What’s in a name?

Choosing baby names can be challenging. I’ve found that I can generally come up with several names that I like for girls but then the name still has to be paired with a good middle name and our very common last name. The three names must all blend well together as should the first and last name. And of course, my husband and I both have to agree on the selection. The name can’t be too common or too weird. The meaning must be considered. Is the name easily pronounced? Does it rhyme with something that might make it a terrible nickname? Does it sound like a stripper name? So many considerations.

Then there are boys names. That’s even more complicated. Unlike girls names, I have a very short list of boys names that can even be considered. I want a name that is endearing on an infant but masculine enough for a man. It should be charming for a teenager. Once again-nothing too common or too weird. I did have one weird-ish choice for our son but my husband wouldn’t budge on it: Django. I still love that name but it fails so many of our self imposed requirements. And I recently read that Quentin Tarantino has a movie with a character named Django- scheduled to come out next year. That’s sure to create some weird stigma.

I guess you just have to hope that the name that you choose doesn’t turn out to be the name of the next teen idol, pedestrian sitcom main character, or a famous pedophile…

For Michael, there was only one name on the list for our girl: Darcy. We’d considered the name when we were planning to adopt a few years ago. Darcy is a fine name but it was sort of up for debate when we chose Declan for our boy. I really didn’t want to have twins with the same first initial. We considered Colin and Darcy for about a week. I grin every time I think of that. Colin didn’t last though. I was locked on the middle name Carter (my Grandad’s middle name) and we decided that Declan Carter had a better ring to it than Colin Carter. Declan means both “full of goodness” and “man of prayer.” As for Darcy’s middle name- there was never any question: Jane. Jane is Michael’s mother’s middle name. She might not remember but one night at dinner many years ago, we got onto the discussion of names. I told her that I had always loved the name Jane and she lit up and told me that was her middle name. I knew right then that it was a keeper. Darcy is for my favorite fictional character: Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy,¬†who is the hero of my favorite book: Pride and Prejudice. P&P was, incidentally, penned by my favorite author Jane Austen. Darcy Jane = perfection.

Another consideration with names is whether or not they sound right when listed off with the rest of your brood: Gillian, Declan and Darcy. Works for me.

10 thoughts on “What’s in a name?

  1. My nephew once told me a story about how he and his wife went to visit friends at the hospital after their baby was born. A boy. When asked what the name was, the proud parents went in to this big explanation about how they were worried about kids being mean and picking on the boy’s name. So they really took their time, had thought about it long and hard and finally came up with a name that there was no way to make fun of. “So what’s the name?” my nephew asked. And the new mom confidently said “Jack.” My nephew without thinking quickly replied out loud, “what about Jack ***?” … “…err.. cause.. no one would ever say that..” I’m not sure there’s any recovering from that.

    Darcy has been a name that’s been around for a long time. I think we might have even considered it even back when we were looking for names for Gillian. But for sure it was tossed around as a name for an adopted child when we were looking at foreign adoption.

    The boy was a lot harder. Despite the Colin/Darcy connection and it always being sort of a joke, I really liked that name pair and didn’t really care if anyone made the connection or not. I even thought there was something fun and romantic about it. And for a long time thought that would be their names. But to me Colin didn’t sound right with the middle name we wanted: Carter. So I leaned more towards Declan. Even still it took me a little while to warm up to the name Declan but now I think it’s perfect.

  2. DC and DJ aren’t bad either (from a BJ who realized I was in the room last night with 3 AJ’s)

    My eldest granddaughter is a TES but No one “gets” it when I call her Tess.

  3. I love them both! You guys did a great job… my preference for twins was Abcde ( absidy) and Lmnop though. Oh well.

  4. I instantly made the Jane Austen connection. But then I know a thing or two about Shannon. I think your blog is very well written & insightful. It feels like it was tailored for me, it speaks to me. A unique talent that should manifest itself in a way that the two of you can share with a broader audience. Consider that. I think of you constantly and always remember you when I pray.

  5. Love the names Declan and Darcy. Even better their initials–DC & DJ. I have a “DND” who named herself “DeeDee” as a child, and a “RAD” that claims we gave him those initials because “he is a radical individual”. God’s blessings and prayers for the health of all of you.