Thursday, October 8, 2009

What's in a name?

Naming our boys was a very difficult task for us.  In fact, we easily chose 2 girls' names when we discovered we were expecting twins, but couldn't find even one boy's name that we liked.  I joked (but suspected) that we'd have boys because we couldn't think of a single name, so we tabled the discussion and 'named' them Righty and Lefty.  Sure enough, at our 20 week ultrasound, we learned that we were carrying two boys!  That was in February.  We spent the next three months thinking, talking, and praying about their names.  It's a big deal, and difficult when you, meaning me, have a long list of names you WON'T name your children: a) no ex-boyfriends b)no irritating students c)no first names already in the families d)nothing trendy.  We sat on the couch one night and flipped through a baby names book, each of us making a list of names that we liked.  When we were finished, we compared our lists and kept the names that we'd both noted.  There were about 6 names we'd both written down that met the above criteria.  Then we checked our names on the Social Security website, to see how popular the names were for babies last year.  Nathan's name came in at #66.  We decided that there probably won't be as many Nathans in his life to share his name as Matthew might have (his was #6), so that was another plus.  And we just liked the sound of it.  Oh, and it had to be Biblical, too.  See how hard we made it?

The middle name was easy: we'd already decided to use great-grandfathers' names for both boys.  We couldn't very well name one of them after Steve and the other after me!  So Nathan got John, his paternal great-grandfather's name, simply because we didn't want to give Matthew half of the Gospels!

After we'd chosen the names, I discovered that Nathan is VERY popular!  In my MVMOM's subgroup, Moms and Muffins, consisting of JUST the pregnant women and moms with babies under age 1, there are THREE other Nathans that I know of!  And a dear old friend with whom I've made contact again has a two-year old Nathan as well.  Wow! 

Today is the day I just couldn't believe my eyes, though.  On the Today Show, they featured a couple who gave birth to identical triplet boys on Sept. 30.  They were making a big deal about it because it was the couple's third anniversary, 3 boys, on the 30th, and the odds of having identical triplets are about one in two million (not three?). I was amazed for a different reason: the boys are named MATTHEW, NATHAN, and Michael!  Wonder how long it took them to come up with those names?

And what about Matthew Wilfred?  Since we'd decided to name them after their great-grandfathers, and we wanted to use my grandpa Perry's name, we could choose Wilfred or Perry.  I like the name Perry.  In fact, I know my other siblings do, too, but no one has used it yet.  I just didn't want Matthew to spend the rest of his life explaining that he's NOT named after the Friends actor Matthew Perry!  So that's how they became Matthew Wilfred and Nathan John.
Others have asked how we knew to name which one.  We started trying out the names when we talked to them in my belly.  For whatever reason, Lefty became Matthew quickly.  Righty, who eventually became Nathan, tried out several names for awhile.  Nothing quite fit until we tried out Nathan.

I suppose there are other ways to do it.  My friend A decided to let her husband name their girl twin and she named their boy, but he told her he was going to name her Cinnamon or Sparkle.  So my poor friend A was drugged beyond belief in the operating room and says the doctors held up her girl and asked what her name was, and A said, "Cinnamon Sparkle!"  Thank goodness her daddy came to rescue with a more respectable name just then! And thank goodness it wasn't MY husband who came up with that idea!

How did you name your babies?  Tell me your story!


Cam Aulds said...

Our story is pretty simple...Sharon ultimately picked all the names except for Andrew's middle name (John)...I had names I liked but she didn't care for any of them and warned me she got to fill out the birth certificate so i could just get over it...LOL.

Stephen was supposed to be Stephen Baxter but in the delivery room just seconds after he was born Sharon, with tears in her eyes, said to me "I want to name him Stephen William after my Dad"...She had just given me my first born Son and at that moment I'd have agreed to anything so that's how it came about.

At least she agreed to name the boys biblical first names.

Daniel Ryan just flowed together so well and I love Daniel in the Bible.

Cam Aulds said...

Lindsey started out as Rebecca and then Sarah...When Sharon found out my prom date back in high school had been a Rebecca that name was a no go (The prom date eventually married my best friend...It was the only date we ever had together and was never anything close to serious)...We decided on Sarah because once again it was biblical and we liked the name...We kept reading the paper for new births and saw that Sarah was literally the name of about every other baby born so we were back to square one...I don't remember exactly what made us settle on Lindsey Kay but it flowed together so well and we fell in love with the name.

Andrew was the final battle...I knew in my heart this was our last baby and really fought hard for John as the first name...John had been my choice for all four babies if they were boys...Especially for Stephen and Daniel...I have always felt like you should honor people while they are alive and desperately wanted to do that for my Dad...After Dad died there was still a passion there to name a Son John but not nearly to the same degree...When Linz was born it was a moot point but when Andrew, our unplanned surprise, came along the name issue was rekindled...Once again Sharon warned me that she would be signing the birth certificate and I could just get over it...There were several name she liked but I was "John only" for the first name.

Cam Aulds said...

At some point she had settled on Andrew...I was out on tour singing with the "Gospel Road Quartet" when the Lord finall spoke to me through a Missionary that was guest speaking after we sang...He was speaking about being a Missionary and had referenced a scripture from one of the gospels...Suddenly he stopped then said, on a subject that was completely off topic, "Why don't more Christian couples name their Sons Andrew...In scripture Andrew was always bringing people to Christ (Look it up...It's true)...If Christian couples want their Sons to bring people to Christ they should name them Andrew!"...At that point he went back to his completely unrelated topic without realizing just how timely his comment had been...He must have been hearing from God because he had no way of knowing just how controversial the name Andrew had become to our family.

I remember I stopped at that point and said "OK God, you win...Andrew it is"...How could I not with such a word from the Lord?...He was right about one thing...I DO want my children to bring people to Christ and in that sense all four of my kids are named Andrew for that is my desire for them.

Sharon did relent on John for the middle name and I was happy about that but I still feel you should honor people while they are alive...My Dad will never knew about Andrew John and that makes me sad.

I am not saying any of that to lobby for a grand child named Cam or Baxter...In reality I do not like either name...Those names created a hardship all through my growing up years and I would never wish that on any of my Grandkids...Theres a very small part of me that resents my own grandfather because his name was Cam...Petty I know but had he been named "Mike" or something normal it would have been one less thing for kids in school to tease about.

You realize everything rhymes with Cam (Scam, Clam, Tram, Maam, Nam as in Vietnam, Bam, Dam, Fam, Ham...Etc...You get the idea)and there are untold number of other words that associate with it (Cambodia, Cama Soap, Campbell's soup, Camel Cigs...You get the idea)...I never let on that the name teasing bothered me until some company came up with "Cam Dogfood"...I hated that and couldn't hide my reaction to it...That was the worst thing I could have done and for years I heard "Cam Dogfood!"...LOL...I never ever wanted a company to go out of business so bad in my life and eventually that product failed and was removed from the shelves...THANK GOD!!!!...LOL!

I LOVE the boy's names and am deeply honored that you chose to name one of the boys for my Dad...I could never favor one over the other for any reason and I realize the thought that went into each name.

You could not have done better for names than what you did!

Cam Aulds said...

I DID like a couple of the nick names arising from my first name..."Camster" and "Caminski" were two that I admit I liked...A big part of the reason I liked them is that I know the heart of the people who came up with those and they did so, not to tease or cajole but to do so in friendship...BIG difference from most of the other names.

OBTW...Even Baxter came back to haunt me once...Our high school published a phone book listing each student's home phone number...No, there were no cell phones back in the stone age 70's...When the phone book came out my freshman year there was my name and phone number with the "X" in Baxter replaced with an "S"...You do the math on that one...To this day I know that had to be deliberate on someone's part...Back then the office used upper class students to help out with office duties during their study halls or half days...Had to be one of them.

When my parents saw the "mistake" they took it up with the school...The high school never published another phone book again.

Later in life, as Sharon and I were deciding on names, we bought a babies name book to look up meanings...Sharon had always teased me about my nose being so big and crooked...One day I looked up the meaning of the name Cam...To my horror it literally means "crooked nose!"....Gott in Himmel!!!!...I COULD NOT BELIEVE IT!...Once again life had performed a cruel hoax involving my name...I did NOT tell Sharon.

One day I came home from work to find Sharon waiting for me at the door with the name book in her hand and a wicked grin on her face...I knew that she knew...LOL...She did!!!

No, I do NOT want a grand child name Cam Baxter Aulds because I do not want that child to hate me someday...LOL

Misty said...

We had a list of names picked out in the eventuality we would become pregnant. Of course, when we found out were expecting, we didn't consider any of those names for a second.

We had some criteria too: The name had to fit with our very German last name. Names of exes were unacceptable. The name couldn't be too trendy, but shouldn't be "weird". And we looked at the meanings behind every name.

We chose "Emma" because it fits beautifully with our last name, it means "Comforter", and there was a lovely elderly woman at our church at the time whose name was Emma. ( husband wasn't on board with "Ella"). Of course, then Rachel and Ross had their baby and named it Emma on Friends while I was pregnant and messed everything up. We still named her Emma...but then it was trendy. (sigh)

We chose "Joy" as her middle name because we liked the flow AND Jacob's mom's middle name is Joyce...and we wanted to honor our parents in her name.