What’s in a Name Anyway?

I read this article recently and cursed at the thought of nine screaming girls running towards me when I call out my daughter’s name in a park in my future: http://www.nova1069.com.au/best-web/most-popular-baby-girl-name-2016-so-far

When my husband and I have chosen baby names in the past, we have always clashed. He liked Daniel and Mark, I liked Mason and Harrison. His names were boring and for those who lacked imagination or wanted to just go with whatever they could find in the bible. My names here “hippy and new-age wankerish”. Our firstborn son was known as “Baby [surname]” in hospital until day three when we settled on Samuel. Our middle child only worked out because I wanted to use the name Charlie for a girl and hubs hated it as a girl’s name. We had a boy so I let him have the win, knowing I’d never get the chance to use it on a girl. I took what small win I could get at the time and although I love his name, I’m not overly keen on the popularity the name has on a boy. Our third child was named Eleanor in hospital. I played with the name, gazing down at her tiny little face, calling her “Ellie” and “Ella”, imagining an older girl with that name, a mother, then a grandmother. She was beautiful and so tiny being four weeks premature, weighing in at a dainty 2.406kg, she was just heavenly… and then our boys came to visit.

“EW! That’s VOMIT! I HATE the name Eleanor!” Charlie spat when I introduced them.

“I don’t care what you name her, I’m going to call her Olivia.” That’s Samuel, the rational one. Well, normally he is. At that time, he decided that the name he and his brother chose for their baby sister was the ONLY option, and no amount of ice cream or Pokemon cards could convince him otherwise.

At the time, hubs agreed that he also liked the name Olivia, and it was I who considered it to be too popular and not really to my liking. Not new-age wankerish enough. But he liked it, the boys wouldn’t consider anything else, and I’d just had a baby so I was messed up with all those hormones that make you cry over bedding commercials that show people sleeping peacefully… and they broke me. I gave in. Eleanor became Olivia and I convinced myself it was sweet the way the boys had taken such an interest in their new baby sister’s name.

You think it’s all a happy ending now, right? Wrong.

Five days later we arrived home. An uncle visited and my mother-in-law introduced him to her new grandchild. She beamed with pride and her face lit up with the biggest smile as she declared her name was “Lybia”.

“Aaaaah Lydia!” the uncle said.

I chimed in, determined to put a stop to this instantly, “It’s Olivia… like Olives.”


“No, O – liv – ee – ah”, I took a deep breath and waited…

“Lybia”, the mother-in-law nodded in agreement. They all smiled. I did not.

I expected that she would get it one day, but I was most definitely wrong. Now my daughter is almost two, I still call her Eleanor in secret, imagining a daughter who didn’t remind me of a country on the Mediterranean Sea. My mother-in-law calls out “Where’s Lybia?” and I respond “between Egypt and Algeria”. It keeps me sane.

Maybe one day I’ll have a Cameroon of my own too.


3 thoughts on “What’s in a Name Anyway?

  1. Lol 😊 I feel your pain, as my husband and I had a lot of trouble agreeing on a name for our children as well (hey, we couldn’t even agree on a last name, so I wasn’t too surprised). Our boy we named Nickolas, which I took as a loss, because I wanted Liam or Dominic, and he wanted a name that reflected his Russian heritage and wasn’t ‘gay’. Ahem. Our daughter we eventually agreed on Alani – he wanted Madeleine, which I despised as being too prissy, and I wanted Jade or Cinnamon which didn’t wash with him. But…now that there are more years between their birth, I am happy with our choices…except I really like Dom as a name 😊

    Liked by 1 person

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