The Number Seven Question

It’s been a long while since I indulged in name gathering, and I’ve decided to start from scratch.  I know some name nerds have ongoing lists that stay mostly the same, but I start from scratch for every new kid and for every major change in my circumstances.

I sort of wish I still had some baby name books.  I know the Internet is a much better resource in many ways, but there’s something about thumbing through the pages and circling things that’s lost in browsing a website.

A preliminary list will be forthcoming in the next week or so.

I decided to change the title of this blog to something more descriptive, but not particularly interesting or creative. I don’t think it much matters, but I wanted to acknowledge that it has changed.

Since I started this blog, all kinds of things have happened. I am 40 now, and we’ve started attending an Orthodox church. The former makes me a little less certain about our chances of adding any more children, and the latter is just a factor that might influence my lists in the future.

I had a dream last night that I was going to have a baby, and we’d decided on a name for a girl (Mary Elizabeth, with the nickname Betsy) and were trying to decide on a name for a boy. When I woke up, I thought that ‘Mary Elizabeth’ would strike a lot of people as sounding very Catholic. (And that’s really ok with me, actually.)

I am not sure about Betsy. I think it sounds really cute and maybe a little old fashioned. I just wonder if it would sound like an old lady name to other people… And I wonder if I really care what other people think. It’s not exactly a bizarre name, and if I met a little Betsy, I would think it was a refreshing change of pace. But I will admit that my opinions about names are not necessarily widely shared.

I don’t really remember if we’d decided anything about a name for a boy. We were throwing around other good saints’ names like John and Peter. I don’t know if I would use either of those in waking life, though.

So, my daughter gave birth over a week ago. It’s a girl! Her name is Aolani Sicilia, and she’s as cute as a button. See for yourself!

Aolani Sicilia

And in other news…

We’re moving forward with baby plans for ourselves, with a backup plan. We’re waiting to try until September, since our family (immediate and extended, on both sides) is an insane traffic jam of birthdays in April and May. That gives me some time to lose more weight, too.  We’ll see how it goes.  There are a number of factors that make it extremely complicated. (It’s going to require outside help in one fashion or another, for one.)

For now, I am rekindling my interest in names for my own use. There have been additions around the family that have made some changes to my list, as well as having had my mind opened and/or changed by conversations with people close to me.

If anyone is out there, is Erasmus more of a first name or a middle name? I’ve been discussing this with a friend who likes it as a middle name, for formal purposes, but in less formal use as the nickname “Ras” (or “Raz”). I kind of like that.

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I have a couple of things to post here, after all this time of inactivity.

The first thing is that one of my adult children called to tell me that I am going to be a grandmother, which makes me feel a little silly thinking about adding one more child to our family.

Click this for her name list at BabyNames.com. (Opens in a new window.)

Also, the naming landscape of our family has change a little bit. My sister-in-law just had twins a month ago, and took the name James off the table.  The other baby is a girl named Trinity, after the mountains where they live in Idaho.

Lastly, despite what I said above about feeling a little silly, there’s a bit of a chance, a long shot, that I might get to use one of the names on my list in the next year or so, without giving birth myself. That’s all I can really say about that at this time, though. Like I said, total long shot.

I may have been a bit premature in announcing that I would post again in a week. 2010 is turning out to be a little bit of a stinker, really.

Before I launch into the list du jour, I have a snarky little comment for which I hope you will forgive me. Over on Baby Names World at Parents Connect, there’s a little “guess this baby’s name” box in the sidebar. Lately, I’ve found that I am almost always right if I pick the name that looks like it was a typo.

Ok, onward!

Tabitha is at the top of my list for girls. Edmund remains at the top of my list for boys, but I am waffling on the spelling issue.

Other top of the heap names for girls, in no particular order:

  • C/Katherine – I like the C, but my husband has a strong preference for K.
  • Adelaide – At the top of MY list. My husband would need a lot of help getting into this one, though.
  • Elizabeth – Classic, and enough nicknames to have a different one every month.
  • Clara – It sounds sweet, and there’s a family story that goes with it.
  • Phaedra – Carried forward from last year’s lists. I still love it
  • Sabrina – No, I am not on a “TV’s young witches” kick. This is more Audrey Hepburn in my mind, but somewhat less popular than Audrey itself.
  • Tova – I still like this, but it’s just not #1 material. (… this week.)

Middle names for girls? Right now I am hung up on Jane, Mirabel and Leocadia, or alternatively Katherine or Elizabeth behind a … *ahem* more creative… first name.

For boys:

  • Jonah – I guess Old Testament names have been a trend for a while, but this is honestly one of my favorites.
  • James – Solid, classic, and not overly represented in the family.
  • Charles – Exactly the same reasoning as James. The downside is that my niece, Charlotte, is already called “Charlie”.
  • Harold – I have a feeling some people will see this as the dog of the list, but it’s a solid, masculine name with family connections.
  • Henry – I seem to be running into a fair number of little ones named Henry, but I just love it.
  • Wyatt –  No excuses. I just like it.
  • Kevin – Don’t laugh. I’m feeling nostalgic for my youth.

I still think Edmund Jericho is my favorite combo for that name, but otherwise, I have no clue what to do for a middle name for any of these. Not a blessed clue!

I am feeling a lot more open toward names in the Top 100 now. I have never really shunned popular names for boys, but I used to be very prejudiced against popular names for girls. This is something I’ve been re-thinking. I am not going to choose a name from those lists specifically because they are popular, but I am not going to reject names that I happen to like just because they are on there either.

I would just like to avoid names that are going to be dated later. I don’t want to do that to anyone.  My parents named me Sherry in 1971. Been there, done that, changed my name.

And after all this time, we remain baby-free. I’ve had plenty of other things going on, so it is just as well. My biological clock is running down, so I don’t know if it will happen, but now that things are slowing down for me a little, I think I will lend a few neurons to name issues again.

I plan to start new lists from scratch. I think my time away from making lists and reading naming blogs will be a benefit. I want to take a fresh look at what names I might want to use, in theory, without being overly influenced by what other people like and hate.

I’ll post later this week. This is just to say that I’m back.

I’ve been beating my head against the Irish language (or Gaelic, if you insist on going there)  for several years now, making only modest progress. This is probably the source of my fascination with Irish names for girls.

The spelling of Irish can be pretty intimidating, until you get used to it, and there’s nothing intuitive about how to pronounce them for English-speaking Americans. My husband is sensitive to spelling issues, so this relegates these names to “guilty pleasure” status, or perhaps middle name territory at best.

Here’s a short list of some of my favorites:

Aoife

Caoimhe

Saoirse

Laoise

Muireann

Róisín

Ríonach (and a note on pronouncing it)

Despite the popularity here in the US of Irish and Irish-inspired names for boys, they don’t rank quite as highly with me. I have a Liam already, so I guess that was enough. (And why Liam for him? It was the only thing we could agree on at the time. We never did agree on a name for a girl, so he’s lucky he’s a boy, or we’d probably still be arguing about it.)