Category: family baby names
It’s off to the wild blue yonder for this week’s challenge! First-time parent Allison is seeking a boy’s name that feels traditional, but still slightly offbeat, with possible ties to their loved ones’ names and the world of aviation.
We are expecting our first little one at the end of September and I want to find the perfect name that will be a definite honor to someone in our life, but will also carry itself in originality.
Our baby’s sex will be a surprise, so we need a couple of girl and boy name options. We have a clear direction with a girl: My husband has always loved Amelia, and whether it’s currently trendy or not, I’m ready to let him have that pick. Also, it aligns with the fact that I was named after an aviation entity, Allison, my dad being a pilot.
We’re having the most difficult time, however, with boys. Family names that I am trying to work with: David Carl (his dad) Paul Scott (my dad), Oliver, Douglass. We’re tending to like surnames as first name options: Brooks, Hayes, Abbott, Anderson, etc.
I was hoping to find an offbeat-but-still-classic first name and create a few options for a middle name that aren’t exactly the same name as the inspiration.
The naming process is overwhelming and we are trying to figure out where to start!
The Name Sage replies:
We are expecting our first, and we are not finding out the sex.
We really like the name Dahlia or Dalia for a girl and Judah for a boy. We like the name Sunshine for a girl’s middle name (one of his sisters’ names) and David for a boy’s middle name (my dad’s name).
The problem? His family is full of amazing, original, and Biblical names and I love them all.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
The Name Sage replies:
The big trend in baby name news this week? It has to be borrowing a name from your family tree.
Once upon a time, it might have been expected that your firstborn son was a junior, or maybe shared his name with grandpa. In other places, family surnames were handed down along with the silver.
These days, there’s less pressure than ever to choose heirloom names. And yet we’re still inclined to honor our loved ones.
Other parents aren’t passing down family names, but they are coordinating their children’s names. Sometimes it is a shared first initial; other times, the theme is more subtle.
A while back we did a blog called Not Your Mother’s Baby Names, about names that fail to bridge the gender gap. That post focused on newly-minted names that the older generations may not get, but those aren’t the only kinds of names that don’t translate across the generations.
Mom may have liked perky cheerleader names — Kerry, Missy — while you prefer serious Biblical names — Abraham and Lydia. Time-honored choices such as August and Imogen that sound classic and handsome to you may feel hopelessly dowdy to her.
The fact is, each generation tends to reinvent baby names anew, gravitating to new choices and new tastes in names. It’s how we make our name choices our own — but by definition, that may mean that Mom (and Dad and Grandma and Aunt Sue) fails to like or understand them.
It’s one of the biggest problems parents-to-be complain about on the Nameberry forums: family pressure over the choice of a name.
If not promoting their own or other relatives’ names, family members might just exercise what they see as their right to voice strong, uh, opinions about names. Ugh, you can’t name your son Felix: That’s a cat’s name!
Or was your family blessedly pressure-free on the topic of names? Or maybe you even tried to talk about names with them, and they weren’t interested?