Life is Sticky. Life is Sweet.

Life is Sticky. Life is Sweet.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Name Game

When I was pregnant with the Princess Elizabeth, I--like many other moms to be--did the whole Name Game Q&A:
What name sounds good with my last name?
Should I go traditional?
Should I go modern?
Dare I make her a junior if it's (gasp!) a boy?
Who do I ask for advice?
Well, I quickly learned that certain family members wanted my baby to have a trendy name (Tyler, Taylor, Jayden, etc.), which I shot down immediately. I have a very trendy name (there were 5 Amys in my elementary school and I went from kindergarten to 5th grade known as "Amy D." to distinguish me from the other 4 Amys). I didn't want my child to go through school known as Tyler/Taylor/Jayden S.
That being said, I went to the completely other end of the spectrum: picking out names that no normal person would ever name their child. Erick balked at the idea of his daughter trying to heft the stigma the name "Wealthow" would saddle her with. And what little boy wants to hear a Little League announcer try to stammer out "Aelfgar Stott" when he's coming up to bat? So I abandoned the idea of naming my child after Old English fables.
So, what's a mom to be to do?
First--with nightmares of being called "Amy S." for the first 6 years of my school experience haunting me--I eliminated all names I knew would glut the elementary schools: Hannah, Olivia, Emma for girls and Jacob, Ethan, Aiden for boys.
Second, I completely and irrevocably removed any and all possibility of my kid being named Taylor, Tyler, Jayden, or similar off the table. Luckily, "Twilight" hadn't been published yet, so I didn't have to go through The Great Bella-and-Edward Fiasco. There was no debate. I'm the Mommy and I said so.
Third, I ran through names of girls I hated (ironically, the top three all had "T" names) or guys who dumped me (that list was fraking enormous). Those were out.
What was left? Names from literature or history, I decided.
After reading and re-reading some of my favourite books, I decided on these names for each sex.
1. Elizabeth: This, obviously, was the winner. Elizabeth Bennett is definitely the top heroine of my literary collection (don't get me wrong, I loved "Moll Flanders," but I couldn't face trying to name my daughter after a character who unknowingly married her own brother). Elizabeth is smart, feisty, loving, opinionated, and loyal to friends and family. Another plus for the name "Elizabeth" is my obsession with Queen Elizabeth I of England and her mother . . .
2. Anne: "The Concubine" by Norah Lofts was about Henry VIII's second wife, Anne Boleyn. That book single-handedly started my obsession with England and its royal families. In fact, while on vacation to London with Mom & Beth, we visited the Tower of London and were within feet of Anne's tomb in the Chapel of St. Peter ad Vincula. I was so overwhelmed, I burst into tears and couldn't even get close enough to it to pay my respects. Interesting side note to "Anne": Trying to figure out how to turn "Boleyn" into a middle name wasn't easy.
3. Victoria: Actually, I don't even know if Erick knew this name was even in the running. Again, it's an English queen's name. Victoria I of England always intrigued me. She was ruling as times were changing and she must have witnessed some pretty fascinating, first time events. Of course, she thought that Women's Rights were a "mad, wicked folly" and married her first cousin, but I still dig her.
1. Liam: "William" is a name that runs rampant in Erick's family. Everybody seems to be named William and I've met about 48 Bills and Billys. Erick and I both agreed that naming our son William would be boring, so we decided Liam was much more fun and--while not actually my chosen name of William--was close enough. Besides, I have a crush on Mr. Darcy and his first name was Fitzwilliam.
2. Andrew: No big, long story about this one. I just like the name. And his nickname would have been "Drew," not "Andy."
Since Erick liked both boys' names, our "son" would have been named Andrew Liam.
When we found out our Traveller (as we originally called Lizzie) was a girl, we decided together--don't let Erick insist otherwise--that Elizabeth was the name for our daughter. I was allowed to give her a lovely Irish middle name that didn't make the first name cut (I don't know how: Reagan is a great name!) and Elizabeth Reagan was born.
Doesn't she look like an Elizabeth?
PS: Good thing I shot down "Jayden" too. There were 6 babies born the week I was in the hospital. 5 of them were named "Jayden"--boys and girls--and I could already hear their teacher calling their names during attendance: Jayden A.? Jayden B.? Jayden C.? Jayden D.? Jayden E.? *shudder* No thanks.


  1. Jennifer Camicia JobesMay 18, 2010 at 12:24 PM

    You are an awesome writter Amy,,,ever think of publishing a book??? P.S Im soooo glad you didn't hate anyone with the name J ;)

  2. Love this post Amy. Went through the same think naming my two children. And while i loved the name Elizabeth as a child it also happens to be the mother-in-laws name. And I was not following the tradition of name an Italian baby after the grandfather with his namd being Amerigo. Hell no, not happening. so off I went to find my children indivitual names. Tristan's came from, no not the movie "Legends of the Fall" like everyone asks but the story of "Tristan and Isolde". I fell in love with the name in college literature and then again with the character Tristan portraied by Brad in the afore mentioned movie. When I announced that it was in the running I actually was ask by a close family member, "What do you expect him to be as hot as Brad Pitt???" Well thank you very much. Once he was born and about a year old that sam person came to me and said, "He's way cuter than Brad Pitt!" Duh, I know that. So between Gavin and Tristan, he became Tristan Merrik after his Mommy (no his middle name is not a coombining of Merrie and Nick it's my name with the e dropped and a k added!!!)

    Inara on the other hand was suppose to be Alexandra Nicole from before i was even married. I had had a dream that my husband (then fiance) and I had a little girl and that was what we named her. A few years later i found Inara in a list of Arabic names while i was searching for 'different' names for a story i was writing. I fell in love with it but never considered it for my child. Needless to say the month before Alexandra Nicole was to be born everytime I turned on the TV there was an Alexandra on the channel!!! So by default she became Inara and I am so glad.

    Neither one of my children will be stuck with asking "which one are you asking for, Anthony B., Anthony C. or Anthony D. nah they'll just have to repeat the pronunciation of their names ten time and be called the incorrect name for a whole year like I was!!! LOL We just can't win!!!

  3. You're ten times the literary buff that I am, but I always liked the name Elizabeth for the characters in Little Women and Pride and Prejudice.

    I actually wanted the name Liam for our first, but he HAD to be a full-fledged William so he could be an official 'third'. For the second, I wanted Jamie... but I took a lot of flack for even thinking about giving a boy a 'girl's name'. So we ended up with a Will AND a Liam. Not too original. If we have another boy, we'll go with Guillermo. Hat trick.

  4. @ Jen: Never! It was a total fluke all the most hated girls were "T"-named. I still remember all of them too, but my lips are sealed. ;)
    @ Merrie: Rhiannon and Rowen are crazy-high on my list of leftover favourite girl names. I wanted so badly to name Lizzie "Rhiannon," but her sister's name is Brianna and SOME people thought the names were too similiar. Whatever.
    @ Cara: Nothing quite flows with Daley like "Guillermo." Erick's still holding out for another kid--and a BOY to boot, like I have any control over that--so he can have his Andrew Liam.

  5. I didn't get a choice in Amanda's name and Tom had no say in Kieran and Perry's names.

    Tom had lots of idea's that involved Jennifer, Jessica and Laura for Perry and no boy suggestions for Kieran. The only boy name Tom suggested for Perry was Donovan. A winner in my book but The Factory is shut down.


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