Fleetwood Mac didn’t intend this song as baby naming advice.
It’s famously – and unambiguously – about a break-up. But maybe there’s something to be gleaned from that lyric when it comes to making choices.
Parents face so much pressure to choose names that please others. Names that feel stylish. That follow rules. That honor loved ones. That fit with others’ ideas about who we are, and who we intend to be.
But, but, but … you can go your own way. You can ignore my advice, and the judgement of the People of the Internet. Perhaps you should listen – at least for a minute or two, especially if the speaker seems knowledgeable and motivated by good intent. But you don’t have to fall into formation and do as I – or anyone else – might dictate.
This comes up all the time with How Close is Too Close? The tests are just that – tests to gauge your name choices against, not a scale designed to show if you’re lacking. Some people love closely coordinated sibling names. Others won’t repeat a starting initial or an ending sound, and worry that naming their sons Noah and Daniel will box them in, forcing an all-Biblical trend. Neither perspective is wrong.
When it comes to names – and so many things in life – it’s okay to go your own way, even when – maybe even especially when – others are telling you it’s just not okay.
- I’m intrigued by this celebrity baby name: Rise. It reminds me of Pharrell’s explanation for naming his firstborn Rocket. (In brief: rockets go up; they ascend. It’s a man-made spin on a meaning-rich virtue/nature name.) Years ago, I published a list of action verb names for boys. Is Rise so different than Chase? I don’t think so …
- I stumbled on something about an upcoming Amazon series, Carnival Row, starring Orlando Bloom and Cara Delevingne. Ohmygoodness, the character namesI Rycroft, Vignette, Portia, Fleury, Tourmaline, Absalom, Piety, Leonid, Imogen. It’s enough to make me tune in.
- While we’re talking about the small screen: Nancy started her most recent quotes collection with a classic. Why does Larry have two brothers named Darryl?
- I’ve had my eye on the names Townes for a while. Here’s something that might spark more interest in the name: the release of a posthumous album by the talented Townes Van Zandt … more than twenty years after his death.
- Laura Wattenberg launches a new blog called Namerology, and talks about the problem of superhero names. It’s a topic that intrigues me, too – though it can come full circle. Watching Aquaman a few weeks ago, I remember thinking that Arthur really worked for Jason Momoa’s heroic character because it is slowly edging back into favor. We hear it as regal, maybe a tiny bit offbeat – perfect for a future world-saving ruler of a mythical kingdom. I’ve yet to see Captain Marvel, but I’m very curious if I’ll hear Carol differently after I watch Brie Larson do battle with the forces of evil.
- Fun fact: Brie Larson’s full name is Brianne Sidonie Desaulniers.
- I love seeing all of the sibling names for Clover.
- Every word of Swistle’s advice in this post is SO good.
- I like the sound of Henderson, and Hendo is pretty darling as a nickname. But whoa! The baby is named after relish? Now that’s a tale to tell …
- Since we started with talk of going your own way, let’s end there, too. I loved this piece on deciding to be Viet instead of Troy. (Note: it’s in the New York Times, so it might be behind a paywall.)
And, of course, if you haven’t voted in March Madness baby names yet, this is your chance!
That’s all for this week! As always, thank you for reading – and have a marvelous week!