Note on Naming Other Human Beings

I am somewhat in awe of the fact that I have the power and the responsibility to choose another person’s name. It seems like it could have such an important impact on his or her life, that it could set the tone for much of their existence from the first impressions that people who have of them to whether they “match up” with their name in some way once they have lived with it for a while. And, as a language nerd, I hope that the name sounds good, flows well, and has some sort of personal significance.

Micah and I have a short list of names that we are considering for this little girl and as we get closer to the day when we will actually meet her, it makes me a little bit nervous to think that we may have missed something in our careful combing of the thousands of possibilities: not only that we may have missed a name that would be great, but that we may have missed something that should have killed one of the names we’re considering ages ago. I just hope that once we meet her and get a chance to match the name with the face, it’ll feel as right as it did when we named the boys.

Have you had a hard time naming your kids? Do you wait until they are born to announce, or do you, like us, feel that the baby comes first and the name after?

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4 Comments

  1. We have a list of scientific names and such that can have normal nicknames, e.g. Ester= Esther, Benzaldehyde= Ben, etc. I don’t think we have the guts to actually use them, but we’ve never been tested.

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    lizzie Reply:

    Hahaha! I love that idea. I think many people, knowing you, might think that Benzaldehyde were Biblical rather than scientific.

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  2. We name our children early, as soon as we find out boy or girl, and refer to them by name from then on.

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    lizzie Reply:

    This makes sense to me, but I have never been able to commit to it, especially since we don’t even start discussing names until after the baby is born. But I do frequently “test” the names in my head throughout my pregnancy to see if I could get used to calling my child that name.

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  3. We have a boy and girl name picked out by the time we go to the ultrasound. Once we know if we’re having a boy or a girl, then we narrow down the middle name. We have enjoyed talking and referring to them by their name from then on. It made them seem even more dimensional and real and was a nice help in bonding. Maybe we are just lucky, but their name has always fit well with the face and grown well with them as well. We actually make a point to not use family names, but rather choose names we love and that have a bit of meaning to us. The exception was baby #3. We thought our second girl would be Eden, but early in my pregnancy I kept picturing a lite girl named Hazel. She was so sweet (this was really early on before we even knew the baby was a girl) When we found out it was a girl, we felt like she was just meant to be Hazel. And she is perfectly Hazel 😉 Perhaps one day we will have our Eden, but I am overjoyed we have our Sawyer, Aspen, and Hazel ;). We will look foremeatd to hearing what you decide to name your little girl!

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    lizzie Reply:

    I find it amazing that you are able to settle – and agree – on two names you like before you even know if it’s a boy or girl! Micah won’t even discuss names until after we know because it makes our job twice as easy.

    And I love the story about Hazel’s name. I think she will be happy to hear it as well when she’s old enough to understand.

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  4. We’re like you, we don’t settle on a name until after baby is born, but have a list of about 5 names. By the time we’re going to the hospital, we usually have a good feeling about which name, but it’s not official until we see the kid and both agree it fits.

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    lizzie Reply:

    I’m glad to hear we have the same strategy. It definitely made a difference for me when we were naming Squish. I just couldn’t commit to it until I saw him.

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