What’s in a name?

I have friends who are adopting puppies. Don’t we all? And, as a good friend, I’m firing over all the dog names I can think of from Acer to Zara, I think I’ve pretty much suggested all of the names I like (the boy now has a name, not one that I suggested, and the girl is yet to arrive home so still tbc).

I remember being pregnant and the hard task of actually picking a real person’s name. Sure, there’s loads I liked but were there any I loved enough to actually call my child forever and ever? Of course we settled on names, they’re not known as The Infant or Child 1 and 2, but it wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be.

Because of my recent fun filled puppy naming days, I started to wonder if we should all have a baby name, say up to the point we turn eighteen, and then the option to re-pick depending on our personality, traits or interests? Perhaps we should then all be allowed to pick our own name come adulthood?

My children are from the original ‘tattoo their names on your wrist’ days of the early noughties, back when it wasn’t unusual to have a girls name followed by Boo or Red, and boys were just beginning to get surnames as first names, Jackson or Mackenzie. Flowers were big for girls and, until the child went to a baby group, the parents probably considered it pretty and quite unusual.

So, what if at the age of eighteen, your Daisy-Boo is wanting to be a politician or identifies as a more masculine person – would it be an idea to let her pick something she feels encompasses her personality better?

Or how about if your Hudson-Grey is small and shy and doesn’t feel like the rock star you had envisaged him to be? Perhaps he’d rather be a James or a Joseph, something more subtle and classic?

Or what if you picked a name and have since heard another name you prefer instead? Or you chose an old family name and are now not the same family unit you were back then? What if Great Aunt Mabel was on his side and he isn’t in the picture anymore – is Mabel still your go to?

Does a name mould into you, like a leather glove or a fountain pen? That once it’s yours, it just grows with you?

I once worked with a woman who looked like her name should have been Heather, it wasn’t, but she looked like it should have been.

‘What name do I look like?’ she had asked, on separate occasions, whilst in different offices, and someone always suggested Heather!

I asked my son that if he could pick any name for himself what would he pick? I was extremely happy that he decided on his own name with a “well it’s me now isn’t it?”

Feeling smug about naming my son correctly, I asked my daughter the same question. “Let me think,” she said, “when do you need to know by and how many choices do I have?” before trotting off with a pad and pen.

Girls eh? Who’d name one!

baby names

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