Tuesday, 17 April 2012

The names that got away

Birthday Dude.
Ten years ago this week I was getting to know my extraordinarily beautiful second son, Boy Two.


Even though I knew I shouldn't, I sat up through the night, held my warm bundle and watched foxes scurry through the bushes by the hospital car park.


He fitted the name we had finally agreed on. As if he knew.


And in the moonlight the names he might have had - the also-rans - fled and into the shadows just like the foxes.


It set me to thinking about how different things could have been if we'd gone with the second choice of moniker. In this house there would have been Gwyn or Bryn, Rafferty and Seamus.


A close call, I'd say.


Although the bigger Boys wanted their little brother to be Napoleon or Elvis. Either of which would have suited him better than they ought. 


Which were your names that got away?




32 comments:

  1. I picked one boy's name and one girl's name early on and stuck to them. If my son had been a girl he'd have been called Melanie - a name I went off shortly afterwards as it turned out to be a very popular name where I live.

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    1. It's funny I wanted Mia for a girl with Boy One and it's quite popular. I thought I was being original.

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  2. Oh I love a good names discussion! My daughter wanted to call her little brother Charlie the Crocodile or Snow White. Needless to say, we convinced her otherwise. She settled on Ollie, but it didn't quite fit him when he came along. Struan was another choice, which we also felt didn't fit him. So he is Elias, and its just perfect. Daughter could have been Millie, Rachel or Abigail but is instead the very beautiful Nia.

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    1. Charlie the Crocodile is an excellent name! But Elias and Nia are lovely names.

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  3. From the moment I flew to Havana a few week into my pregnancy I knew that Havana would be my daughter's name. I just had to hope she'd be a girl! Havana so totally suits her name!

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    1. What would you have done if she was a boy? Fidel, Che?

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  4. Apparently I was to be Fiona if I had been a girl. My wife wanted to call our youngest daughter Medea until I pointed out that being linked for ever to a woman who murdered her own children might be a bit of a cross to bear.

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    1. It would have been a talking point. I think your daughters have excellent names - bold without being obvious.

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  5. Beatrice was nearly called Tulip (does that count?)

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    1. It does - although she's more of a Beatrice than a Tulip by a long chalk.

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  6. we had much discussion about the spelling of our names and d lost! having to pronounce my name for all of my life hasn't done me any harm and i've now condemned niamh and eilidh to the same... i occasionally catch my names list when i go through my diary - these children are still possibilities (!?!?) so i can't possible divulge...

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    1. I often have to spell Ellen so I'm not sure how simple a name has to be for people to 'get'. But that raises an interesting question - do you re-use your also ran names for the next child?

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  7. Our child was conceived during a holiday in Tuscany so could well have been called Florence if he'd been a girl. As it was his Scottish father drew the line at Artimino or San Gimignano so we plumped for Rory instead ;-)

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    1. Artie would have worked... but Rory is pretty good.

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  8. Kate McCheyne17 April 2012 11:06

    Was always going to be Ella - for obvious reasons as you know - Rose as a middle name. :)

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    1. Ella Rose is a beautiful name and all the more special for who she was named after.

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  9. I think the whole "re-use" thing is interesting. L would have been Charlie. If A and S had been boys, one of them would also have been Charlie (and the other Fergus (possibly - we hadn't quite decided)).

    Now, of course, we have a boy. And he is M. No Charlies or Ferguses in sight.

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    1. we've flown the flag for Charlies and Ferguses as two of my boys have them as middle names.

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  10. LIttle A was originally going to be called Agatha - was I mad - must have been the hormones - we ended up with the name that really suits her!

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    1. I quite like Agatha - not girly, but womanly.

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  11. The Greek God(zilla) wanted to call our son Hector. I vetoed. We finally settled on Zacharias, after his great grandfather, as thought it would well for our both the Greek and the English side of the family.

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  12. I just knew my second one was going to be Rachel - but she turned out to be a he instead!

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  13. In our house, names have to be euphonic with my husband's surname, which is very difficult - mine isn't. A name could be one of the most important gifts you'll ever give a child, and I didn't want people to grimace or pass comments on my children's names like they had on mine.

    I also wanted them somehow to reflect our children's dual English-Indian heritage, so we plumped for the Hindu god of wisdom and the goddess of wealth and prosperity - Ganesh and Lakshmi - respectively. In Indian culture, it is important that names mean something - my mother was full of suggestions.

    The children's names had to be easy for them and other people to spell and say. Having been lumbered with the oh so difficult Gita I know how awful it is when people cut you off in the middle of pronouncing your name with a loud and rude "What?" Until there was an Eastenders character with my name about 15 years ago. Then everyone thought it really funny to go round pronouncing my name with a glottal stop instead of a "t" in the middle. How original they all were! It is, however, an interesting marker of our increasing cosmopolitanism that people are at least all familiar with my name now even if they can's spell it. We wanted to make sure that the names would not sound out of place as CEO of a FTSE top 100 company or as Head of MI5.

    I didn't ever know what I wanted for a boy. We settled on a good strong traditional name. The midwife said "not another James!" when I told her, as there had been 30-odd of them that week, but it doesn't seem to have been as over-popular as we thought.

    Our daughter was always going to be a Grace, although secretly I'd always wanted Rosa, but I was sure that would have been unacceptable to everyone else. She became Eliza in the end. People turned up their noses at it at the time, but she grew into the name quickly and loves it

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    1. You really did have name challenges. I agree it's important to have a 'kick ass' boardroom name, particularly for a girl. If I had girls that would make me shy away from too pretty names.

      Not sure how Gita flummoxes people, but then you'd be surprised by the number of people who can't deal with Ellen and corrupt it to Helen or Elaine.

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  14. When your surname is Smellie (as ours is) then the first name is probably irrelevant! Husband's family has always been 100% boys going back generations so we concentrated on boys names rather than girls.

    The boys issue was also complicated by husband's family tradition that the eldest son of the eldest son has to be given the first name William or Robert (alternating by generation) but is known by their second name (I know ridiculous, but it's not my family!) So son one would have had to be given the first name Robert but would have been called by his middle name Lachlan. But ....

    ... I bucked the trend and we have three daughters! We didn't have much discussion, we found names we liked pretty quickly, Eloise, Beatrice and Susannah. Susannah was almost Mylene but we decided it was too French and with her surname as well it might be a bit of a cross to bear. Today she is very grateful hates the name Mylene and is convinced she would have been called Melons at school!

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    1. Actually that tradition of boys' names must be more common than you think. The Arnisons go Charles Somebody alternating the use of Charles.

      Susannah is much better than Mylene and your daughter is probably right. I was called Melons at school!

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  15. Living in Spain, we were torn between the practical choice of a solid, Spanish name that our neighbours would be able to pronounce and Jack - the name that, as a child, my husband always wished he had been called, believing it to be 'an adventurer's name.' Well, the boys own adventurer won the day and Rafael was consigned to middle-name status. So, Yack it is. (Js, it turns out, are impossible for our neighbours!)

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    1. Well Jack - or Yack - may well take his adventures further afield as he grows up.

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  16. Oh I love a name discussion. I went all traditional with the first two Charlotte and Alexandra... who should really have been Scarlett (yes, I LOVE that film) but wimped out and Kateri (after my best friend) she got it as a middle name instead. I immediately shortened both to Lottie and Lexie. With the third I wish I had been braver- she is really Alicia but is known only by her middle name- Minnie and I wish I had just bitten the bullet and went with it.
    I do however, hang on to my boys name even though we wont be having any more... perhaps a grandson one day may have it?
    Other names that never made it... Salvadore for a boy (with our surname I thought it was hilarious...)
    Elizabeth, Georgiana, Vivienne. I love really "old lady" names like Martha, Ruby, Agatha something about them

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    1. The old lady names are all coming back now and I think they're great. I love how they can be pretty girly names as well as very dignified and grown-up in their long form.

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