Week 26: The name game

By Published On: December 9th, 2014

I could never go by just “Emily” in school. I […]

I could never go by just “Emily” in school. I was always “Emily S.” growing up because so many other girls in my grade were also named Emily. I think for a while there was even another “Emily S.,” so we both had to go by the first two letters of our last name. My parents routinely promise that they rarely heard the name Emily when they decided on the name back in the mid-’80s, but then shortly after my birth, my mom walked into a shop with monogrammed items and everything was monogrammed with “Emily.” Whoops! So now, as my husband and I begin to think about what we are going to name our little baby girl, I start to think about how her name will impact her throughout her life.


With 100,000 choices, I sure hope we can find a name before this baby comes.

Just recently, I saw that a list of the most popular baby names for 2014 came out, so I gave it a look. Sophia, Emma and Olivia respectively were top honorees for girls. All of those are adorable names for little girls, but now they are all also completely stricken from consideration in our household. I don’t want to pass on the “Please use the first letter of your last name  on every assignment from kindergarten to senior year”-syndrome onto our daughter. Since our son’s name is Boone, it shouldn’t surprise you that we like names that are a bit unusual, but finding the perfect one is a full-on endeavor for us right now.
My dear husband (love him to pieces) is an engineer and is all about practicality. So, there was no daydreaming about baby names back when we were lovey-dovey in our dating days. In fact, he refused to even discuss a name for our first child until we found out the gender at 20 weeks. His theory: “What’s the point in brainstorming names for both genders when you will only need one?” See what I mean about the practical thing? So we started compiling a preliminary name list only after we found out we were expecting a son. We had a list of about ten or so names that we liked, but then one day my husband found Boone in our trusty baby name book we picked up at a garage sale, and he was sold. With a name chosen, we were in complete agreement that we would not share the name we picked for our baby with many people. We assumed—and still do—that it is better for there to be a cute, pudgy baby present before offering up his unusual name to the throngs of opinions.
As for this next baby, we’ve dusted off the book and begun our preliminary list, but there are so many things left to consider. Should we use a family name, a traditional name or something more unique? If we find a name we like, do we know anyone else who has that name? What about unique spellings? And—gasp—what if someone you know uses the name we like for their own baby before ours is born?
So where are you in the baby naming process? Did you have it figured out pretty quickly, or were you cuddling a nameless babe in the hospital for several days before you officially gave your wee one a moniker?