It’s been a streak of heavy posts lately so I’m going to shake things up and give you something frivolous that I know so many of you have been curious about. What are we going to name That 1?
I wish we knew. As of this writing we don’t have a name picked out, or really even any top contenders. Even if we did though… we would probably pretend we didn’t. I learned very early on that sharing names you like is a bad idea. Unless you make it clear that the name you are sharing is THE name, the one you will grace your child with, people close to you aren’t afraid to let you know what they really think. I’m guessing in hopes that they can influence one way or another? Barring a few very close friends who can give the kind of feedback we think is important (initial reaction, bully possibilities, best spelling, etc) we won’t publicly be revealing our final choice until baby is officially christened.
We’re working on choosing at least one male and one female favorite, although we would prefer having two of each that we like in case one doesn’t “fit”. The baby will be given an English-style first name, Polish middle name, and That Husband’s last name. (Yep, I’m still Jenna Andersen, and it looks like I’m going to stay that way!) Once we’ve chosen our favorite first names we’ll ask his family for some options from TH’s family tree, and work to find a combination that sounds perfect to us.
The reason we’ve made scarcely any progress is because our naming criteria are pretty specific (okay, mine are REALLY specific) and really different from each other
- I want to pick a “theme” now and stick with it. Whether it’s a time period, type (literary names maybe?), people who profoundly changed history in some way, family names, or pattern, I want all of my children to have names that feel like they go together in some way.
Not popular in recent years
- I was always really excited to find another girl named Jenna, because the name was *just* popular enough to be used throughout the US, but not enough that I was forced to go through school as Jenna A to distinguish me from all of the other girls with the same name. Anyone born in the 80′s named Jessica, Jennifer, or Amanda would not have been so lucky. Granted I was from a small town so the likelihood of sharing a name with someone were few already, but we did have a Heather B and Heather D in my graduating class of 70 kids, meaning choosing anything within the top 10 for that decade is probably a bad idea no matter where you live.
Not used by other people in my life (He has rejected names for this reason as well)
- I tend to reject a lot of names based on who I knew in the past that shared it. “That one’s out because I didn’t like her very much in high school,” I’ll tell TH. Or because the nickname of the name in question was also the name of my high school boyfriend. Or because the only person I’ve ever know with that name rolled marijuana cigarettes in the back of our Washington State history class.
Not recently made up (for we realize that most names were made up at some point).
- What’s a made up name? Watch one episode of America’s Next Top Model and you’ll be overwhelmed with your choices. Over the past few years the show has featured contestants named: Kesse, Jenascia, Norelle, Keenyah, Furonda, Nikeysha, Kortnie and Ambreal. Either completely new to the world within X number of years or spelled in a way that no one would ever guess, names in this vein are out for us.
Sounds good in Polish
- This criteria is toughest for me because I have absolutely no idea what is universally thought to sound awful in his native tongue. I do know that we are avoiding boy names that end in “a”, like Dakota, Luca, and Joshua, because names that end with “a” are girls names (always) in Polish. For girls, “r” endings are out, like Jennifer, Heather, and Summer. Otherwise I ask on a case-by-case basis to figure out what the Bertha and Gomer baby names of the Polish language are. (i.e. names that are pretty widely accepted as a bad idea in the states.)
I tend to like grandpa/grandma names, like Stella, Mabel, Hazel, Howard, Perry, and Willis. He has suggested Annie but I keep shooting it down. We agree on so few names that this poor little creature kicking at my rips doesn’t even have a nickname! We just call him/her Baby.
Lately I’ve been on a family name kick, after spending some time reading in the Bible and Book of Mormon. The way they talk about names, as heirlooms to be passed down or as mediums to inspire greatness, really made me want to seek out a name that would have some kind of story behind it. The Angel Moroni who revealed the Book of Mormon to Joseph Smith was named for Captain Moroni, a man described in this way: if all men had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto Moroni, behold, the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever; yea, the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men. I spent some time on a site for LDS members called Family Search, filled with information about hundreds of my ancestors, on some sides going back as far as 14 generations! (And I got tired of expanding eventually so it might go even farther.) I wrote down my favorites and have been working on listing them off for That Husband to see if there are any we can agree upon, which isn’t many.
If we can’t find something from my family we agree on, I’d like to find a name that comes with a story or significant meaning, so we can tell our child a reason behind our choice other than “We thought it was cute.” Who knows though, it’s possible I may fall in love with a completely random moniker that has no linguistical significance whatsoever. Even if we don’t choose a family name for the first name I hope to pull from That Husband’s family history for the middle.
I think the question I’ve been asked most is whether we will be sharing the name publicly. As with That Husbands name, we’ll be working to make sure that the baby’s name isn’t “googleable”, at least in relation to this blog. If you read regularly you’ll know That 1′s name through photos and (possibly) video as we’ll only be working to avoid text, not other mediums. I’ll be referring to baby as either That 1 (which I think sounds a bit awkward so I probably won’t stick with it) or the English name for his/her Polish middle name in my posts. The Polish thing sounds confusing I know, but only when I describe it so abstractly. For example, Lucja is the name of one of TH’s grandmas, and if that was a middle name we chose the baby’s blog name would be Lucy. I’m pretty proud of myself for coming up with that clever solution.
For those who are playing the name game as well, I’ve found a few favorite websites for brainstorming ideas:
http://www.babynamewizard.com/voyager: One of my criteria as noted above is that a name not be really popular, and I double check every option on Name Voyager to see how it is trending and when it peaked. I tend to eliminate anything that’s rising rapidly or currently sitting at a rank of 300 or less.
http://www.nymbler.com/: Plug in your favorites and Nymbler will suggest similar names.
http://www.whatalovelyname.com/: See name possibilities based on personality traits, cultural backgrounds, names of famous babies, and options inspired by pop-culture favorites like Star Wars and Harry Potter.
Now that you know all of our criteria, you can either…
A. Suggest options you think might work (although to fulfill part of TH’s rules you might have to be fluent in Polish!)
B. Give one boy suggestion and one girl suggestion for what you think we’ll name the baby. If you’re right you can email me in April and I’ll send you a little something special for being such a smarty pants. If you suggest more than one name for each gender no special thing for you though. You’d get it right eventually if you tried enough options.
Family and close friends are free to guess all they want because I guarantee you no one actually knows what names we are going to end up with, that’s how far we are from picking something!