What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Thursday, May 13, 2010

What's in a name?

There are very few times in life that you can be genuinely surprised, one of the best is when your baby is born. Baby names are top-secret, in our house, until they can be properly introduced.

Well, except that time I was out to lunch with my sister and my mom and they were trying to weasel a name out of me when I very air-headedly said "Oh-Matt doesn't really like the name I am pining for if we have a girl. I don't know why because I think Corynn is LOVELY." I didn't realize I had actually said it out loud until they repeated it back to me laughing. I am a dork.

However, I am feeling overwhelmingly compelled to chatter on about baby names today. I feel "safe" in doing this because our list is so full of possibilities and we are at such a loss for narrowing it down. It will surely be a surprise still, when Smooch is born, at who Smooch will really be. Not only by gender, but by name.

Here are the stats we usually lean towards when naming babies:

For girls, I LOVE old-fashioned, one-of-a-kind, unique and feminine names. I don't like common names and I never anticipate my girls having pencils with their names engraved on them, thankyouverymuch. (So much so, I am toying with the idea of bringing Dorcas back! hehe)

For boys, we love strong biblical names.

Middle names we save for namesakes.

We don't like names being shortened so we avoid names that can be, knowing it is beyond control of our relatives to restrain themselves. Nicknames are fine, great. But if I name my girl Marta, I don't want her being called Martie. Sorry.

All that preliminary information down: here are some of the names we have been toying with.

For girls:

Marta (but I couldn't bear having a Martie.)
Marijke (Dutch form of Mary. Love it, but no one would be able to pronounce it)
Meredith (Beautiful, but maybe too common for my tastes)
Sarah (not strange enough)
Gizelle (Matt DOESN'T like this one because it reminds him too much of a gazelle, which in my mind ain't all that bad.)
Louisa (Matt doesn't like it. pshaw)
Ineke (pronounced Ee-ni-kah)
Heidi (why did I forget to mention that one?)

Matt is being stubborn about girl names, he always is. He doesn't like any of the suggestions that I LOVE. This is nothing new: He didn't like the names Corynn OR Adele' until the girls were snuggled into his arms and then, he said, "the names just fit". He loves them now. And I just can't figure which is the "BEST" name for Smooch, if Smooch is a girl. Am I missing one? Am I missing THE one that just screams Smooch?!

For Boys:

Joses (the brother of Jesus. Matt loves this. But I would hate the inevitable name-shortening of Joe or Joey)
Obededum (just a standing joke, btw.) ha ha But it is FUN to say! ;-)
Aaron (Matt's middle name, but three "A"s in a row?!?)
Ezra (great biblical namesake)

A favorite is Joses, but there is no being firm with the Newman side of the family as far as shortening names. They would do it just to spite us if we asked them not to.

So that's it. Those are the few that have been tumbling about our brains. What do you think?

We have no leanings toward any one name in particular and no secret yearnings for any particular gender. So-if you have a great name to add to our list-tell me, tell me, tell me!

It might just be "THE ONE".

(Who knows? It could be a FUTURE one, too!)


Bonnie said...

With the exception of Joses, and Obededum, this is my longstanding list of boys names. But I have a brother named Seth, and a cousin Aaron.
I am the same way about names, though everyone thinks we named Biscuit following the trend his name is all of the sudden (also the name of a rather popular local quarterback), and look at me like my hairs on fire when they are informed he was named after his father. (so trendy names are fine, and Juniors aren't?)

Given our last name, lots of Ssss's are out. It sounds like a snake hissing.

For boys *I* like : Zebulon; Zephania (Zeb or Zeph- how cute do they sound?!?); Japheth, Levi; Josiah; Kade; Jabez, and that is all I can think of just now.
The names we both like? Nothing.

I like your girls choices. (maybe not so much Gizelle)
But having read it, you missed Leisle and Brigitta ;-)

I have no idea how you spell those, but I think you know where I'm going with that!

Rebecca said...

TOtally picking up that wavelength and I really would name all my girls after the Sound of Music. Incidentally, that is precisely WHY Matt DOESN'T like Louisa. Too sound-of-music-ish. Funny!

Well Bon-you better get cracking with finding a boy name you both agree on! ;-) Will you tell us or will it be a surprise until the end?

Bonnie said...

Hmm, not sure about a surprise or not.
BTW, 2 of my favorite girl names that B. will never, in a hundred million years agree to (not even as middle names) Lysette - one of my (stunningly gorgeous) great grandmothers middle names- kinda makes up for the fact that her first name was Thekla (Marie Lysette Pauline).
And Rosewitha (Roseweeta). Another family name, but I forget whose.
Okay, I have a baby shower to givein a week, and baking that MUST start right this very second. Gotta break in the mixer. So, away I go, and if I show up again, give me WhatFor, and send me away. Please.

Veronica @ A Quiet Heart said...

I am so with you on names that can't be shortened...or, if they can, NOT shortening them. :)

Of your list, my personal favorites are Meredith for a girl, and Ezra for a boy. I LOVE both of those...and, both are on my list of potential/future baby names. :)

Shanzanne said...

I love Marijka. I would just find a way of spelling it somewhat phonetically so she wouldn't have too many problems. Maybe Marika or Maryka? I knew a wonderful Marijka. My daughter's name is Adiela (oddy-ella)and my only regret is that no native english speakers can pronounce it on the first try. All your choices are lovely, though, but Gizelle makes me think of the Disney Princess or the skanky model.

amy said...

I have always loved Louisa. My husband has always said no no no. Grrr. I also am anti name shortening, but now we have Josiah and Moses...uh oh, I bet you can guess. People are calling them Mojo. Very aggravating.

Lana said...

Just wanted to let you know, there's a Giselle in Enchanted (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enchanted_(film))

Although gazelle isn't a bad thing, IMO.

And of course, Odette is the princess in Swan Lake, at least the movies :)
plus it sounds like 'odor'. and kids are so mean.

I like Ezekiel for a boy, but it's getting more common.
I wouldn't worry about people shortening Joses. My brother was named Jeremiah and everyone wanted to shorten it and for awhile we were hard nosed and said 'no, it's Jeremiah' and then voila, no one called him Jeremy or Jerry any more, same with our Josiah.

I really like Hadassah for a girl (esther's hebrew name) and of course Esther is pretty and uncommon.
There's Cornelia which is lovely (but close to Corynn... but maybe not too close) and Dinah is pretty too.

Oh, and of course, there's always the name 'Delilah'. (Teased my MiL, told her that if we had twins, we were naming them Judas and Jezebel and my very sweet mother in law went berserk on me. I said fine, Jezebel is a joke, I really want to name the baby delilah! she started hollerin!)

If Aiden had been a girl, we were between Elanor (the flower that Sam Gamgee named his daughter after in the Lord of the Rings, actually, and yes it's spelled like that. I think it's purty!) and Sylvia.

Ezra is my fave of your boy names and Marta is my fave of your girl names. Or maybe Ineke....

MrsMK said...

I love old-fashioned, but still unique names. (Emma used to be a favorite, until EVERYONE started naming their girls Emma!)

Lauren is one of my favorite girl names. I knew a girl named this once, she was perfectly serene. (at 16 that's saying something!) I think it would be sweet shortened to Laurie, too. (Of course, the spelling makes all the difference! Why do I think this is a lovely name, but Lori WAY to common?? Go ask Anne with an 'e'. :-)

If Benjamin had been a girl, we had chosen Susanna....my husband's mother's name is Susan. I would not have allowed name shortening.

I also love Elise and Claire.

Boy names, I'm no help. They are harder. Need to be classic...so I'm with you on Bible names...Seth being my favorite on your list. Levi is also a great name.

Nicole said...

My favorite girl name when Son #1 was cooking was Cadance. The my cousin stole it, and changed it to "Kadance".

My three kids are David, Christopher William, and Natalie Ellen, all three of which are rather common.

Our girl names were Gabrielle, Sophia, Adrienne, Meredith, and Bethany. And I really, really liked Ada and Audrina for a girl, but DH didn't.

If my daughter Natalie had been a boy, she would have been Joseph Grant. And that about exhausts the list of boy names we agreed on!

Michelle H said...

Our daughter's name is Keziah, pronounced Kezzie-ah (or Kezzy-ah). It is Job's second daughter, in Job 42:14. I was a teacher for 10 years so I did not want to chose a name I had taught.

As for boys, I like Ezra and Ezekiel. Except Ezekiel gets shorten to Zeke, which I don't mind, except I always think of what names rhyme with.....Zeke the Geek. So that name is out for me. I also like Joshua and Caleb.

Michelle said...

Well, as you know, I am a bit partial to Sarah for a girl's name. ;) It means "princess", so how cute is that?

We don't want to name our kids anything TOO unusual, or no one will be able to pronounce it and it'll get really old for the child as they go through life!

Also, David is pretty traditional. I couldn't get him to like Tristan (before a lot of people named their kids that). He likes Silas. I voted that one out! Too close to "silo" for me... haha

I really like Greta. I think it is a beautiful name, and a bit unusual in this day and age.

MameyJane said...

We have an Elijah, Grace, & Emma. I had NO idea that Emma was all the rage, I actually named her after a dear great-aunt of mine. And now it's everywhere. I hate that people call my Grace "Gracie". Ugh.

My husband, being a minister, is strong on Bible names. He wanted to name our son Abashai. (Ab-uh-shie). Seriously.

I love Louisia, Greta, and Seth!

Leah O'Connor said...

I like old fashioned names too. With our two girls we went with the flower names - Rose Marie and Daisy Joy.
You might like "Evelyn", (which I think is secretly my sister's name for her baby due in a few weeks if it's a girl).
Or I have always toyed with the idea of the Biblical name "Naphtali", only for a girl (wouldn't that be too cute)!

Mommy said...

I am with you when it comes to liking different names:) We are also expecting another baby in Nov, so we are having the same discutions all the time:)
The girl names I like are: Anna May, Emmaline, and Adalaid:)
The Boys names: Josiah, Judah, and Justice
I pray you find the perfact name for your little Blessing:)

Chris said...

Names are always so fun to talk about! My suggestions: Gideon or Isaiah for boys. Girls? How about Stella, Evelyn or Vivian? I also really like Greta and Giselle (with a soft G?)

I gotta say, though, if you were successful in keeping people from nicknaming Andrew, you are home free!

Marijke said...

My name is Marijke and I love my name!!! Yes, it can at times get annoying when people mis-pronounce it but it is fairly easy to teach people (ma-ray-ka). The rest of my family have fairly common names so my name really stands out and I get lots of compliments from people who like the name and who have never heard it before. I say go fo Marijke!!!

Dana said...

Our children start out as foster children and then we adopt. So far we have changed the spelling of their first names, and completely changed their middle names.

Having said that, we have a little girl right now named Journey, and I kinda like it. My husband, however, does not! It fits her--her life IS a journey, as can be said of the rest of us.

If we were going to change it, I'd love to use Miriam (Moses' sister), or maybe Evelyn. Eleanor is lovely, as is Audrey (which was supposed to be our youngest daughter's name, but it was holding up the adoption. Such is life.)

As for boys' names--I am clueless. Guess we've adopted girls for a reason! Actually, we liked Kendall because it's different. Stephen because it's Biblical and I have a brother named Steven.

I'm sure Smooch will have the perfect name!

Out for an Adventure said...

My personal name favorites are
Anthony, Connor, and Devon. Very strong and masculine.

I've never settled for a girls name.

I love all your name choices!
I really like Gizelle, I think it's so pretty. I love the way it sounds too.
And Seth.

Have fun and good luck to you on settling for a name! ;]


Anonymous said...

HI Rebecca,

I didn't enjoy the process of selecting names for our two.

We have Aidan (boy) and Marieke (girl). Marieke is a Dutch name as my folks were Dutch and my hubby is Dutch.

I really wanted to call Marieke, Nel after my mother (was keen to call her Nellie) but hubby didn't like it.

I'm the opposite - I love shortening names. It sounds friendly to me :-)

In saying that, Aidan hasn't been shortened. Marieke - we often call her Rieke or Beeka as she used to call herself that. But mostly Marieke and no-one else shortens it.

Cheers, Wilm in NZ

I always loved Noah for a boy. Elise is a lovely girl's name.

Leah said...

I've been away from blogland for about 2 weeks and I'm now trying to catch up. I've only read half your post but had to comment on the girl names quickly. My name (depending on which baby name book you read) means gazelle! And my oldest neices name is Seraphina! I love so many of your names choices! I can't wait to hear what you pick! :)

Leah said...

Ok, I finished the post, hee hee. :) Scott and I have so many boy names that we like. Our current top picks are Josiah, Elijah, and Joshua, all if which can be shortened. So far the only name we've used that can be shortened is Isaiah. We often call him 'Sai (zay) which I think is adorable but he may eventually outgrow it. out of curiosity, do you mind having your own name shortened? I think I've heard your mom call you Becca and your sister Libby. Again, I can't wait to hear if your precious Smooch is a boy or a girl and what his or her name is.

On a side note, I'm having a very hard time believing that I only have 7.5 weeks until our baby is due! Time is flying by!

IUL said...

OOPS--I posted names on the blog entry below... that's what I get for not posting as I read! Haha... So, see below for more name suggestions.

Rebecca said...

Wow. SO much good FEEDBACK. I love it all. There are plenty of names that were suggested that are beautiful and I would love to use-but friends or family have already used them. rats. ;-)

I think I may have to make a new, revised list!

As for the questions:

Lana~I new about those Disney princesses but figure, hey! Swan Lake was around before Disney made a movie of it! ;-)

Michelle H.~ we have a Keziah at our church!

Chris~we were NOT successful in getting Andrew to stay Andrew. They are stubborn people, those Newmans. Sometimes I wonder if they do it just to spite us!

Marijke~another Marijke! WOW. That is so cool! I will say though-I would pronounce it Ma-ree-kuh. I didn't know it could be pronounced Ma-ray-kuh but that is just as perdy. :-)

Wilm~Marijke would be pronounced the same as your girl name methinks. YOu have good taste! ;-) We usually do nicknames for terms of endearment (like Panda) instead of name shortenings. It's all how you look at things, I guess!

Leah~growing up I went by Beckah often. Elizabeth's kids call me Aunt Becca and a few friends from childhood still call me that. I like "pet names" like Panda or Adyay or Boo, but if I name a child something, that should be their name! A long-standing tradition in the Newman house is to name a child something and then call them by their MIDDLE name. That doesn't make any sense to me...why not put their middle name first if you are going to do that?! Only 7.5 weeks eh, wow-you are getting close!

IUL~thanks for the suggestions, they were all great! I *LOVE* Ella.

Peggy said...

Well you can see I am a little slow this week... hee hee...

Umm girls names.... Please, please, please no Louisa as it is far to close to Louise (a name I dislike immensely, my middle name, ugh...)

Isabelle, Gretchen, Serena...

We know an Annika who is a sweet (tomboyish) young lady..

Boys... well I am sure you know by now we are partial to John but with so many in the family we got creative. Evan, Sean, Ian.. If we had had more they would have been Owen, Jan (pronounced Yawn, its Dutch), and possibly Ivan. (yes I know unoriginal in oh so many languages!!)

By the way I love all your names (well except for Louisa but that's okay!).... Have fun!!

Jennifer said...

My daughter's name is Elliada Merritt. Elliada means God knows in Hebrew. Actually we added another "L" and pronounce it ellie-ada.
Here are a couple girl suggestions that I like :)
Sadie, Neamh(nee + iv), Lena

Wendy said...

Try not to worry about family shortening the names...teach your children to say "please call me...so and so...that is not my name.." and you can reinforce it too! Corys Dad tried to call Isaac Ike and I put a stop to that--Quick! I like Elise...It sounds pretty with Adele...I always have to write them all down, and I feel like if it has a flow...it works :-)

Hope you are doing well!

alane said...

I love how you like unusual names. My favorites from your list are Meredith for a girl and Aaron for a boy...my parents' last three children all had A names.
Other names I like for a girl:
Vaydah (means knowledge)

Jess said...

I absolutely love some of your girls names 2 are on my "list".
I am definitely partial to Aaron, that is my youngest boy's name though. What did you mean 3 A's in a row?!
I will have to think some more and get back with some suggestions for you..I can't give away one we may use soon so I will narrow it down. :D

Jess said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jess said...

Nevermind, I know what you meant by 3 A's in a row. Your kids names, I was going to say is there another way to spell Aaron with 3 a's LOL
BTW, my hubby wants to name our next boy Jebediah :D SO not gonna happen..

Morgan said...

I love Ezra for a boy as well as Elijah. Heidi is adorable. I saw in one of your comments you like Ella... we would like to name (Lord willing) a girl Ellaina and it could be shortened to Ella.
By the way a little birdie told me it is your birthday tomorrow...Happy Birthday!!!

IUL said...

Hi Rebecca, Just a comment on using a middle name as the common name. I'm from Germany--came here as a child and raised here, and over there that is what is traditionally done. They use the middle name because it is closest to the family name.

Also, on shortening names--it's so easy and common for people to shorten a name--I do it all the time. So when we named our boys we used names that we liked all versions of, and ended up with Timothy and Daniel. When they were little Timmy and Danny fit them perfectly, now that they are men it's Tim and Dan.

Lindsey's Photographs said...

I love to do family names for middle names. My 2nd daughters middle name is NIATH. I really wanted it for a first name. Its a southern name. I counld not find a meaning for it. When I searched I only found death certificiates. But I love my hubby's grandmothers story. Aparently she was named after someone and changed the spelling of it so she would be the only NIATH in arkansas. Makes me giggle. I wish I knew the original spelling.

Anonymous said...

I found you through Alane & just had to say hello. I so enjoyed reading about you & your entries are so fun. My name is Jana. I have 7 children & our #6 grandchild is on the way, so I'm on board with name loving! We don't tell the names of our babies until birth either.
I'll share some of my favorites: For girls I like: Heidi (my oldest daughter is Heidi & we didn't meet any other Heidi's in the 24 years of her life so far....:) I did know a Heidi or two when I was growing up though). Since that was on your list, I thought I would mention it. I love the name Hildi, Helena (pronounced Helayna), Gretta, Gretyl, Louisa, Brygita (love the sound of music names & they're not too common!). McKenna,
Brynn, Alahna, Marta, Vivian, Lillian or Lilliana, Collette, Katrin, Natalie, Christine, Brandi, Kyla, & I did really love the version of Mary you mentioned. Very pretty. I love the names you chose for your other girls too. They are just lovely.:)

For boys: Levi (We have a Levi), Malachai, Noah, Luke, Silas, Titus, Matthias, Jonah, (love Joses, btw), Ezra, Micah, I still love Timothy & the meaning of the name.(honoring God).

So, for whatever it's worth....those are some of my faves!

It's nice to "meet" you! Have a blessed day & congratulations on your sweet little one being knit together.:)

Jthemilker said...

Just throwing some out there... how about Ethel or Isabel? Love those old-fashioned sounding names.

What ever you pick, it will be perfect!

Stacy said...

Of the girls names that are on your list, I really like Meredith, Sarah, Seraphine, and Heidi. If Sarah is too plain, how about mixing it with a second name... Sarah Rose springs to mind. I really like the names Lily, Violet, and Rosemarie as well. Oh, and Phoebe. It's uncommon, fun to say, is a biblical name, and is near impossible to shorten. :)

On the boy's list I like Keith, Seth, Reuben, and Aaron. Other biblical boy's names I like are Jacob, Benjamin, Caleb, and Zachariah.

The Toplovs said...

Of course I love the name Ezra for a boy since that's what we named our 13 month old! Here are some suggestions for unusual boys names that I love if and when our next is a boy: Kale; Jaxton; Kelton; Nyle; Keyon (Kian). You can see I'm a bit overboard with "K" names. :)

alyssa spring said...

My friend is going to name their daughter Shiloh ann...I think Shiloh means's God's grace or something. A couple of older names that I know are Margaret Emma and my grandmother's name was Evelyn which is lovely. For boys I like super different...like nature hippy type names so i can't really help there. :) I named our first son Brady (he was before my love of herbs and all things natural...ha ha.) Oh...what about Merrily?

Mrs. Pharris said...


For a girl, I love Lilliana, Sophie, Nollie (Corrie tenBoom's sister) and Zegen (tsa-gen, with a hard g) - Dutch for blessing.

For a boy I love Ian, Josiah, Caleb, and Gideon.