Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Methodology of a Name, Part Three!

Finally, after a ton of reflection and soul-searching, Dave and I have unearthed a select few names for our impending HelgaHume. (Though the list is, as always, still secret.)

As luck would have it, for girls, we both individually gravitated towards the same four names. We each liked a fifth, but after some discussion, Dave decided he liked my fifth better, so now we're fully agreed on these five names. Which to pick? Depends on who we meet in December!

Boy's names, on the other hand, we're having a bit more trouble with. We've centred on four first names that we both like, but each one has a big problem associated with it.

Indeed, no name is perfect; I resisted "William" for the longest time on the grounds of, "No child of MINE is getting a TOP TEN name!!! IN-CON-THEIVABLE!!!!" but the fact is, for a huge number of reasons, the name was a perfect choice. (But that's a whole other blog post.)

Still, though, which of the following issues are dealbreakers? Which are no big deal?
  • One (visually-similar) letter away from a very common name: Meaning, people quickly looking over this name on paper will probably assume it's the common name, not the actual name. Kid will possibly spend his whole life correcting people, which is annoying for him.
  • Stupid meaning: This name has everything going for it -- great sound, great association, unique but not off-the-wall -- except what it means. It has a stupid meaning. Not offensive, not bad, just... meaningless. Can he live with this?
  • Unimpressive counterparts: Another name we're considering has everything going for it (see above), except that when I've met the 2-3 guys with this name, I was not especially impressed. (As opposed to, say, Hugh, where every Hugh I meet is a pretty solid dude.) Will he break free of this company, or am I setting myself up to be unimpressed?
  • Gender-neutrality: Not a bad thing in and of itself, but aside from this one exception, gender-ambiguous names are not usually our taste. I've heard from some that it's inconvenient for two friends discussing you, such as in the following case: "Hey, dude, thanks for the party invite! Mind if I bring along (name)?" "Sure, bro! Is she hawt??!" "Uh, dude, (name)'s a guy." "Oh, that's too bad." Is this an acceptable fate to foist on someone?

Hmm... I've never personally dealt with any of those name woes, so I can't say whether they're problematic or not. Hence, I'm pretty stuck, and would love your input in the comment section. :-)

Looking forward to hearing from you!


Anonymous said...

Hey Karla :)

I would say that, for me, the "close to a common name" thing would be the main issue, closely followed by the gender neutrality. Knowing unimpressive people with the same name will quickly become a non-issue once your little person becomes THE person you associate with the name. And I don't really know anyone who cares much what their name means. Besides, if it's meaningless, then you can tall him that HE can make his name mean something.

Gender neutrality, sad to say, seems to be less of an issue when it's a girl with the gender neutral name. Might be tougher for a boy. Especially if (heaven forbid) he ever meets a girl with the same name.

Having to comment on your name nearly EVERY time you meet someone is annoying. I grew up as "Grace Kelly", and EVERYONE had a comment. So maybe I'm over-sensitive about the "name you have to correct everyone about" thing.

That's my two cents! Good luck!

Anonymous said...

"Especially if (heaven forbid) he ever meets a girl with the same name."

Married frinds of mine are Glen and Glenda, Ken and Kendra no kidding.

Karla what are your thoughts on second names and nick names, do you have a nicks for your family?

Anonymous said...

"Especially if (heaven forbid) he ever meets a girl with the same name."

"Married friends of mine are Glen and Glenda, Ken and Kendra no kidding."

He might just as easily meet and fall in love with a boy with the same name. I have married friends who are both named Paula.

We can't assume a child will a) be heterosexual and b) identify with the gender assigned to it based on its biological sex.