I often say “use the name you love.” It’s the right advice, a reminder that no matter how popular or obscure, if it feels like The Name for your child, no good can come of talking yourself out of it.
Because you is plural.
With a few exceptions, “you” almost always refers to a team of two parents, about to embark on a lifetime of joint decision-making.
I’m forever astonished at the places my husband and I disagree. We’ve been together for more than two decades, and married nearly that long. When we were early in our relationship, and young parents? It was SO much harder. Maybe because I didn’t expect conflict, and thought that disagreements – arguments – were a really big deal. Sometimes they are. But often they’re just part of the messiness of building a life with another independent human being with equally strong opinions. Much to my amazement, he did not think every one of my suggestions was genius.
So read “use the name you love” as “use the name that you can reasonably agree on with the person that you love.” Because often, that’s exactly what it means.
- American Idol alum Kris Allen welcomed a son named Marlo James Francis. Seriously, if you’ve wondered when unisex names were going to be cool for boys, too? I think your day is maybe-possibly-just-about here.
- They can’t use Luke because it sounds like onion in her husband’s family’s native language. I so get this. Figuring out what our Polish-speaking family would actually call our children was always a little dicey. It’s not quite like telling grandma she can’t nickname the baby. It’s about understanding how names work in another language and culture that’s not your own. Because I think we should value relationships above names, sometimes that means changing our plans, challenging though it may be.
- This is an oldie about different names given in Australia in 2018, but I stumbled on while thinking about Lucifer. We tend to put Panda on our lists of bizarre baby names, and it is very different. But is it so very out-there, in our age of Fox and Bear and Wren? I think it works …
- Oh, and speaking of Lucifer, I’m so curious to gauge the impact of a long-running television series, rich with sympathy for the devil himself. Nancy noted that other character names are catching on. But my opinion stands: Lucifer is one of the few names on my nope-don’t-go-there list. Not because of my beliefs, or your beliefs. But because it’s a jaw-dropping, wait-what-that’s-really-your-real-name experience every. single. time. your kid introduces himself.
- Such a good batch of birth announcements from Elea at British Baby Names this week! Love spotting an Agatha and two boys called Rufus. But the question that springs to mind every time I read these round-ups: are two middle names the new standard? I know I’m hearing them more and more often. How ’bout you?
That’s all for this week! As always, thank you for reading – and have a great week.