Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Name Game

My Mom can name anything, anywhere, instantly. If she sees a strange dog walking through the neighborhood, she pulls over the car, rolls down her window, and commands, "Go home, Cooper (or Sherman or Grover or etc.), go home boy!" Because she just knows that is the name of that dog, or her new car, or the wooden parrot perched on their condo balcony.

Unfortunately, like several of my mother's talents, this is not an ability that I have inherited. I don't recall naming many of the hermit crabs that my brother and I had as pets growing up, instead leaving that to him. During his "Friends" phase, we had Phoebe and Chandler, and during his "adjective" phase we had Speedy. Normally it didn't matter anyway, since they rarely lived more than a few months. Although we had one crab, Nikki, that we got for Christmas (named for Jolly Old Saint Nick) that would NOT die. When my brother and I went away to college, Nikki lived in a glass case in my Dad's office upstairs, where she (he?) dined on bologna-and-cheese sandwiches and Hershey's chocolate bars at Dad's amusement. I don't think my parents remembered to tell me Nikki had finally kicked the bucket until several weeks after the actual event. My Dad said he didn't miss the crab whatsoever, but I secretly wondered if he shed a tear in private. And you can't tell me they weren't sharing the chocolate.

Anyway, the first real important name that DH and I had to choose was for our pooch. With our 9-week-old 5-lb fluff ball curled sleeping in his arms, DH proposed "Evey" after Natalie Portman's character in a movie we had recently watched. I was just kinda meh about it, but in the absence of a better suggestion, I agreed. Shortly afterward, I added Louise as her middle name so I would have something longer to yell at her when she was being bad -- which, seeing as she was a puppy, was constantly. Evey Louise soon grew right into her name (or vice versa?) and now I think it's absolutely perfect.

Fast forward a year... and we had a baby on the way. We found out early at 11 weeks that it was likely a boy, so when I finally emerged from my pregnancy denial, we could at least narrow down all the baby names in the world by half. A good start. I had always loved the name we eventually gave to Bean, I have lots of positive associations with it, but I was worried it was too sing-songy when put with our last name. We combed the baby name books for another option, but after he was born and we met him, DH and I felt like the name suited him just perfectly, and the deal was sealed.

Sorry, dude. Sing-songy for you.

Now, obviously, we are faced with another great naming challenge. Not only is my favorite name already taken by my favorite Bean, but there are TWO babies, both boys, names must sound good with our last name (or we could go with a whole sing-songy theme), names must sound good with each other but not be too matchy for our tastes.

DH dug out the ginormous baby name book that we used with Bean -- containing almost 55,000 names. Which seemed like a good purchase at the time, until you really think about how 54,369 of those names must naturally be incredibly stupid and are actually distracting as you look through the pages. Adjanys? Dweezil? Zap? Car? Really, Car? Now you aren't even taking this seriously. This is my son, Car. His name means "mid-sized motorized vehicle." Pretty awesome, huh?

Anyway, one name has really clicked for me, and after my brow-beating gentle suggestions, DH has come around to it as well. Hooray! After hearing that Twin A is two ounces bigger than Twin B, I have started thinking of Twin A by this name... because, I don't know, it seems like a good name for a chunker.

That leaves us with Twin B. DH has made two suggestions for this baby, and either one I would be okay with. Okay with. But I am afraid that since neither DH nor I are as enthusiastic about these possible names as we are about Bean's and Twin A's, that poor Twin B is already set up for a life of being the least favorite person in the family. He's "Twin B" after all, second fiddle to Twin A even in the womb, not to mention trying to live up to the perfection of his oldest brother! And what if he's not as adorable or smart as our other two children? Having a mediocre name will only contribute to the downward spiral of Twin B. DH and I would obviously try not to show our preference throughout the years, but could we hide it? What about the kids in school when they are making friends? Will he live at home until he's 35, but resent us the entire time? Will he ever find his personal success and happiness in life, with the cloud of third-favorite name hanging over his head constantly? A disaster waiting to happen.

This is where you come in. Miss MVK recently had a post soliciting suggestions for naming the second of her own Les Twinks. I was trolling her comments last night to steal borrow glean inspiration from the responses when DH asked the age-old question "Whatcha doin'?" When I told him, he responded, "You should post on that, too." Since I always do everything my husband says, this is it: my official plea for help in naming our unfortunate Twin B.

Only you can save him from a life of disappointment.

I know, it's hard to offer a name when you don't know Twin A's name, or perhaps our last name. We have decided not to reveal our final name choice(s) for either baby until the birth, because we are completely annoying like that. And an FYI, we gravitate towards traditional names -- or at least something you will find on a mini license plate or coffee mug. So those of you who were going to suggest Orth or Weebie... well, thanks anyway.

Otherwise, our ears are open!

UPDATE: I will have a little prize for whoever suggests the "winning" name for the second twin. To be awarded after they are born and names are finalized. Excluded are the three names we have already picked. Thanks for playing!



Ji said...

The name game, is a fun game, names will not be the same, and no fame for giving these name, good topic

Life Is Ready 4 U


thank you for the bright ideas!

k said...

I am a second generation american, my parents immigrated here 35 years ago and I plan to name my child a name that is along the lines of his ancestral roots (My name 'Kate' is a pseudonym). BUT- if I were to go with a traditional American name I LOOOOOOOVE Jackson. Like you I'm a lover of traditional names.

Lavender Luz said...

Snickering at this: "This is my son, Car. His name means "mid-sized motorized vehicle." Pretty awesome, huh?"

You want answers? I got answers. Here are the wonderfully discarded choices for boys names:

Don't say I never gave ya anything ;-)

Kristina P. said...

I like traditional names for boys.

I really love the name Max, and that is my grandfather's name. But my husband hates it! We'll see what happens when we cross that bridge.

Michelle said...

Boys names have always been difficult for me. I have all kinds of girls names picked know just in case I have 6 of

I only have a few boys names. I have to fight DH because his name is his fathers, grandfathers and great grandfathers (although no juniors). I refuse. Dh name is Doug and although I love him, I am not fond of his name. I told him it could be the middle name. I think he is coming around. You know this fight is for our imaginary baby. Don't ya just love fighting about something that may become ;). Anyway, My absolute favorite and the one I will name my boy is Tyler. I also like Joshua (but I don't like Josh).

Good Luck!

Mary said...

Sean's suggestions for both boys 'knick and knack' lol!

My fav boy names: Jonathan, Andrew (you could have a junior ;) ), Jacob, Edward, Max, Luke, all pretty traditional names.

lisawitt said...

I like Zachary and Mark of course! ;-) And Matthew

I am into traditional names too so I am sure you have seen all of these before but I like : Joshua, Luke, David, Jacob, James, Andrew, Bradley...just to name a few!

Good luck!!

Beautiful Mess said...

I begged and begged and BEGGED Dirty to let me name Zilla, "Jaylen", he wouldn't go for it. It's become more popular since then, I don't know if it's as traditional as you're looking for, but it's a cute name. I also like Zachery and Harrison. Good luck!

Mrs. Gamgee said...

I have a thing for older, more traditional names too. I have another added twist... I prefer names that start with vowels. Eliott, Oliver, Andrew, etc.

Good luck with your search! I always love when parents spend serious time thinking about their children's names. My bio mom chose my name while she was in labour, and then she spelled it wrong (she admits it) which has been a headache all my life.

Mrs. Gamgee said...

I have a thing for older, more traditional names too. I have another added twist... I prefer names that start with vowels. Eliott, Oliver, Andrew, etc.

Good luck with your search! I always love when parents spend serious time thinking about their children's names. My bio mom chose my name while she was in labour, and then she spelled it wrong (she admits it) which has been a headache all my life.

MissMVK said...

I love it...naming your son Car! And just think, you can name the other one Door! Or Port! :)

Thanks for the shout out btw.

My suggestions (because I am lucky and know you in real-life and already know your other chosen names): Zachary, Tyler, Jacob (supposedly it's the #! most popular name for boys, but I only know two Jacobs and they are four years apart in age), Luke and...oh I'll just email you the rest. :)

Jamie said...

Beau :)

Sam said...

oooh names? Hmmmmm - I like Christopher (Chris), Samuel. My brothers are Andrew James, Benjamin Kenneth, and Matthew Paul. How's that for a few ideas?

Jen said...

We are having much more difficulty this time around. We never had any good boy names picked out and we already used up our favorite girl name. So whatever we pick will feel second rate. Poor second child...always getting jipped.

Personally, I think you should just go with Thing 1 and Thing 2.

Martha said...

I remember when I was worked at the Public Health OB clinic, they had a sign in the waiting room that said-
Chlymadia is a DISEASE, not a child's Name!

Hmm, I have a teeny weeny advantage of knowing some inside info of your name.

I like the masculine version of your name.
Is there a relative or great grandfather that might be an inspiration? Our youngest bears the same name as his great, great Grandfather on both sides which we found out after we named him. Very cool.
I love biblical names and traditional names that have stood the test of time.
Think of every nickname for the name including combined w/your last name/initials. My law enforcement friends wanted their son to have the initials, C.O.P.
Some folks choose not to saddle their babe w/these things, so many decisions.
Also, you want to see what the baby looks like, it's funny you go in with one name and sometimes they get reversed after you all meet each other.
Good luck, hope this helps.

Nicky said...

On cars... I know a family with three daughters: Mercedes, Porsche, and Nova. Nova is the youngest, and I've always felt really bad for her. Two luxury cars, followed by a third-child clunker.

Rather than suggesting names, I'll suggest a book: The Baby Name Wizard.

We had a LOT of name books before LL was born, but this was the only useful one. It's a more manageable size, and if you look up Bean's name and TwinA's name, it will give you suggested names for siblings -- names that have similar "feels" to them, that you're likely to also like. If you then look up THOSE names, it will give you some paths to follow, and you'll probably hit on something you like. Also, the popularity graphs are cool. Get this book. Seriously.

Good luck!

Furrow said...

Twin boys? George and Fred, of course. You said they were scoundrels.

(BTW, I hope you're a Harry Potter fan, or that will make no sense)

Aunt Becky said...

Aunt Becky. OBVIOUSLY.

Coffeegrl said...

OH! Furrow's suggestion is perfect! *sigh* I love Henry and Jack and Patrick. Oh and Edmund - straight out of "The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe"! I would advise staying away from Car. How funny!

Red said...

Obviously it is hard not knowing your name or Twin A's name, but my favourite boys names are:
Xavier (obviously) and
Sebastian (our choice if we get another boy).

I also like:
Harrison (but Cowbay says it's too 'out there'),
Watson (not traditional but it is my Grandma's maiden name and I just like it, plus it sticks with our unusual first letter theme) and
Oliver (but very popular atm in Australia).

Good luck. If you have to use some 'okay' name for twin B just give him more presents each year at Christmas to make up for it. ;)

Anonymous said...

I am the person who mixes up names all the time. When I get angry I call every person in the house by name, except for the person I am yelling at.
If you are going for different, River and Waters - real names..
or Michael

Talk about different names-mine: Gerardine (Gerard)

Allison said...

Let's see...I'm trying to remember names that I liked when we decided on Nathan...
Here are my suggestions, keeping it somewhat traditional:
Samual (Sam)
Okay...I'm not sitting here with the Bible, I swear
Henry (after my nephew of course)
That's all I can think of. I can't wait to hear what you decide! Basically, I just can't wait to meet them...still planning on July!

Sarah said...

I have two names for you. I think that they are incredibly suitable for Twin B and you, with the last name. It was actually the name I named my nephew because I knew then that my husband would NEVER give it to you know he's into family names. It suits my nephew perfectly and because this Twin B appears to be the more gentle and sweet baby compared to his bruting (for now anyway) Twin A brother, I will say Bennett. Also, because I know you love Jane Austin - what was the last name of our heroine Elizabeth??? It's such a sweet and lovely name that a boy can carry well as well as a man. No mugs for him if mugs you want...I would go for Jonah. It was one of my top picks for my son (that I didn't get - boo...) - super sweet and gentle, plus you get a mug. Traditional Biblical.

Sarah said...

I really liked the book -
The Baby Name Wizard: A Magical Method for Finding the Perfect Name for Your Baby by Laura Wattenberg. It is awesome when you are trying to find names within the same family. Look up Bean, and it will give you brother and sister names that sound good with it. Jonah and Jonas went well with our daughter's name...again...booo!!! I would look up Bean's name for you and tell you similarities, but that book is still with the movers in storage...grrr...

Kristi said...

I did the same thing for my twins! Only just for my girl's name. We used the boy's name we had picked out for our 3-year-old if she turned out to be a boy. And guess what? One of my reader's suggested the winning name, although unfortunately, I'll never find it on a mini license plate.

I will second the suggestion that some other people had: Max. I also love Spencer and Oliver.

Good luck choosing!

WiseGuy said...

Well, here's my chippy chip for Twin B: Clive. Since I do not know your surname, I have no idea how it would gel with the rest of the name.

Dad said...

I remember having a discussion with you guys in St. Louis that if you ever had twin boys you should name them Louis and Clark.
Even though you moved, I still think it works....


Kate said...

I'm late to the game here, and some of my recommendations were already posted. I am a traditionalist too, and like Benjamin, Jacob, Jake, and Joshua. (And I won't be able to use any of them myself ever, as we have a family name tradition on my husband's side for boys.) I don't know what DH's middle name is, but if that works, it would be something special. (So would the male name that is similar to your first name - although I don't know if that would get confusing?)

Anonymous said...

I remember coming across the name "Parsley" in our baby names book. Really? We're having a baby, not a garnish here.

For names, I like Franklin, and Oliver, and Nicholas.

Anonymous said...

First, I have to suggest some names of past students: Yo'Highness, Deend (as in, "I have six other kids, and he's de end!"), Keno, Teflon, and AlPacino.

Or, you could go with Jacob, Zachary, or Benjamin :-).

MrsSpock said...

I highly recommend AGAINST Harold Eugene, which is what Mr S wanted to name our son.

Jonah is good ;)
Also on our list:
Theodore (Theo)

Emma said...