Friday, October 24, 2008

What's In a Name?

I'm doing a little survey over at Caffeine Court.  I asked readers to name their children, and their children's five best friends.  I also asked which state they live in.  I wondered if certain states leaned toward any particular states (such as southern states having a preponderance of names like Savannah, and New England states leaning towards names like Nathanial.)

I haven't had a baby in five years, but I remember how much fun it was choosing baby names.

My husband and I went with very traditional names that had meaning for us.  For my oldest daughter we chose Margaret Rose.  We call her Meg, after my great aunt.  We like the name because it can grow with her.  I didn't want to choose a name that wouldn't sound dignified when she is 80 years old.

Our second daughter is Catherine Mary.  Once again named after her great Aunt and Great Grandmother.  There were four children in their family, Mary, Catherine, Margaret and Patrick.  I never had a boy, but if I did I would have loved the name Patrick.  We also would have gone with William after my father.

As you can see, choosing names with meaning was very important to us.  For some people it's all about expressing themselves.  Or they just absolutely love a name and want to pass it on to their child.

In the case of some celebrities the need to be expressive goes a little too far, i.e. Apple, Moses, Knox, Pax, or Dweezil.  I thank God I never felt the need to name my children after a fruit.   

How about you, what's the story behind your children's names?


Anonymous said...

I love this subject. As a Midwesterner transplanted in the South for over 20 years, I find it really interesting. Right now at our church, we have a population explosion of little kids who all have names that sound like they belong to a senior citizens quilting circle (I actually have a long post on this that I've never published). They have names like Frances, Mae, Charlotte, and of course a million Mary XXXXes. There's actually a 2 year old named Delilah and a baby named Clara. Mayberry, anyone?

The year ahead of my daughter had at least 35 (NOT exaggerating) girls named Katie. Seriously. And the others were named Sarah and Emily. And then there's Will. And Will and Will and Will and Will (my teenage boys have so many friends named Will, we can't keep it straight).

So, here are ours:

Jenna Ashley: She's 21. This name is surprisingly not that common in our town (she was the only one in our 2000 student HS), but when she went to ballet camp in Pennsylvania there were all kinds of Jennas. I read it in a book, DOTR liked the show Dallas so I talked him into it. My cousin is Ashley.

Jayne Elizabeth: She's 19. My middle name is Jayne, as was my dad's grandmother (Mary Jane) and favorite aunt (Betty Jane). He threw the y in, no clue why. We had Lauren and Jayne picked out as names, and she looked like a Jayne. Thank goodness we didn't choose Lauren, she would've been one of 15 in her class. Elizabeth..the "fits with a bunch of stuff" middle name. There were 5 Jayne/Janes in high school with her, and 3 of them were on the softball team. Go figure.

Judson Christian: I really like this name. I taught aerobics in college at a studio owned by a woman who had a hot husband and adorable 3 year old son named Judson. Then when we moved here, the old pediatrician in our group was also named that, so I got a lot of grief about naming him after the Dr. He's the only one (people always think his name is Justin) except for the Dr.'s grandson who went to preschool with Josh (he goes by Jud, though). There are some other adults around named that as well. Christian for my cousin Aaron Christian. He's 16.

Joshua Mark: The J's got away from us. We didn't plan it at first (our boys name for Jenna was Brandon) but after we started, we just kept going with it. Sort of tacky, but whatever. Anyway, we have a million J's in our family and this is a repeat. My cousin Joshua Martin (my grandpa was Martin) and my uncle Mark (Josh's dad). Or it could be he's named after Josh on Guiding Light and Mark Derwin, who played Mallet on GL when I was pregnant. Depends on who I'm talking to! (He's 14)

I think this is longer than your original post. Sorry. I'm chatty and I have a lot of kids.

jenn said...

I always wanted to use the name Margaret/Meg. I was a huge "Little Women" fan as a kid! My husband vetoed it, though.