The Naming Game | How to Name, or not name your child.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Have you ever looked back to when you were a little girl?  When you knew exactly how your wedding would be and you'd already named all your kids?  Then you have a real wedding and real children and everything changes.

I love naming. I love names.  Even though I know I shouldn't, as soon as those two lines stare at me my mind is already making name lists.  Generally by the 20 week scan we have our names sorted and as soon as we find out the gender, baby is named.  Occasionally we'll change or rearrange a middle name yet for the most part, that is the name our child keeps.

However, once you've got past the first trimester you realise that it's not just up to you, oh no, him indoors has a say too.  This wouldn't be so bad if they actually contributed something other then 'No' to every possible name you suggest.

With each pregnancy, our short list of names have been entirely different.  As far as I can remember there has only been one first name that has appeared on the shortlist for two different babies and The Husband said absolutely no both times.  He's an arse like that.

His sole contributions have been 'Lucy' for a girl and 'Kurgen' for a boy.  Every time.  Everytime I say no to the first (lovely name yet my first dog was called Lucy) and no to the second because cool The Highlander connotations aside, it's ugly and crap.

Moomin already has her name.  Sorry but I won't be sharing it as the kids have a right to anonymity on here.

It's not like I don't give The Husband enough choice, seeing his own lack on input yet quickness to discount my suggestions.  Indeed when pregnant with The Preschooler I gave him a long and varied list.  He either straight out vetoed a name with no excuse nor reason given or else he would offer the most tremendously obscure reasons ever.  I'll share some with you but i'll omit the names the comments relate to, you know, because one of your kids probably has one of the names.

"Sounds like a tropical disease"
"Too biblical"
"One of my cousins (that we never see) has an adopted daughter (that we never see) called that"
"It makes me think of Salmonella"
"It's a cat's name"
"It's a doll from playschool"
"It's a 'nothing' name"
"Too Welsh"
"Too celebrity"
"Too predictable"
"Sounds like a skin disorder"
"A dog's name"
"That was name name of Rocky's wife and she was a shit character"
"Too boring"
"Something to do with a serial killer"
"Too stuck up"
"Too royal"
"Too boring"
"Too much like a stone"
"Too much like a daft bint from X-Factor"
" *just laughter*"
"Too Hollywood"
"Too hilarious"
"Too normal"
"Sounds like a waiter"
"Too Scottish"
"Too poncy"
"Too Swedish"
"Reminds him of Cher"
"Sounds like it should have Fever after"

See what I was up against?

So what do you take into account when naming your child?  Below are some of the questions you should perhaps mull over in your mind when choosing names:

1. Do I know anyone with that name? Do I like that person?
2. Have I ever shagged anyone with that name?
3. Have I ever had a pet with that name?
4. Does it mean 'evil git' or 'Wanton Whore' in some ancient language?
5. Does it spell something gross backwards?
6. How easy is it for someone to butcher the spelling of it?
7. Will my child have to forever spell it out to people?
8. How easy is it for people to fuck up the pronunciation of it?
9. Is there a particular pronunciation of it that I despise?
10. Have I ever met someone I absolutely abhor with that name?
11. Does my partner have an ex with that name?
12. What is it most likely to be shortened too by annoying cretins who insist on shortening names?
13.  Is my child likely to be in a classroom when they're older with several peers with the same name?
14. Would it make a good name for a film star? Prime Minister? Nurse? Bin man? Check out assistant?  News reader? Scientist? etc.
15.  Does it sound porny?
16. If you have other kids, can they pronounce the name? 
17. Does it rhyme with anything negative?
18.  Do the initials spell out anything obvious like BJ, STD or SEX?
19. Can you imagine yourself shouting it across the park?
20. After all that, do you actually still like it?

There have always been some personal pet hates I've had with names:

1. When people purposefully fuck with the spelling to make it 'cool' (this doesn't include legitimate alternative spellings)  Stop bastardising the names, if you don't like it choose something different!  A 'unique' spelling doesn't say 'this child is cool' it says 'this child has illiterate fuckwits for parents'  Stop swapping I's for Y's etc.  You may as well give them 'Jezza Kyle Fodder' for a middle name.  Remember when trying to define your future child, your name choice can say more about you than them!

2.  Choosing a full name when you have no actual intention of ever calling them anything other than the shortened version of it.  Ever. If the shortened version is name enough to use, then have it as their given name!

3.  People who choose a name yet can't actually pronounce it.  I came across a story of a child called Siobhan.  Her teacher naturally called her Siobhan (sh-vaun) until the parents corrected her, apparently their daughter was called Siobhan as in 'Si-o-ban'

4. The name Nenvaeh.

So Moomin is my last baby yet I still have so many names I need to use, oh well...better start buying some more cats then!


  1. Yes!!! Lottie Lottie Lottie - my Lottie would never have been Charlotte or Carlotta or anything else because she would only ever have been Lottie and therefore she is Lottie.
    I do find myself singing her name (Lottie Flora) to the tune of Wizadora though which is one of the few unfortunate connotations I've managed to discover since naming her!
    I'm obsessed with naming too :)

    1. I need a whole zoo to use all the names I like!

      Lottie is an adorable name :-)

  2. I love this!!! What a great post. So true on so many levels. When we picked Buba's name everyone had an opinion. So we didn't tell anyone until MM was born what her name would be. I loved the naming game! ;)

    1. My dad suggested loads of names for The Preschooler despite the fact we never asked for input and had already chosen his name!

      He tried so hard to discourage us from our choice and suggested so many boring names that we'd never ever have used!

  3. What a great post. When I was pregnant, we had a name picked our,told everyone and went right off it. So we picked a new one and kept it a secret. I think we're all influenced by people we know with the same name, other names in the family, the news, celebrities. I loved naming!

    1. Naming makes all the waiting that bit more bearable!

  4. The shortening of names really winds me up! Hence when choosing names for my own children we went for Seth and Mae - both 1 syllable that no one can mess with! Naming your child is also even harder if you work with children, you see the trends and too many names you make links to. Also you have to think what will suit them when they're grown up. Too many names are cute for toddlers, but would be ridiculous for a grown professional. Naming is a hard task!

    1. If Moomin had been a boy he would be Seth!

  5. I love this. When we named our son my MIL immediately asked us were we sure? then PROMPTLY suggested a list of alternatives she preferred. After a 39 hour Labour her helpful comments about our 1st born were priceless

    1. I don't understand why family members assume their opinion matters even you're naming your baby!

  6. This is so us choosing a name! Little man is due in 4 weeks and we've still yet to agree on a name. It doesn't help that I'm a teacher and associate any names with kids I've taught lol xx

    1. It must be a nightmare knowing so many kids through your job to have associations with!

  7. I used to be a school teacher. Every name will always remind of some child I've taught. Great post, so true! #sharefriday

    1. I bet that's a lot of names crossed off your future child/pet list!

  8. I am a school teacher married to a school teacher.. makes choosing names tricky! I totally agree with the 'alternate spelling does not = cool name" drives me crazy!!

    1. Ahh yes the so-called Kre8ive spellings make me want to stab things. Repeatedly.

  9. My daughter does have an S instead of traditional Z in her name but its the original way to spell it not a modern one - thanks to her dad for that one! When we chose my son's name we knew no-one called that - when he was born it was 5th most popular name..

    1. That's absolutely diff :) Like Elizabeth versus Elisabeth. Both are legitimate spellings! Not at all Kre8ive. As for your son, you're obviously a trendsetter ;)

  10. What a fab post!! I completely agree with your pet hates too, especially naming your child one name but using a shortened version or nickname instead! Grrrrr

  11. Neveah! OMG Neveah! I hate it with a passion! The poor child will never be called Neveah- she will always be called "Neveah- Heaven spelt backwards!" Teacher here too!. Naming is painful!

  12. Always remember my graduation ceremony; Heather Isis Peach got a HUGE laugh. Whacky names are a no-no, but worse are names ending in -ie or -y. Ubiquitous. Check out the school newsletter; Milly, Molly, Tilly, Lily, Archie, Alfie. These are NICKNAMES! Not serious names. Gotta disagree about the shortened version thang; I'd take Elizabeth a lot more seriously than Betty. Sorry. Can't wait for this fashion for -y names to be as passé as Kylie and Trevor. Word to ya mother.....

    1. Never really thought about the y names before!

  13. Like most things, I think it comes down to personal taste. I had a lot of raised eyebrows at "Theakston" and "oh.... that's.... different, yes, I've never heard that before, lovely..." but it suits him, I have no problem shouting it in public, and it's the only word he can write so far ;) Of course when we had our second, people were holding their breath to see what "crazy" "original" name we would come up with, lol. I don't think they were disappointed with Nyah Riversong !

    But like you I hate the random spellings, "Kelzi" "Sera" and so on, like you say, very Jeremy Kyle! And I know a few who have names that they pronounce completely differently to how they read for NO APPARENT REASON and had they liked the sound of the name, it's perfectly acceptable spelt another way - why do it?!

    Giggle at Si-oh-ban!


I love receiving comments so thank you for taking the time to leave one. Don't worry if your comment doesn't show up immediately, in order to avoid that pesky captcha I've activated comment moderation instead so as soon as i'm online i'll publish your comment :)

If you like the blog feel free to link it on your page.

All content by L Seddon / MamaUndone | (© Copyright 2015) Design by Studio Mommy (© Copyright 2015)