Category: Navigating Name Problems and Disputes
I am due soon with our third child and my husband and I are having some problems finalizing a name. We have a common Jewish last name (also popular as a first name).
We have two children, Milo Efrem and Reva Whitney. While their names did take us some time to get to, we were in agreement and the process seemed easier than this time around. Since my husband and I both have very common names, we wanted names for our children that are not overused but also not weird.
We are fairly settled on Iris for a first name, in honor of my Uncle Ira. We would like the middle name to honor my husband’s grandfather, Jacob, called Jack, or the Hebrew version of his name, Yacob.
My husband really likes Jaclyn or Jackie, but I have bad associations with this name and I can’t get on board. I have been searching the baby name lists but nothing seems right. I am open to names inspired by the honoree, without directly using the first letter, but I know my husband won’t go for something too non-traditional.
Can you offer some other suggestions? Or should I just learn to love Jaclyn?
My husband was raised to be very proud of his middle name and it doesn’t bother him. I’m just afraid that our son won’t be the same, or it will hurt him more than my husband.
Close friends and family have mentioned this to me, so what the heck is the general public going to say?
What do I do? Do I put my foot down and say no way? Or do I hope that we can raise him to love his namesake and his name?
By Nicole Aube
Sometimes parents can’t help but love names that could prove difficult for a child to wear later in life. Of course, it isn’t easy to find a name that absolutely no one will have a problem with. But don’t give up! Even names that aren’t generally recommended have alternatives you might find to be not only suitable, but lovable!
Here is a list (selected from the past blog post 50+ Names Sure To Make Your Teenager Hate You) of some problematic names along with their more well-behaved relatives.
My husband and I have decided not to find out the sex of our baby. We’re excited about the surprise, but are struggling to pick out both a boy and a girl name.
Our daughter is Leena Gray. We picked Leena because it is familiar to my husband’s Indian family but still accessible to mine, it has some global recognition, and it fit our criteria of being recognizable but not common.
Her middle was going to be Elizabeth (a family name), but a couple months before she was born we decided on Gray instead, after my dad Gary. I’m really glad we did, as I love the juxtaposition between the more traditional and unexpected names. I also really like the family connection. I was named after my great grandmother and have always appreciated having a story behind my name selection.
For the next baby, our criteria are the same, but we’re not necessarily committed to an Indian name.
Despite all that, my favorite right now for a girl is Violet (which my husband is not a fan of). His favorite is Ivy – I’m not sure where the botanical connection is coming from – which I like, but just doesn’t feel quite like “the name”. Perhaps with the right middle or as a middle? I’m also a fan of the Elizabeth nicknames Elsa and Elsie, but worried that they’re too popular after Frozen and that they’re too close to Leena.
For a boy, we’re completely lost. I have some interest in Ezra or Milo, but hubby’s not biting. I feel like it’s harder to find the sweet spot of relatable but not too popular boy names. Maybe this is where we need to dig in deeper to Indian names?
As far as middles for girls from my side, Elizabeth is a family name. My sister is Emily and my sister-in-law is Amelia, so I also like the idea of Amelie or Emilia or some sort of combination, and it’s a bit more unexpected, like Gray.
We’d appreciate any advice you can give. I’m seriously ready to open the envelope to find out if it’s a girl or a boy just to narrow our choices!
Much has been written lately about the pros and cons of using a unique name. People choose to do it for a variety of reasons – family heritage, creativity, believing it will provide an advantage later in life, to show others our beliefs and hopes for our little ones, or in some cases–mainly celebrities– for the limelight. But then there is the downside – possible mispronunciation, other children poking fun, feeling different or standing out in the crowd.