Baby Name Backstories: What’s yours?
Our Question of the Week
One of our favorite things about running this site is reading about all of the beautifully named Babyberries born to our members over the years.
Not only do we get to swoon at all of the stunning name combinations and sibsets, but we also love reading about the fascinating (and often moving) stories behind them. Berry parents take inspiration from so many sources: from art, science and religion to family, friends and personal memories.
And so, inspired by this thread from the Forums, we’d like to hear the reasons behind your favorite names: whether it’s a name you’ve already used for a child, one you hope to use someday, or simply one that holds deep personal significance.
Share your favorites — and the stories behind them — below
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on July 16th, 2019 at 10:59 am
Why? You never bothered to post my kids’ name backstories when I announced them. Not « interesting enoguh » i guess
on July 16th, 2019 at 11:48 am
My kids were born in ’85 and ’91, and my son is married two years now, so I guess I will eventually be posting the names of grandkids. Here’s hoping they won’t name their kids after video games like they named their cats!
In the Ashkenazi tradition, one honors children with the names of those who are no longer here. My daughter, born the year Leon Klinghoffer was killed, was given a very American name because I didn’t want her to be targeted. I was going to Europe every year then & it was fraught. She was named after my great-grandmothers, both of whom I knew: Sofie-Katarine and Maria Luisa became Caitlin Louisa, Hebrew name Leah Gavriella. Caitlin was because I’d babysat a Welsh girl named Caitlin; originally we were going to pronounce it the Welsh way but gave up when we realized the American pronunciation was taking over.
My son was born in Canada in 91. He was always going to be Thomas, after my grandfather. We wanted his Hebrew name to be his middle name and settled on Caleb (Kalev).
on July 16th, 2019 at 6:18 pm
Matilda Kate: Matilda was named after the character in Roald Dahl’s book. I declared in high school that if I ever had a little girl, her name would be Matilda. Thankfully, 14 years later, my husband agreed it was a good name. Kate was for my aunt Kathy, who herself was named for her grandma, Kathleen.
Josephine Adair & Rosamund Margot (twins): I knew if we ever had a 2nd daughter her mn would be Adair, which is my MIL’s mn as well as her mother and grandmother’s mn! It would have been my husband’s (or BIL’s) if he had been a girl. I also had run across the name Rosamund here on Nameberry and absolutely fell in love with it, but knew I couldn’t pair it with Adair because our last name starts with a T (R.A.T. yikes), so thought if I ever by some miracle had a 3rd daughter (we planned on being done with 2 kids) her name would be Rosamund. Lo and behold, twin girls! It took a long time to come up with names that felt right with the 2 respective names and I wanted Rosamund’s mn to be a family reference. Margot is for my grandmother, Daisy, since both names can be nicknames for Margaret. Josephine was alast minute choice that just felt right. She was almost Margot or Helena.
on July 17th, 2019 at 8:17 am
James Louis. Boy did we fight long and hard before we found the perfect name. I wanted Timothy or Ethan and he wanted Miles and Isaac. We knew his middle name was either going to be James or Richard after my father. My SO’s older son who had passed away was already named Robert Bruce after his two grandfathers, my boyfriends father was Robert. However, my last name is Bruce so it was pretty cool but we couldn’t use that to honor my dad since it was already taken. Then one day my mom asked me why we didn’t consider James or Richard as a first name. I didn’t want Richard, my dad was already Rich and the only other nickname I liked was Hardy and that was vetoed. So on the way to take my SO dinner at work I was mulling over names and landed on James Louis, James for my dad and Louis is a big family name for my SO. His father, brother and nephew all had that middle name and both Grandfathers had it as either a first or a middle. Needless to say it felt right, we both loved it and so we have James Louis (Never Jimmy) named for both Grandfathers.
on July 17th, 2019 at 9:44 am
My oldest is Blake Justin. We lived in England when he was born and the name seemed to be fairly uncommon there. I loved the poetic connection to William Blake who wrote the very British song “Jerusalem”. Justin is the name of my friend’s dad who died suddenly aged 53- when I was in highschool. Both my husband and I (childhood friends) knew him and wanted to honor him with our son’s name.
My daughter is Eveline Grace. We wanted something feminine and vintage but unusual. After much searching and coming up with nothing, my husband called me over to his screen one day and pointed at the name of a business contact in Germany (we live in USA now) called Eveline. We fell in love with the name which means “light, life and longed for child”. We pronounce it “Eh-vuh-leen” and have had so many compliments on it. Grace we just loved.
on July 17th, 2019 at 1:02 pm
My name doesn’t have a story. I remember in first grade when our teacher asked us who we’re named after and I didn’t have anyone. My parents just liked my name. So, ever since then, I was determined to have good reasons to name my children their chosen names.
First son is named after my maternal grandpa who was a medic in WWII, was in the Battle of the Bulge, and helped liberate Buckenwald. He was a fantastic man and I’m thrilled that my son carries his name.
Second son’s name is Frederick and husband is Eric, so there’s a nice tie in there for a few reasons.
Third son’s name has a great meaning and his middle name is in honor of my MIL who passed away right before we found out I was pregnant.
Due in September with our first daughter and my name is a diminutive of the one we’ve chosen for her. Her middle name is a combo of our moms’ names and happens to be the name of the county we got engaged in and lived in when we were first married.
Also, our entire family has middle names that end in -n-.
on July 17th, 2019 at 2:25 pm
My Hebrew name, Naomi, is in honor of a maternal great-great-aunt. My given first name is after one of my parents’ close friends, and my middle name is in honor of my maternal great-grandmother.
I have some name combos I like for when I have children of my own.
For a boy: Thaddeus John is after two of my great-uncles, one of whom fought in the Pacific in WWII. I also like Phineas Michael. Phineas is from the book “A Separate Peace”, and is also a saint’s name. Michael is after another great-uncle. Django Charles is after two of my maternal grandfather’s favorite Jazz musicians, Django Reinhardt and Charlie Christian. Cillian Padraic reflects my Irish heritage. Samuel Eliezer reflects my Jewish heritage, and Eliezer also honors author Elie Wiesel.
For a girl: Joanna May honors my maternal great-grandmother Joanna, and my maternal grandmother, whose middle name was May. Saoirse Niamh reflects my Irish Heritage. Sarah Rebekah honors my Jewish heritage. Beatrice Laura honors my paternal great-grandmother. Clara Sybil honors two ancestors of mine from my dad’s side. Thomasin Dodi honors both my mom’s late brother, whose name was Thomas, and my maternal grandmother Dorothy, whose nickname and Hebrew name was Dodi.
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