Thursday, August 18, 2005

What's in a Name?

Lately I have been thinking a great deal about baby names. Just to clarify your first thought...No, I'm not pregnant! Nor do I intend to become pregnant in the near future. But yet I am plagued by constant thoughts of what I would name my sons and/or daughters.

I am really conscious about the image that a name portrays, perhaps because of my own name - Myrna! I mean, who names their baby Myrna? I've often asked my mother this question. She says that she had originally liked Christina and Kimberly. My father didn't like those so 'Myrna' it was. Go figure! My brother and sister both have normal, semi-popular names - Tracey and Darren. Why am I forced to carry on the family tradition of unusual monikers? You may think that I'm exaggerating on this topic. I most certainly am not. To prove it, here is a list of some of the "first" names in my families (on both my moms and dads side...there was little hope for me!):

My mom: Ina
Her side of the family
My grandmother: Hilda
My grandfather: Dorman
Aunts and Uncles include:
Eunice
Rowella
Pansy

My dad: Sterling
His side of the family:
My grandmother: Dorcas
My grandfather: Garland
Aunts and Uncles include:
Trephina
Henley
Beulah
Una

There's more in my extended family...Drucilla, Esau, Cavelle, etc...

Now do you understand why I am slightly traumatized?

I read a baby name book once that gave a description of what a person is most likely to think of when they first hear a name. According to this book, the name Myrna will make one think of a little old gray-haired lady sitting in her rocking chair and knitting. So now, at work when I'm on the phone, I always think that the person on other end of the line is imagining me this way. You know how we never "picture" someone the way they actually are? I fear that I may be the extreme of this case.

Also, we all know how just the mention of "that certain name" can conjure up dreadful childhood memories. I swear I will never have a child named Morgan or Kayla - perfectly wonderful names, both of which make my mind recall at least one particular distressing association.

So back to my original dilemma - what to name MY children?

Girl names, I am fairly confident about these. I love Sarah, always have, and I fully intend to use it. I also really like Olivia, Bethany, and Charlotte. Kinda normal, right?

Boys names I am struggling with. I fear that all the names that catch my attention are crazy! Thus continuing the trend of my outrageous family "handles" which in turn translate into constant misspelling in classrooms and mail-listings for my future generation. I love both Seth and Caleb but Jamie hates both. I like Nathan (normal but not too popular) but my friend Jennifer had that name picked out for if she and Chris ever have a son. (There may be hope with Nathan - Jen has since given me her blessing because the name has already been used in her family). Otherwise, Jamie and I both kinda like "Makai" (pronounce that if you can!). All the normal ones seem just that - too NORMAL....Alex, Aaron, Matthew, James, I like all of them but I'm not sure I can bring myself to use them.

I suppose I may really be overanalyzing this whole "name game" thing. But essentially I feel that the title I invoke upon my children is important in determining how they will be addressed, not only in a literal way but also in a "lasting first impressions" kind of way.

So, how do you like your name? How did you/will you choose your kids names?

Another thing I've realized while typing this. My name is rather weird but I don't think I would be well suited to a normal name. I've grown to rather like "Myrna".

2 comments:

dafrhug said...

I KNOW how you feel! I mean, come on, how many Daphne's do you know? And how many nicknames have I had (please don't make a list)? Every other Daphne I have ever met has been OLD. Fun hey?

So how did I choose my children's names........well:

Joshua Isaac -> Joshua was agreed upon between Colin and I while looking through a baby book and I have always liked the name. I didn't know one Joshua when I named him this. Since then we have been invaded by Joshua's. Isaac comes from my dad's side of the family, it was my Great Grandfather's first name and my father's second.

Caitlynn Jessie Mildred -> Poor girl! Caitlynn was picked out of a baby book as well when we were pregnant with Joshua. We both really liked it and decided to use it on the second. (Good thing she was a girl cause we had NO boy names picked out, we couldn't agree). And Jessie and Mildred as you know is my both my grandmother's name. Since they both passed away recently I couldn't chose just one so I used both. Poor Girl.

tara said...

Okay, I will admit it...my mom (& dad - not likely) got my name from The Young and the Restless (oohh...how embarassing). Guess my mom watched too many soaps when she was pregnant!

Noah William - but Lucas was supposed to be his name. My ENTIRE we called our unborn baby Lucas (for a boy)until 9 days before I delivered when we saw a sign for "NOAH'S PARK" (no kidding). That made me oohh and ahhh. When birth finally happened and they took Noah from me without me seeing him. I 'ummmed' and 'ahhhhed' over Lucas or Noah. We said we'd wait to see him to see what he looked like (and he ended up looking like a Lucas). So how come Noah? I still really liked Noah so we flipped a loonie (which will have kept for Noah when he is grown) and it was "HEADS FOR NOAH" (guess which side we flipped!!) Willian was a given middle name as all the FIRST BORN boys in the Stahlbaum family (for MANY generations) had the middle name William (easy one there).

We didn't really know with Joshua, other than Lucas was going to be part of his name. With the circumstances we had, we definitely needed a biblical name -so Joshua Lucas it was!

I have to say...I like unique names (although taking a while to warm up to...I do prefer different, biblical and out-of-the-box type names). It is scary to think that these are the names that will remain with children their entire lives...and also think that EVERY child at some point in their life wants a name that is not theirs, I know I did!