May 10, 2011

TUESDAYS AT NOON: Ethne on...Naming Baby

Posted by Ethne~

First, let’s reflect that my name is Ethne.  Pretty much no one in the States has ever heard of it and consequently, no one in the States can pronounce it.  Seriously people, it’s phonetically correct: Eth-knee.  I’ve been called Ethan, Ethna, Michelle (long story), Efany and Bethany, among other wacky corruptions.

My parents found the name in a novel called The Four Feathers by A.A. Milne.  It’s a story about a man’s struggle with war and friendship.  Ethne is the heroine and love interest (naturally!).  At the time around my birth, it was made into a movie starring Jane Seymour as Ethne.  (More recently it was made into a movie starring Kate Hudson as Ethne.)  Anyway, my parents evidently didn’t have trouble picking my name at all.  Good for them!

I'm in the middle--surrounded by my beautiful sister and mom!
BTW, I do like my name.  It’s Irish for ‘blue blood’ – from what I can tell from the very few baby name books that have it listed.

I happen to think that picking out a baby name is tough!  You’re giving a person a name for life, so even though you think a name is cute now, does Grandma Apple sound as cutesy?  NOOO!

[I’m not going to comment about celebrity baby names for this post – except to say that those people are the dumbest people on Earth.  You know who I’m talking about.]

Shaun and I didn’t have a problem with our boy name.  It was a name we had both liked for ages, so DECISION DONE.  And for a while, the ultrasound told us we were having a boy and a girl.  So we had one ready to go, then hemmed and hawed a little bit till we settled on Easy Mac’s name.

I had my baby showers – blue and pink stuff.

AFTER THAT, I had my next ultrasound and lo and behold, there wasn’t a little peeper in there on either baby.  Quite clearly we had a 2nd girl on our hands.  We had to start ALL OVER with picking another girl’s name.  I liked a couple of names like Charlotte, Carolyn, Ava and Olivia, but Shaun wanted short, easy-to-pronounce names.  I agreed on the pronounce deal – you can see why with a name like Ethne.

Early in the pregnancy, Shaun had listed KD’s name as one he liked, but then we settled on Easy Mac’s and DONE.  When we were looking for a 2nd name, KD’s came up again and we finally and quickly settled on it.  Baby A became Easy Mac and Baby B became KD.  (KD was a rascal in there all along – going breech at the last minute, bringing on the c-section (which totally rocked BTW).  How she had room to flip in there I have no clue.)

Two girls--not a girl and a boy!
One of Lori’s and my besties, Special Guest Steph, is going through the baby-naming process right now.  Her hubby thinks you can’t for sure settle on a name until you see the baby, but they do have some names narrowed down.  We chat every day about how they hem and haw about it – I happen to get good chuckles out of it. J

Lori's shower--Mur-Man was in Lori's belly!  Lori and Steve had already picked their boy name!

Lori and I are quite thankful that our friends and family, for the most part, haven’t gone the made-up-name route.  We’re not so much fans of weird names and corrupted spellings of normal names.  Friends, Thrifty Nana taught 1st grade for years (and so did Lori's mom), and those poor kids who had weird names or unusual spellings had a hard time writing them – often because the names weren’t phonetically correct.  And also, I’ve dealt with people who couldn’t pronounce my name my whole life.  Please take that into consideration when you’re naming baby, Friends.

For good measure, Lori and I checked the 2010 Social Security Administration’s top 5 baby name list and here’s what they are:

5. William
4. Jayden
3. Michael
2. Ethan
1. Jacob

5. Ava
4. Olivia
3. Emma
2. Sophia
1. Isabella

Of course we will all like or dislike the names on the list.  And if we name off of this list, we know that there will be lots of other kids our kids’ age who have these names.  But still, not a bad batch of monikers.

Mur-Man's first taste of lefse (a Norwegian treat)
His name isn't Norwegian and didn't make even the top 100 list!

Bottom line, Friends, is it’s a tough job!  I wish you the best on it.  No matter what, though, I believe the reason it’s so hard is you love your children, and you want to pick the best possible name for the little shaver! J

Incidentally, I happen to think picking a pet (as in animal) name is not nearly so difficult, and I also think that this is where it’s fun to express your desire to give somebody a crazy name.  For example, my kitty is named Theodore (after Theodore Roosevelt National Park where Whit found him, near death).  For short, I call him Sweet Baby T-Rex (is that shorter?  Whatever…).  For a while, Whit and I thought it would be really funny to have an office supply line of cats like Clip, Staple, Post-It, etc.  Now, I’ve moved on to wanting my next kitty to be named Texas Ranger – that’s pretty much my fave part of one of my fave movies, Talladega Nights.  The other one, of course, would be Walker, but that’s not quite as funny till they’re pronounced together.  (If it were a girl cat, I’d be inclined to go with Dr. Quinn or Medicine Woman tee hee!)

Sweet baby T-Rex!
What names have you chosen for your kids?  Was it hard?  Do your pets have crazy names?  Tell us!


JenPK said...

Wow Ethne, were you listening in on us or what? Aaron and I are going through this process right now. We made 2 lists of names that we both like, because we don't know what we are having. Then in secret we each chose 6 names (3 boy and 3 girl) off the list that we liked best. We compared those names last night. Our boy names matched but the girl names were way off. So we have to go back to the drawing board with those names. It is really tough, I nixed one name that I really liked because it sounded very strange when paired with the last name. Something to be sure to think about.

WOM-MOMS said...

That's cool Jen! Not about it being hard, but about it being timely for you. :) I don't even know about you people who can stand to wait to find out the gender till baby comes out. I would just die! I told Lori that she didn't have an option but to find out or I'd kick her butt. From her u/s, it was OBVIOUS Murray was a boy. Anyway, good luck! We can't wait to hear what your baby is and what his/her name is!! ~Ethne

Inspired said...


Mason? Makes me think of a jar.

Steph said...

Today I was home sick and turned on my new favorite channel - BRAVO! Pregnant in Heels was on and the couple requested a group of professional namers, a focus group, and a dinner with close friends to help decide the baby name. They, of course, did not go with the name that all of their enlisted helpers chose. This episode put a whole new spin on naming baby!

WOM-MOMS said...

Steph - a professional namer? Who thinks up this stuff?? Thanks for sharing.