Monthly Archives: May 2010

How not to name your child

How not to name your child

Ah, pregnancy. Anyone that knows me will tell you that it’s possibly one of my least favourite things. Ever. And that I’m a complete whingebag from start to finish. Which is obviously why I’m doing it for the fourth time. Before you ask, yes I do know about contraception, I’m privately educated, me. But nothing in the world can beat that rush of love you have for your newborn in spite of several months of feeling pants, several hours of agonising pain and the chance that you pooed yourself in front of total strangers and your husband/boyfriend/best friend/mother/more total strangers. Don’t worry though, I’m not going to wax lyrical about the joys of having children or go into far too much detail about childbirth, I understand you have delicate sensibilities and no-one in their right mind wants to know about that. Nope, I have a problem. I haven’t got a bloody clue what to call Number 4 when he or she eventually pops out in approximately 12 weeks’ time. It’s not all about me, of course. My husband hasn’t got a bloody clue what to call the baby either.

We have name books, of course we do. 2 of ‘em. What self-respecting parent-to-be wouldn’t? They’re rubbish. One of them in particular because not only is it full of standard names we don’t like, it’s full of pretentious or ancient no-longer-used names we don’t like as well. And some funny foreign ones too (no, not like that, I just don’t see how Bambalina or Guillermo would fit a child of English parents from Hampshire). Genuine suggestions from this ridiculous tome, which incidentally is called The Best Baby Name Book (my arse) are Brilliant, Desire, Brian (for a GIRL), Psyche, Calpurnia, Boniface (a boys’ name apparently), Gordius, Beowulf, Quirinal… I could go on all day. Can you see why we’re struggling a bit? I’ve no doubt these names have their places in history, literature and places where girls are called Brian but jeez.

So where else does one go for inspiration? Well, there’s always the web, plenty of lists of what to call your little darling, including helpful lists of the most popular names from previous years, presumably so you know what to avoid. Who wants their child to be one of 5 Graces or Joshuas in a class? Before you get offended by my choice of example I chose the names at random. And Number 2 son of mine is called Joshua, so there. Some of the sites have name generators, so you don’t have to think of one for yourself or something. Here are some examples of names it gave me to go with Flaherty.


Ambrose, Rupert, Jeremy, Todd, Nat, Hugo. OK, I know I’m pretty middle-class (ahem) but really? Hugo? Hugo Flaherty? I strongly suspect Hugo might get picked on in my local schools.

And now for the girls:

Saffron, Lydia, Sue (for a BABY? Everyone I know called Sue is over the age of 30 and most are over 50. Sue is the name of people’s mums), India, Allegra. Sigh.

Name generators are a bit rubbish, then.

What about some celebrity inspiration? They’re in the public eye, they wouldn’t possibly call their children anything stupid now, would they? Oh. I’m not sure Satchel, Moon Unit, Kal-el, Apple, Moses or Zuma Flaherty really works. Or Princess Tiamiiiiiiiiiiiiii or however it was spelt to be “different” (read chavvy). Yikes. Maybe we could combine them with something else to make a new one? Prince Moon Satchel (lovely) and Kittyzuma. What a shame I’m not having boy and girl twins, I could use them both! Gah.

Now what? Well, my 3 children are called Jake, Joshua and Poppy. So I can’t have another J name or a flower name. I used to quite like Jessica, but that’s out for the J reason and also because that has always been very popular so I’d risk the 5 Jessicas in the class thing. My husband and I both like Holly but ruled that out last time round because it’s my cousin’s name. If she was a distant cousin, not a problem, but she’s not. And we couldn’t have it this time anyway if Number 4’s a girl because of the horticultural thing. This also rules out Daisy, Marigold, Primrose, Blossom and, er, Jonquil. Among others. Jonquil was the name of my aunty dontcha know.

Which ever way you look at it, we’re stumped. We come up with ideas but they’re often short-lived because one or other of us doesn’t like it or used to know someone we hated by that name. Sad to say it’s looking increasingly likely that this baby is destined to be known as Number 4. Or Brian.

Thanks go to the lovely @Mandi112 who came up with the subject for this post :)