilities. Ally is short for Alyssa, not Allison. My wife had a roommate in grad school named Allison and didn’t want that name for our child. I thought she got along well with Allison; maybe I’m wrong. But we liked Ally, so we picked the next closest thing that could be shortened to Ally.
Now that we’ve begun the paper chase for our second, we’re approaching the name thing with the usual lack of concern. Again, we have thrown around a few possibilities but there is no definite front runner. One name I suggested that’s already been shot down is Zoe. She will most likely be our last child, so I thought the A to Z theme was appropriate. There aren’t many good “Z” names for girls but Zoe is the one I like best. My wife informed me that Zoe is the name of a muppet character and she wouldn’t name our child that. End of story. I’m not going to push very hard.
I like Eloise, but I realized it rhymes with our last name. Forget it. I won’t subject my kid to that. I had a high school classmate who had rhyming first and last names and it was a running joke for four years. I don’t know what his parents were thinking.
Then there are the alliterative parents who start all their children’s names with the same letter. That may happen for us. There are several other “A” names we like. With two children, it can be seen as a coincidence. Three or more and you can tell it’s being done deliberately. I think if we had a third, we would go out of our way to avoid an “A” name. Otherwise, you can get carried away like this family
. Sixteen kids, all their names starting with “J”. If they keep going, they’ll run out of “J” names.
Personally, I’m not big on family names. It’s not like I’m the scion of a great industrialist family empire where people associate the name with a product of some sort. Think August Busch. I’ve seen August Busch IV (or is it V or VI?) showing up in beer commercials lately. I think people will still drink beer even if the next in line isn’t named August.
My side of the family is not exactly rife with possible names. My parents’ names are both taken by my oldest niece (feminizing my dad’s name for her middle name), so they’re out. Moving to the grandparents, then, here’s what I have to choose from: Bertha, Katherine (Kate), Isaac (Ike) and Wasyl (Wasco). Now, we’re assuming we’re getting another girl, so Ike and Wasco are going to have to wait another generation. Katherine is a distinct possibility. Bertha is not.
On my wife’s side, there’s Christine, Mary, Rose, Margaret. Some good choices there.
I’d like to avoid popular trendy names, if possible. Nothing like being one of five kids in your class with the same first name. Also to be avoided are celebrity baby names like Apple
, Fifi Trixibelle
or Moon Unit
. Besides, there’s only room for one God’iss Love Stone
in the world, if you ask me.
So we’ll keep plugging away, but I don’t expect to settle on anything until the last minute. Then I suspect something will hit us and we’ll have that “Aha” moment and wonder: Why didn’t we think of that sooner?