July 08, 2009

What's in a Name?


Naming children can be one of the most stressful decisions a parent makes. No one wants to set their child up for ridicule... unless, of course, you're a celebrity (Apple, Pilot Inspektor, Dweezil... you catch my drift).
Coming up with four names was not easy. We didn't want anything outlandish, but we didn't want them to share a name with several other kids in their elementary classes. It's going to be hard enough for people to see our daughters as individuals without them having to share their name with classmates, too.
The names we chose received mixed reactions. Most people claimed to like them. The majority that didn't at least lied and said they liked them. A couple people were vocal in their dislike, but it didn't really phase me. They're my children, so I have the final say in their name (well, Hubby had some input, too).
The Social Security Administration keeps track of popular names for boys and girls. I decided to look up the top names for 2005 (the year my daughters were born). Cakes is in the top 100, although we chose a different spelling. Sue-Sue is just out of the top 100. Tortilla is in the top 200... but, again, a different spelling. Roo just missed the top 300... for boy's names. It has always baffled me that people prefer her name for boys, but who am I to argue? Even now when she has pigtails and is wearing pink some people will say "oh, you have one boy?" when they hear her name. The only other people I know with her name are female, so how her name became associated with males is beyond me.
These names will be with them for a life time and, quite frankly, I can't imagine calling them anything else. Perhaps years from now they'll go through a phase where they'll wonder why in the world we gave them the names we did... but hopefully they'll never have the resentment that, oh say, little Banjo or Pilot Inspektor may have over their names.

9 comments:

MaryAnne said...

We have one of those last names that people stare at and have no clue how to pronounce (that's how we know it's our turn in a waiting room, they come out with a clipboard, look at it, say nothing, look at it again...) so we've tried to keep our kids' first names simple - and this means that they're all well within the top 100 names. We have given each kid a more unique middle name as a "if you really don't like your first name here's a second option" backup plan.

Stephanie B said...

My husband's family went an unusual route, in my opinion. The picked somewhat formal first names and friendly middle names, figuring they'd call their kids by the middle and, when they got full grown, the kids would go by their first names. Well, Burton, Susannah and Victoria still go by Lee, Rose and Kellee (one of the kids opted to his first name young in life and still uses it). Only now, they tend to hate their first names because, of course, all their documentation uses that. It drives my husband insane.

I actually only got to name one of my children (my son) as two different husbands had too girl names they were in love with for both my daughters. *Sigh* But I like all my kid's names and, even if it's a pain for Stephanie to have the same name I have (not my idea), I'm perfectly cool with changing it legally if she feels it's necessary.

Quadmama said...

Funny you should both bring up the middle name option. Hubby goes by his middle name and it's quite unique, so much so that when he was a teen he got fed up explaining his name and started going by his first name (James) for a period of time. I can tell who knew him when by what they call him. It drives him crazy when people who see his legal name try to be "familiar" and call him "Jim", a name he has never ever gone by.

Stephanie B said...

My brother-in-law, the one that took his first name, is named James. Not Jim, James.

Coincidental, no?

Quadmama said...

Now that you bring it up, I know a lot of "Jameses" (is that the plural of James?) who only go by James and not Jim. Interesting...

Becky said...

My sister in law found our niece's name in the boy section of the baby name book and changed the spelling....if she would have been a boy, she would have had the same name w/the "orignal" spelling. :) It's a unique name that no one confuses as a boy name though..

Quadmama said...

There are names that are clearly male associated, so if you choose to name your daughter, say Ryan, you have to understand the confusion. Not knocking the name... I actually considered it for the girls. But Roo's name just sounds so feminine to me. Oh well. Guess I'm helping "buck the trend."

Brooke said...

Both of my boys' names are now being used more and more for girls, and it just baffles me. Add to that many people think Curly is a girl because of his ringlets. Funny thing is, I never in a million years would have imagined that their names would be considered gender-neutral like Pat or Chris. They're very masculine names. Oh well.

Quadmama said...

Yep, I've run across some of those names, too... boy names that you wonder why parents saddled little girls with them. Hmmm... maybe that's what people are saying about Roo's name LOL!

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