What Not To Name The Baby

There is a recent article on Slate.com colloquially titled “A Lot of Mothers Regret the Names They Gave Their Children, According to a New Survey.”

Normally, I’d skip that kind of bla-bla-SEO-whatever headline, but the featured Getty image of Princess Charlotte and her newborn cheeks lured me in faster than a rabbit happening upon a field of fresh lettuces.

I read it, and re-tweeted it:

Guess what? Namer’s Remorse exists. And the list of most frequently regretted names are classic and bold in their own way: Charlotte, Amelia, Anne, Daniel, Jacob, James, and Thomas.

If you are wealthy and possessed of a lack of imagination, you can hire a naming consultant. You don’t want to name a child with an unattractive name and have them go through life and suffer the consequences.

No, indeed. >cough<

When I was pregnant with my first child in 1997, the four most popular names for boys were Michael, Jacob, Matthew, and Christopher. Apparently I promised my parents that I would name their first grandson Christopher, after my father. What I did was go straight to the Good Book and – after bypassing the uniqueness of Nebuchadnezzar and Methuselah –  settled on Noah, the given name of the latter’s grandson, and Gabriel as one of his middle names.

Or so I let people – including my now ex-husband – believe. Turns out I was not immune to the trend of naming babies after celebrities: Gabriel in fact comes from Peter Gabriel, the ex-Genesis vocalist and founder of WOMAD and the genius behind Us, his sixth studio album (and ninth album overall) released in 1992 that I had been listening to a lot, at the time.


I know my son and MomG are in the early stages of selecting a name for their unborn child, and that my daughter and I have been invited to help them. I am partial to Ruari, the Irish spelling of Rory; which works with Roo, my current nickname for the baby. I also suggested Lukas (I like the spelling of it with a K instead of the traditional C), and Jonah, because I feel somehow that this little lamb’s name should start with the letter J.

The bottom line, however, is that I’m not pressuring my grandbaby’s parents to go in any particular direction. They don’t want to use family names from either our side or hers, and that is fine and their right. If the first and middle names come from The Boring List, that’s okay too. There will be no engagement of naming consultants, as even 19-year-olds can agree that the money is better spent elsewhere, on diapers and sleepers.

So now I am curious: what is your first name, and if you could change it now, would you?

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