Sparkles & Stretchmarks: A UK Parenting & Pregnancy Blog: The Name Game

Friday, 8 January 2016

The Name Game

Another baby, another name dilemma!

Baby Number 3 will be making his or her appearance in the world in just 8 short weeks time, and this has to be the longest we've ever taken to settle on a name!

I think our hunt for the perfect baby name has been made more difficult by not knowing the gender this time - I find it so much harder to decide on a name and truly commit to it when there's a question mark over whether baby will be a boy or a girl and which name it will be that's actually used.

Because no matter what, ONE of the names we decide on will go unused...and so it makes it all seem a bit less "real" it's not a real person we're naming if that makes any sense?!

So over the past few months since we found out about the pregnancy, various names have been tossed around and tried on for size...

(This was our list from the beginning of the pregnancy...very few of the above are still on our shortlist, infact our top current choices for each gender aren't on the above list at all!)

I spent my time doodling various signatures on my notebooks, seeing how different names look with our surname, seeing how they match as a Christmas card signature alongside the boys names, just generally seeing how they fit...

Recently, I think we've finally settled on our final two choices - one for a boy and one for a girl.

The names are unusual - I've spoken before of my love for unusual names, I have no reason to judge what anybody else names their child but names at the top of the Most Popular lists are just not appealing to me personally.

This isn't because I specifically want to use a unique name - it's merely because I am naturally attracted to names that tend to be less mainstream - I like names that feel somewhat poetic, that have a meaning behind them that I personally relate to and the names that do that for me tend to be more uncommon ones. I'm not deliberately out to choose a name based on it's uniqueness - it's just that the more unusual names are simply the names that sound prettiest to my ears, that's all.

The problem I have this time is that one of the names, the boys one, is VERY unusual - Infact I've never heard of another person who has the name. 

I'm sure people DO have it (particularly in America), but I've never come across any of them myself...I've certainly never met one anyway...

I'd never met another Tyne either, but I was aware of an American actress (Tyne Daly) with the name and I knew that in the USA it was used as a girls name.

But this name I can't actually attribute to any person I can think of or have ever heard of...which makes me think it's more unusual.

A quick look on the Office Of National Statistics database of names for 2014 (the most up to date list available) shows that there were a total of 288 baby girls across the UK that year who were given the name we have chosen - so it's unusual (the most popular name that year, Amelia, was given to 5,327 babies that year for comparison) but not unheard of.

The name we have chosen for a boy doesn't appear on the list at all - which means that fewer than 3 children (or possibly zero)  were given the name that year.

Out of 4632 names given to the UK's baby boys in 2014, it shows that the name we've settled on is very unusual.

When I think about this in relation to our own immediate family and our own baby, it doesn't bother me - To me, the name sounds beautiful and I can already imagine a whole little personality going with it....Jon loves it too.

But when I think of other people's worries me.

People seem to think they have a right to judge every aspect of everybody else's lives these days - every choice or decision any person makes for their child seems to be open to scrutiny from perfect strangers - and that includes the choices they make regarding their childrens names.

I lost count of how many nasty jokes I saw aimed at Kim Kardashian when she'd given birth to her son, taking guesses at what "ridiculous" name she may have chosen for him and then, when it was announced, judgement on the one they'd decided on.

People seem to think that just because this woman is in the public eye, they have every right to an opinion on what she chooses to name her child.

Recently when browsing Instagram, I came across a birth announcement on the feed of Imogen Thomas - a minor celebrity by anybodys standards, so does her slightly raised profile really entitle the world and his wife to an opinion on the name of her children?!

Apparently some people think so - Imogen announced the birth of her beautiful baby girl Siera Aleira - a pretty name I thought - is it a name you hear being yelled out at nursery schools across the country every day? No, probably not. But does that make it automatically a bad choice? Does it mean people have to right to openly criticize her?

Some people think so - infact one of the comments I saw came from a middle aged man, a father himself judging by his Instagram profile - who saw fit to comment "What is it with people choosing ridiculous weird names for their kids these days? Whats wrong with normal names?"

This comment was posted just a few hours after this woman had given birth, at a time when her hormones and emotions would be running wild, is it really ok for anybody to be attacking her based on a name she'd chosen to give her daughter? A name she'd probably agonised over for months? A name she had probably fallen in love with and was proud to announce? Is she not a person with feelings just like anybody else?!

Did it make that idiot feel brave or clever to rain on her parade like that? Really....what was the point of his ridiculous comment if not to belittle her and be cruel for no real purpose? What impact does it have on his life what somebody else chooses to name their child?

And that goes for all of us...every single one of us...NOBODY has any right to judge or make comments on what anybody else chooses to name their child, because that kind of thing is very much a matter of personal taste and everybody's taste is so very different.

You may think the names I choose for my children are odd or ugly...but trust me, chances are in that case we have very different tastes and so I probably think that the names you choose for yours are ugly too - but I wouldn't go around saying it, because how is it any of my concern?

I've had comments made on this blog before about my choice of name for Tyne. "Tyne? Like the river? Oh dear...."....Yes, you cretin, Tyne like the river....just like every single name in existence originated from another word or place. Where do you think names come from?!

I've been told of ex friends of my sisters, who follow this blog despite not being part of my life anymore, having made comments to mutual friends about his name and how "silly" it is....does that person not think her own childs name is one I would personally never want to use for my child? Because that's how different tastes work. My likes won't suit you, just like yours don't suit works both ways.

Even my own Dad continually tells me that "its cruel" to give an unusual name to a child - I disagree on this, who is to say whether or not the child would want an unusual name? I would have chosen to have one if I'd been given the choice - I'd rather have been a Harper than a Hayley any day of the week - so who can say what this child would prefer?

I thought I'd decided to go with the name I love for this baby, but this evening I stumbled across something else on the internet that made me question myself again...

When browsing Pinterest for baby-related things, I stumbled across this blog post from a few years back in which a pregnant mother announced the name she had chosen for her unborn baby daughter.

The name was Lakynn (A variant spelling of a name that actually made it on to our own name list above! A name I first fell in love with back when I bought a book on names and their meanings when I was 12 years not a new fangled name by any stretch of the imagination!) - I noticed the announcement because I like the name, and so I clicked through to her blog to browse her cute photographs...

That little girl is almost 4 now, a beautiful little thing whose photographs adorn her mummy's blog - clearly the apple of her eye.

So imagine how shocked I was when I scrolled further down to the comment section and saw hateful comments pouring scorn on the name chosen for this little girl - comments made just months ago on a post from years back - from comments poking fun at their choice, to comments calling this woman a "monster" for her name choice and accusing her of having ruined her daughters chances of ever gaining employment as a Doctor or Engineer when she grows up.

It makes me sad beyond words that an invention as mind blowing as the internet, something that's connected the world beyond what anyone could have comprehended 50 years ago, is being used for something as pointless and downright cruel as ripping someone down based on a name they gave to their child.

It makes me sad to think of that woman having to read through those comments and wonder why so much hatred is being thrown her way for naming her daughter something she thought was a beautiful name...

It makes me sad to think of that beautiful, innocent little girl going about her life while a barrage of trolls attack the name she's grown in to and question her future potential based purely on something so very superficial...

It makes me sad to think that there are people out there who think it's perfectly alright to do this kind of thing, who think that their opinion matters so much that they're justified in tearing somebody else down because they have a different one...

And so, when it comes to naming this child - I'm left with a bit of a difficult decision to make.

Do I go with the name I so dearly love, despite the fact that others may find it not to their taste? Despite the fact that it may receive negative comments?

Do I go against what I want and choose a more "mainstream" name to please the masses? To pacify other people? Knowing that it isn't my own first choice...or even my 10th or 11th choice...

And what am I supposed to be altering my choice for exactly? So that a perfect stranger is happier with my choice than I am? So that relatives more distant to the baby than I am like it more than I do?

I'm the one who's going to be calling it out every day for the foreseeable future.

And what of the suggestion that it's "cruel"? Why is that? Because "it may be picked on"? If that's the case, let's think about who will be picking on it....the children named Jack, Harry, Olivia or Emily I guess? Perhaps instead of me adjusting what name I give my child, it would be better if the parents raising those "Normal named kids" spent more time ensuring their children don't grow up to be people who choose to bully someone because of their name.

As for the suggestion that a name can have an effect on your future employment potential, I've heard this argument before - when I was choosing Tyne's name I spent some time on a name forum chatting with fellow name-obsessed people like myself about my choices - and one person commented on the name "Tyne" to say that while they liked the name...they would worry that it may damage his future employment potential because it brings up an association with the north of England (Clearly this person believed Northerners are automatically unemployable...not at all offensive to a scouser mum and geordie father!).

I like to think that in a world of growing equal opportunities, my children's names will not define their future successes - and I like to think that I'm doing a good enough job of parenting them to bring them up with enough potential, intelligence and charisma to pave their own successful paths in their world whatever they may choose for them to be, without their given names having any impact on it whatsoever.

So what to do?

Go with my heart and stick with the name I love...or give in to the masses.

It's a tough call, and I don't have long left to decide!

Tweet: People think they have a right to judge the choices a person makes for their child - including their name. Why?

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  1. Hi naming children is very difficult and completely the parents choice. It's sad to see people saying horrible things about names of children (I like the name Tyne btw and know of one through a baby group I went to 7 years ago). At the end of the day it will be you calling the child down the stairs for breakfast, it will be you calling the child in from playing outside and you will be the one naming the child on the birth certificate - go with the name you want not to please others but to make a happy addition to your family :-)

  2. Definitely go with your heart! In the end, it doesn't matter what other people think and sounds like you and your OH have found a boy's name that you both love.

    I'm mulling over an unusual name for baby 3. In fact, both girls name and boys name are unusual, but very 'wearable' in my opinion. Might just be signing myself up for a lifetime of spelling their name, but I think by the third baby you are much more confident in your naming choices.

  3. You are totally within your rights to choose a name you love! As long as you and baby's daddy love the name does it really matter? I do plan to go for a more traditional name but again that's my choice and preference and doesn't mean it is "correct", just that it is right for us. I do love some of the more unusual names but don't think it fits with our last name, so again it's down to circumstance. I am sure some people won't like our traditional names, but that's their problem not mine! If you do get negative posts just ignore them. At least they've bothered to read your blog and some of it may drip subconsciously into their mind so that in the future they are not so narrow minded! Your baby- your choice!

  4. People will have an opinion on everything, and we all have different life choices which we dont all have the same view on-isnt that what makes us all people? As i see it, no point listening to other people for that very reason, plus it's your child at the end of the day. Just try to let their comments go, like water off a duck's back so to speak!

  5. It's easy for me to say don't worry about what people say but I love a name beginning with S that I'd love to call the baby but know people will have a comment about it and that puts me right off. If it's any consolation I think Tyne and Noah are beautiful names.

  6. I would go with the name u love Hayley. When we chose Blake's name we got told many times oh that's unusual. As long as u love a name it shouldn't matter what others think it is a shame that people can be so rude.

  7. I had a friend comes Tyne and it's a nice name! My name I almost called Sylvia is Naava which is beautiful in Hebrew.

  8. I adore Tyny Tots name as you know and I though Noah was far too a common name for you to choose and was shocked, knowing your love for unusual names, but then out pops Noah's middle name and I am like 'Oh yeah, so Hayley'. I cannot wait to see what the new baby will be called, I find that exciting most of all. I am a traditionalist with names and we have chosen names for boy or girl and they won't change, should a child ever come along x

  9. Go with your heart. We're expecting our first child in April and this is the exact reason I swerve the subject when people ask about names. When you present a child to someone and day "their name is..." They can't turn their nose up at you no matter what their opinion but beforehand they see no problem with shitting all over your decision.

    Obviously, this is different online because everyone thinks their opinion matters no matter how offensive to the person they're dishing it out on.

    At the end of the day, this is your baby. Do what you want not what you think other people want. Xxx

  10. Go with your heart. If only we could agree on one name!

  11. Oh Hayley I think you should definitely follow your heart! I love Tyne's name and didn't think anything of it (and still don't!) it suits him perfectly. I've given Zach a middle name people probably judge but it has meaning to us and that's why we chose it. I think the most important thing is to be happy with your choice and not feel as though you picked something just to please others xx

  12. People are SO judgemental when it comes to names, my parents especially! Anything remotely different my mum says its either cruel or 'trashy' which is her go to insult. Drives me insane. We struggled to agree on baby names this time round too but as of a few weeks ago I think weve decided on a boys and girls name. The girls name is fairly well known but the boys one isnt, infact I dont know anyone with this name and I know its going to invite a lot of comments when we announce but me and my partner love it. I think especially because Lily's name is such a popular name people expect us to use another well known name and feel like they can make digs if we dont, but I just like what I like whether its popular or not! I would definitely do what you want to do and not what other people would want, its your baby at the end of the day lovely xx

  13. Go with what you and Jon love Hayley. Don't worry what anyone says. My name is Azaria and it's not exactly common but it's recognisable as me and I like not having the same name as loads of other people. When we were having our little girl we loved August for a boy and my mother in law hated it but we still would have called out baby that. We had a girl though and decided to go for Ailsa. A lovely Scottish name. Although a lot of people think it's Elsa so get a lot of 'oh like from Frozen' but we love it and that's all that matters.

    Being Mrs Lynch

  14. It makes me so sad to read this, you shouldn't have to justify your choice, it's your baby and your decision at the end of the day! As you know I'm totally with you on the unusual name side (you don't get many Indianas floating about although it's not the strangest). I say go with your heart. I'm sure it's a beautiful name anyway! Xxx

  15. I do not yet have kids so can not even imagine the struggle to choose a name that you love or go with the mass but I would say go with your heart.

  16. I purposely stay off names in conversations with friends and family! For some of the reasons mentioned above! Everyone is entitled to call their children what they want. I like the name Tyne and its is unusual but thats great :) I look forward to hearing you final choice. We have been struggling with a second boys name this time round but have a short list of 10 and 16 weeks to cut it down :) xx

  17. Definitely go with the name you love, you'll only regret it if you don't! Like you say people might not like it but that's fine it's not their child! My daughters both have names outside the top 300 most popular, they are normal names just not used much anymore and we only ever get nice comments. I like that they are the only ones at their nursery with their names. I get why the top names are popular they are lovely names just not what we would choose x

  18. Go with what you love - it is such huge decision isn't it? Both my sons were born before we named them1 And both my girls were named before they arrived. Kaz x

  19. I personally feel that Sierra is a lovely name and for my children I would like Jasmine and Sophia Loren for a girl and for a boy Tyler. I think unusual names are great and definitely stand out.

  20. Stuff what anyone else thinks, it's your child and your choice. I personally love the name Tegan for a girl - that's what I would name another baby along with Rose for the middle name x

  21. I would definitely go with your heart. Who cares what anyone else thinks. People can be so judgemental any way and I hated the way they mocked Kim K's baby names as well as other celebrities also x

  22. 8 weeks to go here till baby no 4 comes along. Team yellow so struggling with names too!

  23. I think Tyne is a beautiful name, as is Noah. Yes,it may be unusual but so what? There is nothing wrong with unusual names. My daughter has an unusual name. It is double barelled, and I do get people tellimg me that it is an ugly name etc, and some cruel people actually tell this to my daughter too! But she tells them what I told her, that she's special and unique. Go for what you want. They're your children,nobody elses! Good luck with the baby xxx

  24. I found choosing the name of our second child so much harder than the first, I needed to choose a name that would 'fit' with his brothers name

  25. I would definitely follow your heart, think you would regret it if you didn't.

    My children are called Holden & Eden, as you can imagine we've never met another Holden but think Eden is more popular.

    Both times we told everyone the gender but didn't reveal the name until they were both here as we didn't want to hear if anyone had any comments and knew they wouldn't say anything when presented with a baby!

    My nephew & nieces have unusual names too, they are common in our families!

  26. Can be so hard to name a baby! I found it pretty easy with the girls. Now that I am expecting a boy, I am finding it so hard. I had 4 names in mind that I really like so far. But I'm keeping it secret!


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