Wednesday, December 07, 2005

What Is in A Name?

When my husband Tim and I were discussing names for our children we had some rules. We each had unlimited vetoes because we thought both of us should like the name and we didn’t want to name our child after any exes, just in case the ex should run into us and think we named our child after them because of one of us secretly pining over them. Needless to say Tim had more vetoes than I did. I guess that doesn’t matter because we had boys, but I digress. Another of our rules was that middle name would be a family name and we were to alternate between families. Next the name had to flow and sound nice; a balance of syllables so that it would roll off the tongue. I have heard of people testing this out by standing at the top of the stairs and shouting a potential full name to see if they can tolerate hearing it. Funny! As you can see we were really only concerned about the pure esthetics of the name. We never thought about how the name might affect their personalities.

Don’t get me wrong we looked at baby name books and meanings, but the names we chose we didn’t know their meanings until later. My oldest’s name means friendly. We thought that suited him very well because he is quite friendly. His kindergarten teacher said that he was a sweet sensitive boy that was concerned about everyone. "Snapps" for us we picked a good name that suited him.

Our second little boy is much more aggressive and physical. He loves having friends and always wants to play, but he likes to play his way. I guess you could say he is a little stubborn. Guess what his name means… steadfast and immovable. I hope that this characteristic will serve him well in his teen years.

Although we gave them their names before we found out their meanings, we managed to pick names that really suited their personalities. I can’t help but wonder did the name on some subconscious level alter their personalities to match their name? I know it’s silly to think that but what if they’re really was something in the name we give our children.


Proud Mum said...

Aren't names funny things?

The alternate name for me was Bonnie. (Every day I'm grateful I wasn't named Bonnie, it's just not me.)

We waited until our son was born to ask him what his name was. His name means red, and as his hair went from strawberry to copper we knew we made the right choice. (Now what repercussions this has on his personality remains to be seen.)

I think it's great that your sons' personalities are matched by the meanings of their names. When
I was younger I thought that was very important, to choose names with good meanings, just in case.

(sorry for the long comment!)

Sariah said...

Looking at the name meanings was a big factor in how we named our sons. I'm sure I've told you how we picked Aiden. The day I went to the hospital we happened to be in a bookstore in Logan. We hadn't decided on anything yet (it was between Aiden and Collin), so I picked up a baby name book. Aiden means "fiery", and as soon as i read that, I knew that this little being inside of me was an Aiden. I never even looked up Collin. When Aiden came out the next morning with red hair, it was just too perfect. The name still fits him.

With Dallin, we were sitting in my hospital room, waiting for the doctor, and Ches said, "Give me the list and tell me what they all mean again" and we had a big discussion. The meaning didn't overtake us this time (Dallin means "People's pride"), but we'll see if he grows into it.

Karen said...

We had Ben's name all picked out, but I was sure I was going to call him "BJ" for short. However, when he was born I took one look at him and knew he was "Ben" not "BJ".

ABQ Mom said...

With my sons name, we always knew he was going to be named William but he would be called Will. He is one strong-willed little boy and perfect strangers comment on that all the time. Then I tell them his name, and they say "Yep it fits." My daughters name I'll have to look up to see how its doing to match her personality.

Allrie said...

I agree 100% as I have seen my children grow into their names. We had the hardest time with "Erica". Two teachers trying to agree on a name: How about ____? No way, I had this brat in my class...What about ------ instead? Are you crazy? The was a boy named-----who sat in the back of the room all year and...
At one point I swore I'd name her --if a boy, Xerxes--no students for either of us. But then I called out the back door to practice "Xerxes, dinner..." And she doesn't like Erica...