My daughter is experiencing namer problems.
She came home from running errands with dad on Wednesday night with a new doll in tow. “She’s Madeleine,” Clio explained, “like line, sign, mine. Not LYNN.”
Where have I heard that before?
The next day she told me that her doll’s full name is Madeleine Saige. She considers “Madeleine Saige” acceptable, but prefers that we don’t call her Maddie.
This reminds me of two general rules of thumb when it comes to naming:
- It’s totally fine to have a preferred pronunciation, especially when it comes to common disagreements like line/lynn. But if hearing the opposite pronunciation will make you completely stark raving mad? Find another name. Life is too short to pull an attitude with every receptionist at the pediatrician’s office or new teacher at the nursery school. After all, the new teacher may have a niece named Adalyn, which makes it extra difficult for her to remember that your Adaline prefers the opposite pronunciation.
- It’s completely reasonable to choose a name you love, and announce that you’re not using the most common nickname. Except that doesn’t mean that the nickname will never stick. I’ve known kids who adopt new nicknames in middle school and high school. Younger, even. All it takes is one older cousin to adorably shorten the name, and your Madeleine becomes Maddie forevermore. So if the nickname is truly unacceptable to you, once again, choose another name.
I’m curious to hear your thoughts on those two issues. Would you be comfortable with a sometimes-mispronounced name? Would you risk using a name with a nickname you dislike?
Elsewhere in all things onomastic:
- A boy named Sandy – love!
- Alaska must be the most amazing place to namespot. Thora Bee is my new favorite from the most recent birth announcement round-up – simple and stunning.
- Would you ask a friend for permission to use the same name? I know two friends in a similar position now; the one with the older child is completely on board with the idea of their boys sharing a name. The one expecting is the one having doubts. It’s less about name theft, and more about a sense that a name is already fully occupied.
- This quiz insists that my future daughter will be named Blair. Not so, but then again, not horribly off the mark.
- I’ve yet to read the book, but I’m not convinced that Americans borrow names from those higher up the socio-economic ladder. But this article makes the case that parents embrace names because the affluent and educated set the trends. That just seems off to me in the US. Yes, names are tied to all sorts of socio-economic factors. But I’m not sure we’re borrowing from each other. It looks like it’s due for release at the very end of 2016, so I’ll let you know …
- This question at Swistle is fascinating: what do you do when you really, really want to use the honor name – but you don’t love the name?
- Are you a baseball fan? Would you name your kiddo Wrigley? I feel like this one is going to be making some shortlists this season …
That’s all for this week! As always, thank you for reading – and have a great week!