Let me tell you about my Saturday night.
On Saturday evening, I found myself in Jackson, Wyoming. And should you find yourself in Jackson on a Saturday night, an obvious thing to do is to go to the rodeo.
I can’t quite explain how very unusual this is for me, in every sense. But what I can report is that it gave me some fresh insight into – what else? – baby names.
Kids as young as 5 compete in some of the activities. The youngest are strapped on to the backs of sheep for a competition called mutton bustin’ – sort of a training ground for bull riding.
Again, foreign for me. As foreign as being asked to twirl fire while standing on the surface of the moon.
And so maybe it makes sense that I encountered many names that were just not my style. Girls’ names included Ashlyn, Hailey, Harlie Lyn and Dezaray. Boys were Tanner, Tucker, Tyler, Tipton, Bode, Brady, Justin, Shane and Zane.
It got me thinking – it isn’t our different taste in names that divides us. It is the fundamental differences in our worldviews and life experiences. There’s a gulf between the parents of Eleanor and Kylie, Rufus and Tipton. Names are part of it – a visible, obvious declaration of lifestyle in many ways – but they’re not the cause.
With that thought, my favorite things in the name-o-sphere from the past week:
- I’ve stumbled across Viorica on the odd name forum, but always assumed she was a variant of Victoria. Not so! Melissa at Name Tag noted that she’s a Romanian word for the flower we call bluebells. How’s that for a staggeringly sophisticated nature name?
- Adley seems poised to be the entrant in the Addie-names category. For Real spotted both an Adley Elizabeth and a Miriam Adley.
- This is completely random, but I love the names of these chickens: Etelvina, Avelino, Silvestro, Genoveva.
- I’m fascinated by Baby Name Wizard’s analysis of Bree.
- Despite being a serious Sherlock Holmes aficionado, I can honestly say that John Watson doesn’t strike me as problematic. What are your thoughts?
- Did you see Elea’s post on the McKay family of Cardiff? Their four daughters all have nature names – Laurel, Olive, Acacia, and Cedar – and this was the 1870s through 1890s!
- Yes, middle names matter – and despite her ambivalence, this blogger chose some pretty meaningful ones.
- Alec, Amelie, Rafe, and Iris – I do like seeing a sibset that I could cheerfully use myself.
- Spotted in the Nameberry ticker: Exa. Wearable?
That’s all for this week. As always, thanks for reading – and have a great week!
I’ve long had a crush on Viorica. I love it. I also quite like the male version, Viorel.
I love the name Viorica! Very pretty and intriguing.
And I see absolutely nothing wrong with John Watson. In fact, the namesake makes it so much more awesome to me.
As far as middle names go… they aren’t exactly necessary but there’s something special about middle names. And with the number of names that I love, when I have children I don’t think that I’ll be able to limit myself to just a single middle name.One of my foremothers had five middle names (love it!), and I must confess that I have strung together as many, just for consideration.
“Exa helped me stop smoking!” 🙂
Middle names do matter! I have middle name regret for our kiddo’s name. It was picked largely for balance and flow with his first and last names, so now it just feels like filler. I wish we had searched for a name with more meaning.
British American says
I have the exact same middle name regret with my oldest too! And then sometimes slightly with my 3rd, but at least with his middle name I picked the name I liked best, seeing as my husband was picking the first name.
I like that my husband picked our 2nd’s middle name – a family name from his side – so that’s the one that I never regret!
British American says
My ‘excuse’ for our first is that we didn’t pick a first name until after she was born, so her middle name was more of an ‘after-thought’ and I felt pressured to just pick something already. (My husband even said that he didn’t want to call his parents and tell them our baby was born, until he could tell them what her first and middle names were! In the end I think he did call them before we’d decided on a middle.) It was hard enough to decide on her first name at the time, though at least I did a good job on that one!
Raquel Somatra says
Goodness– middle names matter. My own middle was given to me on a whim and it has no meaning. I’ve *always* hated it. I daydream about changing it from time to time. I always think it wouldn’t be worth the hassle– but maybe one day, I’ll right that wrong.
Charlotte Vera says
I’m a Sherlock Holmes fan and I still think that John Watson is useable. John is a classic name and Dr. Watson is by no means a bad association. Apparently the original Watson of Holmes fame wore the middle name Hamish (he’s sometimes referenced as John H. Watson). Maybe not important, but interesting, and that’s one of the main things I love about middle names — they so often are quite interesting.
I don’t find Exa wearable. When both Mark and I were talking boys’ names not that long ago he suggested Exodus. I replied by stating that I don’t think a name related to the word “exit” (or excrete, ick!) is really wearable on a small child. *Maybe* if the word has strong personal associations, but otherwise, no.
Out of nowhere today Roseanna, my three-year-old, threw her hands in the air and announced, “I’m queen of the roses!” I guess she’s made the connection between her name and the flower 🙂
That’s too bad you didn’t encounter any name goodies in Wyoming. You’d think there would be some great cowboy/cowgirl name spotting going on in a true Western rodeo.
Middle names are SO important to me! I see them as the place to pass down family names not quite wearable as a first name or the place to use a name I’m not bold enough to put in the first name spot.
I might be responsible for Exa… It was my great-great-grandmother’s name, and I posted that this evening in a thread about grandmother names.
British American says
That’s a lot of ‘T’ named cowboys! So does my Rose need to change her name to fulfill her dream of growing up to be a cowgirl?! 😉 There’s a series of picture books about a girl who wants to be a cowgirl. Her name is Nellie Sue.
There was a 4 year old Shane in my son’s soccer class this week. It did strike me as a little unusual, as you usually hear more of the Max, Jack, Aidan, Nolan variety around here.
Oh and is it bad that I e mailed my son’s new preschool to ask when we’d be getting a class list of his new friends? (We got one weeks ahead of time for my daughter’s preschool a few years ago.) They e mailed me back and said “You’ll get one at the welcome picnic on the 16th. Do you need it sooner?” I told them “I can wait” as I don’t think me wanting to name snoop the list makes for a valid reason!? 😛
I know of at least two Hadleys born in the last three months, so it doesn’t surprise me that Adley is also catching on. I like them both, but unfortunately they seem to fall in that certain too-trendy category.
I also really like the “Ex” in Exa, but I would prefer it in a name like Exley or Essex. They both seem more substantial.
Thanks for the feature! I love the blog posts you’ve rounded up.
Adley came up on another forum with requests for middle names; I suggested Adley Ramona. I must say, ‘though Adley isn’t quite my style, I could definitely live with that combination.
Do middle names matter anymore? Maybe not as much, since people are using the same first names less and less. But it’s still a nice place to honor a loved one or use a guilty pleasure name. When life hands you a freebie, why not?
Exa seems extremely choppy and abbreviated. The look and sound is not very pleasing to me, the original Achsah included. I could see it working as a middle name to something more cumbersome, like Penelope Exa or Katherine Exa.
Right? I live in Denver, which is a decently large city, but we have a serious dash of Western flavor around here. I don’t love the names of those buckaroos you mentioned, although I do fully plan on sending Jamey mutton bustin’ in Montana with my parents when he gets big enough. Tell me it wasn’t one of the funniest things you’ve ever seen a kid do.
And also, I read the Swistle post, and I didn’t know that THE Watson’s first name was John. Not a clue.
Kayt, you have to get the BBC’s Sherlock on DVD or Netflix stat. You will be addicted to it. And it will feel good.
Well to be fair the chances of someone being named John back then was really high haha.
NO! Really? I’m trying to picture myself strapping Aly or Clio to a sheep and coming up blank. But seriously, I have a new respect for the West. These are not a people to be trifled with – even in 2012, it must be a rugged, demanding life.