Category: Choosing the Right Baby Name
By Angie Bahng
Like many other adoptive parents, my husband and I thought long and hard about how to incorporate HJ’s Korean name into her legal name when we brought her home from Korea. We had her American name picked out and we were set on that as her first name. Her Korean name was given to her by my grandfather. The Korean name he picked for her means “wise and righteous and affectionate.”
We were intrigued by the question posed on the forums by jackal, who loves the name Ingimar, well-known in her native Iceland, but wonders whether she should give her son-to-be a name that travels more easily, like Robert or Matthias.
Jackal’s question came down to head vs. heart: Which is the best way, the right way to choose a baby name?
Of course, if your heart and head align in your name decision, that’s the ideal. But often the name we love, the name we want in our gut has some issue: it’s hard to pronounce or it doesn’t work with our surname or our partner doesn’t like it or we fell in love with it long ago but it’s since gotten too popular.
And then our head steps in, proposing the name that flows better, or the name that is immune from teasing, or the name that honors your beloved grandpa even though, ouch, Floyd…
One of our favorite fantasies here on Nameberry is to name imaginary families. Today’s challenge: Tell us what names you’d choose for two brothers.
Two boys’ names with matching initials? Traditional family names, or maybe a modern androgynous pair?
And how do your feelings about raising boys and boy name trends today factor into your decision?
Or they might favor a place-name or word name or family name whose meaning is more personal than literal: London as a nod to their honeymoon city or Leonie for its fierce animal reference or Lowell after grandma’s maiden name.
If the ancient meaning of a name has less, well, meaning than it used to, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t matter at all. (Sounds like a tongue twister, doesn’t it?)
In fact, knowing the meaning of the name you choose or even choosing a name for its meaning may be a way to add depth and dimension to your baby name choice. The name you pick may be fashionable or feminine or flow well with your last name, but it also resonates for you (and eventually will for your child) because of the power of its meaning.
Today we’re looking at names that mean strong. That may convey a quality you wish to confer on your baby for the future or even the present. And what child, female or male, strapping or struggling, couldn’t use an extra measure of strength, whether physical or spiritual?
The wide range of baby names that mean strong (or strength or power or powerful) include:
Naming a boy has always been a little bit different.
It isn’t harder, necessarily. For some parents, settling on a son’s name is a picnic compared to naming a daughter.
But there are definitely some differences in the way we think about boys’ names.