WWYD on maintaining patterns - homonym/homograph version
We have two naming patterns/traditions. This isn't it, but a good example is that everyone has a virtue name--Faith, Hope, Charity, Felicity, Innocent--and everyone has an honor name, with each child having an honor name from a different branch of the family tree.
The problem is that we've chosen a first name that doesn't meet either criteria and are having difficulty finding a middle name that meets both. Now I'm working through my options of what to do. I am going to be intentionally vague to avoid being forever searchable (so please don't bring over the name if you are able to deduce it), but this is a theory question anyway so that shouldn't matter much.
There's only one branch of the family tree left. There are plenty of acceptable choices but none with a personal connection much less a love, so a name from this list would be given solely to represent that branch of the family tree. I'm actually perfectly fine with that, and it gives me the entire family tree to work with, too.
It would be really nice to honor this branch of the family tree and it would mean a lot to certain people we would like to honor within it by doing so. It also feels wrong to have everyone else having a family connection and this child not, or to double back on a branch before honoring that one. On the other hand, no one in this branch expects us to use a name from it so the pressure is only internal. And a little external as the other kids (and maybe opinionated people in other branches) would point out the lack of family connection, which could be a subtle identity issue for the child depending on personality and life experiences.
Then we have the naming group list, which is dwindling. So if I was naming my kids apostles' names (which I'm not) then there's only Thaddeus and Bartholomew left, neither of which are in the entire family tree from the remaining branch. We could expand the group (from apostles to disciples so Silas, Cleopas, and Urban would be among the added choices) or expand to things connected to the group (to place names where the apostles traveled, possibly, so choices like Roman and Constantine could be included), but no matter how creative we make this expansion, there is absolutely no crossover anywhere with the entire family tree branch that remains.
There is no equivalent to Thaddeus, or to Theodore, or Dorothy, or any name meaning heart, or referring to a love of God, or to any place Thaddeus traveled, or to anything he did (like Baptiste).... And the same is true for the name Bartholomew (in this mythic example). Following? There's no name we've so far identified, even in the expanded lists, that fits in both the naming group and the family group. Ahhhh! Found the trigger! Between expanded and lists I had a word meaning pull, expand, lengthen, like the guy named Armstrong, and that word apparently isn't allowed.
1. Drop the family honor name. (This is possible but not desirable). It's already expanded out completely so there's no way to further broaden this list.
2. Drop the naming group. (I can't in good conscience do this. And I do have a name from the group that works, though I'm not stuck on using it.)
3. Expand the naming group. (I am open to this, but realistic expansions have not so far produced a name we love, much less one with crossover. It is possible on closer inspection we could discern some crossover/connection in meaning or derivation or something, though.)
4. Use two middle names. (This is a possibility. It's hampered by the lack of love so far in the family honor names making the second name feel tacked on, but if there was a good flow this would definitely be in the running.)
5. Drop it all and shrug. Just pick something of signifigance to us that has no connection to either tradition the others share, and don't look back. (I have a name that could work for this but I just can't let go of the naming group so that I find myself automatically adding a second middle name anyway to include it.)
POSSIBLE NEW SOLUTION
So that's what I thought we were working with until I came across a new possible solution. I found that the first name we've chosen is a bit of a homonym for one that fits in the naming group. They are really two completely different names, and in their original languages they are said differently, but you could legitimately spell them both the same way in English if you wanted. (While neither is readily recognizable by the masses, one is known more in English-speaking countries and would get a bit more side eye than the other over the alternative spelling if you tried to tell people it was the same exact thing as the original, so I'd be more inclined to saying one is a derivative spelling and one is an alternative spelling.) It is conceivable one could say the spelling they share in the same way for either name so in that sense one could say they're homographs (same spelling, maybe same pronunciation, different meanings).
Example: think Áine, Anya, Ana, Anne. It would be acceptable to spell Áine as Anya and even in places to say they have the same pronunciation, but it is not the same name as Ann or Anna. You could walk around tellng people that Áine is the same as Anya and most people would accept it just fine, but every now and again you'd meet someone who would judge you to be an idiot who doesn't know what s/he is talking about and would correct you, at least in their internal monologue. And that tiny percentage, if and when you did occassionally encounter them, would be right. Following still?
So getting from name A to transliterated spelling to name B's and it's alternative spelling equaling the same name enough to give name A in honor of name B is a tad bit more than a [reach] on paper, but one is free to claim whatever connection one desires in honor names, and the explanation we have for choosing the name doesn't actually affect the name itself and would meet all of our internal criteria, so it's an option to say the first name is in honor of someone with a homonym-ish name from the naming group. But is it a good option?
DO I OR DON'T I? WWYD?
The first name isn't changing. So if I choose to associate it with the homonym-like name from the naming group, we could then choose a single middle name from the family list and we'd be set. The question is, considering the two names have no connection except the ability to be spelled the same way in English, is it too much of a stretch to be able to choose it in good conscience?
We could say Anna is for Ananias or that Áine is the same name as Ann and 99.5% of people would just accept it as true, but we would know they're different names with different histories and usages. At this point, I have three middle name slots (family, group, just for love) and can't even choose one.
Help me think out loud, please. Would you try to use it or drop it, or would you go for a stretch to make it work?
Wed, 02/15/2017 - 9:50pm