What is in a name? The names we give to our children usually have meaning to us and are chosen with a great deal of thought. Each time I was pregnant I would have a list of girls and boys names that I liked. As the day grew closer, we would sit down and discuss them. My husband would always check to be sure the name did not rhyme with a bad word and I would find myself thinking if I knew anyone by that name that I didn’t like. My only rule was that since I had to actually push them out, I got the final say in what we named them.
Most of my children have family names. Unfortunately they are not all crazy about their names. Loughlin (pronounced Lock-lyn) is constantly being called Laughlin and she is too sweet to correct anyone. My other daughter is named Aidan. Aidan means "child with fiery spirit", which is a perfect name for this spirited, beautiful red head. She hates it because it is one of the most popular boy names. We almost named her Brigid and everyday she reminds me that naming her that would have been a better choice. Moira (pronounced Moy-ra) is named after one of my favorite cousins and Elspeth is named after my aunt from Scotland. While I think their names are beautiful, they are now known to everyone by their nicknames, Mo and Ellie. John Daly is NOT named after the alcoholic golfer but after his dad and an Irish Saint. Finally we get to Finn. I was out of names and knew he was my last so I named him Finn for finished.
I understand wanting to give your child a unique name or a name that means something to you. But sometimes I hear a name and can’t help but think “what were they thinking?” I’m not a huge fan of naming your child after a fruit, like Gwyneth Paltrow did when she named her daughter Apple. I can’t help but think maybe it was the food she craved during her pregnancy. Perhaps right as she pushed the baby out with the final surge of pregnancy hormones coursing through her body, she screamed out “Apple” and it stuck. I craved fried wontons when I was pregnant with Moira, but naming her “Wonton” just didn’t cross my mind. Then you have the stars that go all out naming their children. Names like Pilot Inspektor, Audio Science, and Moxie Crimefighter. What on earth is going through your mind when you name your child Moxie Crimefighter? How comfortable is that child going to be when someone yells their name across a high school gym? There are two sisters whose names are Daisy Boo and Poppy Honey. I am laughing just thinking about the conversations my girls would have behind my back if I named them Daisy Boo and Poppy Honey. Maybe next time Aidan complains about her name I should suggest one of those names.
What really got me thinking about the things we name our children was a story I read about a man in Egypt who named his baby girl “Facebook”. I just sat there and shook my head. Are we so short on unique names that we have to name them after the newest technology? Let’s hope that does not become a trend. Think about what the newest, latest and greatest invention was when you were born. What if your parents named you after that? How many of us would be walking around with names like “Microwave Oven”, “VCR” and “Floppy Disk?” How many new babies are going to get names like “iPod Nano”, “Blackberry”, and “Hummer?”
Then there is the couple who auctioned off the right to name their baby on Craigslist. Can you imagine trying to explain to your child the reason they are named “Roto-rooter”? “Well honey, that was the name that the highest bidder chose for you.”
Here we are as parents faced with the challenge of naming our children something that we like, something that they won’t get made fun of for or hate us for when they grow up. Is the little boy named Pilot Inspektor going to thank his parents for his creative name when he grows up or wish that they had just gone with one of the top ten most popular boy names like Jacob? Maybe we should take some of the pressure off of ourselves and just call our children baby (or baby #1, 2, 3, etc.) until they are old enough to pick their own names. That idea is kind of appealing. I think as of today I would like to be named after one of my favorite things…ice cream. Starting today I am going to tell my kids that my new name is going to be Cherry Garcia Newsome.