Thursday, June 25, 2015

A Rose by Any Other Name...

My co-worker Kathi is having her second baby this fall. She already has a little girl named Brinley. Despite the fact that her last name is several syllables long, as well as hard to spell or pronounce, Kathi insists that she prefers trendy, unusual baby names.  Baby on board #2 is a boy, so naturally I suggested Romeo or Elvis.

We agreed that choosing a name for a future person is an important and often daunting task. It can be hard to please the myriad of relatives who want to offer suggestions. We joked about some of the crazy names that celebrities name their children such as Blue Ivy, North, Apple, and Moses. And don’t forget former boxer George Foreman, who named all five of his sons George. Perhaps he took a couple of blows to the head too many…

I always like to ask people who have unusual first names if there’s a story associated with it. My friend Portia’s Dad was a car nut. She had two other sisters: Mercedes and Lancia, as well as a brother named Dave (I’m not sure why he wasn’t named Lamborghini or Maserati). Another friend, Kai, was named for a family friend who had saved his Dad’s life during the war.

Of course, if you don’t like your name, you can always change it. My brother Gary has a friend who changed his name to Sunshine Megatron. It’s definitely distinctive, but I bet it’s hard to make a dinner reservation without a snicker or two on the other end of the phone. Personally, I’ve always been happy with my first name. It is easy to spell and pronounce. When I was growing up, some of the most popular girls’ names were Lisa, Karen and Linda, but I was usually the only Nancy in my class.

Do you have a distinctive or unusual first name? If so, did you like it growing up? Do you like it now as an adult? What is the story associated with your first name? Have any of you changed your first name? Given your children unusual first names?


  1. Being the product of teenage parents, they didn't dig too deep on choosing a name for their first born. They simply had to choose between the two most popular names in 1962: Kimberly or Todd. Since I was born without a penis, my name is Kimberly. All throughout my school years, there were always at least two or three Kims, Kimmies, or Kimberlys in my class. Sad but true. My kids, however, have much better names with much better stories! Sofia (I was into city, town, country names, but they had to work in both English and Spanish; my baby-daddy hated the idea, so when the birth certificate was signed, I turned to him and said, "Sofia. Capitol of Bulgaria!") and Clio (works in English and Spanish; the muse of History and Poetry, sister to Erato, Calliope, Euterpe, Melpomene, Polyhymnia, Terpsichore, Thalia, and Urania; and always called "Chloe!"; her middle name was going to be Aurelia (mommie's little golden haloed girl), but she was born on my grandmother's birthday, so her middle name is Winnifred!). Too bad I'm too old to have more kids because the next one would have undoubtedly been named something unique like "Bodie Batsrow Freedom" or some such nonsense.

  2. ROFL there was an article I read today about gender neutral names|none|natural|Babble|BabbleJune|FB|babynametrend-Babble|InHouse|2015-06-24|||esocialmedia
    I am Colette my mother saw the name somewhere and she wanted to name me Colette my father wanted to name me Angela. My father left before I was born, but my mother threw it up to the nurses in the delivery room, and I was named Colette by popular vote there. Having a different name when I was a kid kind of sucked. Especially since during my jr high, and high school was when it was popular to have jewelry with your name. Yep never got any until someone custom made something for me. My daughters all have normal names, Kathryn, Samantha, Rebecca. My brother who has the last name Beck and his wife who is Polish and Italian named their first son Pablo after my brother's favorite baseball player.

  3. My mother was a very religious Protestant (but my father was an atheist). She won out with the naming of my family. She wanted me (the firstborn) to be Mary, but didn't like the name Mary... so she took a little liberty and called me Marcia. My three brothers came next -- John, Paul, and Peter. My sister is Teresa. And no, not all of us are saints (but I'm close)! :)

  4. Well, I was born in July and named Hollie. My dad really wanted to name me Cassiopia. Then call me Cassi for short. Thank goodness my Mother said No, so Hollie was another name he liked with the different spelling. It gets old spelling it everytime. But at least I know when junk mail comes. My husband had rules for naming our kids. He has one of the most popular names from the eighties. They were... They had to be between 4 and 6 letters. Not in the top 200 most popular names on the social security lists, had to not be a serial killers name or something associated with something horrible with a google search, the initials had to be run through the same search, we had to sing the Bananan foo fanana song. And yes, our kids have normal, names with normal spellings.