You may wonder why on earth I’m mentioning this…  but it seems topical; I’ve touched on it before when I’ve written about names, but thinking about the actual naming  I have to say that it was one of the most difficult things around having children.

When my husband and I were expecting our children it seemed to start with wild bids for names each of us liked but were really not feasible; I loved Zebretta for a girl but my husband was almost outraged (he thought it sounded like a make of a motor scooter) He suggested Arthur or Eric or a boy, I said they were old men’s names (they have both become very popular in the twenty  years since our first child was born) We did think about our own parents names, but much as we loved our mums and dads we didn’t really like their names for a new baby. I wanted to avoid names beginning with L or B as I think it might be confusing later as they are our initials, and we wanted a name which would sound balanced with our unusual surname, so we avoided a name beginning with S. We liked the name Talisker… but it’s a brand of whisky and we didn’t think our child would appreciate being named after a whisky. I liked the name of a New Zealand rugby player, Zinzan Brooke… my husband wouldn’t think of it but that put us on the right trail and we found another rugby player with a name we both liked… and that was how my son got named. His middle name was easy, William, my husband’s middle name, and that of his father, grandfather, great-grandfather, etc, and coincidentally the name of my grandfather and his forebears. He also has Elsden in the mix…  so he has a fine set of names!

With my second pregnancy we had a similar dilemma; no names beginning with L, B, R (my son’s initial) or S (our last name initial) BY now we knew a lot of little children and I wanted a name which was different – I don’t mind the really unusual, my husband is more conventional, but even so we wanted to avoid a name which lots of other children might have; as teachers we both remembered classes were the latest fashionable name dominated. I once had a class with four Vickies and five Pauls… got a little confusing! We were struggling to come up with anything, although we’d semi-settled on Connell for a boy, when I was sitting watching TV and the credits rolled and I spotted a girl’s name – and that was it! The only other person I had ever et with the same name was a very beautiful young woman I had been to college with, and a wonderful singer… so when my daughter arrived, her name was ready! we gave my sister’s name as a middle name, and she got Elsden too!

So good luck to any new parents, or parents-to-be… it’s a tough and responsible job you’ve got, but I’m sure you’ll make the right decision!

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