Did You Give Your Kid the Right Name?


Baby Sky(lar)
Once upon a time, seems like forever ago now, I was sloshing around the world all big and pregnant in the same pair of God-forsaken Old Navy overalls because I was too stubborn to waste at least a little money on maternity clothes. As a 19-year-old who made the foolish decision to get knocked up during the summer when all of her un-pregnant friends were out having fun at amusement parks and nightclubs and stuff, I had a lot of time on my hands. So quite a few of my baby name choices were inspired by stuff I saw on TV. 

For a time, I thought I’d name my upcoming bundle of baby girl joy Sydney because I always thought it was such a pretty name. Then Sydneys started coming out of the woodwork, so I ixnayed that and fell in love instead with Siani (pronounced see-ahh-nee), which I lifted from the beautiful broadcast reporter who did the local 6 o’clock news. My mom and grandmother were not loving that one, and I’m pretty sure they were praying against it as I started referring to the baby by that name.

Even though I liked it, Siani didn’t sit in my gut as The One, the absolute best possible name for my unborn Girl Child. You know, I just always felt like I could do better. I wanted something different and unique, but nothing with a traditional African-American-esque “-sha,” “-ika,” or “-ita” at the end. Not to be a snob, but we’ve got enough of those running around in my family.

Though I wanted her name to have meaning, and as much as I love my Nana and mom, I couldn’t saddle the child with a reincarnation of Mildred or Marie, which are the first names they’ve been living with their whole lives. Neither of them would’ve wanted me to, anyway, since they both think their own mothers could’ve done better. And I certainly didn’t want the baby’s name to be something that there are already 50 million gals answering to, like Jennifer or Tiffany or Heather.

Sitting through my umpteenth movie in one particular week, I watched Good Will Hunting with Matt Damon and Minnie Driver, whose character name was Skylar. And that, folks, was all she wrote. It was the first time I’d really heard that name — the first time I’d really paid attention to it, anyway — and when I unfurled my jumbo book of baby names, I was completely smitten when I learned that it means ‘scholar’ in Dutch.

(No matter that we don’t have not one Dutch bone in our bodies or any connection to anything Dutch whatsoever, sans family who lives in Pennsylvania Dutch country, but that’s a stretch.)

I 86’ed everything else on the list, gave her father a little input by adding his favorite name, Desirea, and it was a hit. Skylar Desirea. It still has a nice ring to it, even after all this time.

And boy oh boy, after 13 years of knowing and mothering her, I can say without a doubt that I made the right choice. Is she ever a Skylar, even though I’m not sure exactly how a Skylar is supposed to be or act or look. I just know that the name is befitting, and I haven’t come across another one since that I love as much or would seem to capture the essence of her her-ness as much as Skylar does. She’s not a big fan of it — does any kid ever pat their mama on the back and give her a commendation for giving them a great name? — but I suspect she’ll like it more and more as she grows up.

The one thing I learned from that first go-round is, if I have any more little ones I have the honor of naming, I will keep it to myself until after that little dude makes his or her grand debut and the birth certificate has been signed. Too many people have too many opinions and that crap starts to make you question yourself. (Maybe Julius is a little stuffy, after all? Does Libby really sound like a golddigger’s name?) I’ll just find something that me and The Man are happy with, something that’s fair to the baby, and keep everyone else in suspense until its first birthday.

Do you still like the name you choose for your child(ren)?

family, girls, boys


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Catlijk2 Catlijk2

You mean I am not unique with this question!?  My girls like their names of Catherine and Loren so I guess it's all good here.

Gypsy... GypsyMa76

I named my daughter Céilí (pronounced Kay-lee) from one of my favorite songs. I still love it no matter how many people I have to tell it's not pronounced CeeLee - LOL. It means party, or gathering with music, in Gaelic which is appropirate since she was concieved at her aunts wedding LMAO.  She loves her name too so I'd say it's a major WIN. :)

nonmember avatar SheaShea28

When my husband and I were discussing names for our son, we made a list over like 3 months.... then one day sat down and went through the list. We scratched the names that the other hated (OMG I WENT TO HIGH SCHOOL WITH SOMEONE NAMED "X"... NO WAY!) and then talked about the other names. When we had come to a handful we liked, we put ourselves into the mindset of 8 year olds to see how it would be made fun of LOL. Finally we decided on Christian.... hubby is Irish and Christian has its roots in Gaelic, and means follower of Christ. What stronger name could you want for your baby boy?

Making fun of the names was a lot of fun tho - and made for an amusing few hours!

momto... momtolittleg

GypsyMa76- Which song?  The only Kayleigh song I know is from the 80s, by Marillion.  Pretty song!  And speaking of songs, I wanted my daughter to have a song associated with her name, but none of the names we liked had good songs.  We named her anyway (and we LOVE her name- suits her perfectly).  Then when she was about 2 a friend asked if we had ever heard the Ben Folds' song "Gracie" and OMG is it the PERFECT song for her!!  Folds wrote it for his twin daughter, who is evidently just as sweet and spunky as our Gracie.  She loves the song, too!

nonmember avatar leigh

We named our daughter, Ava Rose and our son Cameron David. We both loved the name Ava and even thought its a popular name, we thought it was just too lovely to resist. Her middle name is my favorite flower :). My hubsand picked out Cameron's name from a baby book and used his own name as his middle name. The men on his side of the family have Stanley or Norman in their names, and he didn't want such old fashioned names for our son.

*sorry for all spelling & grammar errors..just woke up and have had no coffee yet :) *

MeTaL... MeTaL_MoMmA_08

My husband and I took months to agree on a name (I wanted to name our daughter Serenity, he told me to stop being a dirty hippie and come up with a real name.... and now I see Serenity would've been an awful choice, as she's a monster! LoL)! When we finally did agree (on Chloe - his fave song is Mother Love Bone's "Chloe Dancer"), we found out AFTER she was born that there were a million Chloes that year. Oops.

scoot... scooteroosMama

I'm still happy with my kiddos names, I just wish one hadn't become so popular lately.

I have a kind of unique name, there are people out there with it, but I've only personally heard of 4, and one or two on tv. So I enjoyed not having to use my last name in school, because I was the only one with that first name. My husband on the other hand is one of a gazillion Kris's (even if it's spelled with a K instead of CH). When we chose Aiden for our first born, I checked it's popularity..not even a top 100! Perfect. Year after he was born? Top 10!!!  I thought it was perfect, it wasn't  in top lists of names, different, but not weird....wrong. Completely and utterly Uber-popular now....But that's ok I still love it and it suits him, and I just secretly lie to myself and pretend I started the trend. He is the oldest Aiden I know. :O) lol.

My other son is Westin. I've heard a few around, but not too many. And I still love it and think it's a great name. Except people always spell it Weston...which is odd to me because we clearly pronounce his name WesTIN and never WesTON...but that's ok it happens, and I get it.

1swee... 1sweetlea

Before I found out what we were having I already knew that I wanted to name our son Connor & we did. If we would have had a girl I'm not sure what we would have named her since we still to this day can't settle on any girl names! Btw, Connor means strong & stubborn & our son's name fits him perfectly!

Colette Mayfield

We're going through this right now - expecting our 3rd baby!  I had my first two kid's names picked out for years.  With a third it became harder - especially with a girl!  I just recently came accross a name that I finally feel like is THE ONE, but my husband just thinks it's a cute name.  Hopefully it's not back to the drawing board...

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