Saturday, 14 June 2008

What's in a name?

Lydia has copy of The Best Comprehensive Baby Name Book in the World (or whatever its called) and it's already well thumbed. "It gives me something to read during my lying down time" she said as she called me yesterday. From her supine position on her bed. "How many names have you got?" she asked me as I heard her flipping through pages and muttering something. I am a Joanna Constance Wealthy - first second name from my mum and my second second name from her mother. David has four - David James William Stanley. Mac is a Mackenzie James while Matt is Matthew James William. Lydia (Lydia Elizabeth Jayne to give her her full title) is in a quandry over names for The Bump. "It's going to have a double barrelled surname - Mitchell-Johnson - so I'm not sure whether to go long or short or one or two or more" she mused. She reverted to her maiden name during her first visit to her solicitor to discuss the divorce.

Some people think that it's pretentious to give their children more than one name. Some people think that to give them a name that can be shortened is "common". One of Mac's friends is called Joe and, when I asked his mother if he was really a Joseph, she gave me A Look. "His name is Joe, just Joe" she said, giving me the impression that I'd committed a cardinal sin.

Scarlett James Cassia Grace was born to Jane Elizabeth Mary Katherine Anne (Janey) and Darren. Just Darren. Auntie Ivy (Ivy Wealthy) believes that just having one name shows a lack of imagination. Uncle Jim, if Janey were a boy, wanted to name his child after the England football team. For the record, Jim is James Richard Albert Ian.

My sister Beatrice Matilda is married to Stephen Phillip Arthur Michael and are parents to Caitlin Matilda Regina and Ian Phillip Arthur. As their surname is St-John Sykes it's perhaps understandable that they spent ages in the vestry signing the register at their wedding. Bea almost divorced him immediately when she realised that his initials spelt "spam".

Lydia has a short list: Emma, Romy, Jessica, Fleur, Rebecca or Catriona for a girl and Jack, Daniel, Roman, Harvey or Andrew for a boy. "Or a mix of all of them" she adds, telling me that she wants a "strong" name. When I was telling David this morning, little ears were listening. Mac demanded that I ring Lyds (as he calls her) and suggest Hulk.

I think it has a ring to it, don't you?

7 comments:

Working mum said...

Try being a teacher and picking your child's name! Every name reminds you of a child you've taught that you'd rather forget. We eventually came up with a name that I had never taught only to teach an annoying one the following year. Can't win!

Merry said...

Naming him Jack Daniel would make him very popular -- at least in Tennessee:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Daniel's

Crystal Jigsaw said...

I have two plain and simple names! I don't think people use middle/second names that much anyway.

CJ xx

Je ne regrette rien said...

here in the states, more than 2 names is considered hifalutin'. But I do like the idea of a legacy associated with names. I'm not big on the whole invent your own name. or taking bits and pieces of mom and dad's name to form some unrecognizable moniker. but what do I know? my name means 'forest clearing' so obviously not a lot of thought went into it ... unless that is some legacy related to my conception ... hmmmm....

Mya said...

Hulk is fab. I love it. If it's a girl it could be Hulkina or Hulketta.

Mya x

Millennium Housewife said...

Nunhead! My mum's friend called her son Anthony in the safe belief that he wouldn't incurr some weird nic name and simply be Tony. She turned up to his sports day to hear the whole school chanting 'Ant! Ant'the best laid plans... MH

Kelly said...

2 middle names is de rigeur these dyas darling...all the best mums (by which I mean me) say so....Cecily Jean Olivia a case in point. Her mummy is Kelly Joanne and daddy Stephen James. We had to be very careful to avoid names that begin with P as the combo of first initial and surname would come scarily close to the word for male genitalia....

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I'm a mum of one, wife of one and owner to several dogs, a variety of breeds and sizes. I live in the up and coming area (or so they say) of Nunhead and have mad neighbours, strange friends and certifiable relatives. I shop locally, although I do defect to Sainsburys once a week - shoot me now local shopkeepers.