We don’t get the children we expect.
That’s not a bad thing. It’s just that we tend to imagine that our kids will love what we love. Sometimes this happens; and sometimes, we end up learning about all sorts of new things – dinosaurs or basketball or musical theater – because our kid arrives with ideas that do not match our own.
In other words? We name strangers.
This can create a conundrum. If we’re outdoorsy, we often want our kids’ names to reflect our love of the natural world. Witness a generation of babies lovingly christened River and Willow and Wren. Every World Series or Super Bowl brings tales of kids named for the winning teams’ MVPs. And, in our age of children named Khaleesi and Anakin, nearly every fandom inspires at least a few parents.
Most of the time, these mismatches go unnoticed. Sometimes they’re funny, or touching – or even ironic.
The main piece of advice I always give: Use the name you love.
But a second piece of advice: Build in a little balance. Canyon David has the option of being C. David if it turns out he’s more at home in a library than on a hiking trail. Canyon River? He might be forced to explain – again and again and again – that yes, his parents were super into backpacking … but he’s more at home indoors.
I love big, bold names – but it’s worth thinking about whether they reflect our interests too closely.
- Singer Kehlani has announced her daughter-to-be’s name. It’s Adeya Nomi. Maybe it’s too soon to name it one of the most influential celebrity baby names of 2019, but I’m doing it anyway. After all, Kehlani has risen in use in response to the singer’s success. Also, fun find on her Insta account: if the baby had been a boy, she (at least briefly) considered Malcolm.
- On a similar note, the movie Alita: Battle Angel is coming out this month. Alita isn’t terribly common – though it’s sometimes heard. If the moving is even a fleeting hit, I can imagine it catching on …
- Have you heard of Greta van Fleet, one of the Grammy nominees for best new artist? Here’s the story of the real-life woman that inspired the band’s name.
- I sometimes answer Qs on Quora.
- Love this story, and the compromise they found. (Found via Clare’s ever-appealing Scoop.it page, Name News.)
- One more from Name News: the completely reasonable and logical story of how this guy in the UAE ended up with a spin on a Polish nickname for Charles.
- Names of twins from the sixteenth century? This list is fascinating. Plus, there’s a fun celebrity #namespotting tucked in the data!
- This Nameberry thread has been around since 2014, but it’s still fresh – all 2,689 pages of it!
That’s all for this week. As always, thank you for reading – and have a great week!