Mum 2 Mum: What’s In A Name?

We seem to have come to a screaming halt with the whole dreaming up names for our new baby game. It appears it is going to be somewhat difficult to come to any form of agreement this time around!Β  Dad 101 seems to prefer very popular names, the type that have made the Top 10 of the Top 100 baby name lists…for the past 10 years! Which surprises me, given that he was once in a class of seven children with the same name as his!! On the other hand, I seem to be showing a tendency towards more classic names, which I know are coming back into favour but I don’t expect to see them in top 10 any time soon.

How did you choose your child/ren’s names? Were they family names? Popular names? Names starting with a particular letter? Unusual or classic names?

What are your favourite baby names?

And how did you come to agree with your partner? Who got the final say???


What is Mum 2 Mum? Mum 2 Mum is a place where as online friends we can share a little of our own experiences, so why not pop in for a cuppa and join the conversation.

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  1. We had a long list of requirements when it came to choosing our child’s name. It had to be short to balance out the length of our last name; it had to sound good in both English and Russian; it had to be simple to spell in both languages; and we didn’t want any “celebrity” names. Once we found out that we were expecting a boy, we settled on Mark. It fulfilled all the above requirements and it was my grandfather’s name. What we didn’t fail to take into account was a possibility that our son would struggle with “r” sound πŸ™‚ But I think he’ll be just fine. After all, he can always use his middle name.

  2. We came up with our first’s name Ellie Rose before we were even engaged….years before I was pregnant. We had a boy and a girl name picked out that we loved and flowed…my husband was concerned bec we have a often mispronounced and long last name. It had a double L in the middle to honor my mom who had passed but not in an overly obvious way. It had a floral middle name like many female relatives on both sides:) When we were pregnant we talked about other names but still loved it. When our delivery surprise arrived 7 weeks early in a c section my husband went with her to the nicu and all I could think was- will he say her name to her? It felt right to me right then as I wanted her to have my mother’s strength given her tiny 3 lb 5 oz state!

    Flash forward 2 years later and pregnant with my second. The boy name we had picked I was uncomfortable reusing. The main reason was that we had a vanishing twin the first time and after Ellie was born I had a dream where we had a boy and a girl, so for myself, I refer to that angel baby as Jakob Riley, as he would have been named. We decided to find out what we were having this time around and weren’t seriously trying to find a name yet when the name Jackson popped in my head. It had a K in the middle for a great grandpa and I liked the way Ellie and Jack sounded together, which was my main factor. We got caught up trying to find a middle name as meaningful as our daughter’s. Especially after we found out he was a boy and we couldn’t just use a floral name:/. He didn’t get a middle name until a few days before he was born. I had a dream with my great aunt in it. I took that as a sign to go with Miles(which was on our short list) and we didn’t fully agree on it until the day after he was born….

  3. With our first child, we quickly came up with a boy name which was Tristan Warren. We liked Tristan and Warren was hubby’s dad’s name. Wasn’t that easy with the girl. 7 months of exchanging girl names back and forth, we finally landed on Chloe Elise. My husband loved Elise but I wasn’t so keen on it but let him have it for the middle and I got the final say on the next kids middle if not a boy. Chloe we both just liked so it stayed. Our second the boy name stayed and we played with girl names for 8 months, we finally came to an agreement of Audrey, though neither of us were completely happy. Then I was talking to a girl I worked with named Shelby, and it stuck so I ran it by hubs and he loved it too! We had trouble with the middle but I got the final say and chose Regina, after my grandmother that I never met but heard she was wonderful. My dad was very happy with it.

  4. We had some odd requirements, the name needed to work in English and Japanese. In Japanese the numbers of strokes that make up a name in kanji is also important so we had a name we liked but then we had to find kanji that worked both with stroke number and that made sense put together (there are 2 kanji in his first name). We had a boys name that we both liked but no girls name, he hated the ones I liked and vice versa. We didn’t know the sex of the baby until he was born and I think he would have ended up with the same name if he had been a girl!

  5. Jo @Countrylifeexperiment says:

    As a high school teacher, my main requirements were choosing names that didn’t remind me of naughty children. I also wanted something that people would be able to read and pronounce easily (another teacher trait). Country Boy didn’t want anything too popular.
    We chose Hannah because I had never taught a Hannah, but it turns out there was a boom of Hannah’s that year. We chose Meghann (pronounced Meg-an not Mee-gin) but should have known better because she has to tell everyone how to pronounce it.
    Toby so far fits all our criteria… 3rd time lucky??

  6. Margaret Elvis says:

    I wrote down a list of perhaps half a dozen names (female and male) and eventually a couple of names seemed to come to the top of the list each time. I tend to like ordinary names rather than some of these so-called modern names as they do stand the test of time: girl’s names such as Susan (which shortened as Sue is still nice) and Catherine, Emma, Grace, Anne, Faith, Molly, Alice and Jean come to mind. There are so many males names that are just good: John, Peter, David, William etc with more modern ones being Lachlan, Conner, Ryan and Oscar all of which I like.

  7. Our boy’s name is a pretty common one these days (Gavin), but we went with it anyway. I loved the name and had never met anyone with the name. I refuse to name my child the same name as anyone I’ve known because there are things associated with it and I don’t want to be “naming him after” anyone. My partner isn’t the biological father of our son, even though we were together during the last half of my pregnancy and on, so he didn’t try to put much say into the first name. Although, he probably would have if he had hated my choice. And the middle name (Javier, but pronounced in english, not spanish) was something he came up with and we agreed on. As for future children… it may be more difficult!

  8. We had a set of “rules” which we chose our babies names from. which worked well for the first 3, but became challenging by the 11th!
    The names had to be uncommon, not use the same initial as another child, and not family names. Middle names just had to flow with the first name and could start with any letter.
    So we have Lorinda Grace, Ingrid Halina, Ethan John, Jacqueline D’Arcy, Pipa Jaz, Ashton Connor, Dart Monet, Colt Francis, Karys Blaize, Taffetta Rose and Gretel Faith.
    The first 4 names, ended up having a family name, mostly without realizing. πŸ™‚
    And some of the names have become very popular, after we used them, but tthat’s ok, as they aren’t common in their peer groups.

  9. I wrote a post with the very title… What’s in a Name? – about how we chose the names of our three children.’s-in-a-name?

    Naming kids really is a huge decision.

    Cute picture, by the way.

  10. Clearly this baby is yours and you’ll decide on a name, but since you asked. I wouldn’t opt for a top 10 name.
    My childrens names are Olivia, Thomas and Zander.
    Olivia and Thomas are already known with a letter on the end. e.g. OliviaF.
    Third time round I thought bugger this, I want something a little different. We went with Zander, to my mum’s horror. She believed he should have been called, Jack or Harry or something to the like. But she’s used to it now.
    I love my children’s names, but if I had my time again, I’d go with the other names we liked that were a little more uncommon.

  11. For the last 10 years or so I have always known what I would call my first daughter and the man I would end up with would just have to accept it! Lucky for me my partner loved the name, Molly. I had a great aunt named Molly (short for Mary) and I adored her. It’s also such a classic name and suits every lifestage from baby, to little girl, to teenager, to adult, to Mum and to Nanna. When we found out we were having a girl we decided we wanted to give her a middle name that started with J, so when she’s older she could have the nickname MJ if she chose. We picked Jean because my partner’s favourite aunt is Jean and I had a great aunt Jean also. When I was in labour my partner decided he would like to hyphenate her name and I was all for it. I’m so glad we did because the name Molly seems to have made a comeback, least this way if there are other Molly’s in her class she’ll stand out πŸ™‚

  12. We are up to the 4th time choosing and are really stuck! We don’t know if this one is a boy or girl which means we still have to cover all bases! I’ve found the babynamewizard book (and website) useful as it groups ‘like’ names together, so you can look up sisters or brothers which can lead to more ideas. I feel like I have read all the baby name books 100 times and the names just wash over after a while. Our children’s names all begin with a vowel, have 5 letters, have different endings and no letters that fall ‘below the line’ – so funnily that has become our criteria, however, I think we’ll have to move away from that for this one! In the past we have come up with our own list (top 5 for example) and then worked on the name from there.

  13. We have two young children, and wanted to do some sort of family name, but still wanted it to be unique. My father and my husband’s father both had the same name so we used that as our son’s middle name, but spelled it differently. Our daughter’s name was influenced by both our mom’s names. Her fist name is my mom’s favorite name that hold special significance for her (and it was one of our favorite names as well), and our daughter’s middle name is the same as my husband’s mom’s middle name, though again, we spelled it differently. It took pretty much the entire 9 months to come to the decisions, and to both agree and feel good about them! Whenever we end up having a third child, I’m sure it’ll be a little trickier…we will see!

  14. We kept the sex of our first boy a surprise, so had James and Lara in mind. My partner’s name is John and his surname starts with a J, so we liked the idea of another JJ. We found out that our 2nd was to be a boy beforehand, and chose Luke. So we have 2 boys with classic names, and a lot of people assume that we’re religious (which we’re not)!

    It was important to me to choose names that were nice and short, easy to say, and easy for others to spell after hearing them once. It’s always been a pain for me having to spell out my surname every single time.

    I also wanted to make sure they had nice middle names, as my siblings and I never got them! I think my parents thought it would be easier for us, as we had such a long surname.

    So we have James Matthew (2nd name after my brother), and Luke Samuel. We’re both very happy with those choices, and our parents were pleasantly surprised that there were no kooky ones in there!

    Will be interested to know what you decide on, good luck!

  15. Amanda Eastment says:

    We are absolutely stuck if this bubba is a girl : /

  16. I didn’t find out the sex of either of my babies before hand, so we had to be prepared either way. My maternal grandmother passed away the year before my daughter was born, and I wanted to use a name that honored her, but I thought her name (Kathleen) was a bit “dated” (no offence to any Kathleens out there!) so I chose the Gaelic variation Cailin. I LOVE this name, and only know one other Cailin. Unfortunately she’ll probably spend the rest of her life saying “It’s LIKE Caitlin, but without the ‘t’ “. While I was pregnant I toyed with the idea of having a cute/weird middle name, and I really liked Berry, but my husband was having none of it! When she was born it was just so obvious that she was a Cailin and my paternal grandmothers middle name (Mae) just popped into my head and fit perfectly!
    Second time around and we still had the same boy name that we’d picked, but had a lot of trouble agreeing on a girls name. I like modern variations of traditional names like Abby, Molly, Anna. Anyway, it was a boy so he was named after my husbands dad (Will for William) and my dad (James), again traditional but not dated.

  17. I should add that my husbands biggest criteria was that our children had names that he wouldn’t be embarrassed to yell out in public. I remember being at the zoo and seeing two different mothers calling out to their daughters “Asia” and “India”. Everyone around had a bit of a giggle πŸ™‚

    1. Giggling at ‘Asia” and ‘India?’ Really? They have been pretty common for many years now, I think they are lovely. As is Ireland.

      Incidentally, did you know, ‘Asia’ often stands for “A Scottish Irish Australian!” I think that is super sweet. Of course it also means “Asia!” Also beautiful!

  18. I wanted my baby’s name to be short and strong. A bit uncommon, but not odd. Being Brazilian, I wanted it to be easily spelled in Portuguese, but also easily pronounced in other languages – I wish she’ll like to travel all around!

    It was easy to decide on Clara in the beginning of the pregnancy, but the moment she was born, I realized it was not her name. After told my hubby that, in the delivery room, he held her in his arms and said: “If you don’t want to be called Clara, cry right now.” She was very quiet but she immediately started to cry! She didn’t have a name for a couple of days until we chose ‘Laila’ which suits her perfectly – and all our requirements.

  19. Lucy Moore says:

    We both decided we wanted strong, old names so after watching Dr Who decided on Harriet Rose, added a 2nd middle name, Emily, so that the initials wouldn’t be HRM! We get lots of comments on what a nice name it is. We had a second girls name chosen; Nyssa Grace but thought we’d use that next time, although there’s not going to be a next time now! We had a much harder time coming up with boys names, I had banned names starting with B, my husband banned J and I work with kids with disabilities so a few we both liked I just couldn’t disassociate from kids I knew. We ended up with 3 names short listed, Xavier ( pronounced ex-avier) Darwin & Rohan. We ended up with Xavier Darwin, sometime I wish we had gone with Darwin, I was worried it was a bit pretentious.

  20. We had a VERY short list of names. Both times we had boys names (lucky, as we had two boys) from very early on. Oscar was suggested by my partner and I agreed instantly. Hugo was suggested by me and he agreed instantly. We had nothing else! We thought the two names went well together and apparently they both originate in Old English. Both boys have family middle names but I have to admit, I chose Hugo after a lovely little French boy I had in my final prac class.

    Good luck! The name game is a tough game but I think it sounds like you are on the right path – I love classic names.

    1. LOve love these names for boys. Wish I had thought of them! Also love Oliver & Hamish.

  21. We had no real criteria other than….is it a name they will like when they grow up. πŸ™‚
    We went with Eli James. Eli has become very popular but most are Elijah, Eli for short. James for an uncle who has past. For our daughter Elsa Marie. I don’t think Elsa will ever be too common but it’s such a sweet name and fits her perfectly. Elsa was also my grandmothers name.
    Other names we considered but x’d were Leo Blaze and Lucia Raine.

  22. I was filling out a family tree in a wedding book in 1997 after John and I’s engagement. When I wrote his late grandmother’s maiden name “Dawson”, I got goosebumps. I KNEW that would be our son’s name. I knew it with all my heart.We were surprised with gender each time so my shower cakes always had a girl name and Dawson. In 2004, we welcomed Maya. In 2005, we welcomed Ava. In 2006, I expected to welcome Lia…but it was DAWSON! The son I always dreamed of and had named 9 years prior, was finally in my arms. Goosebumps again.

  23. We are quite methodical! We both made lists of boy names & girl names that we liked, traded lists, crossed off all the names we didn’t like & then merged lists. From there I chose the few names that I liked well enough for a first name & my husband picked the one he liked best. Then we just experimented to see what would work well as a middle name.

    Good luck with your baby-naming & congratulations, Christie!

  24. When I was in about 2nd grade long, long ago (seriously over 50 years ago!), my best friends and I would sit on the playground (I can still see us there) and plan our lives-what we wanted to do, where we would live, and we named our children. I picked 3 names, 2 boys and 2 girls. I wanted 2 boys and 1 girl, but I thought I needed a spare. As it turns out, I married a man with 3 children (2 boys and a girl!) and we chose not to add to an already over-crowded world. So, my names went unused. I still love them, and I’ve offered them to all of the kids through the years-6 grandkids and not one taker!) and various friends and acquaintances. I’ve adamantly refused to use them on our dogs or cats, so they are still pristine and wonderful. One of these days, someone will love them too. πŸ˜‰

    1. Rachel O. says:

      Wren – Please do share? I’m so curious!

      1. The boys were Mark Andrew and Matthew David. The girls were Laura Elizabeth (Little House on the Prairie fan even way back then!) and Victoria Rose, to be called Torie. I waffled between Victoria and Rebecca, but Torie always won out over Becky.

        1. My cousin’s name is Laura Elizabeth! Beautiful name.

  25. Rachel O. says:

    My husband and I have found name choosing very challenging as well. We’re a trilingual family, so the name has to work in English, Spanish, and Arabic. He doesn’t like wierd names, I don’t like normal names. Thankfully, we both agreed to use our parents’ classic-style names for second names.

    For our firstborn girl we loved the name Noli, but our last name ends with the same sound, so on a hunch we looked it up in case it was actually the nickname to something. The full version turned out to be Magnolia. My husband vetoed that name, so instead we made up a full name ourselves and went with Nolene Joyce.

    Our next was a boy, and we went with Jonas Charles. Just as I had heard the name Noli from the musical “Showboat,” I was inspired by the main character of the book “The Giver” for my son’s name.

    Our third, another girl, we went with Lucia Elizabeth. Again, loosely inspired by Lucy in “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.” And again, we used a parent’s name for the second name (though we had to stretch a little, my MIL’s name is simply Betty, but we used the traditional full version).

    We’re wanting to have one to two more, but we have no names really lined up. Hope we manage to come up with something in time… πŸ™‚

  26. 1st child- The name sake (as goes with the family tradition on my side) since she was a girl she got my mother’s middle and my grandmothers middle Roxanna Jane

    2nd child- I allowed my mother and DH collectively to come up with names- My mother picked Anastasia Maria and DH picked Jaimie – So Anastasia Jaimie Maria it was)

    3rd child- the grandfathers got the pick. My father picked Stevie Rae DH’s dad picked Ruby (oddly enough the child came baring ruby red hair and couldn’t have been a better fit for the name- So Stevie Rae Ruby it was)

    4th was another namesake tradition- We always knew his name because DH had it picked from the moment we first found out we were pregnant the first time- Got the two paternal uncles names combined Dallas James –

    I am extremely happy with the names that were chosen, and they have actually fit the children’s personalities to a T- Roxy is a fireball and very outspoken, Ana is very girly and princess like, Stevie is a rockstar through and through and Dallas is rough and tumble but such a sweet softie.
    Letting others pick took the stress from me on guessing and when I hear the right one I just KNEW it was right.

  27. We decided on a boys name, Cooper William, really early in my pregnancy. Cooper we just liked and William was always one of my favourite names, plus was my grandad’s middle name. For a girl it took a lot longer (and I was actually convinced I was having a boy). I loved Kaitlyn Rose, with the nickname cat, but my hubby did not like it. Then we thought Mahala Rose. Mahala was my Nanna’s middle name. I still love that name, but every person I told the name to asked me to repeat it and thought I said Mahalia! I couldn’t give my child a life of repeating and spelling her name, so Mahala was demoted to middle name and we had to try and find a new first name. We spent aged on it and finally came up with Emily. We laughed to realise we had chosen the number one name for the year, thinking we were being so original!!

  28. Well here’s our little hippy naming story….

    We tried for 8 years with tons of help to have babies before the name we had chosen long ago could finally be used, ‘Georgia Poppy’. We always loved it from before we were married. We honeymooned in USA so also liked Georgia for that reason & loved the idea of flower middle names. We weren’t sure we would ever have any other babies.

    Georgia Poppy was 3 months old [yes 3 months] when Charlotte Daisy was conceived and the names seemed to flow nicely together. I really REALLY, and still to this day love Scarlett but we decided on Charlotte because of the USA reference.

    Two little flowers in our garden.

    Georgia Poppy was 2.5 & Charlotte 1.5 when twins Amelia Bluebell & Chelsea Blossom were born. We couldn’t NOT follow suit with the floral middle names & there are towns in the USA called Amelia & Chelsea too.

    Pregnant again, 5 children in 5 years it’ll be….
    If its a girl, I love Lola Primrose.
    But finally we have a boy…..
    Hmmm, what to do? Follow our made up little naming convention?
    Well my husband is a obsessive trainspotter and he tells me there is a type of railcar called ‘Bud!’
    That’s all I needed to hear and we called our boy Lachlan Bud. So it kinda fits in the floral theme also – although we will tell him he’s named after a train!!
    So there you go.

    Now my daughters & I collect dolls and we name them all. Naming humans, dolls & animals is one of my most fave things. Our cats before children were Jemima & Phoebe, both of which I wanted to use for our children but husband said we couldn’t name our kids after cats.

    I also love Ruby, Delilah, Coco, Piper, Claudia, Lulu and of course Scarlet, Jemima & Phoebe.
    For boys I love Declan, Patrick, Griffin, Finn, Seamus, Angus, Jack, Christopher & Michael. Irish/Scottish heritage obviously!

    I’m not a fan of non-tradtional spellings. I do love old fashioned & girly names. I love traditonal & classic names.

    Ultimately you have find the middle ground don’t you? I’m sure you are each making lists of ‘perhaps’ & ‘no way’ and ‘please please.’ So you’ll eventually narrow it down and find two that sound good together. Can’t wait to hear it – I am sure it will be wonderful & suit the new baby just perfectly!

    Hopefully the remainder of the pregnancy is completely uneventful.
    Kate xo
    PS. Sorry for the essay.

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