Naming Baby

June 4, 2012

The lovely Gina recently posted about baby naming in Sweden. We exchanged a couple of emails about the traditions there and she explained that Swedes will sometimes take many months — even a year! — before they name their babies.

It got me thinking about my own baby naming stories. As soon as we knew he was a boy, we picked Ralph’s name. But Maude’s first birth certificate said Miriam (seems so strange now, it wouldn’t fit her at all!). We ended up changing her name to Maude the day after we filed the Miriam paperwork, but we didn’t get around to getting a new birth certificate for a few months.

I remember standing in line at a bland government office, arms full of little toddler Ralph and tiny baby Maude, going through the red tape to get the new certificate, feeling completely overwhelmed, and promising myself that if we had any more babies, we’d have the name figured out before we left the hospital — so that I’d never have to refile that paperwork again. Hah!

What about you? Did your baby’s name come to you right away? Or did you have to search for it? Are any of you like the Swedish? Did you spend a few months after the baby was born trying on names until you decided?

P.S. — I find Swedish child-rearing endlessly interesting. Remember the preschools that are entirely outdoor? Also, remember tiny Baby June?

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{ 75 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Mary-My Life in Scotland June 4, 2012 at 5:52 am

I’m American and my husband was born and raised in Venezuela by his Portuguese parents.

We had a lot of different cultural names floating around! We settled on the ONLY name we both could agree on–Sebastian. Spelled the same in English, Spanish and Portuguese. Pronounced almost the same as well. Win!

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2 Kirsty@Bonjour June 4, 2012 at 5:57 am

Definitely a win. We had our bub in France and wanted a French first name but couldn’t find one we liked that Aussies would pronounce properly! We had to settle for a French middle name.

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3 Kirsty@Bonjour June 4, 2012 at 5:55 am

I remember for all of Crown Princess Mary of Denmark’s children having to wait several months until they were baptised to learn their names. She’s Australian (she met the Crown Prince at a pub in Australia during the 2000 Olympics; great story) so everyone at home takes great interest in her family, even if we aren’t used to such a build up to baby names!

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4 Nancy June 4, 2012 at 6:22 am

The link to “baby naming in Sweden” is broken…

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5 Design Mom June 4, 2012 at 6:30 am

Thanks for letting me know, Nancy. Just updated the link.

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6 Shawna Greenway June 4, 2012 at 6:34 am

With our first child, Madeline, we spent months and months finding a name. I liked Georgia but Georgia Greenway sounded too Southern Belle to us, my husband wanted to use family names but none of those seemed quite right either. Two weeks before she was due, we were watching Young Frankenstein and we looked at each other and at the same time said “Madeline”.

Our son, John Francis, was easier. He was named after my mother and my husband’s grandfather. The second child is always so much less stressful…

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7 amy June 4, 2012 at 6:38 am

On my third of fourth date with my husband (when I wasn’t really that into him and was planning to stop dating him) we went to see a light show at Stone Mountain in Georgia. The last song was Georgia on my Mind. He said if we have a baby we should name her Georgia (neither of us are from there but we met there) In my head I thought ‘Are you CRAZY it’s unlikely we’ll have another date’ Well that was 19 years ago this July and Georgia Rose is now 9 years old.

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8 K June 4, 2012 at 7:59 am

That is a great story!

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9 Peggy June 4, 2012 at 6:42 am

since I can remember I knew the name I would give my daughter if one day I would have a girl. Luckily my husband liked it too and our first child was a girl. :)

Our second was a boy and as we had one name over (a boy’s name) from the first time, it was all clear the moment we knew we will have a boy.

Somewhere during those years with the first two kids I found another name for a girl I instantly loved, my husband too… and…tada… number three will be a girl.
All set… haha!

So we never had to find a name actually and I am not sure how I would feel… I guess I would just hope that a name would “pop up” the moment I see the baby…

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10 Emily June 4, 2012 at 6:42 am

I hate naming babies!! I am due any day with #5 but it is our first boy…is it weird that this feels like a lot of pressure? We always go to the hospital with a short list and wait until we see the baby-once we see the little person, one name usually just feels right.
But I am a little panicky that I don’t have any favorites on my list! Last night I scrapped the list and started over.
Wish us luck!

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11 Clarity June 5, 2012 at 9:30 pm

Can I name him? I love naming babies! :)

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12 Julie June 6, 2012 at 4:02 pm

Clarity, your name and comment make me very happy =)

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13 Dee June 4, 2012 at 6:55 am

I had a harder time naming my daughters than my sons. With my youngest, we decided at the last minute to leave her second middle name (Mabel) off her birth certificate. I keep meaning to get it added b/c we do call her Mabel or variations of the name. I had a friend who couldn’t decide so she made her daughter a junior till they made a decision. I remember it being a hassle for her to get it changed.

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14 Chantale June 4, 2012 at 7:14 am

I think I agree with the Swedish way! I remember a lady coming around with the paperwork in the hospital and I was distracted with the new baby, with the paperwork to leave the hospital and family members. My daughter now has a dash between her name and middle name that is ‘official’. Not that it’s anything important but imagine if I had a change of heart with her name. What a tiring affair to wait in line at a govn’t bureau like you did (brave lady with the toddler and baby in tow!).

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15 geri justinger June 4, 2012 at 7:22 am

For our first child (a son) we had agreed upon a name – and then two weeks prior my spouse decided he hated the name…So we decided our son would be named by the winner of a wager – if he was born with dark hair I would choose the name – light hair my spouse would choose. He was born with very dark hair – which fell out a few months later and came in nearly white blond. His name truly fits him and now both my spouse and I agree that the other option would have never worked.

Our second child was named by her brother…as when we told him that we were going to have another child he said, “that’s my sister.” There was no amount of discussion that could change his mind that was even another option. He even had a name for her! So when the ultrasound confirmed his knowledge – we decided that we would use his chosen name. Her name suits her perfectly as well :)

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16 joe June 4, 2012 at 7:31 am

when my husband and i had first started talking about getting married, having kids and all that (years before actually *making* kids) he suggested a boy’s name that we both instantly loved. it just sounded so good with the would-be baby’s would-be last name – like a famous novelist or an olympic athlete, it just had a ring to it – and i was like “i hope we don’t end up having all girls, cause this name is too good to be wasted”. once i actually got pregnant with out first (due next month) both of us and most of our families hoped for a girl really badly, but there was only one girl’s name we both agreed on. when we found out we were in fact having a boy, instead of disappointment that it wasn’t a girl we felt that it was just meant to be, cause we had named that boy years earlier and it felt like destiny intended that name to be used.

a famous children’s author from my country said that you should name your children so that one day a street can be named after them. i really like this idea and we definitely did that.

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17 Julie Sampson June 4, 2012 at 7:32 am

My husband is Scandinavian (Icelandic and Swedish mostly,) so for baby #2 we knew we wanted to pick a Swedish name. We scoured the Stockholm white pages online and came up with Maja! As you can see from willowday, it’s the second most popular girls’ name for 2012.

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18 Jenni Bailey June 4, 2012 at 7:33 am

We chose ours pretty quickly – each girl had at least one of her names picked out ahead of time, before we were even pregnant (the first one’s middle name was already chosen and the second one’s first name). And I really really really love what we chose but, I have to admit, I almost went back and changed my second one’s name. It (still) is Brynn Luna but in the few weeks after she was born I learned just how many “polite” ways there are for someone to tell you that your kid’s name is weird and/or awful. I felt bad for saddling her with what seemed then like a difficult name and nearly let it get to me but now I’m glad I didn’t. Her name is exactly her and exactly what I want to call my littlest baby. :)

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19 Christa the BabbyMama June 4, 2012 at 7:49 am

My husband and I went back and forth and back and forth with baby names when I was pregnant with our first daughter. We eventually settled on Paloma, mainly because it was the only name we could both agree on. Presuming this pregnancy is a girl – and I have no reason to presume that *sigh* – we already have a name picked out, half chosen by the aforementioned Paloma! We wouldn’t have accepted her three year old input if it hadn’t been so good :)

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20 Cath W June 4, 2012 at 8:05 am

While still in hospital we named our daughter Isobel Lucy. Her 2 year old brother had other ideas however, and insisted she was Lucy Isobel. He won (of course!)

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21 Barchbo June 4, 2012 at 8:25 am

We name in the hospital. Our plan is to just eliminate names as we go and then choose something from the enormous remainder. We are expecting no. 2 in the fall and we have decided it’s just too hard until we know what she looks like. We did the same thing with our son, too. Thank you for supporting our belief that they have to LOOK like their name!

PS: I love Miriam. :) And we met a super-cute girl named Olive when we were on vacation and now my husband wants that name “not eliminated” from the list.

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22 Sally June 4, 2012 at 8:38 am

My daughter is called Ella-Mae because we couldn’t decide which name we liked better.
I liked Ella, my husband liked Mae.
We both wanted a short name – but ended up with a ‘long’ one because the hyphen was put in the middle…
She calls herself Mae most of the time now (and so do we), but maybe she will be an Ella in the future. We’ll leave it up to her.
But the next baby will only get ONE Name ;-)

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23 Hildie June 4, 2012 at 8:40 am

I have six children (India, York, Finn, Arabella, Adelaide and Jasper) and only with two babies did we leave the hospital knowing their names. Most of our children have two middle names as well so that made it extra difficult. It doesn’t help that my husband refuses to discuss names seriously until he actually sees the baby (the rest of the time his name “suggestions” are things like Xylophone, Principessa and Boy Howdy. Drives me crazy!)

Most of the nurses were pretty impatient about knowing our name choices, checking in every hour or so to find out if we’d decided yet. When I pointed out that the laws in our state (Oregon) allowed for up to five years to decide on a baby name, one of the nurses finally admitted that they were given lower scores for job performance when women left without filling out their paperwork completely.

We were similar to you with our baby Adelaide. We had originally named her Clementine but after two weeks we decided to change it. Last year we added another middle name even though she was already five years old. Names evolve over time and I think five is still young enough to change things a bit.

Just be prepared to deal with a lot of red tape. You have to be really sure!

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24 Alicia W. June 4, 2012 at 8:40 am

We have a name picked out ahead of time. Fortunately my husband and I have very similar taste when it comes to names. My first daughter’s name just fit, even while in the womb. My second daughter’s name was one my husband had loved for years. I had a hard time accepting it for a couple weeks after we found out she was a girl until I stumbled on a nickname that I loved. My son’s name was one on a list of 75! After 2 girls, we had a long list of boy’s names. But we were able to narrow it down and when we decided on his name, it just fit.

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25 Kate June 4, 2012 at 8:44 am

I want to hear about the rest of your baby name decisions!

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26 Giulia June 4, 2012 at 8:49 am

Our daughter’s name is Maelle, we wanted a French name and this is Celtic based out of Northern France and means Princess – it fits her so well. For our son we wanted an English name to balance the family and we wanted an old fashioned solid name – Desmond it is. Both names are not that common so we like it.
I had my name changed when I was 3 years old – I stared off as Julia, but when my mother moved to Switzerland she didn’t like the Germanic pronunciation, so she had it changed to Giulia. Not only did she have to do the paper work in Switzerland, but also in Canada …lots of work to get your name changed.

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27 Shara June 4, 2012 at 3:39 pm

Maelle is a beautiful name!

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28 Molly W. June 4, 2012 at 8:55 am

We had our first child’s name picked out before we were married! It was a name that was going to work for a girl or a boy (but I was hoping girl) -and a girl it was! We haven’t had more children which is probably good b/c there was only one name that was a “must!” :)

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29 Mishti June 4, 2012 at 9:02 am

Yup, people in India can wait up to 6 months before they decide to have the ceremony (often coupled with the first rice-eating ceremony). Think I sent you an email about that a long time ago. For my daughter, however, we’d picked the name long before she was born.

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30 amanda June 4, 2012 at 9:04 am

We had the birth certificate lady waiting at our hospital room door the day we were going home before our son had his full name…my husband and I were like, is this it? We’re sure this is it? Okay, this is it! Even when he was first born, the text announcement I sent out said “still no name, sorry.” I had NO boys names that I was sure about, but we went with a family name for his first (my husband’s middle name which is also my son’s great-grandfather’s name) and picked a middle name (as the lady was waiting!) based on its meaning. It turns out the middle name (Christian) is a family name too, and we didn’t even realize it! My husband’s Danish relatives were Christiansens. That was fun to find out. I’ve had a girl name picked for ages (my grandmother’s name) and I’m hoping our next will be a girl…we love classic and slightly old-fashioned names, hence re-using our grandparents’ names. I think we would have waited longer to name our son if we could, like in Sweden! I do love his name, though, it definitely suits him (and us).

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31 Shannon { A Mom's Year } June 4, 2012 at 9:04 am

I love “how I got my name” stories! Our oldest three seemed to have been named after members of the Royal Family (Andrew, Alexandra, and William!), but they’re actually named after either book characters or real-life people we love.

Lily, on the other hand, wasn’t on my list of names. But when we were going through the adoption process, my mother-in-law came up with the code name “lilypad.” And of course we got to used to calling her that and it stuck! It actually seems to be a popular name nowadays–because of Harry Potter’s mum, maybe?

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32 bdaiss June 4, 2012 at 9:10 am

With our first, we had a girl’s name at the ready quite quickly, but were struggling for a boy name. I’m not sure why – our girl name was based on family names. As we went through a list of boy names I’d pulled, I hit on his grandfather’s name and we both loved it. It was easy to then pair that with one of my grandfather’s names. When it came time for #2, we did flip our girl name choice. Since #1 was named hubby family-my family, I insisted #2 should be my family-hubby family. Any who, the short of it is, our son is named for our mother’s fathers, our daughter for our father’s mothers. Worked out perfectly.

An aside on family names…my husband’s grandfather (Leo) now has 3 great grand’s named after him. His grandmother is quite disappointed no one has yet given a great grand HER name (Leona). Eep!

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33 Shara June 4, 2012 at 3:41 pm

My middle name is Leone, so we named our second son Leonardo! Leo is such a fun name!

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34 Sarah June 4, 2012 at 10:11 am

We wanted names that were different since when we were in school there were several other peers with the same names. We liked the name Gail when I was pregnant with our daughter but couldn’t find a middle name to go with it so it became her middle name and we chose Ruth for her first name because I love older names and we were watching a tv show with a Ruthie character in it and thought it sounded cute so she became Ruth Gail. For our first son my husband always wanted to use the name Maxwell and I wanted my son to have my dad’s name as a middle name so our first son is Maxwell Leo. For our second son again my husband had always had Angus in his mind for a boy and I wanted Augustus so I could call him Gus. We chose Angus (with the disapproval from most of our family) and still call him Gus. So he is Angus Finnegan.

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35 Ibby June 4, 2012 at 10:37 am

Both of my daughters were born in Finland, where the naming tradition is exactly like the one in Sweden. People wait about 6 weeks to name their babies, sometimes longer. It’s a big deal, too, with them celebrating it with what’s called a name-giving ceremony and a whole lot of secrecy surrounding the name-to-be.

As for me and naming my daughters, that Finnish/Swedish tradition really confused me/threw me off. We had a name picked out for our first daughter before she was born, but as we didn’t get to announce it right away, I had loads of time to start second-guessing our choice! At the 6-week mark, I had over-analyzed her name and all names so much that I didn’t anymore know which name I liked, at all! I ended up picking the one we had picked originally, but was somehow less happy with it.

You’d think you have more time to name a baby, and that that would be a nice thing, but really, it’s just a postponing of the final deadline — in most cases, it just increases the stress levels, and doesn’t get better end results.

With our second one, we simply announced the name we had chosen for her a few days after she was born (making sure it was a right fit), and there, that was so much easier! No more fretting and second-guessing for another few months.

I guess it depends on what personality you have. I prefer naming baby at birth, because I find that waiting only over-complicates things. But the Finns really cherish their tradition and making a big deal out of the whole thing, and I suppose there is something nice about that if that’s what you want.

Oops, sorry, such a long reply!

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36 Erica December 11, 2012 at 9:31 pm

You couldn’t be more right about more time adding more stress without improved results. We hadn’t decided on a name before we had our second (a girl). My husband gave her a name immediately, but I found I wasn’t comfortable with it. After stopping the birth certificate paperwork from being processed – we’re still sitting with no final name at 10 months. It’s emotionally excruciating to not know/be comfortable with your babies name – yet knowing you’re the only one who can solve the problem.

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37 Jennifer of Your Toy Portrait June 4, 2012 at 10:41 am

I was just thinking about how bizarre and radical it would seem to encounter a toddler named Jennifer these days! There were so many of us in my late-eighties high-school days that we literally took numbers. My Sonja was named after a doll in one of my favorite childhood books, “The Suprise Doll” by Morrell Gipson. We waffled between Sonja and Sage forever and at the last minute Sage took middle-name status. Both mean wisdom!

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38 Jill W June 4, 2012 at 10:54 am

With our oldest, I had picked out a name. Then we watched some Wyatt Earp movie the night before he was born. After our little one was here, my husband said “I think we should name him Morgan” (one of the Earp brothers). That’s a manly name right? Uh. No. Not anymore. Then next was a daughter. I already had her named since before we were we. Malynn– pronounced like Melinda without the duh. Nobody gets her name right. Sophie was easy. For the next it was a choice between Alison and Rachel. We decided Alison for blonde or Rachel for brown. Ally-Sally Puddin’ in Pie it became. Our last one added to our bevy of beauties. I spent a lot of time and came up with the name Ariann Claire. Again, the husband pulled the same trick. I think her name should be Heidi. I said fine, but her middle name has to be Claire. Then I said the names together. Heidi Claire. This I could not do, so another middle name was chosen. Those are our names, for better or worse. If I were really brave, I would have stuck with the names I carefully wrote in my journal as a girl: Cinderella, Lark and Laurel (for twins), and Strawberry.

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39 Sarah June 4, 2012 at 11:21 am

We’re expecting our first — a girl — in August and don’t have a name yet. We’re down to a pretty solid list of about 8 but neither of us seems very worried about it! I kind of like the idea of waiting to see what she looks like before making the final choice!

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40 Stephanie at rowHOME June 4, 2012 at 11:34 am

This is a fun topic! We had a very short list of 2 names at the hospital, one being a nickname of the other (Stella or Estelle). The middle name had been decided long before. After our girl was born, my husband asked me what I thought? In pain and under the influence of c-section drugs, I told him I just don’t care and I gave him complete control. He picked Estelle, which was most definitely the right choice. She can always be Stella later on.

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41 NolaLeBlanc June 4, 2012 at 11:58 am

As a young girl, I had a whole list of my future children’s names. Then I grew up and lost my beloved grandmother, Margaret. At her funeral, it came to my attention that our family had a tradition of repeating names. There they all were listed on the family tomb: Margaret, Mary, Robert, Regina, etc. So it was decided that my first daughter would be Mary Margaret, a tribute to my grandmother and my mother. The name was completely non negotiable and fortunately my husband was fine with that decision. I did give him free reign over selecting a boy name. He decided to have a III. So now we have Mary Margaret and Michael Daniel, who is also known as Trey.

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42 Annie June 4, 2012 at 12:22 pm

My husband and I have to talk about names for years before we settle on one so generally we have a name chosen for each gender before we even get pregnant. We’ve always decided to wait until the baby is born to see if the name fits but so far we’re three for three. Our kids’ names are rather non-traditional but there are no freaky spellings or pronunciations – they are words anyone would recognize and have personal meaning behind them.

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43 Erin Hall {i can craft that} June 4, 2012 at 12:40 pm

My daughters name I knew before she was born. I knew in fact before I knew she was a girl. if it was a girl it was going to be Evelyn 100%. I am pregnant again with another girl 23 1/2 weeks and I have NO idea what to name this one. its frustrating but I have a bit of time to figure it out I guess.

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44 Missy Anne June 4, 2012 at 1:14 pm

We always had name A, B, and C picked out before the hospital visit. Once the baby was born we just knew which one was right! Although I have to admit, third oldest daughter, I did want to change her name about a month after, but my husband had fallen in love with it! Now I am glad that I kept her name, it fits her so much better!

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45 val June 4, 2012 at 2:17 pm

Naming our children was an adventure from the get-go! We always had a name by the time we arrived at the hospital, but some required much more time to come to final decision. With 3 girls, and then 3 boys, we’ve got Demery (pronounced DeMarie), Emma, Alesha (pronounced like Alicia), Ethan, Vincent, and Jesse. Only our first daughter has an unusual first name, and she’s named after two very good friends of ours, but some of the middle names are extremely unusual. Alesha’s middle name is Gwynneth (the old English version of Kenneth, my husband’s name.) At the time, he was sure he’d never have a boy, and wanted to pass his name down somehow. Since he’s also a Tudor Historian, it was a beautiful way to celebrate his love of English names. When we finally did have a boy, Ken wanted to name him Byrhtnoth (after a dude in the epic poem “the Battle of Maldon), and I flatly refused. We finally settled on the only “normal” name he’d agree to… Ethan Kenneth. I thought I was through having to worry about unusual boy names, but we were surprised with 2 more boys after a 6 year gap. I finally gave in and allowed Ken to give Vincent the middle name Byhrtwold (pronounced Beertvold) after another dude in the Battle of Maldon. I knew I was doomed with our youngest, but I managed to avoid Ken’s favorite name — Sigurd Tiberius (after a Norse hero and a Roman martyr), when we finally settled on Jesse Tiberius, losing the hero, but keeping the martyr. Oddly enough, all their names really fit them, and I don’t regret any of them at this point :)

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46 Alexsis June 4, 2012 at 2:32 pm

Our little one is still cooking (5 months to go!!) so we still don’t know if we have a little boy or a little girl.

But, we’ve picked out our names already! Gosh, I hope they fit whoever I have bouncing around in my belly right now!!

The boy name was easier, we had a list a mile long of names we both loved. We settled on a name which would give our boy the same initials as his father.

The girl name was much more difficult, we couldn’t agree on anything. But, the moment the name came to me, we knew that was her name! (if it’s a her!)

We are keeping our names TOP SECRET until October. But, I will tell you that if we have a little girl her MIDDLE name will be Miriam. :)

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47 Jen Daily June 4, 2012 at 2:51 pm

We didn’t have a name picked out for our first son until a few weeks before he was born. My husband is a IV. He doesn’t love his name, and has always gone by a nickname. So we decided we would only pass down the name if we could come up with another good nickname. Since our little one would be a V, and my husband’s family is Irish, we picked the nickname Finn – like a finsky, or five. My son loves telling people his impressive given name, and explaining the origin of his nickname.

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48 Shara June 4, 2012 at 3:55 pm

We found out the gender in advance for both of our boys. I wanted George for our first (my grandfather, who died just a few months before I was born), but hubby wouldn’t agree, so it became the middle name. And then hubby came up with Roman which I loved, so #1 is Roman George. With second son, I really wanted Napoleon, to shorten to Leo (my middle name is Leone), Hubby thought it sounded like a puppy dogs name :( So we decided on Leonardo instead, and hubby chose Paul as a middle name (his dad’s name) #2 Leonardo Paul.

Both my husband and I have “different” names and spent our lives re-spelling, re-pronouncing etc, so we were concious of that fact when choosing, but also wanting names that weren’t common. I never had a moment of doubt about the final choices and we called them their names throughout the pregnancies and told everyone in advance too.

Choosing names is such fun, but I’ll need to have many more children to use up all my favourites! (and a little girl would be wonderful!)

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49 Shara June 4, 2012 at 3:57 pm

Also, in Australia, they just give you all the paperwork when you leave the Hospital, so it is up to you to post the paperwork in when you’ve filled it out. Much less pressure:)

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50 Jennifer F. - American Mom in Bordeaux June 4, 2012 at 4:07 pm

Naming is always tricky…I think we all have this urge to “get it right”…I like one of the earlier comments that names evolve over time. We were lucky that our three children were girls…lucky as we never could agree on any boys names…Most of our names were derived from family names and but also having to keep in mind that since my husband is French – the names needed to work in both languages…We did well – expect..my middle daughter whose name is Ava..is now having a bit of an name issue since moving to France – Ava as the English say it…is spelled Eva here in France…(We knew that when she was named but since we lived in the States at the time..didn’t want Americans to call her Eva). In France they have begun spelling and using the name Ava…but it’s pronounced “Ah..va”….so when she says her name here..they spell it wrong…..or when the French see her name spelled…they say it wrong…It’s just an education process!!

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51 Jill Di Pietro June 4, 2012 at 5:27 pm

While backpacking through Italy twleve years ago, I had my first genuine encounter with Italian gelato. My favorite flavor was the Nocciola (pronounced no-cho-la). I couldn’t get over its color and flavor. I was transfixed. I had it in every city we stopped in ( but it was the best in Florence, fyi). As I read the translation under it for the first time- Hazelnut, I fell in love with those five letters- Hazel. It was as interesting and beautiful as its color and flavor. I instantly knew I would name my first daughter that. And twelve years later, I have an almost five year old girl named…. Hazel! She personifies what I thought of that gelato, and loves Nocciola even more than I do, if that’s possible. I even converted my husband to the flavor (before he was a die hard dulce de leche and limon only fan). And since her dad is Argentine with Italian descent, and Argentina is basically a little copy of Italy in food and culture, we get to have Nocciola a lot. Every time we do, we reminisce about how I named her seven years before she was conceived, before her parents even met, in her father’s country that he still has never been to. And then we all order another scoop.

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52 Jill Di Pietro June 4, 2012 at 5:34 pm

And Hazelnut in Argentina is Avellana (a-vay-sha-na) so we get to teach Hazel all the different ways to say her name when traveling. She loves it and feels super special. Thank heaven’s she likes food as much as I do and doesn’t question why I named her after an ice cream flavor :)

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53 Robyn June 4, 2012 at 5:29 pm

We changed a name as well. It was an emotional decision. Lots of paperwork hassle, embarrassing, postpartum hormonal issues, and lots of explaining to do. But I am SO GLAD WE DID IT! Thank heavens I had the courage to make the change.

My sister-in-law still wishes she had (within the first week she regretted her choice – 7 years later she still does)

Here’s a great article http://www.babynamewizard.com/archives/2008/9/namers-remorse

Here’s a good article http://www.babynamewizard.com/archives/2008/9/namers-remorse

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54 Corinne June 4, 2012 at 7:25 pm

Two of our children have gone 2 weeks and 3 weeks respectively without a name. With our son, my husband was so sure he was a girl that he wouldn’t even discuss boy names. :) I was so worried we were going to rush into choosing a name that he would carry his whole life that I had a super hard time deciding. One Sunday, my husband even announced to the whole congregation that we had Baby Voldemort – the boy who must not be named. Ha ha. We chose the name Emerson, then we found out people name their girls this (?). I was so worried he’d be traumatized when he got older. When we finally did name him (Emerson), I knew it was the right name and I was stressed for nothing. I guess we’ll see in first grade. :) http://iamamormonmom.blogspot.com/search?q=voldemort

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55 Rebecca June 4, 2012 at 8:34 pm

Oh, dear. Your Miriam story is so relevant to us – the backstory that’s just too long to go into here landed us (really me; my poor husband shouldn’t have to take any of the blame for this one) with the name J. Benjamin Weiss for our little peanut of a boy. Yep, the first name is just the letter J.

When I first filled out the paperwork in the hospital, the poor attendant handed the form back to me and said, ‘Honey, why don’t you hold onto the form and rethink this and I’ll come back for it later.’ I assured her it was what I wanted. She sighed, took the form and said knowingly with a smile that said she knew I just wasn’t thinking straight and would regret it, ‘OK honey, but remember you have 30 days to change the paperwork, OK?’

I must admit it has been a hassle with the insurance company, with every doctor’s office we’ve been to, pretty much everywhere, family included. But I like it. It’s got a good ring to it, I think.

And that’s what counts <3

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56 robyn June 4, 2012 at 8:48 pm

The first time around we went to the hospital with a short list of names. Both my husband and I wanted to meet our little guy before we really decided, but I think we both had a favorite on the list. After he was born, I looked at him and said, “Does he look like a Sam?” My husband thought he did, and of course we can’t imagine him having any other name. The middle name was easy, both our dads are named Robert, so we named him Samuel Robert (those these days he says his name is Sammy Luke Skywalker).

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57 Pistolette June 4, 2012 at 9:32 pm

Considering how strange my kids names are, it was actually an easy choice, and I chose them months before the birth. We both knew we wanted to use old Cajun French family names, something that’s making a comeback here. My daughter’s is Evariste and my son’s is Savinien – Eva and Savi for nicknames. Both names are actually for males in French :)

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58 Heidi June 4, 2012 at 11:19 pm

Our oldest was so active in the womb, that one evening after spending time lying in bed looking at my belly, my husband said that we should name the baby after Diego Maradonna. (famous footballer) Diego is Jakob in German, so that is how he got his name.

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59 Jette Rasmussen June 5, 2012 at 1:30 am

In Denmark you don’t name the baby at the hospital the leave only with the mothers last name – in my case “boy Rasmussen” ore “girl Rasmussen”
Then you either babtise your baby or naming your baby, this within 6 month. You can even within the first 10 day name your baby online :)

My story: the first and the third one we had a name to, but with number two we juggled with four names and first after a month we could decide.

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60 breakfastinmoscow June 5, 2012 at 2:57 am

So interesting – the Swedish names are really lovely. Interesting that a lot of them are similar to popular U.S. baby names at the moment. I loved Elsa for girls and Oscar for boys. I just did a post on most popular Russian baby names (my husband and I live in Moscow). My favorite Russian boy names are Constantine, Boris and Gleb. Favorite girl names are Maria and Zoya…

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61 leslie June 5, 2012 at 3:14 am

we knew the names ahead of time.
my husband and i would decide on 2 names and actually had my father deciding on one {following a tradition that he would name all the children coming into the family, his own and his grandchildren}. so before we got to the hospital we knew their names.
and i must say that i love them to date! i’ve never regret them and i think they fit them so very well!
we have to children whom we lost before being birthed and we have named them as well. both have more of “symbolic” names {what their short lives and their passing meant for us}.

here in germany you have to name your child in a certain time period, so you’re kind of “under pressure”. and the registry office is actually allowed to decline the name you’ve chosen {for being too “weird”, if they are gender-specific, …} i guess that’s why we are famous for our officialism ;)

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62 leslie June 5, 2012 at 3:17 am

what i meant is: they have to be gender-specific :)

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63 norah June 5, 2012 at 4:37 am

didn’t name our first till she was 11 days old…named her Senai, the hebrew word for sinai since she was born on the holiday of shavuot when we celebrate receiving the torah at mount sinai. second (a boy) was so easy…we just loved the name Nadav, means generous, openhanded. third, the name came to my husband in a dream, so we had to go with that (a boy, named Roee, means “my shepherd” as in “God is my shepherd…” #4 was tough…we had all these left over names that we loved…but my favorite won: we named our boy Lev, which means heart in hebrew (and lion in russian!)

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64 Victoria June 5, 2012 at 4:56 am

In Russia we have at least one month to name a baby before receiving Birth Certificate, so we can look at the baby and decide what name fits best of all.

And that is why my son hadn’t any name except for a “baby” for about 2 weeks :)

My junior daughter was born in Thailand on Koh Samui and the first words I heard after giving birth were: “What’s your baby’s name?” So we were glad the name had been decided long before – Nina :)

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65 Cath June 5, 2012 at 6:45 am

In Italy you are expected to have a name even before the baby is born! My hospital were very insistent that I gave them a name (even though it isn’t legally binding) while I was in labour and the midwife even scolded me that “I had had 9 months to think about it so why was I hesitating?”. Two years ago I had twins and I named my son and my husband named our daughter. I would have liked to have changed her name but, again, that is illegal here – plus my husband wouldn’t have agreed. Luckily, two years on it has grown on me!

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66 lynn June 5, 2012 at 7:00 am

My husband and I went through all of our family names and all of the baby name books and really couldn’t agree on anything that we liked for a boy.

Then, as he was packing up to be away for the last 5 months of the pregnancy, we both looked at the copy of the book he planned to record himself reading (you know, so the baby could hear is voice before he arrived) and realized that the title would be it.

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67 Vera June 5, 2012 at 2:36 pm

Wow, great topic. My husband is a software developer and I’m doing my PhD on Romantic literature: these fields do not have a lot in common, except Ada Lovelace, who is considered to be the first computer programmer AND she is the daughter of Lord Byron. So, our first daughter is Ada, as her father saw it in his dreams. :) Then, there is a sweet Hungarian song about a “lencsi doll” (a doll with big, round eyes, a favourite old toy), so I wanted to find a name for our second daughter that can be shortened to Lencsi, and we ended up with Léna (which I love). And she has amazing eyes of course!

Btw in Hungary, hospital staff really do insist on having the name before the birth (if you have time, that is), I can’t really see why…

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68 Michelle T. June 5, 2012 at 3:03 pm

This is an interesting topic. I am pregnant right now. If it is a girl we have a family name (my great-great grandmother) picked out that we both really like. If it is a boy we are going to have a really hard time choosing a name. We went through a bunch the other night and couldn’t agree on any :S My family all have names connected to the family, my husband’s family all have Bible names.

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69 rachel June 5, 2012 at 5:24 pm

Following our Jewish tradition made it fairly easy for my husband and I. Before we had children we decided that if we had a boy it would be named after my husband’s father. Our first was a boy and so, he was named. And our daughter was named after my beloved grandmother. Our tradition is to use the actual names of the deceased who we are naming the child after. There are some Jewish parents who choose to just use the first initial of the name of the person they are naming their child after. We happen to like the real first names so used them.

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70 Ariana June 5, 2012 at 8:50 pm

In Indonesia, some people also take several months to think about their baby names…so we usually got the names before we’re going to the labour room. I have 3 boys & they are all started with “G”… the first one initial is G.A, so when it came to the 2nd one…either it has to be the same “G” or else…then it became G.C When I got the third boy, then it became a concept that first name has to be “G” & the middle name skipping 2 letters of the alphabeth, G.E :)

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71 Clarity June 5, 2012 at 9:34 pm

With both of our children, we agonized, debated, and laughed over names until we were going crazy! Our son ended up Caspian (after the sea, for me and the C.S. Lewis book for my husband) and our daughter ended up Lucinda. We wanted names that were unique, could be shortened or nicknamed, and that would stand the test of time. I believe that the trendier the name, the more dated it is going to seem in a few years. There’s a great site for baby names: nameberry.com. I spent many a pregnant, sleepless night on there searching for the perfect moniker.

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72 senja June 6, 2012 at 3:10 am

I am German/Finnish but live in Sweden with my Swedish husband. I agree that it is very common here to wait with the name giving to get a feel for the babys personality. My cousin who is also married to a Swede took about 5 months to name her boy. That would be a bit too long for my taste though.

We are expecting our first baby in the beginning of July and have discussed a few names already but will wait until we see her. Right now my favorite is Greta which works in each language.

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73 neo June 6, 2012 at 4:03 pm

I absolutely love that baby photo. And my husband is half Swedish.
Our baby’s name was tough. We had a name picked out but when we shared it folks had a lot of opinions. And they felt that they can share both the good and the bad. So changed our mind about the initial name. We finally settled on a very pretty family name and figured it out a couple of months before her birth.

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74 Tina June 7, 2012 at 1:24 pm

It’s Ea (girl), Karla (girl) and Jannik (boy). Love those names :)

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75 Darcy June 8, 2012 at 11:00 am

Gabby, will you tell us why Flora June is “June” and not “Flora”? And are you really going to tease us by only giving us Ralph’s and Maude’s stories? More, more, please!

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