What’s it a Name? ~ Rewind

I wrote this post early in my blog, so many of you may not have read it yet. I’ve been feeling under the weather here, so I’m I’m going to leave you with a re-post today – I’ll be back tomorrow. Happy Sunday.

I hate my name. I hate my name. I hate my name.

“I liked the meaning.” My mother used to tell me after I had complained for the 1,298th time that I hated my name. Meaning? Like I cared what my name meant when I was 8 and there were 4 other girls in my class named Amy.

Of course, she would threaten me with her alternative choice. “I was thinking about Viola, too”. Apparently there’s a great grandma somewhere named “Viola”.  Which is exactly where it needed to stay, with great-grandma.

Speaking of grandma’s, I can credit my mother’s mother with my middle name. “Ruth”. Ugh. My grandmother’s name was Ruth Gladys and while she is my most favorite grandma in the whole wide world, I hate, hate, hate the name. My mother’s name was Ruth Ann. My name is Amy Ruth. I thought only boys got stuck with family names.

Since becoming a parent myself, I have come to realize naming a child isn’t easy. I’ve named 7 of them.  Family names, favorite names, what a name means. All are factors in naming a child. It doesn’t get easier.

Veronica Leigh was the easiest for me to name. I grew up with Archie comic books. Do you see where this is going? Yes, I named my daughter after the comic book character “Veronica Cooper”.

Gone with the Wind is my all time favorite movie, so Leigh is a nod to Vivian Leigh. I love how the name flows together and I knew she would be unique. She loves her name and I am happy that she does.

Thomas Richard was a bit more difficult ~ my ex-husband went to an all boy’s Catholic high school and every boy name I suggested, he associated with some boy he knew in school. “No, Sam stuffed me in a locker.”, ” No, George gave me wedgies.”,  “No, Jesse stole my homework.”

Thomas was the only name he couldn’t make a connection to. Richard is my brother’s name (also his godfather) so Thomas Richard it was.

I remarried in 2000. Hub and I did one of those freaky husband/wife things that amaze and astonish people. Nathaniel James was picked out of a baby name book. I looked and looked and looked and decided that I really liked the name Nathaniel. I liked that it was unique, I liked that it had a literary reference and I liked that there were so many nicknames to choose from. I really liked that it meant “A gift”.

I never said a word – I just handed the book to Hub. 10 minutes later he announced “Nathan” I like the name Nathan. *shivers* I know. I think I broke into tears, because how perfect was that? Is it even possible to come that close to the same name without tossing ideas around? Only once in a lifetime.

Jacob Harley has nothing to do with the motorcycle company. Hub is a big time corvette aficionado. I had already suggested Jacob. (If I  had know it was paramount to “Amy” in popularity, I may have been swayed otherwise. Hindsight is 20/20.)

So Hub came up with 5 possible middle names. William (my dad’s name) Richard (his dad’s name) Marion (his grandpa’s name) and then there was Harley &  Earl.  Harley Earl is a real person. He is *The Man* who designed the first corvette.

Since Tom’s middle name is Richard, that would’ve been weird. It’s difficult to name children after one relative and not another. So, William & Marion were out. (Wel, Marion was out simply because in my world, it’s not much of a boy’s name.) That left the Harley Earl option. I liked Harley, so it really wasn’t that hard. Oh and Jacob is English for James. Perfect.

But then along came Jonathan. I had always liked the name and when we discovered that it was actually a form of Nathan. We loved it even more. Hub presented me with the same 5, well now down to 4, middle names. I am not fond of Earl. But for the same reasons as before I couldn’t pick any of the other names. So Jonathan Earl it is.

I thought I had Zachary William Dale named when I came up with William (my dad) and Dale (my father-in-law’s middle name). William Dale. I wanted to call him Willie.

But no, Hub had to have his 2 cents worth. Zora Arkus-Duntov was the engine designer of the corvette. So Hub’s contribution was Zora. Really? I don’t think so. Maybe for a girl, but in my world Zora is not a boy’s name, either. So I did some digging. Come to find out the man’s real name was Zachary. Bam! The only way to make it work was to saddle the boy with 3 names.

And then came David Henry Cole. The entire pregnancy the name David kept popping up.  David was a very popular name. But we had no David’s in the family (at least none I knew), I knew no David’s as a child, and Hub seemed to like it.

It was a good strong name.  I also love, love , love the name Henry. I don’t know why, but I  always have. It was just one of those names that was never very well received on previous suggestions. So I knew David Henry was my boy.

But no, Hub had to have his 2 cents worth, again. “But what about a corvette name?” Really? Again? So what do you have this time? Edward Cole was the man he picked, another designer on Team Corvette.

Honestly, I don’t like it one bit. I try to ignore it when filling out paperwork for my David Henry. And when he asks I can tell him “David” means “Beloved”.

Because what a name means is important. Even if we don’t like it, we can learn to appreciate it and the painstaking process behind choosing it.

Do your children’s  names have special meanings? Was it an easy decision or was there much discussion? Let’s talk about it in the comments below!

Categories: Life | Tags: , , , , , , | 10 Comments

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10 thoughts on “What’s it a Name? ~ Rewind

  1. Jennifer

    First of all, I love that picture of you….was that kindergarten with Mrs. Hill or 1st grade with Mrs. Eaton? Secondly, I think througout our years at Washington, half the girls were either named Amy (wasn’t one of them Aimee?) or Jennifer, so I certainly know where you are coming from. It is interesting to hear where names have come from and also interesting to see how names cycle through. Names that may have sounded old-fashioned just a few years ago may now be the more popular choices.

  2. Naming my boys was and wasn’t easy. My oldest was born in Germany and Kevin’s aren’t that common over there. Being the first born he got his father’s first name as a middle name.

    My 12 year old was named after a tv character – Jarod from the pretender. He also carries my friends name Lee as a hypjen add on and my brothers name as his middle name: jarod-lee christian.

    And then there is Lennon who is named after than no other than John Lennon. His middle name Stone oh well that was incorporated cuz of what the era presented (no I’m not a stoner). In hindsight however Petra means rock and so does stone- further it represents strenghts which we have both needed and I suppose still do.

  3. My girl named herself! My lover and I poured over the baby book and disagreed on everything!! We managed to agree on Sarah but I still wasn’t 100%. I had some sort of panic attack when I was about 25 weeks and we went to the hospital to get monitored to make sure everything in that belly was ok. Well I put my hands on my belly and said baby! What is your name? And the name Sadie popped into my head. I hadn’t ever really heard that name much before but I knew it was meant to be. I named her before I even saw her, as soon as she was out and pronounced female Sadie was named. As for middle names, my mom’s name is Anne and my Grandma on my dad’s side was Margaret, my lover’s mom’s name is Margaret and my step mom is Margaret so Sadie Anne Margaret is my daughter’s name. And it’s perfect because her initals are S.A.M.S. and my name is Sam. She is Sams. =)
    [({Amy})] xoox

  4. gianna

    Love the story Amy…I hated my name with a passion as I grew up…but for different reasons than you….mine was because there was nothing I could buy with my name on it….no pens or pencils…no barrets….no room signs…they had every other name but mine….but as I got older I loved that there were not so many people with the name…Hence…then I wanted to name my boys with unusal names…
    My oldest was named after my ex….his name is Edward Richard….Edward was my ex…Richard after my dad….but for a nickname…we call him Eddy….spelled with a” Y” since that is not as common as” ie”….My second son is Angelo Jonathan….again first name not as common and middle name is after my grandpa and my brother……my last son is Colton Ronald….first name not as common and the middle name after my father in law….tradition in my family has always been the middle name after someone who means alot to you…so that is where my boys got their names…and the first names not as common since my name is not that common.

  5. @Sami, I LOVE the name Margaret!

    I hated my name growing up! It’s spelled Steffani, and sounds like Stephanie. do you know how many Stephanies are out there?! Even in my ‘close’ group of friends now, there are FOUR STEPHANIES. Three too many if you ask me.

    I also loathed the fact that ALL teachers would start out calling me Stefani, like Gwen Stefani. It was always so embarrassing to correct them and I was always laughed at.

    Now, I absolutely love my name and love that it’s spelled differently. I realize that because I was always sticking up for myself I am now a strong woman!

  6. I love that you put so much thought into each and every name

  7. dysfunctionalsupermom

    I love this post…I’ve named all of my children with just as much thought into the history and meaning. I’m a big believer in legacy and think that a name holds a lot of weight for a person.

    I’m with you, regarding my own name. I hate that “Brandi” is always associated with some snide, undermining sorority girl or stripper. Ugh. We rarely see the “Brandi’s” of the world portrayed as intelligent, kind, loving human beings. *sigh* Some day. LOL!

  8. The woman across the street from me is named Zora, so I think that really is a girl’s name. My grandfather’s name was Chelsea, which is a little like your Marion. We still used it as a second name for my second son and my grandfather, who only died recently, was so extremely touched. He said, “Now why’d you go and do a thing like that?” but then he got emotional.

  9. It is so cool that there is a story for each of your children’s names. My hubby, Dave, is my “beloved” so of course I’m partial to that one. Our oldest daughter is Amy Sue, but since she came pre-named (not ours by birth) we didn’t get any say – but I love the Amy part.

    Mitchell Scott got his name because I had never known anyone named Mitch and I thought it was so masculine and refined. Never entered my mind that schoolmates would make un-kind rhymes with Mitch. Do they not know the real meaning of that word?

    Amanda Christine got her name because Amanda is the ONLY name her father would agree too – after Amanda Blake on Gunsmoke and the song “Amanda” by Waylon Jennings. I told myself that the similarity between Amy and Amanda was cool, so I like it now. Christine is my grandmother’s middle name and I’ve always loved it.

  10. idiosyncraticeye

    Names! They can be a curse and a blessing, sometimes at the same time. It’s a shame that we don’t have the same emphasis on meaning anymore in the Western culture too. 🙂

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