With all of the hoopla around Kim Kardashian and Kanye’s choice in naming their daughter, North West, and now the swirling opinions around the recently released Royal baby’s name (George Alexander Louis, for those that missed the announcement), us YUMs couldn’t help but recall the drama surrounding our own baby naming processes.
It dawned upon me around the fifth month of pregnancy with my daughter. I had some more common names, such as Sabrina, in mind up until that point. However, while in conversation with a friend about some other people who had come up with their children’s names by combining their own names (yes, I was gossiping!), I jokingly started combining my name with my daughter’s father’s name (Bryan), just for the heck of it. Well, one combination stuck out. Briari (prononunced Bree- are – ee). I was the only one that liked it…at first. However, it eventually grew on the family. Over the past decade I have gotten countless accolades on such an unusual name from the pediatrician’s office receptionist to school staff, – and it seems to suit Bri, as she is affectionately called, just fine. The middle name was a no-brainer – Michelina, after my beloved grandmother who had yet to have a namesake.
Fast forward seven years later and naming my soon to be born son was quite an undertaking. My husband and I had quite a few prerequisites – we wanted a name rooted in Latin but pronounceable for non-Spanish or Italian speakers, and it needed to be a little out of the ordinary in order to blend well with big sister Briari’s name. My husband wanted a name that began with the letter “A” to match the initial of our last name – I thought that this was a bit trivial but I was willing to entertain the notion. We knew that the middle name was going to be Corrado, after my father, particularly since my father had longed for a boy in the family since he was blessed with my feminine presence. Several names were kicked around: Alejandro, Alexander, Evan, Maxwell, Enzo…but none of them felt quite right.
Two days before I gave birth, my husband sent me an e-mail with the name “Alonso” in the subject line. Well, it fit the criteria, and I looked it up and saw that it had multiple meanings:
1) “prompt” – well, this had significance because anyone that knows me is aware that I am very far from prompt. My lateness actually annoys my husband to no end!
2)”ready for battle” – throughout my pregnancy, I was definitely ready for battle. In fact, everyone in my inner circle knew to stay out of my way!
3) “noble” – well, that’s a great quality to have. Who wouldn’t want their kid to be noble?
So, the name checked out in meaning, but we figured that we would wait until we laid eyes upon our bundle of joy before making the final decision. Once he made his grand entrance into the world and peered up at us, we knew that we had our little Alonso. A lot of friends and family members were shocked, as they weren’t even aware that the name was a consideration. However, they got accustomed to it and two years later he goes by the nickname that his big sister coined for him: “Meepo” (don’t ask how that came about).
Since before I had my daughter, I’d always thought my firstborn was going to be a girl. “Don’t you want the boy first?” friends would ask, as only young teenage girls dreaming of like 10 to 15 years from then. “No, not really,” I replied, with the certainty that it would be a beautiful girl first.
Because of that, I had names like Venus and Desiree picked out. I don’t remember what was my exact reasoning for it, just that these sounded powerful enough.
Fast forward a few years later, much to my surprise, and I’m told we’re having that beautiful girl after all. It was then I noticed those names just didn’t fit. Although I hadn’t met my little girl, those names that once sounded so powerful just didn’t feel right.
So we did what most parents do and went straight to family sources for inspiration, and even the way-too-popular name books, to start our search.
What’s a powerful, unique name with Latin roots that family won’t mess up? Believe me, that was our true test: whether our parents could properly pronounce our child’s name. Otherwise, we’ll end up with random nicknames and variation of her name that’ll be another battle altogether. Just take her father’s first name suggestion—Mahogany, which his mother could barely utter. That was definitely crossed off the list.
After days of searching l, we came across “Liana” in one our handful of name books. It meant to climb and youth in some origins, which when you meet our daughter now, suits her too perfectly.
Only thing was, the way the name was spelled alone felt too simple and lacking the pizzaz I knew our little one possessed. I then started experimenting and added a “y” so she could write it beautifully when signing it in script, and another “n” to add more oomph to the ending.
It looked and sounded perfect. Her father loved it, our family did as well, and so it was decided this will be her name. When she was born, her face and energy just felt right with the name.
Now, almost twelve years later, we’re face with the daunting name task again for our son. If only naming our him would be so easy. We’re in the third trimester and still circling names. I’m thinking this is how Kim and Kanye must have felt, and seeing as how their North arrived early, doesn’t help in the thinking process.
For us, there have been a few top name choices that feel like him, but I don’t know. I think like Kimye we’re going to have to meet him to really see. Maybe we can compliment baby North by adding another cardinal sign to the mix—West has a nice ring to it, no?
Bottom line here: back off! At the end of the day, the parents are the only ones that have to approve of the name that they picked for their little one.
Please share your baby names and how you selected them in the comments below!