Lately there have been a bunch of articles about what your baby name says about you. You, the narcissistic parent. Out to impress. Or maybe the hipster, traditional, or equality-minded parent. Or the parent from an honor culture, deeply influenced by the idea of upholding the family’s reputation.
It’s all nonsense.
Okay, there might be something to that honor culture piece. I haven’t read the original, but the reports indicate that it is based on data. Which makes it very different than so many articles, all effectively titled “Naming A Baby: You’re Doing it Wrong.”
I’m not fond of pigeon-holing others, though I’ll admit that the tendency to do so is sometimes irresistible. Think of the names tossed out in Baby Mama – Wingspan, Banjo. And there are patterns and influences galore, many of which we’re not even aware. We don’t choose our children’s names from a blank slate.
Still, I believe that if you know a child’s name, that means that you know exactly one thing about her parents: you know the name they chose for their child. You can guess, and you might be right some of the time, but prepare to be 100% wrong.
You don’t know if they’re rich or poor, highly educated or barely literate. You cannot guess their politics or religious convictions. Not too long ago, two mothers as different as reality star Michelle Duggar and blogger Rebecca Woolf both chose the middle name Shalom.
What I sincerely hope is that every child’s name is given with love, and every wish for a full and satisfying life. Even the names that I personally dislike can be great, meaningful choices for other families.
And so, on to the news:
- Swistle’s post does a nice job of reminding us that once the baby is named, issues that can feel vitally important tend to fade into the background.
- Call me crazy, but lately I love the sound of Claribel and Clarabelle – sparked by Bree’s Bottom of the Barrel post from the 1910s.
- Angela’s guest post at Nameberry surfaces some great German names. Tilo is the son of design maven swissmiss – a.k.a. Tina Roth Eisenberg – and I’m always surprised we don’t hear it more. With choices like Anneliese and Lorelei getting more attention, how about Hannelore, Soren, and Conrad?
- Clover and Corin, Thorin and Tane. I do love it when For Real goes to California.
- Isn’t Caetana lovely?
- This list of daring middle name candidates from Once Upon a Time Baby Names is rich with possibilities: Caspienne, Hallow, Malachite, Escher, Bayou. Some of them work as given names, too, but even the wildest suggestion seems wearable in the middle.
- Call me crazy, but I am dying to know the names Real Housewife of Atlanta alum Kim Zolciak is considering for her twins (!) due this month. Kim already has daughters Ariana and Brielle, plus sons Kroy and Kash.
- Remember when the Lillian Vernon catalog was the only place to get things personalized? Thank goodness for all of those independent Etsy shops and their treasure troves of unusual, hand-crafted, personalized items. I’m in love with this shop and the Dutch names on some of her designs.
- I completely agree with Nifty Names – why aren’t we hearing more boys called Arlo, Finnian, Ronan, and Louis?
- And another rarity that could be very wearable for a boy: colorful Cordovan.
- Max McCartney is a great name, and the story behind it is even better.
- Aela picks her favorite cool and unusual names for girls., inspired by the original list at Nameberry. Bette is a great pick, and I’m wild about Tilda, too.
- Readers say yes to Arrietty, no to Rogue – and more on fictional girls’ names from Waltzing More than Matilda.
That’s all for this week! As always, thank you so very much for reading, commenting, and being a part of this community.