Choosing a name for babies is super easy for some, and harder for others. My mother told me she knew she wanted a baby boy called Thomas and named her dolls the same, so when my brother was born, I suppose it was easy for her. With me, my mum and dad couldn’t agree on the one name, so they just chose both. There’s a reason why there’s only a handful of people in Norway with my name combination – not very common.
I am weird with names though. I have way too many criteria to fulfill.
First of all, the name has to work in both languages. There are so many awesome Norse names that sound ridiculous once I try to English-fy them. And there’s quite a few English names that are lovely in English, but once they are pronounced in Norwegian are terrible. That eliminates quite a few.
Secondly, I need to not have associations to the name. Simon and I both absolutely love the name Madelynn, but since one of my friends have the same name, I just can’t use it. For Ricky (when we thought she was going to be a boy) we liked both Oliver and Theodore, but because both had been used by close people, I had to discard them. Simon says: “Yeah, but don’t worry about what they say, just use the names!” But this is not about them, it is me who has the issues. Lovely names, and I’m sure many wouldn’t mind if the name was ‘re-used’ but I just can’t get myself to do it. So you can imagine that eliminates a fair few also.
Then third, it needs to mean something. I remember I looked up a name once and it meant ‘sorrow’ or ‘grief’ or something not very nice, but the actual name was a good one. Once I knew what the name meant, I couldn’t use it. Many don’t care about the origins of names, but I like to know that it means something nicer.
And fourth, whatever name we choose needs to fit with the others. Now we have a Jasmine, Melodie, Sophia and Ricky, so a Bob is out of the question. We also can’t just suddenly go with a ‘different spelling’. The name needs to have at least two syllables, but no more than three. Together with the first middle name, all our kids (except Jas) have five syllables. I feel we need to continue this.
Fifth, middle names. Yes. We have chosen to give the girls middle names that are inspired or directly from our own grandparents, so the people who helped raised us and had a positive impact on our lives. Simon was pretty much raised by his, so it was very nice to be able to give Sophia the name of his only grandparent that I got to meet. The fact that she died the same year she was born, makes it a little extra special (and from what I know of her, I think she would have love Sophia). Melodie is named after my only living grandparent (and also the only one Simon has met) and she is also one of her godmothers, which makes it extra awesome. Rickys middle name, Alfreda, was ‘made up’ by combining two of my grandparents names into one, as my fourth grandparent had someone else named after him, I feel all my elders have been able to live on in someone new. Since we started this ‘trend’ in our family we need to continue, and we have decided to incorporate the name of the man who had the absolute most impact on Simons life and pretty much made him the awesome man he is today. This means that any first name we choose needs to not be ridiculous together with it either.
I also try to avoid the same starting letter, and the same ending sound. Melodie and Ricky are close, but because the -ie is longer than Rickys -y, it’s okay. I also like the name to be a little bit unique (and I do see the irony in Sophias name being super popular the year she was born but we just loved itJ).
Mel was a straightforward name. Simon and I both liked the name Alexandra, but then one day, I was watching the tv by myself in my unit, when the weather girl came up, and her name was Melody. I texted Simon and just said “I like Melodie” and he wrote back. “Done.” We didn’t know if she was a girl or a boy before she was born, but I do not like the boy name we’d chosen for her anymore. Sophia was a funny one, as we were driving to Sydney, we drove past a street sign that read, ‘Sophia street’ and as I said it out loud, Simon nodded and said ‘Yep, that’s going straight to the top!’ We did have a list of others, but once she popped out we were convinced it was the right choice. Ricky was always intended to be a boy. Or so Simon thought. The ultrasound lady said there was a bigger chance of it being a boy, and Simon heard ‘99% chance’. Just after, I said to Simon that if it turned out to be a girl anyway, her name had to be Ricky. The fourth girl (and one right after Sophia) needed a good start with a more powerful name to make her way through this crowd of girls, not too cutesy. And so the doctor pulled her out of me, and as my intuition had told me, she was a girl, and we laughed and said, ‘Well, looks like it’s Ricky then!’
So, the answer to the question; what’s in a name? A whoooole lotta stuff, for me. And will we ever find a name we both agree on, that fits all the rules?
For many people it’s not as complicated as this, and that’s great for them but trust me to not make it easyJ And also, there’s nothing wrong with having different criteria, and Bob is a great name even if it doesn’t fit us!:D