Category: Questions of the Week
I love the name Henry.
If our first child had been a boy, she would have been named Henry.
Then, by the time we did have a boy, I decided I really wanted to use a family name — Joseph, if you’re curious — instead.
And when we had our third child and second son, it seemed I knew too many Henrys.
There’s a Henry my youngest son’s age who lives across the street from us. One a little older down the street. And one a bit younger, a friend of my son’s, around the corner.
I still love the name, a strong yet stylish classic. And yet while I feel that it’s a favorite that got away, I wouldn’t use it for a baby now because it seems there are too many Henrys in my neighborhood, my town, my life.
Middle names are, in many ways, the place where you can get most adventurous with your choices.
Or are they?
What, in your opinion, is the best kind of middle name to choose?
A creative name that you might love but that you wouldn’t dare put in first place?
A name with important symbolism — the city where your child was conceived, the name of a personal hero?
Or maybe you see the middle name as the ideal place to represent family: to use the baby’s father’s first name, for instance, or pass down grandma’s maiden name or honor a family member who is recently deceased.
Or the middle name to you might be an opportunity to create flow and melody in a name, and so you look for a middle name with the perfect combination of syllables and sounds.
It was the headline that caught our eye:
What one name would you singlehandedly and magically bring back (or introduce to the wider world, if it’s a new name), if you could?
We got the idea for this Question of the Week from a forum thread titled, Loving Frederick, hating Fred, by a mom who wants to name her son Frederick but really, really, really does not want him to be called Fred or Freddie.
This is an issue that plagues many parents: Loving a name, but not its logical short form. Or sometimes, it’s the other way around: An affection for Theo or Edie, say, but not so much for Theodore or Edith.
So our question of the week is: What name, is any, inspires this love-hate relationship in you?
Did you choose a name — or do you have a name — whose long form you love and short form you don’t or vice versa, and how do you handle it? How does that work out for you? Would you put the short form you love on the birth certificate and sidestep the long form you don’t entirely?
I met someone named Bea the other night and I knew instantly that I liked her.
How could I not, given how much I liked her name? To me, the name Bea feels accessible and down-to-earth yet at the same time unusual and elegant — a fantastic combination. And once my new friend Bea told me the history of her name — that her full name was Beatrice, but that her mother really wanted to name her Bridget after her grandmother, which was also my grandmother’s name — I decided we were going to be good friends.
Which set me thinking: Do you automatically like someone if you like their name? Do you find yourself positively disposed, friendlier than usual, simply on the basis of an attractive or intriguing name?
Of course, people may prove to be not as charming as their names.