Sparkles & Stretchmarks: A UK Parenting & Pregnancy Blog: Choosing A Baby Name

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Choosing A Baby Name

I've said many times before that naming a child is possibly the thing I enjoy most about having a baby 

(I'm not the Earth-Mother "Oh how I love all these little kicks inside me..." type...Pregnancy & I do not mix well, and I don't enjoy any of the physical aspects of it...At all! #sorrynotsorry

I find it both exciting and a terrifying responsibility,..after all, unless you mess it up so badly that they go to the extreme of changing their name by deed poll, then they're going to be lumbered with the name you choose for life.

Many people believe that names aren't important...but I disagree.

I think names can really influence a persons life.

I think a person's name can have an effect on many aspects of their future - I think it can be a factor in the job they'll end up with (while becoming an accountant named Rainbow may not be impossible, it's probably pretty uncommon...), a factor in how confident they are throughout their school days, and can have all sorts of other knock on effects.

To me, many people become their name...and this is probably part of the reason that I'm so concerned with the names I bestow upon a child.

I also have always loved the art of naming - I love looking in to the history of names, their meanings, where they came from and so on - there are plenty of names that I love the sound of but would never use because they have a negative meaning or negative namesake (possibly why there are so few Adolf's around?!)

So to me....deciding on a baby name is a long, drawn out and difficult process.

I went through all of the same issues with my son.

We went back and forward on so many names before finally settling on the one he ended up with.

He was very nearly named Ossian - but we decided it would end up with a lot of mispronunciation here in England.

He was also nearly named Macaulay - but after numerous comments about "Not leaving him Home Alone" we realised that, sadly, the name is still far too associated with the 90s child star to use.

Our main concern when choosing his name was that we wanted something that sounded strong, something that was very uncommon (it was important to me that he be the only child in his class with his name) and something that couldn't easily be shortened.

His name came about as a bit of a joke - I was browsing through a forum about baby names when I saw a post stating that somebody had named their son Thames, after the river. I laughed about this and told Jon we should call our baby Mersey after our own local river in Liverpool - Jon then laughed and suggested the name of the river in his own hometown....Tyne.

We laughed...then stopped...and realised that actually, we liked the sound of that! The more we said it, the more it grew on us....and we knew of course that it WAS a name....the actress Tyne Daly being its most famous bearer ...but it was usually only heard on women and only in the USA, and was very uncommon here in the UK.

And so that's how we came to name him.

This time around, my concerns are different.

I've never regretted the name we chose for him and it suits him completely - but I DO get tired of having to always explain where it came from, and I get VERY bored of having to spell it out when older ladies in supermarkets assume I'm telling them that his name is "Time"!!

So this time, I'm trying to choose a name that isn't overly common but is easy to say and spell - and isn't likely to be misheard quite so much! And perhaps not draw quite as much interest!

But it's hard.

There is a shortlist of around 10 names that we're working off at the moment....but it's impossible to narrow it down!

Here are some of the names we're considering and their meanings:

Tobin - Hebrew origin, and the meaning of Tobin is "God is good".

Elijah - Hebrew origin, and the meaning of Elijah is "Jehovah is God"

Penn - of Old English origin, and the meaning of Penn is "enclosure; hill". Probably an occupational name referring to a person who lived or worked around a sheep pen

Tobias - of Hebrew origin, and the meaning of Tobias is "God is good"

Noah - of Hebrew origin, and the meaning of Noah is "peaceful".

Tate - of Middle English origin, and the meaning of Tate is "cheerful".

Greyson - of Old English origin, and the meaning of Greyson is "son of the gray-haired man; son of a judge".

Gage - of Old French origin, and the meaning of Gage is "pledge, oath".

Jonah - of Hebrew origin, and the meaning of Jonah is "dove". Also means "peace" as the dove is a symbol of peace.

Luca - of Italian origin, meaning "Bringer of light".

I love all of these names for different reasons, and I`m finding it so incredibily difficult to narrow it down.

If baby had been a girl, the name was already chosen - it would have been Piper Seren, as simple as that! No further thought required!

But I find boys names so much harder to choose.

Fingers crossed we decide on something soon!

How did you decide on your own childrens name? And if you had to choose one from our list, which would you go with? I'd love to hear from you!

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  1. Love your list! I really like Noah, Gage and Elijah.

    I always loved the name Noah but my other half has never liked it. We had a name that we both said we liked years ago (before even considering children) and it was on the list of possibilities once we were pregnant. We added so many names to the list and even on our second day in hospital we hadn't confirmed his name to anyone. Of course once we both agreed his name ended up being the one we liked four years ago. I think we both knew this was going to be his name even while considering other choices.

    He is named Taylor Grayson Clarence - probably breaking ALL of the rules on names that can be both first and last names as all 3 elements of his name are haha.

    We also wanted a name that was different but not too unusual and not popular. It's another name that is more popular in the US and commonly associated with girls, although I always knew of it as a male name before Taylor Swift came about. Who doesn't love Taylor from Hanson? ;)

    Now he's here I can't imagine him being anything else, he's definitely not a Noah although I loved the name so much. Xx


    1. Thank you! :)

      I also always thought of Taylor as a boys name before the emergence of Taylor Swift, and its a name we've had on our list too! :) I love the names you chose, they work perfectly together!

      Thank you so much for commenting :) xx

  2. I love the name Noah :)

    Gage is really lovely too. There's a boy in Stacey's class called that and he's one of the loveliest 11 year old boys you could wish to meet!

    I don't really know what I look for in a name if I'm honest. I always knew that if I had a baby girl she would be called Stacey. I loved the name from an early age and hadn't met any other Stacey's. Although since having my Stacey I have met many others! Grr lol.

    And with Oscar we were sat down one night and Nathan was suggesting that we called him Andy or Vincent (as in Bell and Clark from Erasure ... ) and then he just went "How about Oscar"? and we both agreed we loved it. I checked the meaning of the name online and it means 'Deer Lover', and since Nathan's footy team are known as the Stags it just seemed even more perfect!

    Can't wait for you to have the little man now so I can find out what he's called hehe.

    Louise x

    Confessions of a Secret Shopper

  3. I'm having the same problems with boy names too! I swear girls are just loads easier... my husband chose Athenas name so this one should be my decision but obviously we have to agree! I like all your list actually! but I've a pretty firm idea of what I want this baby to be called so we'll see if Sam likes it too!

    1. ha! They are easier! I'm so intrigued to see what you go for! I guess you have a similar issue to me with having one child with a not-so mainstream name already! x

  4. Naming the baby is my favourite part too! Like you the physical side of pregnancy just didn't sit well with me, not something I enjoyed but picking a name was a lot of fun and made for many a debate! Noah was my boy's name for ages before picking Luke, it's a lovely name. Tate and Penn are gorgeous names too and would go really well with Tyne :)

    1. Glad I`m not the only one lol! Aww thank you, Luke is lovely too! :) x

  5. I love Luca :-) Must be so hard to choose! x

  6. I completely agree, I think people do become their name! I love the names Noah, Gage and Tate :) xxx

  7. Great choice of names Hayley! I'm excited to see which one you choose for your baby boy! I know what you mean about struggling to pick out a boy's name. When pregnant with our first baby, my husband and I picked out one name for a boy and two for a girl. We had a son but as we cannot agree on any other boy's names I think we'll be in for a challenge if we have another little boy in the future!

    1. Thanks Kathryn! It is such a hard thing to decide on! Fun choosing though :) x

  8. Boys names are so much harder I think. We have our favourite but we're still umm'ing and ahh'ing, where as if baby #2 had been a girl we already knew her name, like you. x

  9. Like you I have two boys, and found naming them both horrendously difficult! Toby's name was forced upon him, as we had to register him at the doctors on day two - we both liked Toby but wouldn't commit until our hands were forced. Now, it suits him down the ground, and I love it. Our youngest, Alex, was always going to be Alex (well, from around the seven or eight month mark!); it has a little family history and was a name my husband had wanted for Toby originally. The thing is, though, I LOVED choosing our boys' names. Even though it was so hard, and caused so many arguments, the satisfaction of choosing the perfect name was fab.

    Just a few thoughts on your list of names, which is great, by the way! Our son is a Toby, rather than Tobias or Tobin, but I have since met lots of other Tobys or Tobias'. I'm not sure it's such an uncommon name anymore, and you may find your son isn't the only one in his class. Similarly, biblical names like Noah, Elijah, Jonah, and Isaac, while lovely, are quite common at the moment. There is no reason why you shouldn't use any of these, but I know you're looking for something a little unique.

    Penn is a great name, but be mindful of how it will sound with Tyne's name. Tyne and Penn sound a little like magician duo (like Penn and Teller), which is great but you may tire of having people point that out. Same with Tate - Tyne and Tate is a lot of harsh T sounds, but also very strong - people would certainly remember your boys!

    I love Greyson and Gage. They go with Tyne and are fabulous, uncommon names. I also love Luca and Lucas, but I think they're having a little resurgence. Names I wanted for Toby and Alex were Gabriel, Leo, Theo, and Niall.

    I'm so jealous, I love thinking of baby names!


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