As much as I love names, I’m not enjoying having to choose one for this baby. I could easily name a boy right now, but none – NONE! – of the names I’ve collected for girls excite me anymore, not even the one I was super attached to at the beginning of the pregnancy. I’m not worried about having an unnamed child for a little while, despite the fact that we’re related to people who feel very strongly that this is unacceptable, although I do worry that if we haven’t picked a name a week after this little bub arrives it’s because I haven’t felt like any are right, and that we’ll choose one just to have her named and then I’ll spend the rest of my life wondering if we should have gone with another option. I’m also aware that this is possibly the last big thing I’ll ever name, as the current plan is that any future children will be fostered (and therefore already named), and I’m not a huge fan of pets. SO MUCH PRESSURE.
My parents-in-law come for dinner each Monday, and the last few meals together have included ‘baby name time‘ (initiated by them), in which they offer name suggestions and I reply with reasons why each wouldn’t work (“Too popular,” “Reminds me of one of my stepdad’s puppets,” “Too popular,” “That was our dog’s name,” ”Waaaay too popular,” etc.). One benefit of these sessions, besides confirming early on that my in-laws will probably not like the name we choose, is that I’ve acknowledged the underlying rules governing whether or not a name is worthy of consideration. I’ve finally put these in writing, and figured I’d post them here in case they inspire any readers to name our kid.
I like names that are gentle but strong. Not too flimsy (Kitty, Bunny, Milly, Lacey*) or harsh (Ingrid, Gretchen, Morag, Imogen**), but a perfect combination of gentleness and strength. Like ‘Moses’, but for a girl. And not biblical. And the name can’t have the stress on the same ‘o’ sound as Moses (‘Ramona’ is therefore out), nor can it have a nickname that rhymes with Mo’s – I don’t want no ‘Mo and Jo’, for example. And it can’t be the same as any of our friends’ or families’ names, or the names of their children or their pets. Nor can it be too similar.
I don’t really want the name to start with the ‘a’ sound in ‘cat’ (Alan and I have this one covered), and I don’t really want it to start with the letter ‘M’ (it would seem too much like an intentional thing then, and I immediately judge as idiots families who give all of their kids names that start with the same letter, especially when that letter is also the start of their surname [Kim, Kourtney and Khloe Kardashian, for example]).
It can’t appear in the Australian top 100 baby names lists from 2012 (such as this one [for New South Wales only], or this one [nationwide]), nor can it be too similar to any of these names. I thought I’d found the ultimate helper in nymbler.com, but I really need a search that takes all of the above into consideration before offering suggestions; unfortunately I’ve come across none that have a ‘gentle but strong vibe’ box to tick. When I’m feeling particularly large and uncomfortable, realising there are still twelve-or-so weeks until the baby arrives makes me want to cry. When I’m thinking about the fact that this little girl will eventually need a name, the end of July starts to feel alarmingly close and I’m thankful for all of the time we have left.
There are quite a few Monday night dinners scheduled between now and then, so I’m not giving up hope just yet.
* I’m seeing a pattern here – I do tend to shy away from two-syllable names that end in ‘y’ or ‘ie’ for little girls for fear that they close the door on the potential for rock-stardom in adulthood. Also, apologies if one of these is your name. Please tell me you‘re a rock star.
** I have a friend whose father is Danish, and one of his middle names was Krogstrup, which looks awful but sounds much softer and nicer when he pronounces it. Does Morag work the same way? I can’t imagine how anyone could call a teeny baby Morag.***
*** A Morag will read this and wonder how anyone could call a teeny baby Moses. Touché.