Week 22 - August 15, 2006
Baby names are something Paul and I toss around on a regular basis (with adoption, you just never know when a baby may come). This time we began discussing names in earnest as soon as we discovered I was pregnant. However, no names really stuck until we found out the gender, although we definitely had more girl names that we liked (is it okay to have a girl named Ginger when you already have a boy named Fred?). Of course, what we need now is a boy name.
I have a few criteria that I seriously consider when thinking of baby names. The first is that it not be on the top 100 popular name lists from the last few years. The second is that it be a familiar sounding name--easy to spell and say. The next criterion is that the name not end in an "ee" sound, since our last name already does. I cringe enough when people call our current children "Freddy" or "Rosie." Although I pretty much let the nicknames go how they will, at home we call them Fred or Frederick, and Rose or Rosebud. Then, if at all possible, the name should have a nice meaning or personal association for us.
When we found out we were having a boy, I got on several internet naming sites and started making lists of names that might fit our conditions. My initial list had over 80 name options. Several names we have been toying with for years: George, Walter, Frank. Some were new ideas, but tempting: Neil, Arthur, Elliott. Paul, being a big Star Wars fan, often considers the name Luke, just so he can say, "Luke, I am your father." But it is a bit too popular a name these days, and it just seems too obvious a choice for us. A good friend of Fred's, a serious boy of about 9 years old, made a prophetic sounding declaration in the very early days of my pregnancy: "Shauna will have a boy, and his name will be Simon." Of course, when it turned out that I was indeed having a boy, I made sure to put "Simon" on my list of choices.
But of all the choices, when I first read my list of names to Paul and Fred, one name seemed to stick out above all the others: Russell. And even though I keep attempting to try out other names, this one seems to be the one we call the baby every time. So, for now anyway, that is our baby's name: Russell. We'll probably call him Russ. It's not a top 100 name, it's easy to say and spell (although there are variations of spelling with one or two "l's"), and it doesn't end in an "ee" sound (nor is "Russy" a common nickname, though perhaps "Rusty" is). However, there is no nice meaning or personal association with the name--no one on either side of our family even has red hair! I am also a little concerned that it is a little too similar to the name Rose. Nevertheless, it is the name that sticks.