My dad tells me that, of me, my husband and my daughter, Lily is the most decisive. I’m not sure. Maybe.
She certainly knows her mind. Maybe I should put that another way. She knows how to look busy. I hope this comes in helpful for her in the future.
We are still a little indecisive about names for Baby Bean, with only 5 weeks to go. I asked Lily, and she suggested ‘Lily’, and ‘Mummy’. I object to naming a child ‘Mummy’, however outrageous baby-naming trends become. I did work with a young offender once whose name was, according to the courts ‘Daddy’, but he joked to me that it wasn’t his real name. Really?
There are several directions we could take in naming decisions, and being a bit of a tangential thinker, I have made it my project to travel along all of them. What was I thinking? It has made me realise we have no choice but to compromise somewhere – a bit like choosing a house or a marriage partner. You love them, but they snore, or need new front doors. The process of whittling the internet down to The Bits That Really Actually Help in this search has proved enlightening. There are countries in the world with shortlists of allowed names; one does not include the biblical name Zebedee, because of its connection with the Magic Roundabout. OK. There are people who are calling their children names along the lines of Le-a (pronounced Ledasha) apparently. I was wondering whether Ma~ might be a riser on this basis, but not many people know how to pronounce ~ and to be fair, families who go for middle-class names may object to punctuating a name unnecessarily. Certainly in the UK.
Names that our great-grandmothers and grandmothers would have known well from school are back in fashion. Well, some of them are. I think that if we take this a little further, we should go back and see what Anglo-Saxon names are still reasonably trendy. I found a useful page or two about this. So perhaps Ælfgyð will make a bit of a comeback soon. Who knows? Ironically, at the same time I started investigating this, my dad decided to tell me all about Old English. It was more interesting than birding, in that the facts stuck a little better in my head, but now a week has passed I think it is gone. Suffice to say, the West Saxon dialect of Old English includes such gems as:
Fæder úre, ðú ðe eart on heofonum,
Sí ðín nama gehálgod.
Tó becume ðín rice.
Gewurde ðín willa
On eorþan swá swá on heofonum.
Urne dægwhamlícan hlaf syle ús tódæg.
And forgyf ús úre gyltas,
Swá swá wé forgyfaþ úrum gyltendum.
And ne gelæd ðu ús on costnunge,
Ac álýs ús of yfele. Sóþlice.
It’s a good thing God speaks Old English too.
(I did not learn it – I googled, but there are other things to be doing you know and I am only blogging now because I got 3 hours sleep last night and there are people noisily working on my front door today so I have no chance to rest).
Then there are the hero names. Some people name their child after their heroes, which is why there are a lot of Charlenes and Kylies of a certain age, and Tigers (up until recently). Company names are getting more popular – for sponsorship perhaps? This is a little dangerous I’d say. And even if they don’t sound silly now, you don’t really want the child in front to be a Toyota. Or the car behind, for that matter.
I had a mad thought while reading the back of a carton recently. The best before date was printed in such a way that it spelt out MAR10. Perhaps numberplate-proud folk expecting a boy this March would do well to consider that one. Or the similar JUL10 or JUN10? Give it a few more years and you could have JAN13, MAR13, JUN13, JUL13, JAN15, MAR15 and so forth. I doubt I’ll be able to persuade my husband to go for such a name, however, even if we produce a boy before the month is out.
Where does this leave us? Back with the usual stuff: consider the initials and the way it sounds, have a think about nicknames, see if the sibling set sounds ok, check the rhythm with the surname (and surnames in general for a girl), and so on. For all my protestation, I am actually enjoying naming this child. Or at least, I’m doing a good job of making it look like I am busy at it.