Choosing Baby Names
How did you name your children? (Mother, I’m asking for your stories too!)
Sometimes it feels like saying (to other people) “I just liked it” isn’t enough of a “story.”
Anneliese’s name is like that. She’s Anneliese Claire. I just liked it. That’s the short story.
The long story is: One of my ESOL kids was named Anneliese, and I just loved her name. (And she was a very sweet girl.) I didn’t want to name my daughter one of the Top 20 baby girl names (*cough* like Emily *cough*) because I’ve “been there,” and while I think my name is very pretty, I have thought many times about going by my middle name instead (Brooke) because it’s less common. I also didn’t want to name my daughter something so far out there that no one had ever heard of it before. As for Claire, it’s a beautiful name that goes well with her first and last names.
Joey’s name is more “significant,” and if it weren’t so cool, I would almost feel bad for him that he’s saddled with such an “important” name. My husband’s first name is Francis (he goes by his middle name). He’s the 9th Francis Chapelle in a row in his family. They all have different middle names. We decided to follow the tradition but wanted to call our son by his middle name too. After a lot of thought, we settled on Joseph. We like the nicknames Joe and Joey too. And it seems to fit him wonderfully. But – get this – Francis and Joseph are both family names all over both of our family trees.
- Francis is after our son’s dad, granddad, etc.
- Joseph was also my husband’s maternal grandfather’s name.
- Francis Joseph was my maternal grandfather’s name.
- Joseph was my dad’s maternal grandfather’s name.
So cool, right?
So between “We just liked it” and “It’s a family name, through 10 generations and across the 4 branches of our family tree,” which is “better”? Does one seem too careless and the other too riddled with responsibility? Or are they both absolutely valid ways to name children?
Since those are my kids’ name stories, I obviously think they’re both valid ways to do it. But what do you think?
How did you name your children? Where does your name come from?
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