Skip to main content

My naming advice to myself

I'll admit, I had a very rough time choosing a name for my daughter. For my son, we had a list of about ten names going into the hospital, narrowed it down to three once we saw what he looked like, and then my husband suddenly put his bossy pants on and said, "It's this one." Easy. With our daughter born in March, the list was three times longer and even though I narrowed it down to three like before, I left the hospital without a name picked. We called the hospital the next day to make at least one of them official, but it didn't feel right. I poured over my lists all night. Our top name suddenly felt boring, while the runner-up was so beautiful I really wanted to pick it, but it didn't look like her. Even after making her name official I considered a few others, wondering if one of them would jump out and say, "Why didn't you pick me?!"

I asked myself, what advice would I give to a friend having trouble making a decision?

- You've spent loads of time picking these names, researching and giving thoughtful consideration to each one. None of them are random and they all mean something to you, so logically, any of them would make a fine choice. So relax.

- What is your top priority? Focus on that. Do you want other people to gush over it? Or do you want to feel like, to you, it's the prettiest name in the world, regardless of what other people think? Do you want it to be masculine, feminine, flowy, sparkly, or strong? Do you want her to have to spell it and say it repeatedly? Does it matter more if the name is very unique, or would you go with a popular name if it felt perfect on your baby? Maybe the most important thing is that it's a family name, or maybe you want it to match a sibling's name.

- What does she look like? When you call her this name, does it feel right? Does it make you happy? Do you love explaining it to other people, and when someone trashes the name does it make you want to defend it, or do you get embarrassed?

- Tell people your options, and mind their reaction. If you tell five people the name and all five of them make a sour face (or verbal disgust for it), you might not want your child to deal with everyone disliking the name, even if Mom and Dad love it. However, if everyone says "What a pretty name!" and you still don't want to use it, go with that gut feeling.

- Consider her future. This is not your name, she will not be you. Without guessing what kind of personality, career, or talents she'll have, think of what you know for sure. 1) In 2016 the top 10 girls names are Emma, Olivia, Sophia, Ava, Isabella, Mia, Abigail, Emily, Charlotte, and Harper, while the rest of the top 1000 has choices that range from dated, ethnic, wildcard and nickname-y. These are the girls she will be in school with, the names of kids in her neighborhood and relatives. 2) Consider what state and city she lives in. A religious community? A hip and understanding community? Maybe there are three Kaylee's on your block alone, and you don't want her to be #4 or Kaylee N. 3) Consider the state of the world. For example, I doubt many people are naming their babies Isis right now, and I don't think Bertha is ready to come back to life just yet (or ever). Certain things are popular right now, too, just like Twilight made a few names super hip. 4) Judging by what you and your partner look like, you'll know if she's likely to be tall, brown-eyed, freckled, and probably what hair color, so what do you think she'll look like when she's your age? Look at a picture of your grandma and see if Granny looks like an Emma or a Raven. Genetics are powerful.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Witchy Baby Girl Names!

Circe Invidiosa by John William Waterhouse
Have a little girl due in October? Looking to name a character? Here's my [seemingly endless] list of witchy-sounding baby names. Most of them also fit in the "clunky but cool" category, or "vintage." Most plants, trees, herbs, spices, flowers, gems, space and nature names fit the bill, because in stories and current practice these things are useful to witches. I've put any actual witch names from legend, myth, literature, movies, etc in bold and up front. I have not considered the names of actual, living people or their Pagan names, and I've left out any characters that only have a surname, or truly ridiculous given names. In the second half you'll see a list of names that, to my knowledge, have not been used for witch characters. Please know that this is not a complete list. Wikipedia has an almost complete list you can view here.
Tabitha, Samantha, Endora, Clara, Serena (Bewitched)
Katrina(Katrina Crane, …


Alifair Hatfield
The baby name Allifair, alternatively spelled Alifair, Alafair, or Alafare, has a very interesting history. This girl's name suddenly popped into existence in the U.S. around the mid 1800's, with no mention why or how.

Some history buffs may be familiar with the Hatfield-McCoy "New Year's Day" Massacre, in which a long-time hatred between families (including Union vs Confederacy differences) finally escalated into an all-out violent battle. Alifair was the name of Randolph McCoy's daughter, born in 1858, who suffered from Polio as a child but remained productive. During an attack on the McCoy home, Alifair was shot and killed. There was later a legal trial for her murder. Ironically, there was an Alifair Hatfield born in 1873 in Kentucky.

So how did she get her name? There are records of others in 1809, 1815, 1819, 1831, 1870, 1883, 1920 and 1923. 1767 or 1787 seems to be the earliest it was recorded. It could come from Alfher/Alvar/Aelfhere…

Names inspired by the Periodic Table of Elements

Either by sound or meaning, here are baby names inspired by the Periodic Table. Not all of the elements can have baby name spin-offs, because they're just too unique. For example, Plutonium. So I will include below the number, element name, and possible baby name. Also, there are 118 total so I will do this in two or three parts.

1 Hydrogen
Hydeira, "woman of the water" in  Greek Hydra - the constellation and mythological creature 2 Helium
Heli, Helia, Helios, "sun" in Greek (Heli is Finnish) 3 Lithium
Lithia/Lithiya, same meaning as lithium, "stone" in Greek By sound - Illythia/Ilithyia, "readycomer" in Greek
There are a wealth of names that mean "stone," including Peter, Petra, Ebenezer, Kamen and Sixten 4 Beryllium
Beryl, the gemstone, or one of the three types of beryl: Morganite (Morgan, Mogana), Heliodor (see #2 above), or Aquamarine
Verulia, an old Prakrit name for beryl
Emerald is green beryl - Emeraude, Esmeralda, Emeran…