Sunday, 12 July 2009

What's in a name?

Naming a child is an awesome responsibility. 'This be the Verse' by Philip Larkin probably applies much more to little Adolfs than it does to Stevens and Bens. That's not to say all names have to be picked from the Top 10 of course - I was always the only Eve in my school, and it wasn't a bad thing - but there are limits.

One of the most monstrous celebrity names of recent years has been Katie Price and Peter Andre's daughter, 'Princess Tiáamii'. Peter said "I wanted to name her after both our mums and then I just woke up one morning and thought ‘I know! We’ll just put them together!'". I've obviously ruled out Barhris or Chrisra for our new baby, but creativity in child naming doesn't stop with making it up entirely course. A friend of a friend called her son Maxx, yes with two x's, to make it 'different'. It doesn't have the aural thrill of 'Princess Tiáamii' of course, but will create an added frisson of excitement on his cheque book in years to come.

We've been hunting for a suitable name for my growing bump. Having given our son an Irish name (phonetically spelt, not made up!) something that 'matches' would be the ideal. I'd originally wanted Florence, but its quintessential Englishness just doesn't go with T, or to be frank our appalling surname.

Then I found it. OK, I didn't find it myself, it was mentioned in passing on a thread on a baby name forum (yes, there are such things, and great entertainment to be had by reading them!) ... THE name. One of the only suggestions which my husband hasn't instantly dismissed (lets gloss over his ideas, including Clarabelle and Gertrude) it's grown and grown on me and I now have 'the fear' that someone else will somehow 'discover' it and 'steal' it before B-day. Yes, I realise this is ridiculous, but the pregnancy hormones seem to have over-ridden my 'rational' gene.

Then I panicked. What if the name, our name, HER name, had some hideous connotations I'd not previously discovered. What if I am planning to saddle my daughter with the same name as a porn star or brand of feminine hygiene wash? Perfect fodder for schoolyard ridicule. So I googled it of course.

Results included a group of libraries in New Mexico, a blog from a dedicated Australian knitter, photos of a sweet Swedish toddler and a famous sportsman's wife. Nothing too scary, although I suppose in the next 18 years there's plenty of time for that to change!


Maternal Tales said...

Ooh I'm very intrigued as to what the name is now!! A friend of mine once convinced me that they had named their child Helga - it took two whole days of convincing and I finally relented and wrote the card...and only then was I told that they were kidding!! Hmph. Was not best pleased!!

b said...

I think choosing the name can be one of the most stressful parts of the pregnancy! Congrats that you have a name,now just chill and relax.

Muddling Along Mummy said...

Am also very intrigued ... its crazy how much effort goes into it and how hard it is to get both of you to agree

We might finally have found a name for Baby2 - just got to work on middle names now !