The Name Game

Naming a newborn is a big thing. The name you give them will have to stick with them throughout life (unless they elect to change it, but it will be with them through childhood nonetheless). It’s one of the first really big decisions we’ll make for our child and I view it as one of the many responsibilities of new parenthood – making sure you don’t make your kid’s life difficult with a weird name, or one that no one can pronounce or spell.

We’re finding it really, really hard. We’ve got a pretty good idea of what we would call a girl. There are a number of names I like, and most importantly that Ian also likes, since this needs to be a mutual decision. We still have some concerns though, mainly relating to the popularity, or potential popularity, of our chosen names . We don’t want our child to have such an unusual name that people raise their eyebrows when we tell them. Or a made up name that we have to keep repeating to people when we tell them because it’s a word that doesn’t immediately register as being a name. Or one that we have to keep spelling out. But equally I don’t want to give them the most popular name of the year and have them be in a class at school where half the room turns around when someone says our child’s name.

Boys’ names are more of a struggle (which just adds to my instinctive feeling that we’re having a boy). The popularity is a major issue again. I’d like to use the name Jack, as it’s my Granfather’s name (to be the baby’s only surviving great-grandparent) but it’s been so incredibly popular, topping the popular names lists for a number of years. The biggest problem though is that we don’t like all that many boys’ names. And there are some candidates that I definitely don’t like, yet Ian does and vice versa. We seem to have just one name that keeps popping back up.

It’s got harder and harder to discuss the issue of names. We bought a comprehensive name guide a couple of months back but, to be honest, it isn’t really helping. We spend all our time laughing at the strange things that some people class as names, and descending in to ever more ridiculous suggestions (Daffodil Gertrude Ermintrude anyone? Or how about Pansy Parker? Hmmmm….)

We won’t make a final decision until their birthday anyway. I personally find it a bit weird to refer to an unborn baby by its full name, and to buy it personalised items before they’ve even met you. Granted we all buy our babies plenty of stuff but it feels very different when something is personalised with a name. Anyway, assessing the gender from a scan is not a perfect art, and errors can and do happen. And even more than that I’d want to know that the name felt right when the baby is actually in the room. I know of plenty of people who’ve chosen a name only to decide it doesn’t suit the baby once born!

So when they make an appearance, and reveal their gender to us, I’m hoping that we just feel which name is right. We’ll have to wait and see.


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