Friday, July 3, 2009

What is in a name?

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet."

Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2)

If my grandmother had her say, she'd reply that any name other than Rose would smell sweeter. But, she is an angry and bitter lady who harbors resentment and grudges for 70 years. I already digress.

Names are of course on my mind lately, as I am entering my 36th week of pregnancy and as of yet, hubby and I have not settled on a name for our second daughter. While Cookie (#1) thinks Jelly Bean is perfect for her new sister, I am not sure that I can agree. (other than how I refer to her on here)

Names are important. They define us, follow us throughout childhood, and amazingly mold our personality. When naming Cookie, we also struggled with names. First, with a name like Ginger, growing up was fraught with name calling and mocking. "Gingivitis, Where's the Skipper?, and Ginger Ale" rang in my ears. I hated my name. Loathed it really. I was jealous of my sister who had a simple every day name. There was even an incident where I accused my mom of hating me for choosing such a cruel and weird name. I love my name now, but as a kid, it was torture. So picking an ordinary name was important, but not too ordinary, like the Jennifers and Scotts of my generation.

Second, I don't know about anyone else, but when growing up and imagining the names you would give your kids, you never factor in a spouse. So while I loved the name Natalie (name of one of my cabbage patch kids), my husband was not so keen on it. And round and round we went. Not to mention the many different opinions people gave on names we had on our list. A not so sensitive family friend made fun of one of the names I loved. Thus, in the throws of labor I named our daughter, picking the name my husband favored more.

Thirdly, in my previous life, before children, I taught middle school history. Associating names with previous students is just one detriment of teaching. I can't help but have negative and positive feelings in regards to certain names. I could write a whole other entry on certain names and the type of person who possess this or that name. Some names will actually make me wince. Therefore, agreeing on a name with hubby has been doubly difficult.

So, here we are with more or less 4 weeks to go and again we have not settled on a name. Family and friends keep pressing for at least a short list, but after my experience with Cookie, I have refused to even give a list of names. But there is one name my husband mentioned in kind of a jest, it is a little quirky, I like it, but if we choose it, have I relegated my daughter to the same kind of ridicule and tears I endured? Do I go with the safe bet? I think we will once again, wait until I am in massive amount of pain to name #2. So for now, #2 is just that, #2.


  1. Hi Ginger, I am looking forward to your posts!! I agree in not sharing the short list. I can't wait to find out what you guys picked!! I remember calling Amy "Amy -Lamey" and Aim toothpaste. A name is important!! Thank God my mom stepped in and told dad my name could not be Mary Jane Roache!! I of course got stuck with being one of the many Jennifers in our generations but it is better that than what dad suggested!! Your dad still calls me the Roach or Cockroach!! Like you said so well, names are forever. Love Jen

  2. Amy was almost Dicea, until my Dad said he'd call her little craps:) Yeah names stick with us, as you know.