Friday, September 26, 2014

Names

Whew, what a day.  There is a lot to unpack and sort and assemble and organize.  The Badger has been working very hard and I have been doing as much as I can in spurts, which is so much less than I want and need to do. 

The kids are showing some signs of stress.  One of them, who shall remain nameless, peed all over my mother-in-law's couch.  She had to spend half the day pulling apart the layers of the cushions to get everything clean.  Mom, I am so sorry.  Thank you for being so nice about it.

Peanut is really having a rough time.  She fights with her siblings and throws tantrums a lot.  Today she bit Prince Charming-- hard-- and pulled the Rabbit's hair-- hard.  This is a difficult adjustment for her and it's sad to see my sweet little Peanut acting so violent.  We're trying, in the midst of all else, to be patient and loving, yet firm. 

Before all this happened,  I had drafts written for several posts that now seem a bit mundane and silly.  But now I am thinking it might be nice to sit and write about something unrelated to this drama we're going through.  

So how about we talk about baby names? 

I love names.  I have been fascinated by names and naming trends for years.  I have picked out names for future children over and over since I was twelve or so. 

The other day at the store there was an employee named Florence.  She was definitely a senior citizen.   As I left the store I thought how funny it was that Florence sounded so dated and old, and yet place names are pretty hip these days.  Place names like Brooklyn and Paris are trendy, but not place names like Florence and Venice.  And I think I kind of like Florence.  

I think it's funny to imagine, decades from now, names like Brooklyn and Paisley and Miley being the grandma names that the young parents choosing names turn up their noses at. 

A hundred years ago, the hottest trend in girls' names were names that ended in the letter S.  So, if you wanted a hip, fresh name, you went with Gladys, Phyllis,  Doris, Agnes, or Frances.  I get such a kick out of imagining a baby shower back then with all the women exclaiming their love of the name Phyllis just like today they would exclaim over a name like, say, Chloe.  Another trend back in those days was jewel names: Pearl, Ruby, Opal.  It's interesting to me that Pearl and Ruby have made a comeback in recent years but not Opal, though not really surprising to me based on my own feel for what is appealing about a name. 

As for the Badger and I, our own grandmas are named Doris, Pearl, Norma, and Edna.  Considering that some "grandma names" are making a comeback (Evelyn, Isabella, Ava, etc.), I think it quite likely that although I am not quite ready to consider our grandmas' names for my kids I will probably end up with at least one granddaughter with one of those names.  I hope it's Edna-- that one has been growing on me.  

While there are a lot of contemporary names I really like, my tastes (and the Badger's) mainly run toward the classic and timeless.  The problem we are having with these twins is that we have already used all the names we love most.  We are both very pleased with the girls' names we have used so far.  And there isn't much left that is mutually agreeable to us. Certainly not two names that both fit with our other daughter's names and also go together in just that magic fashion that makes for a fabulous set of twin names.

Of course, I have loved naming imaginary sets of twins for years and they have always had names that went together just perfectly: coordinating, but not cutesy.  Oh, how I dreamed all those years of being able to pick a perfect set of names for real twins of my own!

I tend to favor alliteration when it comes to twin names.  My friend Sarah hit the nail right on the head, in my opinion,  when she named her twins Maddie and Morgan.  Those are not necessarily names I would pick myself, but I absolutely love the way they go together without sounding the same.  You're not going to get them confused easily because they sound so different,  but the initial M ties them together and they both come from the same style pool. 

If it were entirely up to me, I might name my girls Avery and Amelia.  These names are going to be a little more date-stamped over time than our other girls' names, especially Avery, but I really like both of them and I love the way they sound together. 

However, neither of those names are in the middle of the Venn diagram where my tastes overlap with the Badger's.   We have had many discussions about names this pregnancy-- more than we have for years-- and at the moment we have a working pair of names that we are both reasonably happy with, that are timeless, that honor great women of the past, and that fit with our other daughters' names.  They just don't exactly go together quite as perfectly as I think twin names ought to. 

But the other day I read in a book on twins that if you give the two of them distinct names they will feel like distinct individuals rather than part of a matched set.  I definitely see the wisdom in that, so if we do end up with the names we are talking about right now (which are not set in stone) that will be my consolation. 

But none of the other coordinating combos we've thrown around have been quite right.  Liberty and London: we both like Liberty but the Badger said "no" to London.  He would prefer Elizabeth and Esther but while we are both okay with Elizabeth, I, for some reason I cannot explain, absolutely do not like the name Esther.  My sister suggested Holly and Ivy (remember my December due date) and the Badger likes Holly and I like Ivy, but together they are a little too matchy for my taste.  We talked about Elizabeth and Victoria (a subtle matchy-ness, I think, in America) but neither of us are wild about any of the nicknames for Victoria.  

This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,  to name a set of twins.  It's been a lot of fun to think about and discuss possibilities.  

What about Florence and Venice?   

2 comments:

Melanie said...

Florence and Venice are pretty names, but so many people shorten them along the way that the beauty can be lost.

You could go with names that have the same meaning but different languages or ancestries. A friend of mine named her girls Charris (pronounced with "k" sound) and Kira. They both been grace. Their son is named Gracen.

Welcome back to Utah. I hope employment, living arrangements and family life settle into a new normal for you all soon.

Melissa said...

Elizabeth and Amelia? :)