Category: Choosing the Right Baby Name
It was an intriguing question posed over on the forums: What would your children be named, if your partner had complete control?
In my case, my husband would have chosen names from his family tree….very very sleepy names.
I’m always amused to see the different timetables that our forum visitors put on choosing baby names.
Help! Only four weeks to go and no name!!, one expectant parent will panic.
Others only feel urgency around baby names when the labor pains kick in, while some berries have their baby names complete with middles lined up years before they’re expecting, and still others are vacillating about the name months or years after their child’s birth.
In her second blog for Nameberry, celebrity mom and name lover Natalie Hanson, who has five children with musician husband Taylor, reveals how and why they chose the adventurous Wilhelmina for their second daughter’s name.
Hello Berries! Last time I wrote to you, I shared that I was expecting a little girl and that we were searching for her perfect name. Our daughter arrived in October, and we named her Wilhelmina. Wilhelmina is a form of William, which means “resolute protection”. Right now I am so in love with this strong and beautiful name, and even more in love with the girl who bears it!
The story of Wilhelmina’s name starts in October 2010, two years before her arrival, when I came across the name Wilhelmina on a Nameberry list! My first impression of the name was how strong it sounded. It was like the “Isabella” you wouldn’t want to mess with.
I decided to pass the name along to my sister-in-law, Jessica, who is a fan of strong, Germanic-warrior sounding names. Jessie appreciated the suggestion and told me it reminded her of Willa Cather, the author of Oh, Pioneers!, a book she had read a few years before. Her choice of books did not surprise me, as I have always thought of Jessie as a sort of “pioneer woman”. She is one of the strongest, hardest working, most loyal women you could ever know.
Obviously, everyone has their own definition of what a perfect name is, but for Pam and me, as expressed in our books, it has always been distilled into the phrase fitting in/standing out.
Located in the sweet spot between the hundreds of names that are epidemically popular–common enough for their distinctive images to be diluted–and those that are too unusual, too extreme– is a kind of golden triangle of lightly used names that have meaning, history, depth, and appeal, yet won’t provoke any raised eyebrows, names that will allow your child to both fit in with her peers and stand out among them.
A visitor to our forums posed this question to the Berries: Would you give your child a name, a wonderful name that you truly love, if it had a negative meaning? How meaningful is the root meaning of a name, anyway?
The name in question was Kennedy, a name that has so much going for it: illustrious relatives, a stylish surname feel, a rhythmic sound, and growing popularity.
Some websites will try to tell you that Kennedy means “royal” or “loving” but it doesn’t. It means “misshapen head.” And that is the problem.
Or it’s the problem when, in fourth grade, the teacher decides to have the class do oral reports on their names: Where they came from, what they mean. And poor “misshapen head” is forced to announce her name’s unfortunate meaning in front of the whole class.