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A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.Unless that name was something like Adolph or Hashtag.

February 20, 2013

babyI promised that this wouldn’t be a baby blog, and it won’t.  The world doesn’t need more of those and I’m not under the misconception that everyone is as excited about this baby as I am.  But one or two more posts before the baby comes seems reasonable.  I’ve been asked a lot lately about what this baby will be named.  It seems most women I know who are pregnant lately are keeping the names secret.  I don’t see any reason to, so I’ll share ours.

Since we don’t know the gender, we had to pick out two full names, which was twice as much work and negotiations.  We had a harder time with boys’ names than girls’.  I set about it systematically.  I first came up with objectives and limitations.

  • I want a name that means something, not just something that sounds cute.  This meant the literal meaning of the name had to be something very appealing, or it had to have some personal significance, like the name of someone important that we are passing down.
  • Nothing that started with K or a hard C sound.  My initials are K.K. and my husband’s are C.K. so we’re K. and C. K.   Continuing with that trend would be a little too Duggar-esque.
  • Nothing that ends in -er, -ar, or -or.  Clashes with our last name which has an -er ending too.  Although my father-in-law is Roger, so I guess not everyone worries about these things.
  • Something easy to spell, preferably with only one possible spelling.  I have to correct the spelling of my name on a daily basis so this is a big one for me.
  • I want a name that grows well.  Some names sound cute on a small child but not necessarily on an adult.  Your baby is a child for only a short time, and they have to live with their name for years beyond childhood.  I wanted a name I could picture on a business card.
  • Nothing too popular.  I wanted to try to stay out of the top 50 names on the Social Security List.  However, if we found a name in the top 20 or so that we fell in love with, that would have been okay.  For me, I’m more worried about a name being trendy than popular.  So, for example, Mason is ranked #2 and is a trendy name (it has risen sharply over the last few years, not to mention it’s a Kardashian), but Jacob is #1 and that’s a classic name.  I’m fine with popular if it’s not going to sound “so 2013” in 10-15 years.  So, Elizabeth is fine, but Brooklyn is not.
  • Nothing a hipster or a mother on Toddlers and Tiaras would have chosen.  So, no Coltrane and no Payzlee.
  • I’m not crazy about names that end in vowels.  There are some exceptions, but I don’t like the flow with our last name usually.  Since our last name starts with a K, first names that end in vowels run together… for example, Susannah Keller sounds a lot like Suzanne Akeller.   That’s something that’s always bothered me with last names that start with a really harsh consonant sound like ours.  Like I always thought Paula Zahn probably got mistaken a lot for a dude named Paul Azahn.
  • I dislike last names as first names with very few exceptions.  So, no Connor, Cooper, Taylor, Cassidy, Jackson, etc.  Just not my style.
  • I love the idea of using family names, so we mined both sides of the family for names we could use.
  • We both had full veto power.  Some names I loved, my husband hated.  I’m still sore about losing the battle over Seth.  But ultimately, we both have to like it.
  • Biblical is good.  It wasn’t a requirement, but we liked the idea of using a Biblical name, and it turns out both our first name options are found in the Bible.

BOY: Thomas Jay

Thomas is after my husband’s grandfather who passed away just a few months ago at the age of 94.   I am a sucker for English history and literature, so the name really appeals to that part of my brain.  It’s Biblical (Thomas was an Apostle).  The literal meaning is “twin,” which obviously doesn’t apply in our situation, but, it’s a family name so that gave it meaning to us.

Jay is a mash-up of my parents’ names (Jeff + Kay = Jay).  It also kind of pays tribute to all the other J’s in my family (my grandpa Jim, my brother James, my sister Jill, etc).

GIRL: Ruth Evangeline

I can’t actually recall how Ruth got chosen.  I think my husband suggested it.  It grew on me fast.  I am prepared for negative opinions on this one.  It’s not exactly a “pretty” name.  I think it’s classic, but others might find it old-fashioned.  And I realize as much as I want to stay away from trendy names, that it is trendy right now to use older names for girls (names like Evelyn and Eleanor are coming back, I know a lot of little Charlottes and Lillians, all very pretty names)… but Ruth is in the 300s for popularity.  It might skyrocket, and that’s okay.  Ruth means “compassionate friend” and is a book of the Old Testament.

We thought Ruth needed something frilly and feminine in the middle since it’s so plain.  Evangeline means “messenger of the Gospel.”  We hope our child, boy or girl, will be an evangelist in some way.

hdbdSo, Thomas Jay or Ruth Evangeline.  Tommy or Ruthie when (s)he is small.

Commence your judging.  I just hope the Duchess of Cambridge has different names picked.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. February 20, 2013 6:30 pm

    I think both of those names are lovely, and I expecially love Evangeline as a middle name for Ruth.

    I’ve always loved more ‘classic’ names, it’s funny you mention Charlotte & Evelyn – I’ve always wanted to name a daughter after one of my grandmothers. I remember in school and my early twenties friends would say ‘that’s an old lady name’ and now I know about five toddlers with either of those names. What was once old is new again. Really, I think names like Thomas, Ruth, Jacob, etc… are just great names.

    • February 21, 2013 5:12 pm

      Thanks,Jami. I kind of love the trend of returning to the classics. For awhile, it seemed like kids had these bizarro names that sounded made up. I wonder what the next trend will be though. Maybe the names of the 50s/60s? Like there will be a lot of little Deborahs and Barbaras running around?

  2. February 21, 2013 4:47 pm

    I adore both names – especially the meaning behind Thomas Jay. Now I’m sitting here trying to combine my parent’s & my husband’s parent’s names. It’s not going well..

    • February 21, 2013 5:09 pm

      Thank you!! Yah, that mash-up method doesn’t always work out with great results. You could end up with some hideous, made up names if the variables aren’t just right!

  3. March 1, 2013 11:25 am

    You look so cute!!! And I love classic names too. That’s where we kind of went with our boys’ names, but just put a spin on spelling somewhere. I vote for Thomas… well b/c I just have some affection for that name 🙂 I am partial to Ruth as a name too – it’s a family name for me & my fave aunt’s name.

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