What did you almost name your kid?

What did you almost name your kid? June 19, 2014

The other day, my groceries were scanned by a woman whose nametag said “Alma.” I almost told her that I wanted to name my daughter that; but then I realized that, if she’s anything like every other Alma I’ve ever met, she just wants me to take my receipt and go away.

Anyway, when I come across someone with a name we decided against nine times, sometimes I’m relieved (“Whew! Dodged that bullet”) and sometimes I’m wistful (“Just think, that could have been ours . . . “). Truly, I feel like all my kids have the perfect name for them. For a few of our kids, it’s almost uncanny: Clara, for instance, turned out to be remarkably clear-eyed and fair skinned, unlike all the other kids. But I supposed people just grow into names, so it’s hard to say if a name is really ideal, or just very familiar.

A few of the names I pushed for, and my husband didn’t like: Ada, Delia, Beryl. A few of the ones I’m pretty glad he didn’t go for: Oceania, Moselle. (Look, I was young, okay?) He also liked Edith, which I could never warm up to, although Edie is a sweet nickname.

Of course, nothing can beat my husband’s own dodged bullet. His mother had a boy’s name picked out when she first got pregnant, but she had a girl first, so she couldn’t use the name. Then she had another girl, and then another girl. By the time he was born, she realized that she really oughn’t name him . . . Huckleberry John.



PIC baby aghast

HA. How about you? What’s in your discard pile? Do you know what you almost got called?

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  • Tracy Reeves

    Well, my older son wanted to name the younger one “Delford Inglefudd”. Okay, he was joking, but really did push for Anthony, which is perfectly fine, except my husband and I had some negative associations with it at the time. My pick was Thomas, my husband’s was Isaac, baby ended up… Joseph. Which was everyone’s second choice, and is, of course, perfect for him.

  • silicasandra

    My oldest son was almost “Desmond,” which then never seemed right for our second, who was named well before he was born…if we have a third boy, though, I am warming up to it again.

    I’m thankful we haven’t had any girls so far, because the names I liked for them when I was pregnant the first two times I now don’t like at all, and have become really popular again.

  • Martha Oram

    My mother wanted to name me Harriet. It’s not that I dislike the name, but the nicknames are obviously abysmal. My Grammy always jokingly asked “when is someone going to name a baby after me??” (her Christina name is…Beulah).

    For my daughter, we considered Cornelia, Dorothy, and Susannah. But when she was born, I realized I’d forgotten our list at home and couldn’t remember any but Susannah! (nickname: Zuzu) That’s okay, we’ll save Cornelia for the next one, because I really do love it so – and no, we wouldn’t call her corny…we’d call her Lia!

  • pipsmommy

    I’ve always loved Gideon, but my husband vetoed it (he is much pickier about names than I), and it’s just as well since his sister used it for one of our nephews. Growing up I dreamed of naming a little girl Beautiful Grace and calling her “Beau.” I know see that 1. that would be begging for an ugly kid and 2. even if she was beautiful, what a horrible social hurdle for a young girl. So thankful I outgrew that. So far we’ve had all boys (#3 due next month). It will be interesting to see what happens if we have a similar streak with girls.
    Oh, and I was almost Krystal. As in, the southern burger joint. Soooo thankful I dodged that one.

  • My mother wanted to name me Christiana, but when I was born at a petite 4 lbs, 7 oz, she decided she couldn’t give such a big name to such a little baby. So I am Julie.

  • Kristen

    I would have been Jessica if my dad had not hated the name. Until the week before he was born my brother would have been Daniel or Lauren, then my mom changed it to Michael or Annie (he’s Michael). Thankfully I was a girl. The boy name my parents have for me? Emrick Andrew. They were going to call me Rick. My grandfather’s name is Emory which is where that interesting variation came from. My youngest two brothers would Elizabeth Erin (called Betsey) and Teresa Anne. They ended up Matthew Aaron and Ben Abram. Ironically, more than 15 years after Matthew Aaron/Elizabeth Erin, my aunt had a daughter she named Elizabeth Erin that they call Ellie. She had no idea about my mom’s almost use of the name (they are sisters). We didn’t know the sex of our first but she was supposed to have been Ava-Grace Maria. When I saw her…she was not Ava, she was Shelby, Shelby Clare. And thankfully, we didn’t tell anyone our names ahead of time which saved a lot of grief with that one!

  • Christina Thompson Dyer

    My mother wanted to name me Stephanie and my dad wanted to name me Dawn. So the obvious compromise was Christina.

    Some of the names my husband and I have discarded are: Arabella, Bronwyn, Siobhan, Brendan, Rowan, and Thomas.

    • mithril1971

      Brownyn has become my avatar name on anything for which I needed one, because even though I would have loved it for a girl, no such luck. So now I just use it for my “other selves” 🙂

  • Jo

    We almost had and Ada! Still might, although my husband thinks it’s too close to the ultra-popular Ava.

  • NicCleoid

    My first, Rosemary Jane, would have been Lawrence Gregory had she been a boy. My second, Matthias Gregory, would have been Esther Grace had he been a girl and my third, Xavier Lawrence, would have been Madeleine Claire had he been a girl though I would have liked to name him Simon Peter Vianney. My husband wagered we’d only name him that if the baby didn’t breathe right away. Oddly, he was born with the cord around his neck but I decided it was involuntary breathlessness (wasn’t his fault he couldn’t breathe!) so I let my husband have XL. He was good in not insisting on Edwin after his grandfather (horrors!).

  • Mary

    My first child, if a boy, was going to be named Walker Riley. She was a girl, we named her Emma. Emma wasn’t as popular when she was born (pre-Friends baby) The next baby was a boy, but we named him Andy. My husband always wanted a daughter named Molly, so we got a Golden Retriever and named her Molly.
    I was almost named Ingrid, after Ingrid Bergman.

  • Lydia

    No massive dodged bullets here, but we’ve only got the two girls. Philomena Louisa was at one point possibly Lucia. Bernadette Rose, had she been a boy would have been Benedict Joseph.

    • Rebecca Fuentes

      My second daughter is Philomena Rose, and we considered Lucia. We must have similar taste in names!

  • M Weisse

    I am thankful my husband wouldn’t go along with my love for the name Walter (Walt for short). I still love it, but I hadn’t watched Breaking Bad yet and didn’t realize our last name Weisse would have made our child’s name very similar to Walter White… not someone I really want to name my kid after.

  • Vera Hough

    I plumped for Tamsin over and over but my husband wouldn’t budge.

  • Lydia

    I was almost Michelle but my parents decided it was becoming too popular a name. I like my name now but didn’t when I was little. I wanted to change it to Brittany (after the Chipette).
    If I was a boy I would’ve been named Andrew, as my brother was years later.

  • Jess

    GREAT question! I dodged a bullet – Mum desperately wanted to name me Dorcas.

    (My oldest friend always claims that I could have pulled it off … which is not true, but it’s also why she’s my oldest friend.)

  • Heidi

    I had a cousin that was almost named..I kid you not….Brock…Lee. Someone had to make their poor pregnancy-addled-brains sound it out like 5 year olds til the light dawned.

  • Noni N Maria Kazzi

    My father almost named me “Juanita” after his grandmother, but she interceded for me and told him it was an awful name.

    • Rebecca Fuentes

      My grandfather is Aloysuis. He said he would disown anyone who named a grandchild after him.

  • Kate Davis

    My youngest sister was born when I was in fifth grade. My dad picked out the names Patricia Marie or James Patrick. I got the news of a baby girl during art class, so the teacher had us make cards for my new sister. I went to the hospital with an armful of cards that said “Welcome baby Patricia” only to find that my mom changed her name to Caroline at the last minute. My sister is eternally thankful to be a Caroline and not a Pat.

  • Juliet

    I dodged a bullet big time when my mother named me. Our last name is pronounced TRA-mull, but she wanted to change the pronunciation to tra-MELLE so that she could name me Noelle Michelle Trammell. I’m so glad she changed her mind.

    • Booklover

      That’s terrible! Lol!

  • Kelly Seppy

    I was almost named Gretchen. Gretch, Very close to retch. Lovely. No offense to all the lovely Gretchens of the world. Casey was another one they thought about. Finally they ended up with my grandmother’s maiden name, Kelly, (somewhere in the Philadelphia Kelly family, so I’m told) which I never liked as a kid, but I guess I’m used to it. I like my confirmation name, Lucy. Nobody calls me Lucy.
    Also, my youngest is part African American, and her father wanted an ethnic name for her. I was not having any Shaniqua or Shanene or whatever (no offense to all the lovely Shaniquas and Shanenes of the world) so I went and looked up Swahili words and found Malaika. Pronounced Ma-Lake-ah. Meaning angel. Unfortunately, most people look at it and think they know better that I really wanted to call her Malika. Ma-Leek-ah. She hates being called that, so she introduces herself to friends as Star. Oh well.
    I do find that all my kids’ name meanings do fit them. I think it’s very cool.

  • Jen

    We don’t have any spectacular discards, but when we were pregnant with our first, we asked our young nieces and nephews for their name suggestions, and five-year-old Thomas immediately replied, “Opus Baggins”.

  • NurseTammy

    My middle kid was named after my husband had been deployed in the first Gulf War for the entire pregnancy…no email, no skype, no FB, no satellite phones, few letters…and his name is “Joe”. It may have been a default in some ways but you cant go wrong with St Joseph in your corner.

    He has since changed his name to “Fig” and lives on a mountaintop at a Sufi retreat house.

    I considered “Cliff” as a name…if that were his name I wonder if he would have changed it to Fig.

  • Faustina Fournier Konkal

    As someone with a ‘unique’ name, THANK YOU. I don’t tell baristas or change room supervisors my real name anymore. I just can’t handle the ‘thats so unique/beautiful/interesting’ . I do like my name and I do like that I am the fifth generation of Fournier women to carry the name. One of my namesakes was one of the first female doctors in my province, mayor of her city in the 1930s and founder of a university in Northern Canada. But, ouff, sometimes it gets old.

    One of my younger brothers was almost named Bartholomew. But our cousin made such fun of the name when he heard it that my parents changed their minds. He was named Jonathon instead. And the ‘Simpson’s’ was released when he was about three years old. Jon dodged being a real life skateboarding Bart who always had a slingshot in his back pocket.

  • Claire

    I would have loved to have had a Cailey Miriam.

  • Michael Morris

    My middle name was almost Chance. Until my grandfather, thankfully suggested my parents used my dad’s legal first name instead. Yes, I like Clifford more than Chance. Our boys haven’t had any near misses. But interestingly a couple years ago we moved and found our names list from when we had our first born. The top two names Thomas Christopher and Matthew Joseph, which were exactly the names we used.

  • Angela Walker

    I only have one name I didn’t use. My Nathaniel was almost Matthew. I decided at the last minute that I knew too many Matthews and wanted his name to be less common. I did not get to use my girl names, never having had a girl. I was going to name my first girl Mariah Kay. Still sad that I never got to use it.

    If I had been a boy, I was going to be Craig Elmon. Fortunately, I was not a boy, because my Daddy pronounced it Crag. No complaints about Elmon. It was my Granddaddy’s name, and is Nathaniel’s middle name.

  • Sheila C.

    I have a long list of names my husband has nixed. Michael I did manage to weasel him into. Arthur I did not. Also Arnold (a family name) and Alfred (my favorite English monarch!). He says it sounds like a butler, sigh. Also no Timothy, no Teresa, no Jonathan, no Lucy. I’d whine that he’s picky, but I have nixed almost all his ideas too. (Though I *think* Brunhilda was a joke.)

    I want to name this current baby Benedict Francis if it’s a boy. He says no papal double-dipping. So right now I’m just hoping it’s a girl because we have nine weeks to go and STILL no boy name we both actually like.

    • Sheila C.

      Oh, and my father’s second choice name for me was “Deanna” (after Deanna Troi) and for my brother it was “Derek Wildstar” (for a character in Starblazers, which was my dad’s favorite show growing up). Near escape, that. Though his actual name is David Marcus (Captain Kirk’s son) and another brother is Charles Xavier (Professor X). My mother didn’t mind those ones, because they are at least not *obvious* science fiction names.

    • Anna

      Watch out. We didn’t have a boy name picked for our second and he showed up 15 days late, thus giving us lots of time to find a name! His lateness meant that we were scheduled to induce on Ascension Thursday; he came the day before, but we still went with that solemnity for his name (Rohan, which means “ascending”).

    • Rebecca Fuentes

      I still love Tobias and Dante for boys, but my husband will not budge on them. He says we can name the next dog Dante.

  • Leah Joy

    We had decided to name our son Theo, but weren’t totally satisfied with the name. I was reading the newspaper on the way to the hospital on the morning he was born and noticed that it was Leonardo DiCaprio’s birthday. I’m not a huge fan of his, but it suddenly struck me–Leo! A beautiful name and a great saint. We’ve always been glad we named him Leo. (And when I remember, I pray for Leonardo DiCaprio on his birthday.)

    We named one of our girls Genevieve, and then my mother reminded me that Genevieve was what my father had wanted to name me! I still think it’s one of the most beautiful names ever. And of course it suits our sweetie perfectly.

  • Danielle M.

    My first was a girl, we named her Katherine Rose (my family has a Katherine in every generation as far back as we can trace, and Rose is my mom’s name), we were looking for names with a variety of nicknames so she could decide what to be called later. She goes by Kati, always. I loved the name Lauren Elizabeth and would have used it, except all the other babies were boys. We have a Thomas John, a Robert Daniel and a Joseph Kenneth. All the middle names are father or grandfather. I really wanted Joseph to be a Peter (it was the year of Peter when he was born), but let my husband pick in the end. I also always thought I would have a Patrick. The funny part is, our attention to picking names with multiple nicknames so the kids could choose what they wanted to be called has not panned out with the boys. They all insist on being called by their full first names. No Bobby, Tommy or Joe around here.

    • Lydia

      My brother was always Andrew, never Andy, and my sister was always Rebecca, never Becky. Interestingly, though, my youngest sister was Abby almost from the beginning. I guess it felt like a more appropriate thing to call a cute little baby than “Abigail”, but I remember feeling slightly bad that her full first name hadn’t gotten a chance.

    • Peggy Bowes

      My sister is Katherine Rose! We called her Katie Rose until she reached middle school and insisted that we drop the Rose. I was said because Katie Rose is such a pretty name.

  • Karen Cain

    We’ve always managed to fix on a good name right away. But I narrowly missed being named “Ralphina.” My dad, apparently, really liked the name Ralph. When my older brother was born, my mom talked him down from Ralph somehow and they chose the more sensible John. She had to promise if the next baby was a boy, he could name it Ralph, though. Then I was born, and my dad made the mistake of saying to my just-delivered-of-me mother, “Well, we could name her RALPHINA! Doesn’t that sound pretty?” And my mother reached up from her bed, grabbed his collar, pulled him down to her face and hissed, “Over my DEAD BODY will you name my daughter Ralphina.”

    Then they thought of Jennifer, as did nearly 90 percent of parents in 1973, But my mother’s nickname was Ginny and she thought having a Ginny and a Jenny in the house was too precious, so Karen it was.

  • BC

    With two out of three pregnancies I way over-immersed myself in potential baby names, and ended up getting so overwhelmed that I just passed the buck to my husband. I went from declaring “Never Zoë! So overused.” to “Please just pick a name. Zoë is great! Just don’t let me log on to nameberry.com ever again!” Thank goodness that she was a girl, because at that point his top boys name was Hector.

  • Rebecca Fuentes

    My oldest girl was almost named Irasema Beatriz or Zulema Elizabeth, but when we saw her, neither name seemed right. For about 30 seconds, I considered naming my youngest Tabitha Catherine, two names I really like, then I thought about the nicknames and decided not to name my child Tabby Cat. My youngest is a boy anyway, and is Reuben, though he was almost Elijah, almost Maximilian or Maximo, almost Ezequiel, and almost Alfonso.
    I have no idea what my mom might have named me. For the longest time, I would daydream about being named Geneva (which is the name of one of my sisters-in-law now).

  • Robster

    Born Dec. 30, 1963, and my parents were Irish Catholic. Had some time before they had to fill in first name. So I was named for my dad, and the late president. “Robert J.F.K.” The rest of my siblings had Gaelic first names. Late at night, I lament, “I coulda bin a Liam!”

  • Michelle

    I have three cousins, the youngest being nine years younger than the oldest. When the youngest was expected, his parents wanted to name him Stanley Elgin after a dear friend of theirs. The birth was difficult, and when the older children were brought in to meet their new baby brother, my aunt and uncle told them that the family needed to thank God that the new baby was healthy and doing well. The nine-year-old said, “Maybe we should name him David then, since he walked through the valley of the shadow of death.” David Stanley still loathes his middle name, but has been in his older sister’s debt all of his life for changing his first name to David.

  • KyCat

    My youngest is Henry Huckleberry. He goes by Huck and it fits him well. Our third son was stillborn and he was Finn. We wanted a way to honor him in Huck’s name without weighing him down. For us, it works. So I have to tell you, Huckleberry John just doesn’t sound that bad to me. 🙂

  • Laura Colon

    My parents wanted to name me after the woman with the “world’s oldest profession” from The Man of la Macha. No joke. Plus, I have a spanish last name. Yeah, that could have been bad.

    Our speech therapists made me swear that I will NEVER EVER EVER name a son Maximilian after St. M Kolbe. I adore the name and the saint but given our luck for producing kids with speech disorders AND the kids’ super long and German last name…. the poor kid would never learn to say or spell his names!

    • bluebird2b

      Our youngest is Max, just Max, after his great-grandfather and St. Maximilian Kolbe. I didn’t want him to have a long name, so pushed for the shortened version. At Confirmation, he decided that he wanted the full name used, which I’m sure has my husband’s grandfather rolling his eyes, because he always hated his own name 🙂

      • anna lisa

        My second of six boys is named after St. Maximilian Kolbe–the whole nine yards. I was reading a book about him, and was so overwhelmed by what a great man he is, that I asked my husband, if we ever had another son, if we could name him after him. It turned out I was already pregnant. My husband’s father, who was no longer a practicing Catholic, died on his feast day, when our son was four. I like to think that this is a special sign that he had help in his final moments. It helped my husband deal with his sudden death.
        What’s funny is that everyone wants to but a double L in Maximilian.

  • RachelB

    I was born on the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes and was nearly named Bernadette, but my mom didn’t want me to be called “Bernie” so I’m Rachel. My whole pregnancy with my son, the only name we really liked was Leif. Most people thought it was weird, but we loved it. Then late in my pregnancy I found the name Rowan. I liked that better than Leif, but hubby still liked Leif best. Thankfully my baby boy came out roaring, ruddy and dark and we both knew he most certainly was not a Leif and I got my wish of Rowan Edward Joseph. (Edward for my grandfather, and Joseph for St. Joesph)

    • Nan

      I went to school with a girl named Bernadette, called “Dette” pronounced “dettie.

  • MightyMighty1

    I just know that when we reviewed our Google doc of baby names when it came time to name #2, we were aghast at over half of our choices. Our new rule is: if we need a book to think of it, it’s too weird for our tastes. The name should be familiar enough that it seems natural to use it. In short, as much as I love hippy stuff like River, we’re sticking to stuff that fits the rest of our lives better.

  • Kathleen M. Ritter

    We had a boy name (Francis William) and a girl name picked out: If Frankie had been a girl he would’ve been Flannery Kathleen, until we realized that with our last name beginning with an R, her initials would’ve been FKR. Not a good choice for the playground! So we decided to switch the order and go with Kathleen Flannery for the girl name (she would have gone by Flannery). God gave us our nutty, crazy, hilarious, gorgeous boy Frankie instead, and we’ve never regretted the choice. In retrospect, I think I might have regretted Flannery as a girl name, because it is one of those names that threatens to become trendy and/or just pretentious. And naming a child after one’s favorite author is a bit pretentious, I have to admit!

  • Sara McD

    I was Serafina. My mother legally changed it behind my father’s back because it was “too Italian for an American girl.” My father didn’t know until he heard the priest mumbling (my father’s description, not mine) at my baptism.

    My three boys all have family names and there was never any real debate about them. Now that we’re praying for another before my fertility is gone, boys’ names are a little harder to come by but I think we’ve got one.

  • Charity

    My mother wanted to name her first daughter “Hunni Sunshyne” when she was growing up…woof.

    When she was actually pregnant with me, they almost named me “Lacey Louise” and her number one choice was actually “Serenity” but then the brand of adult diaper named the same thing came out. So Charity it was. 😉

  • Lani

    When I was pregnant with our fourth son, our three boys came up with the name, “Fartimus Bottlehead.” We went with Dominic instead.

    • Claire

      That was a good choice, Lani. A perfect example of how sometimes mothers just have to override their kids!

  • Elaine S.

    My mom wanted to name me Rosemary when I was born, because I came out all red and looking like a little rosebud, but my dad didn’t like it, so she decided to stick with Elaine, which they had agreed upon earlier. I did, however, end up recycling it somewhat as a middle name for my only daughter (Rosemarie). If I’d had another girl I would have liked to name her Gianna after two of my pro-life heroes — St. Gianna Molla and abortion survivor Gianna Jessen, whom I had the privilege of meeting twice in the 1990s.

  • Lynn

    During my second pregnancy, we called my daughter Airplane Baby, because her older brother loved all things airplane. When she was born, she didn’t look like an Esther or a Miriam, so we had a few days to work on it while we still called her Airplane Baby. My son was so upset that we “changed” her name that we ended up telling him Airplane Baby was her “real” name, but that we had to have something more traditional for the birth certificate or we would get in trouble.

  • Peggy Bowes

    So glad I turned out to be a girl, otherwise I would have been Joseph Michael Patrick Henry Sebastian. Luckily all five of us were girls…

    • Leah Joy

      On the other hand, Peggy, if your folks had had five boys, I guess they would have been well-prepared (with names at least!).

  • Paul

    Our oldest was due on Quasimodo Sunday. It was tempting.

  • Eileen

    My husband and I both favor traditional names widely chosen by American Catholics over the last century so we didn’t have any big discussions or thought wrestling when it came to naming our bio kids. We just named them – sometimes we took a feast day or a church season into account. Our whole extended family is that way. We have over 50 nieces and nephews and every one of our kids has at least one cousin with the same first name – in one case there are four cousins with the same name!

    I was really worried about the adopted kids. Changing a child’s birthright is a big step, but we knew we didn’t want anything that sounded ghetto or would cause them to be made fun of in our upper middle class white world. My husband wisely thought we should wait and see what their first mothers had already named them before we considered any names. Turned out they had very “normal” boy names – I’m guessing they’re in the top 20 in the Social Security name index for boys. (Perfect for our family!) We did alter the spelling on one to the orthodox spelling, but other than that no changes. I’ve never seen that son’s original spelling anywhere else so I really don’t ever think of it.

    • Claire

      I changed my son’s name. I really didn’t consider it to be his birthright. We would have had change his last name anyway, so I didn’t see it as that big a jump to change the other two names on his birth certificate. (I would have felt differently if he had been older and had been accustomed to his name). I explained to his birthmother the reasoning behind the name we chose, and told her that we would strongly encourage him to consider using the name she had chosen as a Confirmation name. She was fine with that. I didn’t have anything against the name she chose, but he’s my only (living) child and I wanted the opportunity to name him. He looks so much like the name we chose for him (something we had chosen years before he came into our lives). I can’t imagine him with any other name.

      • Eileen

        In our case it’s the only lasting thing their first mothers freely chose to give them. Other than life, of course. It’s hard to imagine their names were bestowed with anything but love no matter how fallen the rest of their parenting may have been. Of course each of our boys has the lasting family legacy of his first mother’s genes. But I’m taking her child. It evokes a sense of melancholy in me that we can take his name from her as well. .

        Like I said, we did “fix” the spelling of one of them. And I recognize the arrogance mixed with practicality (and in our minds, good parenting) of that decision. And no question, sometimes a child needs and deserves a full break from his past. I wouldn’t question another adoptive parent’s right to change the name completely, but it’s not for us. Unless a kid’s given name had been sh*thead, we knew the most we’d ever do was relegate the first mother’s name to a middle name.

        Our first adopted child is approaching confirmation. His first mother’s last name is the last name of a Spanish Jesuit saint. He’s excited about using it for his confirmation name.

        • Claire

          Yes, every situation is different. I’m sure that my son’s birthmother chose his name out of love, and I don’t think he needs a complete break from his biological background, but in my case it was more that I wanted to have my one and only chance of naming a (living) child. I suppose that was a selfish decision, but his birthmother already had the chance to name four living children, and I don’t feel that I took anything from her. She knew that he would be removed from her custody due to numerous bad choices that she made, and I know that she is very grateful that we adopted him so that he could avoid the foster care system, and that we have not held those bad choices against her in how we represent her to our son and in how much contact we allow. Don’t get me wrong; I’m grateful to her for giving me the biggest gift of my life, and I honor her by going way beyond what is required of me legally (I send letters, gifts and photos constantly, and we have occasional phone calls and visits, none of which is in our contract). At this point it is in my son’s best interest to have this amount of contact with his biological family, and I want to honor them for their sake as well.

  • anna lisa

    I was almost named Lisel. My mom played a role in the play, The Sound of Music, when she found out she was newly pregnant with me.
    I was saved from the bullet, because my mother had already given my sisters Spanish names that end in the letter “A”.
    My sister’s firstborn was almost named after Conan the Barbarian.
    I’ve dallied with the names, Cyprian, and Anastasia. It’s the litany of the saints that got them into my head I think.
    Charlotte was almost Dahlia, but we didn’t want anyone to call her Dolly. It’s the only name we universally agreed upon, though my daughter Sophia asked me to name her Gemma– (?) She also goes by Charlise. Our fifth child was almost named Juan Pablo, but I stuck to my guns. We had a brief stare down in the hospital. I won. My husband sadly agreed with the English spelling. I’m of the opinion that if you have to feel like vomiting for almost three straight months, and need to push something giant through your private parts, you get the final say. We still affectionately call him Juan Pablo and Johannes Paulus, His brother calls him Sir John Poopsalot.
    My sixth kid, Lucas Alejandro has a straight up Latin name, much to my husband’s pent up relief. It got stuck in his head, because it’s the name of a little town that is exactly the halfway mark between San Francisco and Santa Barbara. He had to make that commute every week in my final month of pregnancy. My sister didn’t speak to him for about a month, because her fourth kid is named Luke. My parents wrote us a letter on her behalf, asking us to cease and desist, but my husband wouldn’t budge. We call him Chukas half the time, and nobody can remember that war anymore.
    My seventh kid has a name that can be pronounced beautifully in both English and Spanish (Marco Xavier) but his nickname is Xave, (pronounced Zave) and also DeTron Johnson (pronounced with a Southern accent).
    My oldest kids are affectionately called Chin (Chinchinmichael), Maxabillion, and Sophia (Sophiphi). Sophia wasn’t even on the top 40 girls’ names yet 20 years ago (dammit!).
    Our fourth is named Blaise Augustine–but all the stoners think it’s spelled with a Z. He gets a lot of high fives for that, and is eternally grateful that we gave him the coolest name on the planet.

    • Eileen

      Believe it or not, I know of an Edelweiss. Her mom also was a huge Sound of Music fan.

      • anna lisa

        Things can always be worse, eh? My SIL refused to go through life as a Clarissa (pronounced Claritza) and legally changed her name to her nickname, which had originally been a joke that stuck. My FIL, went to school in London, and had a thing for Petula Clark. My SIL now bares this name *legally*. It suits her. She is definitely not a Clarissa.

  • Jessica

    I was almost Jeremy (not bad). My parents didn’t have a girl’s name picked out and my dad chose Jessica out of the blue, which turned out not to be so much out of the blue in 1979. My daughter is Phoebe Elena after Phoebe Palmer (a Methodist evangelist), but my husband hated it and only gave in after 86 hours of back labor. She would have been Viviane otherwise. My son is Ezra Angel. I wanted to name him after his father because I think Ismael is lovely, but I was overruled by my husband. Instead they share a middle name. It is probably just as well because Mexican boys named after their dads often end up being “Junior,” which I hate. Then new baby will be Theordore Agustin and we will call him Theo. I have had the name Evangeline picked out for the last two and it looks like I won’t get to use it.

  • Episteme

    As the unmarried (and not even dating) guy here with no kids, I’ll be the one here to say it…

    “So, you wanted to be…an Alma Mater?”

    Honestly, though, my first suggestions to any wife for child names would involve Peter for a boy’s first name (my family’s an old Dutch clan that’ been in the US for 350 years, and Pieter is famously the name of the ‘patriarch’ of the branch that came over) with Thomas as a middle name for the same or another son’s middle name (I’m the fourth generation to be baptized for Thomas Aquinas, and all my brothers & cousins have either not done so with their kids or opted not have children). For a girl, my first choice would be Kathleen, after my late mother (she went by Kathy, although I’d be willing to settle for Kate or something as a nickname), probably with something involving a Marian Devotion or related saint as a middle name (or perhaps something Marian-related for another girl’s name).

  • Edwin Woodruff Tait

    We talked about naming our older daughter Elanor Arwen. Decided this was too geeky and went for Catherine Elanor instead.

  • Angelie Roth

    I have no kids (yet… give us a year or so after the wedding 🙂 ) but I was almost named Angela instead of Angelie. My grandmother was named Angela and when my parents said they wanted to name me after her, she asked them to use her nickname instead. I’m kind of set on naming two daughters Joy Libation and Evangeline Wisdom- we’ll see!