26 June 2011

social commentary Sunday . . . 'do you have child-naming regret??'

Greetings all,
How important is your name to you??  My parents named me Jennie, not Jennifer as that would be shortened to Jenny/ Jenni/ Jennie anyway, i'm quite happy with the name my parents gave me.  My middle name is after my mother's sister.  My sister & brothers all have regular names too, as do our collective 14 children.
I remember my best gal pal saying "wouldn't it be fun to be named Daisy, but have a back up sensible name for job interviews & legal paperwork".  Ok, so she grew up to be a lawyer but i get it.  Do you want to be Dr Pixie Smith??  Nowadays anything goes i guess, i try not to judge people by their names, but when i won a free photography session for my first born & the photographer was named Bambi, i kept thinking 'it's her parent's fault'.

On our first date, my husband & i agreed on a baby boy's name (he started the conversation, i wasn't some desperate crazy OMG-marry-me & this-is-our-whole-future-together after one dinner).  Anyway, we adjusted it to suit a girl as after 3 daughters we were wondering if we'd ever get to use a boy's name??  
Every new school year i scan the class lists for names, doing little fist pumps in the air that no one has the same names as my guys.  They don't have whacky or made up combination names, they have traditional Celtic & Gaelic names to suit our heritage, they're old fashioned, you've heard them before, but they are still the only children in their schools with the names.  I do feel quite chuffed with our choices & i really believe the names suit our children.  They like their names too.  We also skipped choosing names with same first initial as ours & double checked their initials didn't spell out anything silly like BUM.
Growing up, if there was a crazy name on the news like Zipperty DoDah Jones, my conservative anglo parents would say "oh that's a made up American name".  Class rooms are filled with unisex names like Jordan, Taylor & Bailey, all lovely names, but if they're new & you have birthday invitations from them, you might not know if they are a boy or a girl.  I don't have to read the list of most-popular-names to know they are Jack, Ella, Henry, Emma, Lachlan, Grace, William, Ruby, Ethan, Harry & Ava - they're all friends with my children. 
I just wonder, do parents ever think "oh i wish i didn't name my child Chrystal-Sherrilyn & combine our surnames of Worthington-Barringhausenwaite as it takes so long to fill in forms" or "naming my twins Amie & Jamie now sounds a bit dumb".  Oh hello mums with multiples - do we have some bad twin duo names out there??!!  Have you met my twins "Samson & Delilah", "Elvis & Priscilla", Romeo & Juliet" . . . not kidding.  I think people should get silly names out of their system on their pets - or God help us, they'd be an over supply of children named after Star Wars & comic book characters.
Did you go for fail safe names with regular spelling, the popular names of the time, or the totally awesome names you dreamt up when you were a teenager, like Ripley, Fallon & Blaze??  Are your children named after your favourite movie stars, sports heroes & appliance brands?? 
I'd LOVE to know if you told your girlfriends your future-children-dream-names & . . . they stole them!!  You remember that episode of Sex&theCity when their pregnant friend stole Charlotte's dream name of "Sheila" & Samantha screamed "you bitch" across the Baby Shower?? 
I know 3 cousins, ALL with the same name, born in the same year, as their parents all said the name was theirs.  Poor grandparents - 3 grandchildren with the same name & age??  Then again, doesn't world champion boxer George Foreman have 8 children called George, Georgina, Georgia, Georgie & Georges 2, 3, 4 & 5??  In his defence, his brain has been knocked around, but what were the mother's agreeing to?? 
Did you give in to a traditional family name??  Did your husband insist on a name & you couldn't say "noooo, it's my exboyfriend's name"??  Do you know anyone who changed their name as it was just too awful to keep??  I remember one baby name book i read while pregnant with my first baby in 1998 recommending not to call your child Adolph, Sadam or Gay.
Have fabulous week's everyone, i'm doing creative clubs/ class craft - i scored French Knitting with my son's professional ice hockey teacher - should be interesting.  Love Posie
. . . last day to enter my paper packaging, sticker & twine giveaway today, 6 prizes, good luck, will announce mid week . . .


Felicity said...

Great post Jennie.
I've never had the privilege of naming my own child but have winced on more than one occasion as a teacher looking at the names of the new children in my class.

With a multi-syllabic name I've cursed my parents on more than one occasion because I rarely if ever get called it, in fact for every set of friends I'm known by a different name! Lesson people - think twice about the multi-syllabic name, it WILL be shortened!

xx Felicity, Flick, Fizz, Floss, Fel, Fliss,.....F

Anne said...

Love reading your blog. Our daughter (after 2 boys) is called Callie (rhymes with Sally). I read it somewhere years before marrying and when I suggested it to my husband, he thought I said Kelly and hated it but loved Callie. My mother hated it when I was going to use it first but that was Josh. Then there was Ben and when Callie finally arrived, she must have got used to the idea and raved about what a pretty and unusual name it was!! Go figure.

posie blogs Jennie McClelland said...

Oh that is so interesting, i should have mentioned that i NEVER told anyone what we were thinking of naming our children, so we didn't have to listen to the reaction, just let them know after the decision & the child was named, done!! Love Posie

Anne said...

And just to add that Josh has William as a second name as that is my husbands second name, also the name of my father-in-law and two grandfathers on that side of the family. Thought we'd done well with a family name, only to be told that the family name was Herbert! Thank goodness we dodged that one! Hahaha

Sue said...

I went with traditional Katherine Anne, Joshua Michael, Elizabeth Kaye and Christopher John. I was Sue Anne Ford my youngest sons name is longer than my whole maiden name. So yes they all got long names to make up for my short just Sue not Susan or Suzanne but plain Sue.
They did get shortened, Kate, Josh, Beth or Lizz but by her parents only friends and Chris but still all traditional.
I now have 2 granddaughters Lily and Violet.
My DIL is Jaclyn because her parent wanted to make it easy for her to spell, she is still spelling for people today because it is not the usual way of spelling it.

Kristi said...

Hi Jennie,
My name is Kristi My middle name is Alaine After my Grandad Alan :)
We did'nt want to know the sex of each baby till they were born so as a child carer i had a hard time finding a name so our little girl was a sam...dont worry on her birth certrficate we have Samantha.
But our son moments before my son came i was crying OMG no name.. So i just said Ricky Ray... i could'nt get more hick than that my father inlaw is rick & brother inlaw is Raymond.
But we do love there names, have a good weekend :)

TexWisGirl said...

or just be like half the Texans who ignore their first name and go by their middle name. it's weird how many people do that here!

polkadotpeticoat said...

In Alaska there are so many CRAZY names, that I'm sorry they just sound made up, like its a contest to have the stupidest one. It amazes me are they thinking of the dear child that has to carry this title through life!

I always hated Heidi I thought it always sounded like a baby name growing up.....I got over it!
Great post Momma!

Queen Of The Armchair aka Dzintra Stitcheries said...

Well names Jennie...as you know I've only started using my first name Dzintra since moving down here...I've been known as Ingrid my middle name...my Mother's family seems to do that...use the middle name and now I feel I've broken that. Not to mention that I can't buy a plane ticket for Ingrid...nor open a bank account...My children...they are all J's!!! great post...Dzintra

Megan said...

Fantasic topic! I don't have kids so I can't contribute on that behalf but I am a teacher so a lot of names I used to like have become unliked because of badly behaved children, you can guarantee I won't end up with a popular named child because I would have taught too many of them. And on the other side, the two names I do like for a boy and a girl are both names of students I've had with beautiful personalities.

The strangest name I've come across as a teacher is Ned Kelly, I kid you not! Also, I have had twin girls called Francine and Franchesca and their brother's name was Francis.

As a child I didn't really like my name and wanted to be called the seccond option penciled in to the baby names book at home which was Poppy. Under that was penciled Boris so my sister and I used to tease each other that if one of us was a boy we would be called Boris. Neither of us have middle names and in about Year 3 my sister convinced the school that her middle name was Penelope (after Penny from Inspector Gadget) and she convinced them so well that her school report came home that year with Penelope as her middle name!

Sindy said...

Everyone goes through stages with their own names, don't they. I have had times of disliking mine, as I always have to spell it - hence the Sindy name I use when ordering takeaway, meeting unattractive men, blogging and so on. Easier than constantly having to explain its origins. But now, it makes me more memorable, so that is fine. If I had ever had children, they would have had similar names to your children's names - classic, recognisable yet not common...

Hot Fudge said...

Oh how I enjoyed reading this post and I couldn't agree more with your comments. All our children and grandchildren have traditional names, some unusual, but all beautiful, of course ;)

A few years back I was at a quilt symposium in New Zealand and one of my friends attended a class given by a tutor from your fair city. She told the class that her daughter was pregnant and knew she was having a girl. She revealed to her mother that they were going to call her Jenny in her honour and that the second name would be Tahlia. Her mother had to explain gently why that wasn't such a good idea!

Nic said...

I am very happy with our boys' names :) we picked strong, traditional names that weren't too common yet simple enough that they would never be teased. Marcus and Luca. I had a favourite girl's name for ages, Lucy, but when we had our second boy I realised it was very unlikely I would get to use it so adapted it to Luca which I love :) No creative or made up names here :) I wanted names that would be hard to shorten too. The only name I am not sold on is M's middle name - Xavier. We picked it because J is Catholic and they traditionally have a saint's name as a middle name. St Francis Xavier is the patron saint of Goa ( where J is from) so we compromised on Xavier. But I don't lve it. I DO love L's middle name though - Henry :)
I don't particularly like my name - Nicola. It always sounds too formal. When I was at school I went by Nicky, but I hate that now! Now it's just Nic :)

Lella and Zee said...

Names are so tricky. I think naming boys is a lot harder than naming girls. Girls can have pretty, whimsical names and get away with it. Where as I think it's important that boys have names that will suit them as men. I'm not sure how Jamie Oliver's son 'Buddy Bear' will go when he's 30. I also think that if you choose a name stick with the traditional spelling - Caleb just doesn't have the same ring when it's spelt Kayleb or Jackson with an x? Names are so personal, and I respect peoples choices but I think some parents need to be more thoughful. Names that are cute for toddlers sometimes don't translate into respectable names for teenagers and adults.

posie blogs Jennie McClelland said...

So funny, Sindy is the girl who said that about naming a child "Daisy" & not kidding, she does call herself Sindy when we're out.
As for middle names, just call me Maggie, love Posie

thehummingcat said...

My son has a classmate called Jadam, mum is Jodie, dad is Adam. They wanted to use a combanation of both there names.
We have Canadian immigrated to Australia friends with 2 daughters called Marron and Jacaranda.
And then there are 7 Emma / Emiliy / Emmys in my oldest son's class, and yep, if he had been a girl he would have been an Emily.
All I can suggest is go with your heart, as I do have naming regreats for my DD, her name is lovely and it suits her and our family, but I wanted something else and when I occasionally hear another parent use that name I still get a twinge 8 years on. sigh.

Alice Becomes said...

Lovely post, Jennie. I still think of you as Posie in my head, by the way. You know how you get an idea and it just sticks? Well that is what has happened here! I hated my name when I was growing up, mostly because it was always pronounced Gillian with a hard G sound, when it is supposed to be Gillian with a J sound. I think my parents spelt it the english name. I always get called Gill and I don't have a middle name but I am comfortable with my name now. My boys are oscar and hugo. Nothing too out there - liked simple names. Although we don;t always get a good reaction to Hugo, it depends upon who you are talking to! Gill xo

Tania said...

You are right, there is some really crazy names out there. I guess I was influenced my parents being quite critical of those made up names! We chose an Italian name for our firstborn son to reflect my husbands being second generation Italian. The girls were both named old fashioned type names, but one that was not in the popular names lists. I love that Julia was the only one in her pre-school and now in her school.
Excellent post!

Anonymous said...

I chose simple common names for my kids. Matthew and Lauren. However my sister chose some way out there names, not only changing their spelling but also the way they are pronounced.

So my niece Maeve Trinity is Pronounced May-eve. I just call her evie.
My other niece Laylani Islena (Lay- lan-ee E-lane-a) I call her layla

My other niece Nadiya Satori (Nah- Di- Yah Sa-Tor-ee) I have yet to work out what to call her, I call her nadya and get roused on/ corrected every time.

She chose normal names for the boys Robert and James. But Robert's middle name is Joaquim (I have no idea how it is pronounced cause she says it different to Joaquim Phonex) and James is Whillem. Which I think is William, spelt differently. So they are just Robbie and James (I don't use Jamie, sounds too feminine IMO)
I think she is done at 5 kids but have always been curious what she would name the next one.

Unfortunatley it became the butt of many family jokes when she was due to give birth with competitions on who could think of the wierdest name and prizes if we were close.


supermac said...

You want to know more about the curse of names? Where I'm from, parents give their children Hispanic names or American names given our history. But they will always twist it with funny sounding nicknames...Beng-beng, Ding-dong, Ning-ning, Totoy, Ging-ging, Mac-mac...you get the drift.

You know the first name of our President? Noynoy!

Kim said...

I looked up our childrens names on the state government website the other day. Our son Dustin is 1 of only 2 born in SA in 2007, and our Daughter, Henrietta is 1 of 3 born in 2009.
I love that they won't have to share names with others in their class at school, but they are not crazy made up names either.

gretbert said...

I love my name now but for a little while as a child I wanted to swap it for my very boring middle one... As I got older I realized how nice it is to not know other people with the same name, but we ended up going the other way with our kids - very traditional names that we like and are pretty common. Partly it was because my husband vetoed my choices of Odette and Imogen, partly because my children will be spelling their last name a lot. I will always remember going to school with a girl who had very long first and last names and was always getting the letters mixed up,

Lou said...

We still haven't met kids with our kids' names (Oscar and Poppy). Likewise, I have never known another Louise. Obviously they exist and aren't made up, but it's nice to be unique. We did the silly hyphenated name though and I'm still not sure it was a good call. They don't have middle names, but a surname that is LONG. Both my husband and I chose to hyphenate our names when we married, so now I guess we are all stuck with it. God knows what they will do if they ever get married....

Anonymous said...

I kid you not. In the birth notices of a major regional paper yesterday - a child with the middle name Danger. "Danger is my middle name" will be such a good pick up line when he is older!

Brenda @ 13 Acres said...

Oh you had me in stitches!! Now I'm keen to know what names you have bestowed upon your gorgeous children! I love the names I picked for my kids. Lovely, simple, yet very much mainstream but they are not on the top 100 list, in fact i don't think they'd make the top ten thousand list. I used to hate my name as a child. it just seemed too old fashioned, but then 90210 changed all that for me - phew! I also worked in Child Protection before kids. I've had my fair share of weird children's names to last me a lifetime like - Destiny, Tarquin, Tuesday (yes, Tuesday!), and Channel.

But then again, some celebrities will have a lot to answer for soon when their kids grow up!


Anonymous said...

I detest the silly made up & strange spelling names. Both my boys have traditional names apelt the normal way. While I thought they would be fairly common, my eldest has yet to have another one in his class and there isn't even another one at school. My youngest is a bit more common, there are generally others at school, and he had one with the same last name initial at daycare too. But I think their names are strong names and will suit them as adults.

I do sometimes regret giving my eldest 2 middle names - but I was trying to fit a family name in and it didn't really work without another name in between.

I'm not that fussed on my name - I have a hyphenated first name (Kelli-Ann), and I get sick of trying to explain that. And I also think it very much reflects the time I was born - definitely a child of the 70s. I get sick of correcting the spelling too. It is hard to believe that up until year 3 I was called my full name at school & by my grandparents. I now squirm whenever I am called it.

Great post Jennie!

Adele - A Lass from Downunder said...

Loved reading your post Jennie and all the subsequent comments.
In my 40 plus years I haven't come across too many Adele's so it feels a little bit strange to see it plastered on a billboard advertisement for the young singer 'Adele'.
I have two sisters - Naomi and Rachel and none of our names were very common when we were growing up, although Rachel has definitely become more popular.
My children are Rhys and Hayley - only once has someone pronounced his name Rice, no-one has any trouble with Hayley. Their middle name is after both sets of grandparents so keeps the family connection which is how I see the role of the middle name - so no regrets with either of their name combinations.
It's been really interesting to hear everyone's thoughts:)

Adele - A Lass from Downunder said...

Loved reading your post Jennie and all the subsequent comments.
In my 40 plus years I haven't come across too many Adele's so it feels a little bit strange to hear on the radio and see it plastered on a billboard advertisement for the young singer 'Adele'.
I have two sisters - Naomi and Rachel and none of our names were very common when we were growing up, although Rachel has definitely become more popular.
My children are Rhys and Hayley - only once has someone pronounced his name Rice, no-one has any trouble with Hayley. Their middle name is after both sets of grandparents so keeps the family connection which is how I see the role of the middle name - so no regrets with either of their name combinations.
It's been really interesting to hear everyone's thoughts :)

Sindy said...

Oh, and I should say, I have a friend who decided to go for what he called "known but unusual names". His kids are called Caspar and Milo. I am still not sure about those at all.... And at least when I use the moniker Sindy, I always use the S - even when dropping off my dry cleaning, I insist on "Sindy with an S". Ha ha

Naturally Carol said...

Well I think our kids take the cake..the first two have changed their names by deed poll..so it is permanent. The first changed his second name to be his first and now that he's living in an asian country wants a chinese name..go figure..I joked with him and told him he could be Wun Sun..seeing he is my no. 1. son..he didn't think that was very funny. My daughter changed her name to put a completely different name in front of her other names! My third was named after my dad and my husband..it has stuck and just shortened and my third and fourth sons have their original names too..except that my youngest son's wife never calls him by his first name as her brother has the same name and he gets up to no good so she doesn't like being reminded of him! Such is life..who'd have thought??

Mum on the Run said...

Aaah - the name game!
I hate my name = always have.
Mum swears they had chosen 'Olivia' but Dad went behind her back and wrote 'Sharon' on my birth cert. I would've quite enjoyed being Olivia!

As a teacher, names interest me greatly. I feel that people should at least try to give their children a fair go! Keep it phonetic if you go wacky, avoid all forms of ___ eisha, consider the nicknames and allow for options.

I love unusual, uncommon names - but not crazy spelling for the sake of being different.

I also didn't like speaking about our chosen baby names for fear of being swayed or insulted!


Anonymous said...

Oooh, love this one. I didn't tell anyone names before we had the bubbas (stupidly mentioned one possibility to my Mum who sniffed rather disappointedly during first pregnancy, so kept schtum after that!). We knew our first would either be a Violet or a Fred (she's a Violet aka Lettie). 2nd daughter was 'the baby' for 5 days as had no idea what she seemed like. Finally knuckled down to a baby names book and she's now a Margot (not a 'maggot' as my brother read it when I let him know aka Gogo!) Third turned out to be, joy-of-joys, a boy and is a Fergus (I went off Fred in the meantime!) I love the names, haven't heard of many others and love their middle names too. Both the girls are middle-named after our Grannies and Fergus has my Dad's name (he died when I was 3). So, in all, they are a bit old-fashioned I suppose, not way-out (I don't THINK!) but not too run-of-the-mill either. Am laughing like MAD at Hot Fudge's comment - teeee heee. My cousin had a similar thing - her daughter is Ella and she really liked Sam. Mentioned it to a friend who said 'Sam and Ella...?'. Always worth calling all the names out out loud just to be sure as well as checking for dodgy initials. I did also once meet a bloke called Richard Head....

Thea said...

How funny, my daughter and I were just discussing how George F got the mothers of his children to agree to giving them all the same name. Weird. And I did change my real name legally 20 years ago because I hated it. Thea is a derivative of it. I feel sorry for kids whose parents give them stupid names that seemed like a good idea at the time. eg. the facebook-obsessed parents who recently named their baby "LIKE". Very stupid. ps. Charlotte's secret baby name was "Shayla", I knew it wasn't Sheila as that is another name I don't like.

Miss Prudence said...

Heh heh, ,my best gal pal, a very competent psychologist, became a mother at a VERY young age, her twin daughters names (shall not name them) are a bit unsual, a bit hippy, a bit romance novel-ish- I recall one day at Uni a very rude friend of ours said to her "what were you thinkingthey sound like strippers!!" - quick as flash my friend said " Hmmm, don't know what i was thinking - but have to admit I was reading a lot of crap at the time"....The rude person hardly expected her to be this compliant with her insult i am sure....I think of this and wonder the rude one's motivation to hurt my friend. If we can't accept a name, what hope do we have of accepting the person!

Ange Moore said...

Yes, we're like you with naming babies. We like a "normal" but not overly popular name with the "normal" spelling. We have a Matilda Jane and Kelvin Alan and are trying to come up with another boys name that fits with our family.

Annoyingly Matilda turned out to be a pretty popular name the year our daughter was born (much to our disgust) but she has not had any other Matilda's in her childcare or school class (although my son has 3 Matilda's in his childcare room).

And I had to laugh about the kitchen appliance reference because my son is often lovingly called Kelvinator by family and childcarers!! Kelvin is actually a family name and not a reference to our fridge.

Anonymous said...

My husband picked our first born childs name. (enough said)
The rest of them we thought through carefully because names are important to me. The last child we shortened his name because we knew people would do it anyway and that would annoy me. for example My name is Jacqueline I always introduce myself as Jacqueline and people automatically say, "Nice to meet you JACKIE!" ahhhhhhhh stop it people!

Megs said...

Another very interesting post Jennie! I loved naming my kids and I have probably taken the more unusual path with names although these days I certainly don't think they are too out there. And I really think they all suit their names. Stella Rose, Oscar Edan, India Grace and Willow Evie. Evie is the only name that has any family significance as my mums middle name is Evelyn and this is a little tribute to her. Next time I have the pleasure of a face to face conversation I will have to ask your children's names as I am intrigued now as to what they are named! Love reading all your posts xx

Cathie said...

nice post Miss Posie!
i loved the name Amelie since first seeing the movie and her grandad is french but that really didn't have anything to do with it.
as for Aidan, I was really stuck as I didn't love any boys names until Aidan appeared in Sex & the City. I wanted to use my dads name as I knew how important that was to him but I didn't want it as a first name, so it's his middle name.

both were born before anyone knew their names as we didn't find out their gender.

the only annoying thing is that Amelie gets called Emily or Amelia...even by teachers. She never corrects them.

I still love calling you Miss Posie ♥

Unknown said...

I had my two eldest children's names picked out from when I was a young teenager...I loved the names that much that I knew when I eventually had children that's what I would call them.

Funnily enough when I eventually did have children, the names that I had picked out so long ago had now become very popular, although that didn't stop me from using them!

With my third child, I didn't have a name in mind and had to read through the baby name books to try and find one that I liked...as soon as I saw the name Arabella I fell in love and knew that is what I would call my daughter!

As for my name, Amy, I love it and have never had an issue with it - unless you include the stage I went through in my early high school years where I wanted to be called Toni! I think that is very much a girl thing though, as my two sisters also went through that same stage and now my eldest girl is also doing the same thing! xx

Cath said...

Just this morning I had one of those "funny conversations with a stranger at the checkout" over names! My eldest child Lily had just seen one of her kinder friends Paris in aisle 7. Miss Lily is not at all shy and when said stranger lined up behind us at the checkout Lily started telling her about her friend Paris...this led to comments such as "what sort of name is Paris" and "many years ago my sister named her child India, how silly naming a child after a country" ... I just smiled and tried not say anthing about my youngest child sitting in the trolley who has the beautiful name of... Georgia!

Cath said...

Addition to my previous comment... neither of our girls have middle names so as not to offend any grandparents! For example... my Mums middle name is Gwendoline!!!
About 12 years ago I worked with a lady named Eileen Inward, really, what were her parents thinking????

Anna Bartlett said...

Yesterday I heard of a new baby being called 'Charlotte with an S' - yup, "SHARLOTTE". That poor child. But then today I discovered there's a very nice looking chocolate shop in Melbourne called 'Shocolate' so maybe she'll be ok after all!

Anonymous said...

Some educative article...