Category: Dos, Don’ts, Rules, & Guidelines
I did a name consultation not too long ago for a couple who had picked out Felicity for a girl, which was a name full of meaning for them, only to discover they were having a boy, and they couldn’t think of any boy names they loved as much as they loved Felicity.
When I posted the dilemma to my blog, one of my readers suggested Felix to them, reasoning, “Since [the mom] was really excited about Felicity’s meaning and saintly pedigree, Felix really seems the perfect alternative to me! Popular in the UK, Spain, and Germany, it definitely has a hip, continental thing about it while not being unusual or hard to pronounce, and the x-ending makes it flow very well into middle names beginning with either a vowel or a consonant!”
We’re expecting a baby boy, due in May, and our name crisis is twofold.
First of all, my partner and I are having a confidence crisis over the name we were previously set on – Leonardo, or Leo. We like Leo as a given name, but we’re not keen on shortened/nickname versions of a full name being put on the birth certificate. Leonardo would be there if our child wanted to use his full name later in life, and I liked how distinguished it sounds – and its catalogue of interesting namesakes!
However, I’m getting cold feet as we get closer to our due date. I’m starting to think that Leonardo is a bit of a mouthful and that we’d just never use it. The other name I would have used in a heartbeat is Theo/Theodore, but a co-worker recently used it for her baby boy, and I just don’t think I could use it for that reason.
There are only a few other names I like at this point. Oscar is one that my partner and I both like, but I don’t love it. And Lorcan is one that I really like, even love, but my partner isn’t keen on it at all!
The other part of our problem relates to middle names. We aren’t yet married, but have agreed that our baby will have both our surnames. We’d like to use Berry as a middle name, as it was my partner’s mother’s maiden name, and honors his much loved and missed grandparents. But I would also like our boy to have a first middle name – John – to honor my grandfather.
My partner thinks this would make our baby’s full name far too long, but I’m not so sure.
What do you think?
The Name Sage replies:
By Joslyn McIntyre
My stepdaughter, Emily, is 17 and already has her first daughter’s name picked out. She doesn’t even have a boyfriend, but she has confidently repeated this name to me several times. To which I usually respond, “Don’t you dare have a baby for at least ten years.”
When I was Emily’s age, long, long ago, I too, wanted to have lots of babies, right away, and I had all their names picked out. In fact, I kept journals full of potential baby names I would use with my future husband, River Phoenix. I planned to raise a brood of nature lovers we’d call things like Meadow, Fawn, and Seashell. Luckily for my actual daughters, River Phoenix and I never worked out.
By Esmeralda Rocha
When picking a name, it can be hard to find opportunities to test the name in a way that gauges the true ‘wearability’ of the name and the reactions it is likely to elicit. People’s abstract opinions of names (“Meredith is an old lady’s name,”“Billy doesn’t work on a grown man,” “Zenobia is utterly ridiculous,” “no-one will ever be able to spell Aoife correctly,” “Harper is too feminine to be a boy’s name”) are not necessarily great indications of what people think of the name once it is attached to a flesh-and-blood human being.
And while sharing name options with friends and family can be valuable, it can also be fraught – should you really discount Millie because it was the name of your mother-in-law’s pet cat when she was 7?
Is your cousin’s opinion that “using Enzo is not OK because you’re not Italian” valid? If you’re looking for dispassionate and real-life reactions to a name, may we suggest the following strategies. These are based on scenarios where names are required but you never need to show ID:
My husband loves the name Cora for the baby girl (our first) that we are expecting.
I initially was opposed, but it really has grown on me. I like its simplicity and sort of vintage feel.
The only problem? My name is Laura!
The rhyming factor seems very weird to me. Our last name is one syllable, so I fear rhyming first names would make us sound like a Dr. Seuss family!
But I can’t deny we are both drawn to the name. Help!
The Name Sage replies: