Fate tried to conceal him by naming him Smith.
~Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
Naming your child is one of the hardest parts of parenting, and you’ll know right out of the gate whether or not parenting will be your “thing.” Well, everyone else will. You’ll be clueless until your baby’s old enough to get beat up on the playground every day.
When considering baby names, you have to rule out names that rhyme with things (like body parts and bodily functions and your last name), names that can be shortened to things that rhyme with body parts and bodily functions, names that remind you of people you don’t like, names that remind your OTHER of people he doesn’t like, and names that neither of you like “just because.”
After all that, you can bring in the extras like whether you want your child’s name to begin with the same letter as your last name, if you want the first initials of your children’s names to spell out your name, whether you want to keep your family’s names all within one nationality. You need to agree whether you want your children to have original names or if you want them to have names that have been passed through your family for generations. You have to decide whether your unborn child will be bothered with being Michael #3 in his class, or your daughter will be frustrated being Emily #4 at camp.
Then, you also have to consider whether that name will work for cheerleaders, lawyers, editors and old ladies in nursing homes. They’ll have that name their whole lives (unless you really screw up and they change it and go into some kind of protection program) so it has to fit everything, and since you don’t know what kind of personality your child will have it will have to fit all of those too.
I wanted my kids to have uncommon names. I didn’t want them being Bob Smith all the time because there were 8 other Bobs in their classes, but I didn’t want them to have names no one could spell or pronounce or that were too far “out there.” I wanted original, but not crazy.
I started my family with my son Cade. I thought I made it up but as he got older I was told that it’s a very popular name out west. Who knew. Ten years later more people in our area started naming their children Cade and Caden. That was okay, he wasn’t in their groups.
Son number two is Kegan. Pronounced KEEgan, it wasn’t common, it was original, but not weird (and it’s Irish). In our area there was another child about the same age who spelled it Keegan. The only problem we ran into was one year in school the yearbook printer apparently had never heard the name Kegan and next to his smiling face they’d printed his name as “Megan”. He was so embarrassed.
Daughter #1 is Caitria. That’s Irish for Catherine. One, it’s not weird, it’s not common, and it isn’t Caitlyn. Caitlyns ran amok here. There are tons of them with all kinds of spellings. So, she’s got the same name, only not so much. It’s pronounced KAY-TREE-ah. I’ve run into a few women who insist on calling her ka-TREE-ah. I don’t get it.
Next came son Corbin and daughters Kaia (rhymes with papaya) and Charity. When I had Charity it was a rough time and I named her that for a reason. However, I felt bad that she was the only child without the K sound at the beginning of her name. My babies reminded me of the Pacman ghosts: Inky, Pinky, Blinky and CLYDE. Poor Charity.
Fortunately, a year later her little sister made an appearance. I could give her a CH name and poor Charity wouldn’t be an oddball. (Well, she’s an oddball, but her name wouldn’t stand out so much.) [Hi Charity, I love you!] So, I scoured the internet, checked into all kinds of names from different nationalities, different mythologies, place names and everything else I could think of. Could I find a CH name? No. Could I find another K sound name? No. It couldn’t be THIS hard.
Finally I decided I liked Chayton. It’s a male Native American name, however, like Leslie and Ashley I decided it would work for a boy or a girl. Unfortunately, by the time she made her appearance I couldn’t remember her name to save my life and kept calling her “Chutney”. (So NOT what I was going for.) I managed to wrap my mind around Chayton, and got it straight in my head only to bring her home to her siblings to discover they couldn’t pronounce Chayton.
Welcome home, baby Satan!
Kids -1, Mom – 0
Six years later when baby #8 came along it was easy.
“Screw it. Her name is Abigail.”