The Name Game

Some Facebook friends recently welcomed a new baby into their home. Curiously absent from the birth announcement, for the first 48 hours of the little person’s life at least, was the name they had bestowed upon him. From the cryptic status updates it would seem they had no name for him, at least not initially. Whether that means (1) they approached the birth with a ‘name’ that suddenly didn’t fit when the little guy made his appearance, or (2) they’d never had a name and wanted to meet him first….I don’t know.

Either way, I was puzzled and a teensy bit judgmental. They’d had nine months, how could they not have a name for the child?

And then, as usually happens when I have a moment of judgment upon another…I realized the same thing could happen to us. Meaning, at this point, it seems entirely possible that we’ll arrive at the hospital with neither a ‘hospital bag’ or a ‘name’ for boy 3.

With our firstborn, I’d settled on his name when I was in college. Probably before I even knew Jason. So it was a little difficult when Jason announced, after a names discussion, (once we knew we were expecting a child) that he didn’t care for the moniker. Though I was a bit ‘disappointed’, I couldn’t stand the thought of naming our child something only one of us liked, so we moved on. Ironically, settling on two names: the Hen’s current middle name and our previous main contender for B3. Apparently we’re so ‘green‘ lazy, we even recycle our names..

But one day, miraculously, Jason announced that he’d thought about it and decided we should go with my original favorite name. And thus, our firstborn was named. Well before the end of the second trimester. (Of course, the middle name didn’t get finalized until after the birth because Jason just couldn’t decide how he wanted to honor soccer star Thierry Henry…he went with Henry.)

The process was even easier with the Hen. We’d returned to our original list and selected his current middle name. Out of the blue I suggested the name of a childhood acquaintance. Jason latched onto it, and thus he was named. First and middle names chosen before the end of the first trimester.

And then there were three. We reviewed our original lists and preferences and settled on a name we’d considered throughout each pregnancy. Of course, it had never been chosen, which might actually MEAN something. (Like, maybe we didn’t like it as much as we thought???) Jason randomly suggested a middle name, and we were done.

Except we weren’t. The more I thought about it, the less sure I felt. When I said the name aloud, it felt weird in my mouth. I wasn’t sure it ‘fit’ with the other boys’ names. It seemed too ‘out there’ even for our internationally-named crew.

And I began to voice my hesitation aloud. To the man who thought we were ‘done’ with this whole thing. He wasn’t pleased.

So it’s back to square one. And now, since we’re almost at the 100-days-to-go mark, I’ll solicit the input of my faithful readers.

The ‘rules’ are:

1. Needs to be a little unusual, since Johnson is the commonest of surnames.

2. Must be easy to pronounce and spell.

3. And, preferably, no more than 6 letters (and containing an ‘N’ and ‘O’ if at all possible).

4. And it cannot be in the top 400 names of the social security name index. Which means Noah cannot be a contender…cute as it is.

23 thoughts on “The Name Game

  1. I think you need a Gunnar. Or a Max (which breaks rule #4… but maybe the 3rd Boy should get to break some rules…)

  2. 1) Apparently Jason and Renate share the penchant for hating on name wafflers.

    2) You took Henry from me, you stole it before I ever knew I wanted it. Thanks JSJ. Of course Henry Myler might’ve drawn smirks from the literary set.

    3) Nougat. (You’re welcome.)

  3. Steph, Gunnar is a little too similar to our first’s name, though very cute. I’m starting to come around to your argument though, that this one should maybe break the rules. John Johnson, here we come. Drew, seriously you can have Henry Myler. May I remind you you stole a name from me as well!! Renate, how do you say Yvo (Ee-vo?)..kinda girly, no?

  4. Didon, Enoch, Solomon (even though Gala use that with #2), Hector, Juno (rings with Johnson, huh?) Odin, Orion, Ronto… I cheated and got help from the internet…which you can too!

  5. Heather, don’t you think you’d snicker a little if I named my baby Enoch? Or is that just me…who knows, Jason will probably love it or die laughing, one just never knows with him.

      1. Well, then we can’t possibly steal it from him!! (Or, do you want us to…)

  6. Nolan, Kieran, Thad, Tavien, Keegan, Renn, Colby, Hank (which I know can be a nickname for Henry but I think it’s cute), Zander, Hayden, Kyle…I totally just threw those out there…don’t even know where they came from…no help from the internet, so I don’t know if they are popular or not.

  7. Thanks Miss T. I quite like Zander, actually and have suggested it to Mr. J on several occasions. No dice. Who knows why!

  8. So, I’m ignoring your rules, for the most part, since I don’t do well with authority. But since you have a “G” and and “H” already, I’m looking for an “I” starting name. Igor, Ilan, Ilario, Isandro, Iskander (which, if you’ve ever been to Turkey, you know is yummy), Ismat, Ithiel, etc.

    Of course…just about any of those names are destined to get your 3rd born beaten up on the playground….

  9. I don’t get why anyone is proposing names after I clearly tossed out the winner. Whatever, I’m calling him Nougat regardless.

  10. I generally roll my eyes at zander because it sounds like the name of the planet some B-list superhero would come from. “It is I, Captain Nocturnal from the planet Zander. My superpower is the inability to make it through the night without exercising my incredibly powerful scream of death, followed by a toxic poo”.

    I also have the annoying habit of instantly thinking how my child with a specific name will be teased in the future, to wit,

    My Adorable Son : “Hi my name is Enoch”
    Stereotypical Bully Kid with Black shirt and camo pants: “Who’s there?” followed by a punch to the gut “My fist that’s who!!!” maniacal laughter from him and his goons as little Enoch (from now on known as nock nock) rolls on the ground.

    Of course I realize there is a slim chance that its only me that has these thoughts and that in fact little Nougat might be just fine as he races through life on his quest to find the ever illusive Caramel (probably lives in hollywood or something.)

  11. That was Alfonso with an “s” thank you. I am sure it meets all the criteria and we could call him either Alf or the Fonz… which would be classic.

  12. 1. zander makes me think of zoolander!


    3. And the name i choose that breaks rules on easy to say, spell and has only six letters. yet, does contain an n and and o. is……


    I love it, was gonna use it but joe didnt love it so ya know.

  13. I was totally thinking of you the other day – they mentioned ‘Sojourner’ on the radio here!!

  14. You have to worry about a name where your kid cringes on the first day of school at name call…especially if the teacher can’t pronounce it…and although Alf or Fonz is cute…on that first day of school all the kids will chuckle when they hear his full name…don’t ya think?
    There is a website for unusual names…I think Hockey was an option…doesn’t J like the sport? Just google “unusual boy names”…
    What about Roan or Brogan? Just thinking of names with an N and O…

    1. T, I’ve suggested Roan as well – it’s not even in the SS name index!! – and J didn’t go for it. You see what I’m dealing with?

  15. Please steal if from us. Please DO NOT steal Sojourner from us, I have already picked that out for a little girl…. But, I guess the longer I wait to have a baby, the more names people I want to use are going to be taken. So, do with it what you will. I like Sojourn (without the er) and would like to call her so or soj, but my friends totally made fun of that. I can’t believe I’m typing all this on here…

  16. Maybe it’s time to remind Mr. J that you are the pregnant one!! And after all you have given him 3 sons…what more could he want? You get the final word Nicola (sorry J).


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