What’s in a name?

When I was little, I wished my name was Amanda. I remember hearing Boston’s song Amanda, maybe on the radio? My parents will sometimes recall how I would sing my own version of the chorus, “Na, na, na, na… Amanda.” But my name is Jessica. My mom swears it wasn’t popular when she named me, which is somehow hard to believe given the number of Jessicas I seem to be among, almost everywhere I go.

Choosing a name is a big deal. As the birth of our third daughter draws near, I feel so uncertain about what name to choose. Being a teacher, it’s so hard to separate names my husband suggests from kids I have know at school over the years or names I notice seem to be trendy. He’s pretty much given up on offering any suggestions by this third go around. Yet he cringes when I suggest old fashion names like Opal, Mable, and Margaret.

For our first daughter, we negotiated. I got Wren and he got to throw in a second middle name, after his grandmother. Wren Teagan Agnes…a real mouthful, yet it is who she has become, the little girl with five names, (her last name is also hyphenated).

With Adi, there was also a bit of give and take as she is named after both of our mothers, sort of. My mom’s name is Ida, so we flipped the spelling to get Adi. His mom is Marie. Adi Marie. Short and sweet.

Oh baby number three, who will you be?




14 thoughts on “What’s in a name?

  1. As a teacher, our biggest problem was finding names that didn’t remind us of certain students! I love your children’s names and I am guessing you’ll find just the right one for this child as well. Congratulations!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Choosing a name — I wanted to name my daughter “Elizabeth” but my husband said that by the time she wrote Elizabeth Dougherty on her papers in school, she’d be worn out! So, she’s Amy Elizabeth. Enjoy the adventure of name choosing!

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  3. I’m in love with the name Opal for your daughter #3! I imagine I don’t have much say, but what a great name. We had such trouble naming our kids – what did the name rhyme with? How could kids twist it around? Was it too long? Too short? Too new? Too old? It’ not easy, but I love the names we ended up with. Enjoy!


  4. We struggled with the name of our third boy and even “wrestled” with another family that had just moved in down the street, who were expecting a child and had the same name planned as we did. (Not really wrestling. More like friendly banter. We are now good friends). They eventually did change their minds, but names can either come easy or come hard, and there seems to be little in-between.

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  5. So sweet… Naming our babies is important. It’s a story they’ll tell forever. I loved your lead, and appreciated your jealousy with “Amanda.” I hope you are feeling well as you progress through your pregnancy and welcome another blessing.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. naming someone you haven’t met is so hard. that teacher thing is real also. My husband wanted a name for our son that seemed so perfect and yet… I had met too many students with that name, too many situations. When we gave him an unusual name (at the time), we gave him a “normal” middle name in case. But he is himself and his name fits perfectly even at 25. Just two boy names for us. All of those imperfect girl names lay by the wayside.

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  7. Oh, so hard to come up with a name that isn’t going to be one in a zillion. And where the monogram won’t be obscene, the nickname will still be acceptable or the whole name together won’t be difficult to say. We’d thought about Elizabeth as a possibility, then realized how Beth Smith might be hard to say… or try out Mary Chris Smith…. every day’s a holiday for her!

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  8. Naming your child is such a special endeavor! I love how thoughtful you and your husband were in naming your other daughters, I’m sure you’ll do a great job with this one as well.


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