As time inches closer to summer and the kicks in my belly become more forceful, there is no denying that another little one will be making her entrance sooner rather than later. Since I am well into the sixth month of pregnancy, I’m often asked if we have a name picked out. The answer is no. We have our list narrowed down and we approach the topic about once a week or so, but we’re not ready to make the choice just yet, and we may not be for awhile.
I find the whole baby naming process absolutely fascinating. And I know that I am not the only one. For example, I first read Freakonomics back in 2005 and enjoyed the unique approach to explaining the science of economics beyond financial numbers. The authors, Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, also wrote an article in 2005 for Slate titled Trading Up: Where Do Baby Names Come From?, which highlights the soci0-economic impact of names and how names migrate through the population. Because children were the furtherest thing from our minds back then (you know, the days when sleep wasn’t viewed as a commodity), I never bothered to read the article until the summer of 2009, when I was first pregnant. And boy, were my eyes opened to a whole new world (sans magic carpet).
Unlike some of our family and friends, Clay and I never discussed baby names until we were well aware of the existence of our spawn. I didn’t grow up with names already picked out (although I did fancy Ryan for a girl) so the process was a bit overwhelming the first time around. I was introduced to the world of Nameberry and the Social Security Administration’s rankings of name popularity and I became aware of entire communities devoted to baby names. Obviously, we chose the name Weston for our little boy. His name simply means ‘into the west’. And since the west has a historical connotation of opportunity, we found it fitting to give our son a name literally filled with opportunity. Weston met our requirements of not being too popular and not being so unique that it causes people (and future employers) to side-eye the choice. When it came time to decide on a middle name, there was no doubt that we wanted to use a name rife with family significance, so it was an easy choice. For us, it is extremely important for the middle name of our children to be more than just a name we happen to like, we want it to be part of their history.
So in short, only time will tell the name of our little girl.
What about you? Did you have your names picked out long before you had children or did you decide last minute? Did you research name meanings or just choose a name simply because you liked it?