September 17, 2012

what's in a name?

I always perk up when friends and family want to talk about baby names. SUCH a hot topic.

Part I.
One night, John was putting the boys to bed and they started talking about the meaning of their names.

[Finn/Finnley]--"small warrior or fair-haired warrior"

Finn was especially pleased with the meaning of his name. With his love of weapons and danger, it happens to suit him at this point in life.

When I was pregnant with Finn, we did not know his gender until he was born. I wanted to be surprised. My older sister Jessica hounded me quite a bit, and really wanted me to find out sooner. I stood firm, and we did not peek. We went to the hospital with 2 names picked out: Finn for a boy, and Elle(pronounced like the letter 'L') for a girl.

When I was pregnant with Calvin, we found out the gender. Mainly because Jessica was hounding me again, lol, and so I caved. We found out we were having another boy.You'd think with the 5 months or so to think about it, we would have a named picked out. But no.

We went to the hospital without any strong name preferences. Though deep in my gut, I just knew.

The first day of Calvin's life, he had no name. My 2nd c-section had left me quite traumatized, and so when people kept asking for the name, I was like "What? You expect me to name him???" I was so out of it, I didn't even want to know. But in the back of my mind, I had an inkling...I really liked the name Calvin, but just wasn't feeling brave enough to go for it until the next day. It was a family name(on John's side), and I liked how it sounded.

[Calvin]--"bald".  Bahaha.

He's like, "Wait. What? Me, bald?". The boys found that uproarious.

Hi middle name is Jack, also a family name, and means 'God is gracious'. Phewey. I hope that makes up for the first part of his name. And God was so gracious to give us another healthy baby boy.

Some name their child based on the meaning of the name.
Some based on how it sounds or makes them feel.
Others name based on a loved one or family name.

I'm guessing I fall into the latter two...

Two year later, along came [Oliver/Ollie]--"elf army"

Yes, with his spd(sensory processing disorder), this child has seemed like an army of elves to deal with at times. Wouldn't trade it for the world, though.

And finally, my 4th pregnancy. A surprise pregnancy. So I decided to be surprised with the gender til baby was born. However, I did have the ultrasound tech write down the gender of the baby on a piece of paper and I mailed it off to my sister Jessica, without peeking once. Yup, she is the only one on the planet, save God and the ultrasound tech, that knew the gender of my child. I cannot believe I gave her that much power, ha.

We went to the hospital armed with 2 names and my caboodle{for my supplies, of course}. Twain for a boy, and Harper for a girl. Harper, btw, got very trendy after that. You can never predict how a name will take off.

[Twain]-"divided in two". I kinda felt divided in two after that last c-section...literally.

My poor *b-models are bald and cut in two. Bah!

*Finn and Ollie are alike and are dubbed the a-models, whereas Calvin and Twain are very similar and are therefore the b-models. The birth order pattern is a-b-a-b.

As for Twain's middle name...I think I was high as a kite(on morphine) when I gave him the middle name of Orion. \oh-Rye-on\. Orion was actually Mark Twain's brother...see? HIGH. But. It does mean mighty hunter, which will please the boy when he grows up. Though these days, with his "chinter-toy"(tinker-toy) swords, he reminds me more of Reepicheep from Chronicles of Narnia.

I literally find these tinker-toy swords scattered everywhere throughout the house. Or tucked into the back of his shorts. Every day.

I am very tempted to change his middle name. From Orion to Ryan. I feel like Twain is such an odd name, that it needs a more traditional name like Ryan to balance it out. Twain Ryan. Besides. Every Ryan I know is pretty much awesome.

As for me, I was named after Grandpa Dave. My mother was quite delirious after I was born, and the nurse almost convinced her to name me "Davelle Rene". Can you imagine? Sometimes my sisters still  call me Davelle Rene. Instead, I was named Davi Rebecca, with the understanding that there was to be a little girly  heart over the letter i.

[Davi, derivative of David]--"beloved".

It suits me. After all, my favorite character in the Bible is King David.

There is often confusion over my name. Just last night at a wedding, the bride's side did not know me and assigned my seating under the name Mr. Davi. Haha.

Part II. Grab a coffee. I'm trying to reach my word quota of the day.
My dear friend J recently posted on her blog the names that her current children would like to name their future children. And since we have been on the subject of names over here, I decided to conduct an impromptu interview with each boy to see what names they liked.

Me: "Ollie, when you are big like daddy, do you want a baby?"
Ollie: "Um, when I'm big like 6, I would like a cat."
Me: "What about a baby", I asked, rocking a fake baby in my arms.
Ollie: "I want my baby cat to be named 'too cute'".

This picture of Peach literally makes my heart ache. Why do our babies have to grow up so fast? A kitty is big by 6 months. It's like our kids, but in warp speed.

Moving on to Twain.

Me: "Twain, what are you going to name your baby?"
Twain: "Nuffing".
Me: "Aw c'mon. What if you have a baby girl?"
Twain: "I have a baby girl named Peach."

I could not convince Twain of any other name than Peach.

When Finn and Calvin got home, I pounced on them for their names.

Me: "Hey Calvin, what names do you like for a baby girl or boy?"
Calvin: He didn't say one word but just ran away.

Go figure. Boys.

Me: "Finn, give me some names you like!"
Finn: "That is hard, I don't know." Giggle, giggle "I don't know."

Then Calvin joined us and I bribed them with lollipops.

Finn finally settled on Jack and Grace.
Calvin likes Jake and Elise. Pretty cute if you ask me.

I currently like the following names but am not completely serious and have not given it much thought. I am just playing my imaginary game and throwing things out there right now, okee dokee?

For girls
-Eleanor because of her. And I'd likely call her Elle, because, Eleanor is a mouthful. And girls are picky. And she might not like her name. Us girls are a complicated bunch.
-Matilda. For reals. But I would not be brave enough to use it. Ever. At least I don't think so.
-Olive. I adore this name. But I already have an Oliver.

For boys
-Gus. I've always loved it. Knew an awesome Gus in college. But my dear cousin just used it. So.
-Ashley from Mr. Ashley Wilkes of Gone with the Wind. Even though this name has gone to the girls, I will always like it on a manly-man. Not that he was manly. I mean, his real name is Leslie...
Honestly, I'm all out of boys names. Which is a good thing, because I'm all stocked up on boys over here.

For Pets
-Peeta from H.G. He is so cute and little I could put him in my pocketbook.

How do you pick a name? Do you lean more toward meaning or association or sound? Do your kids currently match the meanings of their names?


  1. I love this post! Fun! My first born is Colton, Coal Town..sorry kid. My second is Addalie, meaning God is my refuge and my strength, noble one. She is very noble...and needs alot of God's refuge considering she is a walking disaster.... and our third little one's gender will be found out next week! Also, nice to hear from someone else who survived multiple c-sections...I am starting to freak out a little bit about this next one.

  2. My first is named Axel River. It means "Father of peace" and River is self explanatory. My husband and I love the Yuba river near where we live. Since Axel was born in water, we wanted him to have a water reference. He is like a peaceful river. He is a thinker and a bit of an introvert, but he is also very strongly opinionated and seems like he will be a strong man who doesn't follow the crowd. Autumn Rain was born in October, also in the birthing tub. She is my smiley almost 2 year old. Just like a fresh, cleansing rain she is the light of our family. The most outgoing for sure. We love the Fall more than any other season, so I guess that means she embodies her name. The third, well, we are waiting on him, or her to make her entrance. I am 4 days past my due date today, so, literally, any hour we will know the gender of our new little one. The names are under wraps until we know this baby a little bit. It will be on my blog as soon as we decide :)

    I love Orion, please don't change it.

  3. I LOVE all of your kids names and I'm so glad you explained the meaning of them because I'm always curious. I'm also obsessed with baby names. My son's name is Jacob Matthew. His first name is after the Biblical patriarch and his middle name is the name as my husband's. We sometimes call him Jake and sometimes we pronounce it in Spanish (Ha-kob) He responds to all of them equally... it's actually kind of quirky. I hate that it's a top name on lists every year but it's not that common in our area so we went for it anyway. My only requisite for baby names is that you can pronounce it in spanish and english without changing it (like Joseph and Jose). With my second (due in a few weeks) we picked the only girl name we could agree on (to be announced at birth!). Funny enough, my husband found out neither names have any meaning. Oh well.

    Names I still have on my "future babies" list: Mara, Nora, Sage, Samuel(Sam), Abraham (Abe)... if I can somehow get my husband to agree!!


  4. Such a great post. I have a running list on my phone of names that I like. I adore your boys' names. Twain has always been high on my list.

    I happen to be married to a Ryan and think that even he could kick Peetas back end.

  5. Omg! I love this post! Names!!! So since we just had Benny And branden and I are on seperate sides when it comes to names I'm so over the name game! Lol. But here we go....
    And since this baby maker is done feel free to steal.
    For girls:
    Rae (like the guy name ray)
    Vada (like from the movie my girl)* this name way my fav!!!
    For boys:
    Rylie (this was almost Benny's name, however something just didn't feel right)
    And if my name wasn't Ashley I would sooo name my boy Ashley! Love!

  6. Our son is Boden Obadiah (Bodie Obie). I LOVED Obadiah for a first name but knew for sure he'd someday be called Obie Wan and I didn't like that! We call him Bodie now, as a toddler, but love that he can be Bo or Boden when he gets older. I think Boden means herald or shelter (depending on origin) and Obadiah is "servant of God." I hope he lives up to his name. This was the only boy name my husband and I could agree on! Hopefully our next is a girl b/c that list is a mile long!

  7. what a fun post! if we have a baby I like Seymour for a boy (always have, since i was a little girl!) and Dorothy for a girl (and I'd call her Dotty). I think Olive is really cute too!
    my parents thought I was going to be a boy until I was born so they didn't have any girl names picked out. They ended up naming me on day two, Leah Rae after my great grandmother. I've always gone by Rae, and when people read my name they always assume I'm a boy. But I've always loved having an unusual name. Leah means gentle lamb" and Rae comes from Rachel and means "weary traveler" so my dad always said I was a sleepy sheep. haha. I love your boys names. Especially Calvin.

  8. love this post because i LOVE all of your name choices for your boys. we (my hubs (Ryan!) and I) are expecting our first babe - a boy, and are playing the name game trying to choose the right one. we have a short list (jackson, camden, dylan, wyatt) and i would be happy with any of them, so i've told my husband that he can choose. he insists that we wait until baby is here and we meet him. we have tried not to get too wrapped up in the meaning of names and just go with how it makes us feel or how it sounds/flows. decisions, decisions :)

  9. love your new design! and the name game!

    i have a libby. named after my 2nd grade summer school teacher's daughter. (i've literally loved that name since then) this libby was so cute, and played the violin. plus it went well with my last name.

    then i had a boy. that was HARD! my husband and i went back and forth for years! (not really, 6 months that felt like years. ha.) my grandmother offered $500 if we used the name logan. and i did! not really because of the money but, because after hearing it, it felt right. libby and logan sounded cute together. and she really did pay me. :)

  10. awwww. this is good. i need to name our child.
    we aren't finding out before, so i guess i'll haul the list to the hospital (ugh, mr leif's choice, i'd rather find out)
    but truth: i LOVE olive, and begged him to love it too, but he (and i guess i agree) just couldn't deal with an "Olive Leif"
    I think Olive Leif sounds perfect :)
    and then i also think Mable is cute.... but does it sound too much like "Maple Leaf" / "Mable Leif"

    oh dear. now i'm rambling.

    your new bloggity. is hottdiggity.


  11. oooh... FUN topic!
    i love baby name stuff.
    i'm sad i probably won't name any more wee ones.
    i guess i'll just force my girls to let me name my grandchildren one day.

    ok. my chicas...
    kaia faith.
    we always loved kaia... and (i can't believe i'm admitting this) first heard it from the real world: hawaii.
    yes, i am a loser.
    these were the days of being newly married, working full time, being young?
    chalk it up to all three.
    regardless, i still love the name.
    apparently kaia means "ocean"?
    didn't chose it b/c of the meaning, clearly since i live smack dab in the middle of the prairies.
    faith (her middle name) is chosen b/c of the meaning.
    we had a miscarriage before her and felt we needed a whole lot of faith to get through her pregnancy.
    girl #2... kaybrie joy.
    again... didn't choose kaybrie b/c of meaning... b/c you can't even find the meaning of her name.
    seriously... just googled it now and can't find anything.
    and i found her name on the front of a stampin' out catalogue.
    yes, i used to buy stamps for card making 7 years ago.
    joy is her middle name b/c we decided to stay on the same lines as her older sister's middle name.
    faith... joy... they go together.
    plus, joy is also MY middle name... and my sister in law's.
    can you tell we're children of the 70's?!?!
    ok... onto #3... hadley grace.
    it was hard finding the perfect name for her.
    mike and i had many a discussion and didn't know what to name her.
    she's the only one we knew the gender on BEFORE birth.
    you'd have thought she would have had a name months before she was born.
    she was only named a few hours after birth.
    again...we're really cool and found her name on a barbie movie.
    as you can see, we're real winners when it comes to finding baby names.
    hadley, though, DOES have a meaning... "heather/meadow".
    i guess it makes more sense since we live in farm land, although i've never seen a meadow of heather round here.
    middle name... you guessed it, went with the other girls' middle names... grace.
    plus, it's my mother in law's middle name.

    ok... was that the LONGEST comment ever by a reader?!
    holy moly... sorry.
    apparently i'm about obsessed with baby names as much as you?
    don't even get me started on the names we did NOT choose.
    that'd be a long comment too...

  12. I love your boys' names! We have a Makenzie Raye. I've used to love Dr. Quinn as a teenager and loved the name Makayla and then I had a student named McKenzie when I was teaching and totally loved the name and her sweet self. My hubby is the king of nicknames so when we pick a name we have to go through all of the possible nicknames.

    We've always loved Max for a boy. I know it's kinda common but we love it and Max & Makenzie go well together.

    I, like you, also LOVE Eleanor and many of the nicknames that can be associated with it. I also like Audrey (nickname Audi), and Eisley (not sure what the nickname would be for that).

  13. Ok.
    This is my fave.

    I am SUCH a name snob. I'll admit it.

    Your kids' names are awesome. Completely awesome. I love love love Finn (Cruz would have been Finn, but friends of ours had a baby a few months before Cruz and named him Finn. Plus they have the same last name as us, so...) But I'm trying to convince Trevor of Griffin for our next, using Finn as a nickname. He hates it (Griffin). :(

    I have a brother Ashley! Hahaha it was funny, my Dad was thinking of the Gone with the Wind character, but was thinking of Rhett, but thought his name was Ashley. Ha. He always goes by Ash.

    We named Cruz because I loved how it sounded (I love short names!) and loved the meaning. "He who dwells near the cross". His second name, Emanuel, "God with us". Strong and meaningful.

    I have so many names on my list for our next that I cant wait to use. Baby naming is SO MUCH FUN.

    Thanks for the fun discussion! Oh, and when I first found your blog, I told my sister about your name. She's pregnant with her third, and for their first two they've used family names in some way. Halle Rae (my sister's second name is Rae too), and Makena Jo Phoenix (my brother-in-law's name is Joe David). So for their third, I told them about Davi, as a feminine form of David. See? you inspired me once again ;)


    1. Oh, and I am so over the moon about your new blog design!! So perfectly simple. It's seriously awesome.

  14. what is it about names...i love thinking of them and we're no where near having another! And LOVE LOVE LOVE the blog design.

  15. Ohh, this is a fun one!! My hubs named our first three babies before they were even conceived {crazy, right?} Our first son would be David because his name is Jesse and his Grandmother was named Ruth {just like king David in the Bible}. While I was pregnant with DJ {David Joseph, because I thought David was too serious of a name for a baby} Jesse decided our next son would be named Asher meaning fortunate or blessed but also in the Bible as having 10,000 Sons who were warriors for God. Then our first girl he wanted to name Izabella and call Izzy B, that name just so happens to mean devoted to God. Our 4th I insisted on naming and since we didn't find out the gender I had to pick names for both, I went into the hospital with Olive and Eden as my top two girl names and Titus and Judah for boys, we had a boy and I ended up naming him Micah {go figure}. I love finding biblical names for my children, there is something that calls to my soul knowing my children carry the names of ancient ancestors that where in one way or another chosen by God. Thanks for a fun post friend!

  16. Sorry "sons" of Asher was more... 1 Chronicles 7:40
    40 All these were descendants of Asher--heads of families, choice men, brave warriors and outstanding leaders. The number of men ready for battle, as listed in their genealogy, was 26,000.

  17. I love playing the name game! I am a super name snob too! I ADORE my kids' names - Lacie and Colby. Lacie was a case of "we love how it sounds" and Colby is actually my great grandmother's maiden name. We found out after my son was born that they are both types of cheese! lol
    I love coming up with baby names just for the fun of it. There are so many I like right now. It's actually kind of ridiculous! At the tippity top of my faves list are: Henley or Camden - for boy or girl, Kyrie (keer-E-ay)- for a girl, and Grayson for a boy
    SO FUN! ;)

  18. I like names based on how they sound or make me feel, my husband is all about the meanings. It causes much conflict. We were also very conscious about finding "normal" names since our kids already get a clunker of a last name.

    So for our first I wanted Aubrey Danielle or Kaziah Grace. I picked those names way back in high school. My husband thought Kaziah sounded "too ethnic" (even though it's Biblical, one of the daughter's names at the end of the Book of Job) and he wasn't super hot on the meaning of Aubrey ("Elf Ruler" though some say it means "noble ruler" and he was pretty much against any name that meant "ruler" or the like, though I got him to cave on that one with our last and he now regrets it seeing as Mr. H's personality is very much of a ruler!). I liked Aubrey ever since my dad told me that was what he wanted to name me, but got vetoed by my mom (my dad wanted to name us girls after all his favorite girl name songs and my mom thought that was cheesey, haha). I just thought Danielle ("God is my judge") went very well with Aubrey, but later a friend of mine died and her name was Danielle.

    He wanted a name that meant something like "grace" or "second chance" or "with God all things are possible" seeing as how we felt like it was so special that we were able to have a baby after being told it wasn't a possiblity. We searched a few names with meanings like that and even considered Grace for a time, but nothing really stuck. I don't remember how we decided on the names. Our daughter's names, Jillian Nicole, mean "youthful" and "victory of the people".

    I can't remember all the boy names we came up with, but we somewhat ended up with Ethan "solid, enduring" Michael "who is like God?". Then, our very good friends that were due withing days of us announced the same name. It was kind of funny, but I also felt super nervous about it even though we had both decided indpendently. My sister is married to a Matthew "gift of God" and I was telling her our woes about the name situation and she said somewhat jokingly that we should change it to Ethan Matthew and we totally loved it and went with that. Matt said he felt super honored by this.

    There are also some name traditions on my husband's side of the family to contend with. For a few generations now, the son takes the first name of his father as a middle name. We loved the name Ethan so much and Stephen just did not go with it. It sounded too much like "even Steven".

    When our third came along we decided to be surprised on gender. We debated names a lot and then my husband kept coming up with ridiculous stuff like "Fire," "Brat" (like the sausage), "Back" and other plays on our last name. It was super annoying to me. Haha. I finally convinced him on the Aubrey Danielle for a girl name and then our boy names were boiling down to Henry "home ruler", Alexander "defending men", and Benjamin "son of my right hand". We kept playing around with these names for firsts and middles. My husband really wanted the Alexander and Benjamin, but I just loved the name Henry so very much. Even though we did wind up announcing and agreeing on Henry Alexander, I seriously thought that he would change his mind at the last minute and I almost didn't believe him when he said "Henry Alexander" to the midwife.

    We were once again slightly nervous about throwing off the boy name tradition in our family and then we found out from Stephen's grandparents that his grandpa's grandpa, so Henry's great great great grandpa was Henry Alexander Wuertz! Not only that, but they had this awesome antique shaving cup from when guys would go down to the barber to get a shave for holding their shaving cream that has H. A. Wuertz in pretty gold leaf.

  19. You better not change his name to Ryan. Orion is way cuter!

    Love your post! If only I could write like you! Well, I guess at least I inspired this post! :)
    Love you dear friend,

  20. At the start of every school year, I am tempted to do a block post about names. I always worry that some random parent will stumble upon my blog and sue me for confidentiality issues, so I don't. LOL.I am obsessed with names. I love the way they sound and how they make me feel. None of that meaning business ;). Elise has always been a top contender for girl names for me, and my cousin JUST named her new baby girl Matilda and they call her Tilly (adorable!). I really want to read all these comments when I have more time because, like I said, I'm can't get enough of this name business. My MIL and I were recently discussing odd names so I'll leave you with one of my students and one of the kids in her program's names: I have a student with the middle name Kickenfoot this year (no joke--I'm thinking he was active in utero lol) and my MIL has someone in her program named "A-a" (pronounced Adasha) LOL. Also, my very first year teaching I had a student named "Mister" in my class. So see, Twain Orion is perfectly normal. :)

    1. LOL Barbie! When Stephen was doing music more seriously, his band landed this series of Christian winter camps and the director had some name stories to tell. There was this set of twins named Orangejello and Yellowjello! My grandpa was quite a jokester too. My dad's initials are (purposely) a bad word that starts with 'a' and his sister's maiden initials were PMS.

    2. Barbie, that was totally hilarious. A-dash-a? omyword! i shall use it for my next child. toooo much.

  21. what a great post. I always always enjoy reading the fun stories you tell. And let me tell you, I meant to comment on your unicorn post. I have a spray painted unicorn shirt I HAD to get when we were at the beach when I was a kid. It has a rainbow by the unicorn because I NEEDED it to look like Rainbow Brite. We stood outside the gift shop for an hour before it opened so I could get the gem of a shirt. The only yellow shirts (had to have yellow) they had were in a size XL. so waht did my mom do? She sewed a piece of eleastic in the middle and made it fit. I say all of this because I'm tempted to look in my parents addic for this sirt, take the elastic out and rock it now. It also has my name spray painted on it in bright purple.

    We are pretty picky about our names. They need to have meaning. They need to be unique. My husband is an identical twin whose brother died when he was 3 weeks old. His name was Daniel. So, we are partial to that name. But for me, girls names are easier to come up with. I think that's why I love your boys names soooo much.. because I have such a hard time with boys!! We really like Camper, River and Harpeth for boys too.

    Also, I love your new design!!!

  22. i enjoyed reading each and every one of your comments...some longer than others, hahaha! thanks for being so amusing and entertaining. ya'll have some great name picks.

    and thanks for all your kind words on boys' names and new blog design. why are you guys so cute and sweet, hmmmm?

  23. I've always LOVED your family names. It was so fun to read about them. :) If my son had been a girl...I would have named her Calla. Like the lily. :)

  24. This was a fun post! Christopher would have been Kateri Therese if a girl (Kit for short). Andrew would have been Olivia Rose (maybe a good thing I had a boy since Olivia got wayyyy to popular). Evangeline was going to be Evangeline Mae, but a family member used Mae like a week before she was born. The boys have J middle names as a little theme :)

    Love Harper! I also heard the name Hazel and loved that too, but not brave enough ;)

  25. Great post! (I found your blog awhile ago and have been reading). I am really into the meaning of names, so we named our daughter Amelia which means "hardworking" and middle name Jean after my husband's grandma's middle name. Our son's name is Benjamin which means "son of my right hand" and his middle name is Owen-same as my husband's middle name.

  26. first of all. do you know my cousin ashley? she is obsessed with names, y'all would get along fab visit here

    love love love the names for your darling boys.
    i have a names list. at the top for a few years were jonas and cullen for boys, and hazel and claire for girls. then the silly j brothers and twilight came along...and the names were pushed down the list a bit:) my sister just named her baby hazel day. love it.
    i love names for the sound and meaning.
    elijah means "my god is the lord". that seemed to fit our hope of adopting him. he was proof that god is the lord. of everything. grey means "pleasant"(and also the color, obviously). that was the state of our hearts. we grieved not having biological children, but we were thrilled with seeking adoption. so yeah. we love our little elijah grey! and we love the sound AND the meanings :)

    love this post, your new look, and YOU in general. happy friday! xo

  27. HOW DID I MISS THIS POST!? Gahhhhh. I absolutely love your boys names, I've commented on it before but the two names we're wavering back and forth between are Finn and Oliver. We will most likely end up with Oliver because my 3 year old daughter chose that name and has been adamant since I was about 16 weeks, calling my belly by that name. :) You have such amazing taste and I love reading the story behind how you chose them all!

    Also-- Calvin means bald?! REALLY?!?!?!

  28. My name is Cassandra.
    The top four meanings of it are:
    1. Prophetess of Doom
    2. Entangler of Men
    3. Bringer of Death
    4. Queen of Intercourse.

    I really hope I don't match my name. Lol.

  29. haha. this whole post and it's comments made me laugh.

  30. And I ALSO love your boys' names. Oliver is one of my favs!

  31. I'm late commenting on this but I named my boys Jonah Davin (Jonah because I love the Biblical story-we can't run away from God, He is merciful, etc) but unfortunately Jonah means "dove" which little brother LOVES to tease him about. Davin is a name I discovered in a baby name book (we pronounce it like Gavin but with a D, obvi) and it means "brilliant Finn" in honor of my dad. He was born in Finland and he and his family moved to the US when he was a toddler. My parents had three girls but no boys to pass on our very Finnish last name. (And long story short, my dad's only brother changed his last name to a more "American" sounding name and DID have a son, but he's got the changed name, too. Sad face.) Now I wish I would have used Finn as a middle name, but, oh well. :) My youngest is Nathan Matthew, Nathan because it meant "gift of God" and Matthew because it is my husband's middle name. I'm Sunny Dawn, which I laugh about because it sounds like such a hippy name! People always think my name is a nickname. :)

  32. My husband and I were EXTREMELY picky when choosing names for our daughters. I like unique, old-fashioned names and I wanted something that can be shortened. Being a Rebecca, I always appreciated being able to switch my name up through the years (growing up, I was known as Becky. When I started college, I always introduced myself as Rebecca, knowing that people will always just call me what they feel comfortable with... some kept calling me Rebecca, while others automatically shortened it to Becky, Becca and even Reba.)
    My husband just wanted something unique. Neither of us wanted a name that had other associations for us.
    My husband kept coming up with the CRAZIEST names: Swirl and Line (he's a graphic designer), Xena (he's obsessed), Elemeno (pronounced "L","M","N","O"... and our last name is Primm. Seriously.), Deuteronomy (no, not because we're religious, but so that his nick name would be DUDE), and Jedidah (so that her nick name would be Jedi).

    I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried.

    Names on my list: Camille (Mila, for short), Gwendolyn (Gwen), Lenore (Nora), and, the only name I have ever truly loved for a boy of my own: Giddeon (Indy)

    We rejected each others' lists because we both thought that each others' lists were ridiculous. OY.

    Our first child was a girl. Out of the blue, my husband suggested Penelope. I had thought of it before, but dismissed it because I didn't think that I was cool enough to name my daughter something has unique as Penelope... but after he suggested it, I instantly fell in love. My husband really pushed for me to give her the middle name "Swirl", but since "Penelope Swirl" sounded too much like an ice cream flavor, I asked if we could compromise and take his earlier suggestion of the name "Line" and use "Lane" (Lane is a type of Line and would also make her name nick name Penny Lane... appropriate because we're both Beatles fans.)

    What made the name Penelope Lane even more appropriate... the girl was born 10 days early on Freddie Mercury's birthday.
    Freddie Mercury = the lead singer of Queen = my favorite band of all time = Bohemian Rhapsody = Wayne's World = Directed by PENELOPE Spheeris


    We just had our 2nd daughter two months ago. As much as I thought I would want a boy (I really, really want a little Gideon some day!), I really wanted another girl. Sisters. My husband and Penelope both really wanted a girl too - so she is much loved.

    From the get-go, we started plotting names. Somehow Olive ended up at the top of both of our lists. As hard as I tried not to settle on a name right away, as soon as we saw her on the ultrasound, Olive trumped all of the other names. We sometimes refer to her has "Ollie" or "Liv".

    We chose the middle name "Dot" after my late, great Aunt Dorothy. Her and I were really close when I was little - she died when I was 13. I didn't care for the sound of "Olive Dorothy", but fell in love with my Aunt's nick name, so she became Olive Dot. "Dot" also ties in with using "Lane" as Penelope's middle name, both being a type of mark.

    My family has come up with interesting nick names for them. My 10 year old niece quickly figured out that Penelope's initials are P.P. ... haha, Pee Pee! Now, my brother was quick to point out that my great Aunt Dorothy's other nick name was Doodie.

    Pee Pee and Doodie. Yep.

    1. peepee and doodies. awesome. funniest thing i ever heard.

      so penelope lane and olive dot. i don't think i could come up with better names. well done. one of my dear friend's wants penelope so it was always off the list for me, but i love it. and lane is brilliant.

      olive is one of my top names too and how i love my ollie! i also have an aunt dorothy that we call dot. such a coincidence!

  33. I love to hear how people chose their kids' names. I'm in New Zealand, & my partner is Maori so we wanted our kids to have Maori names. Our daughter is Kowhai Wananga. Kowhai (the 'wh' is pronounced 'f') is a native tree that has pretty yellow flowers that the birds love. It also means yellow. We chose it because we liked it, no special significance. One of her nicknames is Koko. Wananga was the name of my partner's mother who died when he was 19.

    If Kowhai had been a boy she would have been Hikairo Paul, after my partner's grandfather & my Dad. We'll use that if we have a boy next. I'll probably call him Kai for short.

    If we have another girl I like Aniwaniwa (Ani) which means rainbow.