Monday, January 15, 2007

The Great Name Debate

I have always been obsessed with names. I remember pouring over this huge name dictionary they had in our school library as young as 5th grade. I’ve always wanted to write stories and I loved looking at meanings of names to go with my characters, etc. I would come up with these amazing lists of names and even “collected them.” I had 2 notebooks of names I one day wanted to use. So it should come as no surprise that I have been researching baby names since before I got married.

I had a 3-page list for awhile of names that I might consider for one reason or another. My husband told me he wouldn’t even look at it that long. I spent days pairing it down. Some I had liked for their meaning – Jaiden, for instance, meaning God has heard. (Long before Britney Spears used it for her baby). I figured I’ve been praying for a baby for so long that would be a good name. But it’s so incredibly trendy right now that the more I heard it, the more I disliked it. So off it went. I was down to 74 this weekend when I brought the list home to get my husband’s initial input.

There are some names that I love, but wonder about. Caroline or Carolina for instance. They both are realted to Mr Moose's name, so I like that connection. Caroline Ingalls from Little House on the Prairie (which was one of my favorite TV shows as a kid) was a wonderful character. We spent our summers in North Carolina and they holds a special place in my heart. But I have a coworker named Carolyn. I like her, but would it look like I was naming my child after her? She gets irritated when people mistake her name to be Caroline, as if they are interchangeable. I prefer the –line pronunciation.

Cathryn: My great-grandmother’s name was Anna Catherine. My childhood best friend’s name was Catherine Anna so that combo has always appealed. I love the movie Cruel Intentions where the spelling was Kathryn, so the ‘ryn and the C combo are my preference. I love the nicknames Kate and Katie, also Cady. And Cathryn, no matter the spelling seem s very classic to me. But is it too boring? Plus, Mr Moose has 2 cousins who have recently given Kathryn/Katherine as middle names to their kids. Will it seem like we are copying?

Cameron: We had this one as a major contender for awhile, from House, MD’s character Dr. Allison Cameron. We love Celtic names (I’m Scottish, he’s Irish) so that was also a factor. But my BF just decided to use Cameron for her son to be born any day now. So, even if I was willing to risk the connection, it’s not fair to her son for me to give his name to a GIRL.

McKenna: Many people on the name forum I frequent dislike this for a girl since Mc and Mac mean “son of”. It mostly doesn’t bother me, but it might bother me that people hear my kid’s name and think negative thoughts about it.

Lorelai: After the amazing Lorelai Gilmore of Gilmore Girls, my favorite TV show. Mr Moose isn’t crazy about it, but I love it. Mostly it’s spelled Lorelei, though, which I don’t like as well.

Sierra: Is it too earthy? Too trendy? Too “wanna be hippie”? I loved the Sierra Jensen series as a teen. And it seems so peaceful.

Megan/Meagan: I go back and forth on the spelling. I love the nn Meg, after Meg Ryan. I loved the actress Megan Follows, best known for her portrayal of Anne Shirley in Anne of Green Gables. Is it too boring? Too done? A name from the ‘70’s and 80’s on a child of the 21st Century?

Alison/Allison: So many connections to characters/people we know and love. Dr. Allison Cameron of House, MD. Chuck’s favorite teacher (also a favorite of mine). The heroine from my favorite book, The Notebook. But again, is it too old? Is Allie as a nn cheesy?

Kirsten: I love Kirsten Dunst. She’s cute and spunky and just adorable. One of my favorite actresses. Kirsten is a derivative of my name as well, so I love that it is often listed as “Comes from (my name)” in the meaning. It is Celtic and can easily grow with the kid.

Analiese: Doesn’t that sound so feminine? I’ve always loved the nn Ana (pronounced AH-nuh), but with the weird spelling, am I setting my child up for a lifetime of reminding people “only one n”? Is it too frilly?

Kara/Cara: I’ve known people that use both spelling and they are always wonderful people. With a K means “Sweet Melody” and I love the musical connection. The C spelling means friend, which is also a very cool meaning in my book. Both are simple and beautiful, classic, etc. But are they boring? Too simple? What are my nn options? I don’t particularly care for Carrie.

Meredith: I’ve liked this name since I read a book about a Meredith, nn Meri. But I don’t like that it will be pronounced Mary. Also, I like the Grey’s Anatomy connection, but not so much that I want people to think that’s where I got it. I’ve actually read 2 books with Meredith. The first was one in Jr high and she was a brain. I’ve always associated that name with incredibly intelligent people ever since.

I’ll spare you the other 60+ names on my list. If you’re reading, I’d love for you to drop me a line and delurk. Do you have an opinion on my choices so far?

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