Thursday, February 25, 2010

Baby Naming

I'm having trouble coming up for a name for this baby we're cooking.

Problem number one is the Baby Name Wizard. A year ago, Bridget got me hooked on Laura Wattenburg's blog. My sister Anne thinks I'm silly for reading it, and frankly, before I started reading it, I thought Bridget was a little kooky for reading it as well. But, it's fascinating. As this will be the first baby I've gestated (and named) since becoming a fan, I can't help being influenced by Ms. Wattenburg. Not necessarily by the things she says, but by the trends she points out and the predictions she makes. For example, I like the name Alice a lot (and I have an ancestor named Alice Brooks who was in the Martin Handcart Company), but she predicts that it's going to take off in popularity due to Twilight and Alice in Wonderland. I can't bring myself to give the kid a trendy name.

Problem number two is I like naming my kids with family names. Lillian is named after my grandmothers and Nora's middle name is Allison, which is my sister's name.

To illustrate why this is a problem, here is a list of male names from our family tree going back to the great-grandparents:

Saul (unavailable: Saul Ball? Who would do that to a kid?)
Tracy (unavailable: too many Tracys - Tyler's uncle and brother also named Tracy)
Angus (do I really want to embrace our Scottish heritage that badly? Probably not)
James (unavailable: I have no problem with my mother's brother Jim (James), but due to some business deals that went south (I'm probably going to receive a phone call about this), let's just say that he and my father don't exactly get along. And never will. Ever.)
Ellis (I don't really like names that end in 's' because when you say them too fast it spills onto our last name: Elli Spall. It's going to confuse all the customer service reps in India and he'll have to spell and re-spell his name 10 times per call)
Ashal (unavailable: too many Ashals running around as it is - my dad, my brother, my nephew)
Eldon (unavailable: my grandmother's first husband, and, although I've never gotten the full story, I think there were some very good reasons they got divorced)
Jesse (also unavailable: my dad told me that he abandoned his wife (my dad's grandma) and small children)
Paul (see Saul, above)
Ferdinand (can't do it. Ferdinand is the name of the duck on Babe)
Albert (The one semi-famous man in the mix, he was a supreme court justice on the Supreme Court of Utah. I read his auto-biography and I think he was a funny guy. But... Albert Ball has too many Bs. Plus... Albert.)
Hayden (Not to disparage my sister-in-law who has a son named Aiden, but I can't get in on the The Age of Aidens)

I'm also contemplating something that I haven't consulted my husband about, but predict he won't like, and I don't think I have the guts to do it: Name the kid Calder Ball. Ms. Wattenburg has written about this as well. My maiden name is Calder, so that would be a nice nod to his maternal family but I can't get over the pitfall mentioned in the article of people thinking that they just didn't hear his first name. Like he'd say, "hello, my name is Calder Ball." And the other person would say, "and, what's your first name, Mr. Calder-Ball?" Maybe we'll use it for a middle name.

So that leaves three or four candidates out of a field of 17. I can't even think about girl names. I've already named two girls and I'm completely spent.

Also gumming up the works is my pesky husband, who, for some reason, is actually being picky about the names I come up with. With the first two, he would just nod and say, "yeah, that sounds nice."


Bridget said...

I love how phone conversations are the main vetting process for prospective names.

I'm so glad you are now a fellow name nerd! Welcome. I love Alice, but will never use it, for the same reasons.

Let me state on the record that I LOVE Calder Ball. I think it sounds awesome and what a perfect tribute to The Maiden Name!

I know what you mean about girl name fatigue. It is so hard to find that magical combination again. I guess you're hoping for a boy, huh. When do you find out?

Bridget said...

I meant that phone conversations were the main vetting process for YOU, specifically. I don't know anyone else who imagines those scenarios in such detail.

Natchel said...

I like Calder Ball too.
And I have a problem with the Ending Consonant taking over the First Letter Vowel thing... Allen. I was really upset about this when we were getting married. "Rachel Allen?? Rachelllalllen...." and then I did the same thing with Gabe. "Gabriel Allen... Gabrielllalllen." Do you understand? It's tricky. I think I'm going to have that problem with any name I pick though. Everything is just going to morph into X+Allen. Sounds like a math equation.
Nate's cousin Dallin died a year and a half ago and they were very, very close. In tribute Nate wanted to name Gabe, Dallin. "Dallin Allen?" I said. Impossible. Also, the name Jill. Say it out loud. It tickles my tongue.
Anyway, to sum it up, I like Calder.

krissiecook said...

I'm totally feeling you on this one. You have to rule out names of people in your family you won't name your kid after (and that's usually a big category), rule out names that are the same as people you've met and disliked, rule out anything too trendy, and then you have to think about how it will sound with the last name. As you have already rightly pointed out, with a last name like Cook you can't choose something like Amanda.
I really liked the name Kirk, which is a family name we could have actually lived with, but Kirk Cook sounds too much like Kirkuk, the war-torn city in Iraq. Oops.

Allison said...

The problem with Calder Ball is... you know... called her ball... just like called her plumber. See what I mean?
I like Hayden.

Anne said...

I like Dallin... I think you should swipe it from Natchel.

Anne said...

I never met a Toby I didn't like, as Kimya Dawson says. That being said, i don't really care for the name Toby - sounds juvenile.

Carrie G said...

How about Bridget? She seems nice. Calder Ball has the same sort of rhythm as Tyler Ball, and that has worked out pretty well for him so far...

Carrie G said...

I meant, how about Bridget for a name, not 'how about that Bridget!'

Rileigh said...

umm, nowhere on this list do I see Rocket?
Honestly I see you naming your kid something distinguished and classic like, Dickens or Winston. However I am currently on a whole Buffy kick, so I will list all of your choices from there.
Westley (followed by Rouge Demon Hunter, possible middle name?)
Spike (HAHAHA)
Riley (honorable mention: but don't pick this both because, I am not a huge fan of this character, and if you are going to name a child after me I prefer it be a girl.)
Name the kid your favorite name and slap a family name in the middle. That is our plan.

heidi nielsen said...

I personally like Vaughn, but my husband said no way. He apparently envisions a guy who "wears preppy clothes and drives a big truck" when he hears the name Vaughn. I like Calder too.

Megan said...

I read this post before giving Oliver his bath, and ever since have had that song from Cinderella in my head "Calder Ball and fiddle dee dee, and fiddle-dee faddle-dee foodle..."

Calder is a great name though. It has such dignity.

My maiden name is Kerr. That's a hard name to put things with. Great grandpa Joe-Kerr had two sons, Owen Kerr (Oinker) and Dean Kerr. Yeah. My mom wanted a daughter named Cherie, but not a daughter named Shrieker.

Alice Ball is such a cute name! If you're in love with it, go with it. Chances are that the other girls named Alice won't have a story, but your daughter will have an ancestor to be able to tell about.

And now that I checked out that blog I am second guessing myself. Those "hot European names" include Oliver, and my favorite girl name (right now) of "Amelia". I'm really trying to avoid my kids having seven people with the same name in their ward (like Megan).

Myriah said...

Why did Solomon get a free ride? Solomon shortened is "Saul" and that is off limits. Just because you don't shorten your children's names doesn't mean their friends won't. In the end, he will probably end up as Sol Ball. So, I'm taking Solomon off the list for you.
You're welcome.

Jamie Pearson said...

Oh man I know how you feel. Its so hard coming up with names. We are looking back on our family history for names and we have names like Clarence and Clement and Elmer. Yikes its hard to choose. Good luck with your names. When are you due?

Related Posts with Thumbnails