July 12th 2012
archived under: Uncategorized

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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chrissie (3 comments)

We could not agree on a first name for our son… then finally.. we both liked Max. So that was it! we threw on an extra ‘x’ for individuality.. then to decide a middle name…. I come from a different country than my hubby.. and we always use a middle name of significance.. his family only uses random middle names. I decided not to name him after someone..cuz I didn’t think it was fair, so I picked a middle name with meaning..that went with Maxx. so I found Davin (loved one) Maxx Davin is his name :):)

Kim (2 comments)

My husband & I wanted a son so badly when we first got pregnant — and we just KNEW that it would be a junior. It was what we both wanted, even though Jr’s are less and less common now. We wanted a boy so much so, that we went to the hospital NOT knowing the sex — but hoping for a boy and NOT having a girl name! We got our boy and he was our junior. This time, we have come up with both a girl and a boy name — and both first names are just names we “like.” I believe both middle names will have more significance (family members who’ve passed away), but the first names will remain just names we chose because we “like them.”

Susan (7 comments)

I wanted names that were unique and different for my girls. I also wanted something that would represent their irish heritage, but with my husband’s last name being very Polish, they needed to sound right. Once we fell upon Kennadie that was it! We decided on her middle name as a combincation of my grandmother’s and favorite Aunt;s names- both who had passed before Kennadie was even born. We combined Kay (actually much longer and Polish, but I can’t even sound it out right, and she went by Kay anyway) and Helen- and came up with Kaelyn- so our first was Kennadie Kaelyn. Our second was a little harder- it needed to sound right with her sister- you can’t have a Kennadie and then go with a Mary- I don’t think it flows with the family. I saw a mother post her daughter’s name in a forum, and did research on it and loved it- Ansleigh- irish/scot meanind meadow. Her middle name is actually after what my mom wanted to name me when I was born, but my dad’s family name won out. Ansleigh Paige. Both girls have different unique names, that I think are still delicate for little ladies. My only regret is that Ansleigh gets called Ashley a lot, I think people’s eyes play tricks on them when they read it quickly.

Sarah Walker (4 comments)

My kids’ first names are names that we agreed on (which was very hard because my husband is very picky) Their middle names are after family members. Kennady Nichole is after my little sister, Nichole. Coby Joseph is after my husband, who’s first name is Joseph. Maddox Craig is after my dad, Craig. We are going to use family names as middle names – which I like. I always love hearing how people chose their kids’ names.

Jackie (6 comments)

With a last name like Smith I knew I wanted a “different” but not crazy, weird name. I saw the name Leilani on the side of a florist truck while we were living in Hawaii and filed it away as a different yet pretty girl’s name. I’m surprised Scott agreed on the name because he’s kind of picky. We settled on Leilani Grace just because the names sounded nice together…and anything goes with Smith!
As for future children, I want to use a family name for a middle name as long as it fits with the first name we choose. Boy names are few and far between for us though, so that’s going to be a tough decision.

Brenda (1 comments)

I have three girls and their first names were picked because we “just liked them.” We picked their middle names after three amazing and wonderful women, my grandmother, my husbands aunt and my husbands cousin. They are all women who sadly died before our child was born but we greatly admired and hope our girls would be a little like them. I have a Grace Alice, Addison Mary Martha and a Reagan Janine. They love hearing stories about their “namesakes” and we love sharing them, it keeps these great women alive in our memories.

Regan (4 comments)

We pick first names based on what we like best and middle names to honor a family member. I probably read Griffin in a baby names book I was given when I found out I was expecting. I love that name or “I just like it.” It’s also not very common, but not uncommon either. Griffin’s middle name is Joel, after my husband’s father. It flows well with Griffin, and we have a great relationship with him and overall he’s just one of those good, hardworking men that you look up to. Griffin loves it because he loves his grandpa. It makes him proud. Now, for my next little guy, we chose Beckett June. I just like the name Beckett. When my husband and I found out Beckett means beehive, we had to have it. We’re both from Utah, the beehive state and our nursery is already decorated with bees. I like that it’s mostly a last name, so it’s not uncommon but not commonly used as a first name. I was going to go with Lloyd as the middle, as that is my father’s name, but we ended up going with June, as that was my great grandfather’s name and he played an important role in my life. I feel bad that Beckett won’t know his namesake, but it’s a middle name that has been used among other family members, so he joins the “club.” And I’ll always talk about my grandpa June to my children. I love the name Annaliese. I knew an Annalisa in elementary school but that’s it. I think Joey’s name is fantastic also. We really liked the name Joey for a first name but ultimately decided that it would be too close sounding to Joel and while I love my FIL, I don’t worship him! (:

Edie (22 comments)

My son’s name is Elliot James just because we liked it! Before becoming pregnant I loved the name Elijah with the nickname of Eli, but that was fast becoming one of the popular names which I wanted to lean away from. While not named after them, Elliott was the name of the little boy who befriended and cared for E.T. from the 80′s movie, and James is the name of Harry Potter’s father. So the fact that my son’s name reminds me of two characters that I love is just a plus!
My daughter’s name is Sylvie Caroline. I looked at list after list of names from the 1800′s and 1900′s and wrote down any that I liked. Then I would present them to my husband for his opinion. One was Sylvia w/ the nickname of Sylvie. He didn’t like Sylvia because it sounded a little matronly, but as soon as he said Sylvie paired with our last name – decision made just like that! It took us a bit longer to decide on the middle name, but we both fell in love with Caroline. And it’s the name of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s mother, which was another beloved character!
We already have some names waiting in the wings just in case we have another baby a few years from now.

Crissyk (3 comments)

I also had to do a lot of compromising with my husband. He is south asian and wanted a traditional hindu name for our baby. He comes from a long line of males with the middle name Ram. We made a list of names before my son arrived and decided we both loved the name Arjun. And I love the name Rohan. So we named him Arjun Rohan

Chani-Claire (25 comments)

My sons name is based on a lot of compromising with my husband. I liked the name Zeki (rhymes with Becky) but he felt it was more of a nickname and I wasn’t sure of the background on it so we went with Ezekiel with Zeki as a nickname. Then my husband thought Ezekiel should be his middle name so we named him Nicholas Ezekiel. But everyone calls him Zeki. It turns out Zeki is Turkish and means intelligent or bright, not bad right?

Linda Sand (22 comments)

My husband’s great-grandmother was named Petrina and I though that was beautiful. But, the logical modern nick-name for that would be Patty and that’s his sister’s name. I though that would be too confusing. So, I made up the name Katrina. Then that year’s Miss America was named Katrina. So much for originality.

Our newest great-nephew is named Maxwell Ulysses. Maxwell for both a physicist and the hero of Where the Wild Things Are and Ulysses for Homer’s hero. I think that’s a LOT to live up to.

Mommy (106 comments)

Your sister Julie-Ann was named for my paternal grandmother Julia, and my mother Anna, but honestly? I had worked with a girl named Julie-Anne and loved having the excuse to use it. Jessica was named after the Allman Brothers song… It was just such a nice name and good music. Emily was the first TV character (on The Bob Newhart Show) who embodied what I thought women should be. Independent, pretty, sarcastic, funny, sassy… Unlike the TV mothers of the 50s and 60s. By then the die had been cast. These were all Regency names…and Caroline was another one. In addition, I wanted names without nicknames so if any of you became lawyers or doctors or senators, it would not sound silly. (Bambi Nelson wasn’t going to do it).

Carrie (3 comments)

Our little girl’s name is Evelyn Joy and, like you, we just liked it. We wanted something a little old fashioned that most people have heard before, but not so popular that there will be 5 other Evelyns in her class at school (hopefully!) Her middle name is after my mother, Joy. It’s funny, many people ask us if it’s a family name, but no, we just liked it :)

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