Naming your own children as a name nerd

For those of you who have had a long time interest in omnomastics...

Do you find it difficult to name your own children when the time comes? Despite years of making name lists, study, interest ect.  I'm wondering if it is just me or if it is a common problem.




October 27, 2015 5:56 AM

I haven't named a child yet, but we're getting to that point, and I can already see how the ideal of names I've always had is getting subverted. The top boy/girl contenders don't really go together, but if we had one of each we'd likely use them anyway. Then there's all the relative baggage -- I'm fine with the names on my side of the family tree but less enthused about my partner's side. I'm lucky that he is really open-minded to names, as I get the impression on here that some peoples' husbands are more traditionalist on the subject.

I comfort myself that I write a lot of fiction and they all need names. Although even in writing, I often can't use the names I like as they don't sound like realistic choices for the age of the characters or where they're from.

I threw it all out the window one time though, and had protagonists named Casper and Ione. That was a happy writing experience. :)

October 27, 2015 11:03 AM

Naming my son couldn't have been easier.  I come from a culture that has deeply entrenched naming customs: children are named for their deceased forebears, period.  My son had two deceased grandfathers, so naming him took exactly one second, no lists, no parental negotiations.  Had we had a daughter, same thing.  My mother was deceased, so that was one name.  Since the other grandmother was living, we would have used her maiden name as the middle, no lists, no negotiations.

When it came time to name my grandson, my son and daughter-in-law circulated a list to the two grandmas.  The list contained a lot of "joke" names and some serious options.  We all immediately picked Elliott from the list, complete consensus.  The only question was which of the several spellings.  I cast my vote for double l double t, and that was it.

October 27, 2015 11:35 AM

As a matter of interest, what would have happened if you'd had say, four sons?

October 27, 2015 3:34 PM

No problem.  Between father's family and mother's family, there is no end of dead people.  After using grandparents' names, there are great-grandparents, uncles, great uncles, and so on.  Just on my father's side there would have my grandfather Shlomo Chaim (Solomon), uncle Yaakov (Jacob), great-grandfather Yitzchak Moshe (Isaac Moses), great uncle martyred at Auschwitz Dovid Mordechai (David), first cousin once removed martyred at Auschwitz Menachem Mendel, and many others (my grandfather was one of six sons and my grandmother one of eight children).  And that doesn't touch my maternal side, or my son's father's side. 

October 27, 2015 5:35 PM

I found it soooo hard - mainly because you have to pick just one (well, two), instead of having these long lists of all the names you love. Also, working with a partner who shoots down all your dream names can be very disheartening. When I used to write fiction, I would take weeks and months finding the perfect name for the characters, but I was writing multiple characters for multiple pieces, and I had no one to answer to but myself - and I didn't really have to worry about how that child would feel going through life with that name... So yes, naming an actual child, especially when it's likely to be your only one, can be very difficult when you really really love names :-)

October 27, 2015 5:51 PM

I didn't find it difficult, but I did find it very different. The names I thought I would use ended up veering in a very different direction once we actually were having a real child to name.

I do think it helps that I have had the incredible luck to have three living children to name, and hope to get to do so one more time... I think naming gets harder with having smaller family size, because you just have fewer opportunities to use the names you love. It also helps that friends often keep me in the loop on their naming quandaries, so I get to use my naming interests on children other than my own. (This forum is satisfying in a very similar way.)

October 27, 2015 7:00 PM

I was a little disappointed when we agreed on a name so quickly.  I said "I like the name ___" and my husband said "I like that too, what about a middle?  I like ___."  I said "I like ___ too."  And we were done.  Then because I couldn't let it stay that easy, we had to go through lists and make sure that was the best name out there.  It definately was.   The only thing we went back and forth on was one middle name or two.  In the end, we decided that the difficulties of having two middle names were outweighed by the desire to pass on my maiden name as a second middle. 

October 27, 2015 7:09 PM

I think I would find naming exceptionally easy if I didn't have to consider my husband's opinion :) I could whip up a list of 3-5 names in no time, and a favorite would emerge easily. I am lucky that we've had some overlap in choices, although that may be partially due to my incessant talking about my favorites and wearing him down. He does call me a name snob, and doesn't understand my distaste for certain styles. 

October 27, 2015 8:35 PM

I didn't find it difficult in the beginning.  Boys are pretty easy for us to name as we have a distintive taste that narrows it down pretty easily.  Girls are harder for us because the pool of names is so much bigger. I am also finding that that the name nerd inside of me gets in the way.  They all need to sound good together but not be to similar. Then it needs to have a nice meaning, ect.  

Right now we need to decided on a name for a little girl and I am a bit overwhlemed by how many names we actually like.  Some would think it was the opposite.  I decided to just table it until she is born and hopefully it will be easier when we see her.  

November 8, 2015 9:57 PM

It's definitely easier to compile lists of adored names than it is to assign a single name to an actual person. One thing has made it easier for me in narrowing it down is choosing to follow a couple family traditions. There are names I love that I can never use because they don't follow the "rules", which actually simplifies things a bit. The most difficult part has been managing the difference in my and my husband's naming styles.