Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Discarded

I've been meaning to do a post about baby names, and then I saw this post by Kgirl. She made a very good point that a name you dismissed while the baby was still in the making, may just turn out to be the name that you finally chose. Wise words, Master. However, baby names are such a hot topic in our household that I can't resist. It's hanging over my head like this BIG TASK THAT MUST BE DONE, and it follows me wherever I go. I can't shake it. Every day it's "We don't have a name yet!", "We really should find a name", "Why the hell can we not agree on one single name?" I have a million other things to do before the baby comes, but this is the one that I obsess on.

Like Kgirl, I believe that naming a child is serious business. It's a duty given to you in trust for another human being. One who trusts you to give them a name that doesn't suck. And, it's the one thing that you can't change. I can repaint the walls. I can return the bed. Changing a name is a Big Deal, though, and not something I would do to a little kid. How confusing is that?

The problem at Casa Earth stems from the fact that despite my current feelings to the contrary, it's more than likely that we are going to have another boy. It took us 9 long months to agree on a name for the Boy, and we think it's perfect. There is no other male name that we can agree on. (If we did have a girl, though, we have several nice names from which to choose - but that's a whole other disagreement). We can agree on the type of name we want, though: well-known but rarely used, easy to say, easy to spell, and reflecting our English, Irish or Scottish heritage. Mr Earth doesn't want a name that can be easily made fun of by other kids, and I think you can make fun of any name if you put your mind to it. Neither of us want a made-up or "kreative" name, but we disagree dramatically on which names are made-up.

So here are some names which have been brought up, and discarded. Or downright vetoed. Maybe one of them is "The One", who knows:

NIGEL
She Said: I love this name and have for a long time. I don't know any little boy with this name, and yet the name is still widely known. I think it's an incredibly English name - in fact, I believe this to be a popular name in England. I also like how different it is from the Boy's name
He Said: This name does not reflect our English heritage.

QUINN
She Said: It's a bit nerdy, but I really like it. Also, my maiden name started with a Q, and I like the fact that his initials would be a combination of my and Mr Earth's family names.
He Said: All I can think of is the song "The Mighty Quinn".

FRASER
She Said: I'm not usually fond of last names as given names, but I like this one. It sounds fresh and breezy. It could be cool or nerdy, and it's different.
He Said: People will constantly confuse it with the name Frasier.

CLARENCE
She Said: Over my dead body will any child of mine be called Clarence. Yuck!
He Said: I think it's a great name! I don't know anyone called Clarence.
She Said: There's a reason for that.

AIDAN
She Said: A little too popular for my taste, but I still really like it.
He Said: All I can think of is the phrase "aidin' and abettin'"


Some names that we could agree on, if not for...


CLIVE
Love this name. Love. Love. LOVE!! And have you seen Clive Owen lately??....mm, yummy! Unfortunately this is the name of a VERY close relative, and I am superstitious about naming kids after living relatives. And, it would be kind of confusing.

DYLAN
We both love this name, but it's far too popular. We also hate the fact that it's now being used equally for boys and girls. Not fond of androgynous names.

LIAM
The name of one of Mr Earth's very good friends. Despite being good friends, neither of us really want to name our child after him. Plus, it's just kind of weird. I also think it's too popular a name.


So..the ticker is counting down the days, and we're still in name limbo. I'm hoping inspiration hits in the delivery room, or we're pretty much screwed. And I'm not the type of person to leave things till the last minute, so I just keep obsessing away. What do you think - is "the One" in the list above??

Or, is anyone out there psychic and willing to predict that we're having a girl?? That would make the whole name thing a darn sight easier.

28 comments:

Mimi said...

Ooooh. That's tough.

How about Graham or Graeme for a boy? It's hard to find a well-known but not too well known, easy to spell and to pronounce name. That would be ideal.

We didn't manage it ...

POOF! It's a girl! ;-)

Mad Hatter said...

I'm making plans for Nigel. I think it a right proper British name.

Last night as I was struggling with jet-lag insomnia and a head-cold squirming toddler in my bed, I thought of the name "Jude" and thought it might just be worth getting pregnant again so that I could name a boy "Jude".

Suz said...

I love the name Nigel. In fact, if I read this post 18 months ago, we might have had a Nigel.

It's crazy how much easier girl's names are (or I think they are).

kgirl said...

Friends of ours just had their second son - Logan. It's cute. He's Ethan's little brother, which is also great but SO popular.

Personally, I love Quinn. And Quinn the Eskimo is a great song, but considering it was written by Dylan and covered by groups like the Grateful Dead, it is doubtful that kids growing up in the 21st century will have any reference for it at all.

Finn is also a good one.

Kyla said...

Have you played around with Nymbler? Does it give you anything usable? We had enough male names to have a small sports team, but girls names were awful. KayTar was barely named at all.

painted maypole said...

Colin? Although a bit on the popular side. James is a nice name, but I'm personally not a fan of the nickname Jim. Clark?

We couldn't pick a boys name, either. ;)

bubandpie said...

Painted Maypole has GREAT taste in names, don't you think? ;p

I think one can set aside cultural references (like Frasier or The Mighty Quinn) that are already a bit outdated - nobody in our children's generation is going to know or care about those things.

Nigel is a very English name. I actually scanned the comments to see if Mr. Earth had showed up yet to deny having said such a thing.

Why do you think it's a boy? Unless you've got an ultrasound saying so, it's 50/50 unless you've already had two boys (then the odds tilt a bit).

Mr. Earth said...

I refuse to be misquoted:

So...

Nigel is VERY english, but so much so that it has passed into the "English Twit" category

Quinn: Come all without, come all within, you ain't seen nothing like...

Fraser: "Uh, you mean Frasier? Like Frasier Crane?" Nope, don't want to have that conversation 400,000 times...

Aiden: Who would want to name their child after a crime?

Clarence is cool!

And in case anyone is wondering, we're not having a girl as I only have male sperm....

motherbumper said...

We had to discard some really great names because of relatives and people we knew with those names - grrrrrrr

Thankfully they were all boys names and well... we hadda girl!

ewe are here said...

I really like Aidan, always have. And Quinn is nice, too.

And you're right about Liam being too popular. Dime a dozen over here... And so are Finn, Findlay, and Cameron ... although I really like these names.

Bon said...

i like your taste. my favourite is Clive, though i see your point about the near relative...that would probably be a pain the ass on some front or other. i myself can't use it because Bonnie & Clive sounds too much like Bonnie & Clyde...

i also love Quinn, though (no surprise) i love Finn more. less androgynous as well...but yep, popular in England. i don't think it'll ever go the route that Aidan, Dylan, and Liam have here, though.

and Nigel i like, but Mr. Earth has a point about the English twit bit. though apparently it's out of style over there, sez my Baby Name Wizard.

i give the Wizard's lists to match your discards...

with Nigel and Clive, she suggests Terence, Rupert, Piers, Crispin, Hugh, Graeme, Niles and St.John. i really love Hugh, personally, and Rupert is way funky. is Niles too Frasier? what about Neal?

with Liam...Gavin, Riley, Carson and Conor (probably all too popular for you...?)

with Quinn...Reece, Griffin, Brice, Reid and Donovan

with Aidan...Liam, Gavin, Connor, Dylan, Riley (clearly Aidan, Dylan, and Liam run in the same circles)

with Clarence...Ernest, Clifford, Francis, Gilbert and Rudolph. personally, i kinda like Gilbert but living in PEI it's another no-go.

Fraser's not listed.

i also think Ronan might work for you, or Duncan. so my votes go to Hugh, Griffin, Ronan, Duncan, Finn, or maybe Clive if you decide the relative doesn't matter. :) is Alasdair too different?

dying to know the girls' names now. :)

Beck said...

I know a Nigel. He is possibly the baddest kid in the world (while still being kind of a sweetheart).
Clarence is a family named that is mysteriously unused at the moment.
How about Jasper? I do like that name. He sounds smart but sturdy and sweet.

cinnamon gurl said...

Clive! I note for Clive. Quinn is nice too.

How about Griffin?

Finley was one of our top names (discarded for now), but I know it's pretty popular. It means sunbeam though. How adorable is that?

And I have to agree with Mr. Earth on Nigel -- all I can think of is Nigel Lythgoe from SYTYCD and his grimace/smile.

And disagree with him about Clarence. Not good in my opinion...

Ooh I like Beck's suggestion of Jasper. And Bon's Rupert.

Do keep us posted please!

b*babbler said...

Ooh... I love Quinn. This was high on our shortlist if we were having a boy. We also liked Aidan but found it too popular and one of my husband's best friends had just chosen it for his son.

Like Kgirl, I loved the name Finn, but my husband kept ixnaying it, saying it reminded him of Casey and Finnegan. Sigh... So short-sighted!

All wonderful names though... Good luck agreeing!

NotSoSage said...

'kay, so much to say.

Out of four boys born to our childbirthing class, three were Finn or Finlay. And we had thought of it, too (phewf). 'Nuff said.

I like Quinn, and I think kgirl's right...no one Quinn's age is going to know that song. Seriously.

I love J names like Jasper, Julian, Jakob and Judah, but Joe and I are both J's, so that would just be silly.

You've got your work cut out for you. I've got my finger's crossed that maybe one of mr earth's female sperm made it through! (Assuming, of course, that you have the perfect girl name picked out.)

Gabriella said...

I like Aidan a lot. And someone mentioned the name Ronan. I like that too, could be because I had a crush on a boy with that name in high school. My #1 name for a boy though in our house is Tristan, although I wonder if he'd get made fun of???

Christine said...

naming is hard. i wish i had a suggestion or two.

and i think aiden is cute!

Vanda said...

Greeting from across the pond.

How about Ian, short, can't be shortened or made longer. Although kidlets have the magical power of changing all names.

I have a nephew called Ian, you could always pronouce it I an, but I think that's pretty silly:-)

One of my great nephews is called Harry.

Lisa b said...

I agree Nigel is very British. Not "british twit" though mr earth.

I had a lot of the same requirements as you. Of course I had only one girl name picked out so the first one got katherine. Shortly after she was born I realised Julia might also work and so I was never down to the wire like you working on names. I just never came up with any other names that would work with "Leung". I cannot have any more girls because I am out of names.

Clarence is a favourite with the Hong Kong crowd and for that reason I could just never take it seriously. Not for my chinese kid anyway. For girls names they like names such as Crystal, Candy and Helen.

Its a real 'lost in translation' problem. Chinese names are chosen based on their meaning so there are no real names per say. When choosing English names it seems the thing is to pick classic geeky names like Lawrence or Norman.

Emily said...

Whew. Are you cross eyed, yet? That's a lot of suggestions. And here's a few more:

1. Kids (except for your own) are barbaric and will make fun of anything...As nothing rhymes with emily, I was assigned "Emily George" as my nickname in 1st grade.

2.My hub and I sit on opposite poles when it comes to boy names. Thank goodness we had 3 girls. I really like the name True for a boy's middle name and Joel was our favorite (and only) agreed upon first name.

3. Easy to spell is key for the first...what...10 years? They'll get the hang of it, or just refer to themselves as B.C. Motherearth. (My 9 y.o. has 20 letters in her name, only 4 of which come from our last name. She struggles to remember where all those blasted letters go, and often opts to abbreviate the middle.)

4. My 3rd and final child was born, left the hospital, and home with us for 1 week (which is the absolute max time the hospital afforded us) before we finally took a vote over dinner and named her.

I fretted so much over naming my 1.5 year old that it kind of sucked the fun out of it. Enjoy the moniker assigning process. You will find the one that is just right.

bren j. said...

Funny. For us, a boy's name was a given. Alas when we found out we were having a girl, the name game headed south.

On the way to the delivery room I very distinctly remember asking if we were settled on the girl's name:
"So, we're agreed on the name right?"

"Yup."

"And what was that again?"

I just wanted to see if the Husband could remember, which he did until he called his parents and blanked on her middle names. Mind you, he also somehow told them she was three feet tall!

At any rate, it's been almost three months and we like her name but it still feels weird that there's this HUMAN BEING in our house that we NAMED! Good luck!

heather said...

I loved the name Nathan but alas, my husband is a teacher and well... let's just say that he had an unforgettable student with that name.

petite gourmand said...

I love all of the names.
especially Fraser and Clive.
but they are all fantastic.
good luck with it!

kate said...

Hmm, I don't think I've ever commented here before (found you recently via your comments on another blog) but we are currently looking for names for number 3, so the subject resonates. Of the suggestions, I like Nigel and I really like Ronan. We need a Spanish name so we can't use those. Good luck!

kittenpie said...

I found the name thing very hard, too, because I also think it's Very Important Business. It took ages.

A note, though - we ended up naming Pumpkinpie a name that was already the name of a friend of ours. Not named AFTER her, but we did ask if it was okay and by the way, did she like her name? So Liam might not be a problem if you love it. Your child will own it after a few months.

crazymumma said...

They are all good. All beautiful.

You will make the perfect choice.

I love:
Shane, Kyle, Nye, Mark, John, Clay....

and in case its a 'goil':

Ophelia and Tallulah. Nearly makes me want to get pregnant agin....

Susanne said...

Sometimes I think having girls must be easier. We would have had two or three girl names at the ready but naming a boy gave us a headache. (We then found two that we liked and used both. One unusual which is his name and one that is quite common which he could use if he wanted to blend in.)

I like Nigel too.

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