Tuesday, January 03, 2012

The Trouble with Naming

As we start to think about potential names for this baby, we run into lots of naming difficulties.  In theory, naming a boy should be easy.  Ben and I had two boy names picked out before we even got married.... which is, of course, why we ended up having two girls first. 

The two boy names that we loved right from the start were Liam and Aiden.  When we picked them out eight years ago, they were both unique.  Since then, both have become hugely popular.  I just got an email from BabyCenter identifying the top 100 names of 2011.  According to them, "Aiden" has just topped the boys' list for the seventh year in a row.  Similarly, "Liam" has raised in popularity from a mere #10 to #4.

This is sad for me, because we were hoping to have somewhat unique names for our kids.  Not anything super-crazy, but at least names that not everyone else in their generation has.  I say this because I have one of the most popular names of my generation, and I ran into lots of confusion while growing up because I had so many other friends (including my next-door-neighbor and college roommate) with the same name as me.  So I don't want to saddle my kids with some kind of crazy, made-up, unpronouncable names, but I also don't want them to have to constantly go by a first name and last initial (I was AmyP all growing up).

That all being said, I think we're still sticking with "Aiden" as our boy's name.  Ben tells me that we need to come up with some crazy way to spell it (Aden?) so that it will only have four letters, as "Bryn," "Shay," and "Liam" each have four letters.  I am against that for two reasons: 1) "Pfanschmidt" and "Meyaard" are both hard enough to spell, without doing anything crazy to the first name and 2) "Shay" is short for "Shaylee" and "Liam" is short for "William," both of which are more than seven letters, which, in my opinion, invalidates his argument.  :)

"Liam" is actually "William David."  We loved the name "Liam" right from the start, but we gave him the official name of "William" in honor of Ben's grandfather, uncle, and cousin, who are all also named William.  The "David" is for my dad.  If this baby is a boy, it will be "Aiden Thomas," with the "Thomas" being for Ben's dad.

But we are struggling to come up with a girl name.  Of course, this is partially because Ben refuses to seriously discuss the topic, since he is 100% sure that this baby is a boy and discussing girl names would be a waste of time.  :)

I had liked the name "Bryn" ever since my own growing-up years, so once Ben decided that he liked it too, the first one wasn't so hard.  But we really, really struggled to come up with "Shay" (or, more formally, "Shaylee").  In fact, this blog was instrumental in naming our Shaylee Grace.  (See the discussion here.)  If this should end up being a girl, we will probably need to ask for help from all of you again!

As a side note, I was amused to see that on the same BabyCenter post, it listed the most "up-and-coming" popular girls' names for 2012.  One of the names on the list was "Brynlee"--as in, half of our first daughter's name and half of our second daughter's name.  Yeah, we're such trendsetters!!  ;)


Andrea said...

Hmmm, I do remember that converstaion now. I am not very good with coming up with unique names but a friend on facebook was having a discussion about the same thing. Here are the girl names suggested:

Payson (means "child of peace")

You can still have "suck chin" as a back-up boy name, if you'd like. ;)

amypfan said...

Tegan (Teagen) is actually my #1 girl name, but Ben keeps vetoing it. I also like Harper, but he wrinkles his nose at that too. I also like Quinn, but I refuse to have children with rhyming names. I like that almost all of the names that you suggested are Irish in origin, as you know that's a requirement for us. :)

Andrea said...

That facebook thread had a lot more names than these - these were just ones that I thought were cute and mostly went with the Irish theme. I wasn't thinking about Bryn when I wrote Quinn (duh).

I will have to pull out my baby names book and flip through it as well.

I love talking about baby names. :)

amypfan said...

"I love talking about baby names."
This is just one reason, among many, that you should have another baby too. ;)

Andrea said...

I agree Amy! Now we just have to get Rob a new job and we'll be ready to go! ;)

Andrea said...

Okay I've found more (all irish):

Evelyn (Evie - your 4 letter nickname)

Katie DeKoster said...

I love that you're sharing your names! Ours were TOP SECRET so I totally understand when people do that, but I like talking about other people's names even better :) LOVE the name Harper. And don't you remember our camper named Teagan?? I liked her. Although that was also the name of the main character in the book Tyger, Tyger and I didn't like her at all. Still... it's a good name :) I can't believe the name Paisley is getting so popular! It's my niece's middle name and at the time I thought it was crazy, but now it's perfectly normal!