Tuesday, 23 July 2013

What's in a name?

There's a baby being born, and no doubt will be born by the time I click 'publish' for this blog post, who will grace the pages of every magazine (ok, maybe not the wrapped in plastic kind) for a long time.

With around 370,000 babies born in the world every day, this eagerly awaited bub will steal the limelight. Betting agencies are going mad with punters waging big bucks on every detail of Kate and William's baby. What day? What time? Size? Length? Colour hair? Boy or girl? Twins? And the name? 

The name. 
Thanks Two Drunk Ladies!

Could it be Diana? Isabella? Alexandria? Maybe Charlotte?

Or maybe George? Or James? Or Henry?

Perhaps Shakira? Or Dewayne? Probably not.

It's tricky business coming up with an appropriate name for a baby. At least, I thought so. I wanted names for my kids that weren't just cutesie pie names for babies that translated to porn stars when they were older. I needed to think of how it sounded with my surname, how it could be abbreviated, what it rhymed with, how common it was, and most importantly both of us parents-to-be really loved it. How did it sound when we said it with love? How did it sound when we screamed it with obscenities from one end of the house to the other? How would it sound as the CEO of a company or as a toilet brush inspector? These things were important to us.

There are some God awful names out there. I'm not just talking boring or stupid names. I'm talking about child abuse cruel names.

Take, for example, poor Merle in Spain. I'm sure Mr and Mrs Lester had thought long and hard about what to name their darling baby boy. Maybe they also had dreams of him becoming a teacher. Or a doctor. I wonder what opportunities did open for young Merle Lester? I guess he could have followed in Jeffrey Wilchske's footsteps and have his name legally changed to a more suitable name. Beezow Doo-Doo Zopittybop-Bop-Bop is much better. How's that working out for you, Beezow?

When I was pregnant, I had lists upon lists of girls and boys names for my babies. Actually, I had lists of names before I was pregnant. Before I even thought about becoming pregnant. My only requirement was that it was not a name of a kid I had taught. Every name my husband suggested reminded me of a nose-picker or a pants-pooper or a shitty little nark. Never the good kids.

We knew the sexes of each of our babies. Thank Jeebus they were on the money each time. We never really had back-up names.

Campbell when he was little Campbell
My list of names for the kid who became Campbell Jack
Ethan, Hayden, Kieran, Jack, Lachlan, Liam, Darcy, Bailey
Tim's list
Daniel, Joshua, Campbell, Flynn, Hudson, Thomas

Little Ella Bella
My list of names for the kid who became Ella May
Isabella, Hayley, Sienna, Niamh
Tim's list
Breanna, Samantha, Rebecca, Danielle
*Ella was chosen by Campbell. Cam and I were lying in bed and he was patting my tummy and saying "Yellow" (I was in a yellow top). In his 17 month old speech he was saying "Ella". I told him to leave the "Ella" alone. And then it hit me. Perfect.

My list of names for the Wondertwins who became Grace Molly and Lily Madison
Darcie, Gracie, Ava, Mia, Sadie
Tim's list
Breanna, Samantha, Rebecca (I wonder if these were old girlfriends?), Ivy, Lily,  Grace
I broke my rule of no-past-student-names and have Molly as a middle name.                        
   Baby Gracie Moo
Baby Lily Pilly

Awww... Baby Scarlett as a... umm...baby
My list of names for the kid who became Scarlett Esther
Scarlett, Esther, Darcie, Isabella, Ava
Tim's names
Scarlett, Esther, Ivy

In both of our families, middle names begin with M for girls and J for boys. It just does. So we wanted to follow that pattern. Until Scarlett Esther came along. She was either going to be Esther Scarlett or Scarlett Esther. We decided on Scarlett when we saw her for the first time.

I'm not going to criticise anybody's choices for baby names. Ok, I am. If you want to go calling your kid Kyd (as David Duchovny and Tea Leoni did) or Pilot Inspektor (I'm sorry Jason Lee. I love you an' all. But really?) or Buddy Bear, Poppy Honey, Daisy Boo and Blossom Rainbow (what have you really been cooking in that kitchen of yours Jaime Oliver?) you're gonna have some naysayers.

What's the strangest name you've heard in the real world? Forget the celebs - what 'normal' people do you know have named their babies 'abnormal' names? 

Visit me on Facebook and let me know!

Linking up with Deb at Home Life Simplified's Listmania


  1. Of course, names are all different when you travel - a 'normal' name here becomes something hysterically funny or even offensive when you travel. The Greek Con here is 'with' in Italian and, well, look up what it is in French...so names are all pretty fluid - what was weird once, is common now, what was common is now weird...

  2. but I find Apple a weird one...

  3. I used to go to school with an Indian boy whose name was Preekshit. Apparently it's not an uncommon name in his home country, but in an Anglo school, let's just say he got a lot of...well, shit, for it. Also knew a girl named Coquelia, it was pronounced Cock-elia and you just have to wonder what the hell her parents were thinking when they named her!

  4. I think Frank Zappa named his kid Moon Unit or something like that which I think would be really difficult to grow up with lol.....I went to primary school with a girl whose name was WeeWee as you can imagine it made for giggling amongst 6 year olds....poor kid xx

  5. Many years ago at work we used to keep a list. A couple of stand outs were Jenna Taylor and Cara Bunkle. Oh and I saw and 8 year old named Beyoncé the other day. And there has been little Curious and another favourite, Crusader. Man, I have an endless supply...