Category: family names
I read an online comment recently from a name enthusiast arguing that “lots of men” give their own names to their sons (whether as Juniors—using their exact names—or using variants in the first or middle spots), while “very few women” do the same for their daughters.
This argument didn’t seem quite right to me, based on my limited experience, so I posed the question on my blog and indeed, my readers produced quite a lot of examples of girls named after their moms. Nevertheless, it is true that the idea of specifically “Junior” girls—girls with at least the same first name as their moms, never mind the same first+middle combo—is an unfamiliar one to many of us, and I wondered why.
We also decided on the name of our baby girl fairly quickly. She will be named Eva, which honors my grandmother. My only hesitation was the popularity of Ava, but we decided that that wasn’t a deal breaker.
On to our twin boy: we are stuck! We don’t even have a good list going. We came to the other two names almost effortlessly, so we are starting to panic a bit. I am obviously partial to family names, but we have a lot of names in the family that are tough to work with. (On my side, Edwin, Harry, and Melvin; on my husband’s side, everyone is named James.) We also have a lot of cousins’ names to avoid, including two we would have considered: Sebastian and Simon.
I do like two family names: Frederick, but we are not on board with Fred. Same with Edward and Ed. So at this point, we have decided that our second son’s middle name will most likely be either Frederick or Edward, depending on which goes better.
Our last name is two syllables and starts and ends with L. I feel like it rules out L names.
Where do we go from here?
The Name Sage replies:
By Pamela Redmond Satran
Many couples are shocked to find that, while they agree about so many more seemingly important things, they’re locked in an enormous battle over baby names. Why do arguments rear up about an issue that should be fun and pleasurable? And how can you solve these Baby Name Battles?
RECOGNIZE YOU’RE NOT JUST TALKING ABOUT NAMES. Name discussions often tap into deeper issues like religion, family, people’s experiences from their pasts that they may not have discussed openly or even be aware of themselves. It may take more time, patience, and care to thoroughly discuss name tastes and their implications than you anticipate.
DON’T COMPROMISE. Finding a compromise name — one that may not be either of your favorites but that you both like okay — might not actually be the best solution. It can provide a quicker, easier fix to the name problem, but may cover up the deeper issues still lurking.
DIG DEEPER. It’s worth uncovering the reasons BEHIND the names you and your partner like. Let’s say your partner is campaigning for a name from their family — which may be more about pleasing their parents than loving that particular name. That can help you both look for other names that might fit the bill in a way that’s meaningful to the other person but that you also like.
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:
By Antonia Malchik
I was sitting at the lunch table in fifth grade when I decided that if I ever had a daughter I’d name her something normal.
I grew up mainly in two different towns in Montana. In the first, all my friends had names I coveted: Katie, Stacy, Tiffany, Angie. Their names were pretty, and, importantly for an early 1980s childhood, normal. My name was not. I was named “Antonia” for Willa Cather’s novel My Ántonia, “Louise” after my maternal grandmother, and “Evgenia” after my father’s cousin who still lived in the Soviet Union where my father had grown up. All of which got shortened to the decidedly unmusical and definitely not normal “Nia.”