Thursday, October 2, 2008

What's in a name

Bev has written a book review on a baby name book, over at 5 Minutes for Mom. I don't know of a mom in the world who doesn't love talking about how she chose the names for her children. When we were expecting our first baby, the name book of choice was "Beyond Jennifer and Jason." For the record, I always wished my name was Jennifer. When my friends and I would play and "pick names" I was either Jennifer or Marie. And when I was Marie, I had beautiful olive-colored skin and flowing black hair. Now, I have my own Marie, but her name is Emily and she prefers a short blunt cut to flowing tresses. But, I digress. When we were waiting for Joey to arrive, I would pour through the BJ&J book, driving my husband crazy, and manipulating every conversation I could to the question, "so what are your kids names? And how did you choose?" I don't recall all the details of the book, but it was organized in chapters, something to the effect of, Classic Names that never go out of style, Celebrity kids names, and names that went the way of avocada refrigerators -- that would be Janet, Pamela, Karen. Well! Our boy name choice for our first was hands down, Joseph, for my father and Dan's grandfather. I think it's a fine name, a strong name, and it follows my mother-in-law's logic in choosing boys' names. That as a little boy he can be Joey, as he grows he'll be Joe, and when he's a doctor, he can be Joseph. His middle name is Daniel, keeping with Dan's tradition of giving the son the father's name for a middle name. It's a good thing Joe was a boy, because we never agreed on a girl's name. My first choice was Samantha. Our other choice was Stephanie, but a family down the street with the same last name as ours had a Stephanie and we dreaded that their mail would be forever mixed up. With our second child, I knew if he was a boy (and he is) I wanted him to be named Luke. Dan liked Lucas. So did his grandmother. I won. But that didn't keep his grandmother from writing Lucas on all of his birthday cards and referring to him as Lucas in her letters, for as long as she lived. She was strong-willed to say the least. Luke's middle name is for my grandfather. It is Masterson, my mother's maiden name, and when you put it all together Luke Masterson (followed by our last name), as my friend said, "Now that's a man I want to meet." We had no idea when we named Emily that it was the most popular girl's name in the country. In fact, she was born on New Year's Eve, and a week later the paper came out and said "Emily" was the most popular name for girls that year. She's always been Emmy to us. Or Em. I wanted us to share something in our names, so her middle name is the same as mine -- Elizabeth. Through all of her years in pre-school through 1st grade, I was asked, Does she have a dog named Clifford? Sorry, Em. If I were lucky enough to have another child, I would name a girl Caroline, for my mother, and if it were a boy, I would name him Benjamin or Matthew. Funny thing, my parents didn't give any of us middle names. I think it had something to do with the fact that my mother was named for her mother and so she went by her middle name, to avoid confusion. (Good thing. Her first name was Edna). But the Edna was forever getting in the way, at the insistence of school teachers, and signing for checks and such. She signed her name E. Caroline. So, from her own experience, my mom decided that having two names was a hassle, and as Catholics we would eventually choose names for confirmation, so that could be our second name if we wanted one. I chose Elizabeth. My brothers decided to go sans middle names, except for my rebel brother who chose Zebulon. But, that's another story.


Trailboss said...

My kids are named Kevin Ryan (goes by Ryan but first name is the same as his dad's). Ryan was suggested to me by my beloved mother. My daughter is Stephanie Carol (same middle name as me because in the hospital when they were handing me the form to name her I still had not decided on a middle name). My dad suggested Stephanie because it kind of had his name Steve in it. So that made things easy for me.

Boomeyers said...

I have an Emily Elizabeth as well! She will be 14 on Sunday. We got an entire set of Clifford books as a gift when she was little. It had never occurred to me until we received them! :p Her daddy got to pick her name, as I named the first. (By the way her name is Jennifer! hahaha!) The third is a free for all is'nt it! Marissa.

Joanne Justis said...

You would not believe the secrets that lay hidden within a name and a birthdate. The name reveals the baby's personal characteristics and traits (Soul Desire, Personality, Purpose and eight lessons to be learned) while the birthdate reveals the child's development areas (strengths and weaknesses).

All children are born with a spiritual master plan--their blueprint but unfortunately, the naming convention is not only misunderstood but it would be shocking if parents learned the truth about naming in general and how it will affect their child's life.

The most important gift a parent will ever bestow on their child is his/her name.

Joanne Justis
Chaldean Master Numerologist and Author
Baby Naming Expert

Sharon said...

When we were choosing names, it was still in the age where we didn't get know the we chose both a girl's and a boy's name to be prepared.

My girls' names were Rachel, Rebekah or Sarah...all were former girlfriends' names for my former husband, so they didn't take. We ended with a "Misty," and she has been that wisp of a blonde that you might associate with such a name. She, however, felt that only dogs and horses had that name.She shares a middle name of Marie with me and her grandmother, Hazel.

For my second child, my boy -- he was selected to be the bearer of the family name "Kirk" that goes back further than the 1600s in Scotland, which is where I have studied it through. Basically, it was Kirk for his paternal great grandfather and Andew as the middle name for his maternal great grandfather. When Kirk was about 11, he decided to switch the names, and began using Andrew Kirk -- I could always date mailings that would arrive for him, from that decision time.

Thank you for this post, Karen. Yes, we do love to talk out our children at any given chance, and specifically their choice of names.

I do disagree somewhat with Joanna's take on the significance of the date and name...unless she is alluding to God's sovereignty and his pre-knowledge of each of our lives :)

Robin said...

I love your name story! And Emily Elizabeth is a beautiful name - even if there is no Clifford!