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How did you choose your kids' names?

(86 Posts)
thatbags Fri 03-Feb-17 20:37:10

There is talk of naming traditions on another thread and it got me wondering...

Apart from our liking the name, for us it was a case of:

1. Can you yell it (or a shortened version of it) up the stairs or down the street easily? "Ahoy!" is all very well (and much used by us) but sometimes you want a name.

2. Will every nth child in the school have the same name? If so, choose something else. There was one other girl in DD1's secondary school (~1200 pupils) with the same first name for part of the time. No-one shared DD2's name. There is one other with the same name as DD3 in her secondary school (~1350 pupils).
And yet all three are well known, classic names.

annodomini Fri 03-Feb-17 21:08:15

I named my first DS because it's a Scottish name I liked. When it came to the second, I had been reading about Arthurian Legends and was thinking of a Round Table Knight's name. Fortunately the then OH came to the rescue and gave him a normal name which we both liked otherwise he might have been Lancelot or Galahad. In my case, my first name was the second name of two of my great-grandmothers.

J52 Fri 03-Feb-17 21:39:34

After teaching hundreds of students it was quite a challenge finding names for our DSs that did not have another boy's face attached!

We eventually chose names that reflected our Scottish heritage, but did not already occur within the immediate family.

Deedaa Fri 03-Feb-17 21:40:56

We named DD after DH's aunt who was the only rich member of the family (No ulterior motif honestly) Unfortunately the aunt was later swindled out of all her money by her grandson grin

When it came to DS we just called him after his grandad.

Cherrytree59 Fri 03-Feb-17 21:42:33

We chose our DC names because we liked them.
However my family tradition (Scots) was to use previous family surnames as middle names
My mother had 2 middle surnames one from each side of the family .
My father also had his mother's family surname for his middle name.
A tradition that my male cousin''s have carried on.
All my parents siblings had previous generation's surnames as their middle names

In hindsight I can see the advantage of using family surnames as middle names, it certainly makes looking back on the family tree much easier.

tanith Fri 03-Feb-17 21:48:57

We just chose what we liked for all 3 of them, they were quite classic but I always remember taking my son to register at our doctors which was a large practice, and the receptionist saying well he's the only Samuel we have on our books.. I don't remember there being another one through all his school years either.

baubles Fri 03-Feb-17 21:52:58

I chose DD's name before I met her father wink. Well, I'd always said if I ever had a daughter I'd give her the name of a character in a book I'd loved as a young teen. DH liked the name fortunately.

We both liked short, strong names and chose DS's name with that in mind. I also liked the look of it written down.

Anniebach Fri 03-Feb-17 22:08:09

Both our daughters have family names which have been in every generation of my family for hundreds of years

Ana Fri 03-Feb-17 22:08:25

I knew what I'd call a daughter in my teens too, baubles. When she was born it was an unusual name, but within a couple of years had become quite popular...(nothing to do with me, honest!)

DanniRae Fri 03-Feb-17 22:13:09

My first daughter was named after a character in a 1970's, American, comedy series. Then the name was unusual but quite a few people had the same idea......but I still love the name.
My second daughter was going to be called Emma for almost the whole of my pregnancy but we (I) had a change of heart and she was given an old fashioned, classic name.
When I had our son my husband wanted to call him Steven, I wanted David (both our brother's name) but eventually he was called after my favourite cousin who I had had a crush on when I was younger. BYW we called our black labrador Emma!!

ninathenana Fri 03-Feb-17 22:25:29

D's middle name is that of H's sister who died at a few weeks old her first name was simply one we liked. I didn't think it common at the time but there were 2 others in her class in senior school.
S's middle name is a family name. His first name too was just one we liked. I remember one of his preschool helpers saying it was a name she hadn't heard for years. It's not old fashioned or unusual though.

Cherrytree59 Fri 03-Feb-17 22:28:47

Don't you find that. our DC or DGC grow into their names.
I can't think of anybody that I would say 'oh that name doesn't suit them'. hmm

ninathenana Fri 03-Feb-17 22:29:28

Isn't Emma an old fashioned, classic name? smile it would be in my top five of favourite girls names.

Thebeeb Fri 03-Feb-17 22:34:03

Son's name chosen by his dad. I was just so pleased after losing first child at 3 weeks old we couldn't agree on a boys name and it didn't seem an issue so left to his dad.

Daughter after a very elegant dark haired nicely spoken lady I admired at work. Turned out a blonde, tomboy football playing girl. Not at all like the lady I'd admired but lovely in her own way.

Maggiemaybe Fri 03-Feb-17 22:35:15

Mainly by trawling through a book of baby names. I came across it recently, and can't believe what awful names we circled at the time - the DC had very lucky escapes! They have fairly traditional but uncommon first names, and a classic family middle name each. When it came to DD2, we were struggling right up to the week before she was born. Then we spotted a name on a Victorian gravestone as we were taking a short-cut through the local cemetery. We both said at the same time how much we liked it, so that was that settled! DS was going to be Adam until a baby in the next street got the name first a week before him. We knew they'd be in the same class so changed to our back up, which I much prefer now.

DanniRae Fri 03-Feb-17 22:37:12

Yes nina I agree Emma is an old fashioned name and I like it too. To be honest it was a long time ago - 1973 - and I don't remember quite what my thought process was then. But the name that we finally chose REALLY suits my darling daughter and I have no regrets.

Maggiemaybe Fri 03-Feb-17 22:40:10

ninathenana, I remember saying to my best friend when I was about 14 that if I ever had daughters I'd be calling them Sarah and Emma. She burst out laughing at the very thought of such old-fashioned names. By the time my girls were born in the 80s you couldn't throw a stick without hitting a Sarah or an Emma, so I had to invest in the book of baby names after all grin

Swanny Fri 03-Feb-17 23:03:24

My (Scottish) father had only one 'first' name and that was his maternal grandmother's maiden name. My father apparently wanted to call me Morag but my mother refused as she said I would be called 'Rags' at school

My son's father and I loved a particular Scottish name but decided against it as it didn't 'flow' with the surname. My DS now uses his middle name anyway which is also a strong Scottish one. My great nephew was given the names of his paternal (Irish) and maternal (Scottish) grandfathers, although the little bit of family tree I've done indicates the maternal grandfather's own grandfather was also Irish. Traditions can get complicated. smile

I worked with a chap who had 3 first names, the first and last of which had been passed from father to son through the family. He had 2 sons himself and continued the tradition. Each of them was only know by their second name, unique to each generation. What a palaver grin

rosesarered Fri 03-Feb-17 23:08:10

We both liked simple classic names for our three DC, which also went well with our surname.We also tried to imagine them at any age ( including old!) with the names.
Another consideration was that they were readily understood and the spellings also the usual ones.

rosesarered Fri 03-Feb-17 23:09:14

I didn't know at the time that there were books of baby names, but it didn't matter as finding names wasn't hard.

trueblue22 Fri 03-Feb-17 23:25:14

thatbags I think you're alluding to my thread about SIL naming my GC after his family.

In my case, I named DD first name after grandmother and middle I just liked. DS first name was name we liked and two middle names after DH deceased GGF.

Mu middle name was after my aunt who was killed in the Holocaust.

Sugarpufffairy Fri 03-Feb-17 23:39:04

I chose names that were different from all previous family names. The first DC could have had a very different name however neither reflect the true person. The second has a name which can be shortened and mostly is. The short version suits better than the full name. They have middle names but they are very rarely used.

phoenix Fri 03-Feb-17 23:58:08

My surname in my first marriage (and during which both children were born) was unusual and Czechoslovakian, and I knew that they would be often asked "how do you spell that?", so both boys were given short names with obviously spelling.

However both names were (at the time) not common, although the name given to ds2 is now very popular.

grannyactivist Sat 04-Feb-17 01:18:24

My three daughters all had names that were unusual at the time, though one of them was subsequently popularised by a character in a soap. They girls all really love their names.
My sons have classical names, not terribly unusual, but no other boys at their schools shared their names. Nowadays the name of my youngest son has gained in popularity.

My name was a real source of angst when I was younger. My paternal grandmother was Lilian, my maternal aunt was Lily and so I was named Lillian. It just didn't fit! I never felt comfortable with the name and even other people used to comment that it didn't suit me, so I happily swapped it in my early teens for my very plain and unremarkable middle name, which does suit me and by which I've now been known for almost 50 years. Oddly enough in the last few years I've made my peace with the name; it's still my name on all 'official' documents, at the health centre, the bank etc., which I used to resent, but now I don't mind owning the name.

PamelaJ1 Sat 04-Feb-17 06:59:56

I did used to quite like my name but we moved to the Uk when it got shortened to Pam- you know rhymes with spam and ham! Although I did correct people for a while eventually I gave up so everyone except my nearest and dearest uses the shortened version. My children were given names that can't be shortened!