February 18, 2011

What's in a Name? (Part II)

In this next installment of "What's in a Name?" I'd like to discuss not so much the name itself, but what goes on when you are picking the name and contemplating announcing it and sharing it with others.

We were very hesitant to share Cale's name with everyone until after he was born. Not because of a superstition, or because we were worried what people would think of the name, but for two reasons:

1. Since we found out his gender, the name was the only "surprise" left to be discovered at birth and it was somewhat enjoyable keeping everyone in suspense.


2. If I'm telling you what I'm going to name my child, or what I'm thinking about naming my child, chances are I don't want your input. Especially if it's negative.

Back when we were toying around ideas, people would ask me "so, do you have any names picked out?" and I'd foolish share some of them. When someone responds with, "oh you don't want to do that," (yes, it happened), you automatically want to punch them in the face. And you wish you could take back ever telling them to begin with. So pretty quickly I learned that if someone asks me if I have any names picked out, just say "not yet" or "yeah, we have a few we're throwing around" and leave it at that. Now, I realize that part of the problem might be that I gave people some of our options (at the time the name Cale wasn't an option, Miles didn't suggest it until later and pretty much as soon as he did, I was sold). Maybe had I been more definitive in my response and said, "why yes, his name is Cale Harrison" then people wouldn't have felt the need to share their opinion of the name and what other names they liked instead.

Another aspect of deciding on a name is that you have to think of the other people you know with the same name. There are people who have really great names, but have ruined them. Come on, don't act like you don't remember that one (or ten) girl(s) in high school you couldn't stand! And anytime you hear that particular name, you think of her. Or maybe it's a celebrity or historical figure who ruined the name for you. Who knows, maybe people used to like the name Adolf. . .

And it's not just people you have to consider. I've met people named Bailey. And of course, I'm that jerk who tells them "I once had a dog named Bailey." I really should keep my mouth shut in situations like that.

Sweet Bailey Dog.

I guess what I'm getting at is when I share what we are naming Cale's brother (and we will share his name earlier than we did with Cale), unless you are complimenting the name and telling me what a super-awesome one it is (because it is), zip it. It's not a dress you can give your honest opinion on. It's a name. A name we, as the parents of this child, have come up with. A name that this little boy will have the rest of his hopefully VERY long, long life.


  1. I totally agree :) I can't wait to hear the name - I'm sure it's perfect! :)

    And total side note - we almost used the name Baylee for Aurora (and I remembered your dog - sweet puppy) :) But Baylee - however you spell it - is a great name. But then someone told me it reminded them of Bailey's Irish Cream something... :) There's always someone that has something to say about a name :)

  2. Haha thanks for the smiles. You're so right about all this.

  3. I love both of your children's names! :)

  4. So you're saying you're contemplating Bailey? j/k
    I can't wait to hear! You've built the suspense up well :-)