How I Named My Baby: Thora Elkie
How long did it take you to decide on a name?
The whole 9 months.
When did you know you found “The Name?”
Funnily enough, I suggested the name Thora to my husband as we both have an interest in Norse and Scandinavian culture, folklore, music, etc. We both actually agreed, for once, and then later that week we were watching a show and 90s actress Thora Birch was in it. We knew then and there that that was our sign.
Did you ask anyone for advice about baby names?
No way. Too many opinions are never a good idea. I love looking up name lists and social media accounts on the subject, but I really hate talking to people about it because people’s opinions can really throw you. I also hate the idea that someone could ‘steal’ a name or think that you took something they wanted.
What name did you hate to let go of?
We also had to let go of the nature names as our surname is Stone. I always wanted to use Leif (pronounced Leaf) or River or Pepper, but when you put those with Stone it’s super hippie or sounds like a wine.
What would your baby be named if it was totally up to you? If it was up to your partner?
Probably something way more out there, if that’s even possible! I like to think about all manner of things that can be names, pretty words, places, or things, but my husband doesn’t think as laterally. I do Babies and Children’s Astrology for a living and I would have loved names more influenced by the universe or mythology. My younger self would have certainly picked something more Witchy.
How do you feel about your own name and how did that influence your choice?
When I was younger I never really got that I have a cool name, but now that I am older I really love that my parents named me after a Welsh Witch and that they really loved Fleetwood Mac that much to give me the namesake of one of their songs.
Was it important to choose a name that ‘matched’ your baby’s older siblings’ — or future siblings’ — names?
It’s not something we set out to do, but we gave our children “spirit animal” middle names.
It began when I wanted the name Fox for my son. We ended up using it for a middle name instead, thus beginning the theme. My next daughter is Poet Ravyn and then we had Zephyr Tala (Native American for Wolf). We were convinced we were having a boy and our name was set to be Zephyr Wolf. When ‘he’ was a she, we googled alternate names for Wolf until Tala popped up). Thora Elkie became our sweet little Deer.
Was it easier to come up with girl or boy names?
Girl for us, and lucky seeing as we got 3 of them!
Did you decide on middle name(s) before the first name, or vice versa?
The middle names ended up being such a huge part of the final result for us. It’s funny how the “theme” really drove that for us.
How important a consideration was the flow of the first, middle, and last names?
I think very important. It has to roll together nicely and work with the surname. There are names we would have chosen had we have had a different surname, perhaps some we liked even more, but I think you need to look at the bigger picture.
What was your biggest fear related to baby names?
Only ever that someone would use them before I got to. I would not go ahead with a name if someone I knew had used it. I’d have to go back to the drawing board.
Which partner was pickier about baby names?
Husband. But in saying that, I was very picky about his choices too.
Did you experience ‘name regret’ at any point?
Yes terribly after my son was born. my husband and I just could not agree and my son was nameless for days. I was so hormonal and tired and just gave in. I got the middle name, but I’m always sorry that we weren’t better prepared the first time around and hope maybe one day my son will choose to go by his middle name. some people do and it totally works.
Did you share your baby’s name before s/he was born?
For our daughter Poet yes. It was the only name I had picked when I was pregnant with my first child. When he was a boy, I had to sit on that name for two more years! so most people knew that was to be our first girl.
Otherwise no, we always keep it a secret, along with gender and my planned Caesarean date, so it can be a surprise announcement. You don’t get enough true surprises in your adult life and I think babies should be one of them. They bring such joy and this is all part of the fun.
Have any unexpected nicknames come up for your baby?
Always. But they kind of start slowly and evolve over time. So it’s hard to say what her final nickname will be, as they are never the same thing for too long in this house, and eventually, we don’t even remember how we got to the one we have.
Thank you so much, Rhiannon!