Tuesday, December 6, 2011

What's in a name?

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet."
~Romeo and Juliet.

"I read a book once that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, but I've never been able to believe it. I don't believe a rose would be as nice if it was called a thistle or a skunk cabbage."
 ~Anne of Green Gables

I think sometimes about people and their names. When coming to give this baby a name, we decided pretty quickly. I'm still not 100% sold on the boys name, but I figure I will get used to it. But it makes me wonder. We make such a huge deal about the whole naming the baby thing. But when it's all said and done, it's just a name. And we all have such different tastes.

I think, most of the time people grow into their names. To be perfectly honest I don't like 'Robyn' that much. It's not what I would have picked. But if you gave me a choice to re-name myself? I couldn't do it. I am Robyn, it's that simple. The same way I don't really like the name Shane that much. But I like Shane. I don't know many people who do like their names. My Mum's name is Heather, and she's never loved it.

I think people make a name good or bad, most of the time. A lot of the time you seem to like a name if you've met someone you liked of that name, and vice versa. I know that there are certain names that I just cannot come at, because of my childcare experience. For instance, Abbey is a name I like. But I knew about 8 different Abbey's in my center alone. It was such a popular name. So I could never have a child called Abbey. I also cannot like the name Braidon because I had one in my group who was an absolute horror.

I think our dog Chloe is an interesting one. I'm not really fussed on the name Chloe. I just don't like it that much. But when Shane and I were talking about getting a dog with our nieces, someone asked my niece Rachel, what our dog's name should be. She replied Chloe, because she had a kindy teacher by that name. We kind of laughed it off, but then, when we were looking at dogs, we saw her, and both just said "It's Chloe." And that was that.

I also don't  re-use names. I'm not one of those people who has a few girls and boys names set in stone, and know that is what I will call my children. I know a few people who have had names they liked since childhood. But I've never done that. I liked the name Georgina at the time. If Georgie was a boy she would have been Ethan. But I couldn't use the name Ethan now. I remember a few days after Georgie was born, wondering if we had given her the right name. It just felt so odd. But now? She is Georgina. 

I tend to like old-fashioned English names. I love the name Edward, but Shane will not touch it. I also like the name Helen, I think it would be so cute to have a little girl who was called Nell for short. But again, it's not just up to me.

It's funny, one of the reasons I hated the name Robyn is because it doesn't easily go into a nickname. The only nicknames were boys names which I hated... Rob or Bob. And yet I did the same thing to Georgie. But I really don't think names matter as much as we think we do. I think generally people grow into their names, and end up suiting them. And I don't think they are that important. There are obviously still some pretty terrible names that would be hard to live with. But most of the time, I don't think they really matter that much.

What do you think? Are names that important? Do you like your name? And do you think a rose would still smell as sweet if it was called a thistle or a skunk cabbage? Because as much as I think names don't matter, it does feel like Anne has a point....

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  1. I've never liked my name - but it is what it is. I can't even imagine holding a baby and calling it 'Deborah' (yes, my full name). I think Anne has a very valid point! There are many names that I wouldn't have called my kids - purely for the association with previous people, or other kids' bad behaviour.

  2. I think names are very important - and not at the same time. When I was born my parents gave me the name Sif Michelle, but my dad's mum hated it and so they didn't register that name but registered the name Claudette-Michelle instead. I hated the name Claudette, and it's diminutive Claudy and Claude. When I was 13 my mother applied for Icelandic citizenship for me because I had a right to it, and it would prevent my grandmother taking me out of the country during a messy divorce. As part of the laws back then, I had to have an Icelandic first name, so mum decided to name me after my two grandmothers (ingibjorg and Evelyn) and gave me the name Inga Lind. I wasn't a fan of that name either. Many years later and back in Australia (where I went by the name on my Aussie passport; Claudette) I decided to change my entire name by deed poll and chose the names Sif (which my parents originally wanted to call me) and Anna (which I had always loved). I am so much happier as Sif Anna than I ever was as Claudette Michelle or Inga Lind. The name just fits. So, for me finding the right name was important, but at the same time, I wasn't at all attached the names I grew up with for so many years. (my Icelandic passport STILL says I'm Inga Lind, because I haven't gotten around to changing my name in Iceland, ha!).

  3. I never had a problem with my own name but my Mum does. She didn't realise it would get shortened to Sam and she is the only person who calls me Samantha.

    I have 2 boys named after great grandfathers and a dead mentor. I liked what they represented rather than the actual names. I do check for initials and meanings and nicknames though. They can be some unfortunate mistakes!!

  4. I hated my name as a kid, but now I love it. Not Jessica, but Jess. I feel like a Jess, and I like being married to a Tim. Tim and Jess has such a happy sound.

    I worried about calling Ava her name becuse it is o popular. But the other name we liked was Isabelle (I liked Izzy) but that's popular too. Sometimes I wonder if we made the right decision; she is Ava but she could have been an Izzy too.
    Too late to change it I guess.

  5. Names? Don't get me started! I'm Kim-Marie, yet am constantly called anything but. Do many people introduce themselves using their first, middle and surname? No? Here's a clue then. Maybe it IS my first name! Most people know me by my nickname, Kimba, and that's cool. I like it a lot. Would never name a child with a double barrelled name though!

  6. I'm not a huge fan of my name either. I have a cousin, also called Jayne who is two years older than me, so I was always (and still am) stuck with the moniker 'Our little Jaynie'. My work colleagues call me Little Jayne/Small Jayne too.

    I know what you mean about the kids' names too. My eldest's name felt strange on our tongues at first. Maybe it's because we were new parents though, and felt self-conscious.

  7. I'll tell you a secret - I was born Gabrielle Daisy. And two days in my Mum couldn't stand everyone calling me Gabby, and so she told everyone my name was Daisy, even though all the phone calls had been made and the birth certificate put in. So until I was 18 (when I could change it myself) I had to go around explaining to people that yes, my name was Gabrielle Daisy, but I preferred just Daisy. Except for one time when I tried "Gabrielle" on for size when I was 12. Needless to say it didn't work!

  8. I like my name as it is short and sweet. And can match my pesonality. When it came to our children we decided to name them with names that were not the fashion and I beleive all the names we chose suit them includig their middle names. The only thung is cause they are not common you can't buy much with their names on them.

  9. It took many hours of deliberation before coming up with our daughters name Emily. I didn't want it as it was so common, but my hubby was set & loved it. He came home one day & said Emily is our babies name. She was unnamed for a few hours after birth as I tried to decide between Emily or Jessica but Em just took instantly.
    The pressure that we as parents put on the choice of name is HUGE!

  10. Oh, names! We laboured over our girl's names for ages. Both were nameless for between 4 and 7 days. indecisive much?! Hubby and I have uncommon names, which we both really like so we wanted slightly unique names for our children but not crazy unique like Dweezil Zappa's Moon Unit. We also preferred gender specific names not ones that could be commonly used for either gender, like Jamie. We also wanted names with nice meanings AND having Chinese heritage, had to figure out how that fit into the picture too. Lots to contend with! In the end, I may not have always liked my name but I really do now. It gets shortened to some odd nicknames but that's ok. I'd rather be Veronica than Gertrude or Prudence!


Thanks for stopping by, I would so love to hear your thoughts!

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