Naming your child(ren) can be a tasking process for some and for some it can become strain on a couples relationship. In naming P. I came up with a simple process. I kept the master list of names and whenever we came up with new additions, they would be added no question. Every few weeks Clem and I would sit down and cross off a certain number of names we don’t like. Early in the process that number can be 5 names on each list, later in the process that number dwindles to 2-3 names off each time. The desired result is a list of 3 names for each twin that Clem and I can then choose the perfect one. P. was the one name we both liked, he also preferred Colette and I preferred Sloane, so P. was the overall favorite.
Then there are rules or our strong opinions on the kind of names we want for the kids. My name is Brian, pretty common and bland. I’ve always wanted my kids to have names that were unique. Not the kind of unique where we make up a new name, simply a name that is no longer used anymore. So with P. I didn’t want a top 5,000 name and P. broke that barrier. This time around Clem has pushed back and asked me to ease up on that rule. I’ve compromised and said I would be okay with making the rule no Top 1000 names.
My need for a unique or rarely heard name, from my observations during childhood. The kids with rare names were always referred to by the first name. I felt like I had to put on a show to stand out while they just had a cool name or an easily identified. I know it might sound selfish but I also feel it provides an identity when referencing someone. Being a Brian mean’t people would call me Kincaid, Brian with the red hair or Turlie to identify me. The reason for this was due to there being more than one Brian in a circle of friends. Clem thought that my reasoning was silly, until I pointed out that he himself escaped the normalcy of Mark by calling himself Clem, so even he was guilty of wanting a unique name. (Sorry honey, some how rationalizing Clem is a normal name just doesn’t cut it - Clem is ranked 14,797. Both Mark and Brian were top 10 names when we were born. No offense Mimi, I love my name)
Another aspect of the naming restrictions are your gut opinions or feelings. First is how will the kids in school butcher my child's name. You have to come up with all the possible teasing versions of that name. Greer during P’s naming was one of top my top names but I could easily see the kids screaming QUEER GREER or most recently there was Pegeen which would go nicely with PIGGY PEGEEN. Kids are cruel, no coincidence both of those names were girls. You also have the common opinion reasonings to remove a name. The obvious ones are:
I know someone with that name.
That’s the name of someone I didn’t like in school.
That sounds like a porn star name.
It’s to similar to a family name.
It was the name of a previous pet.
So this round of naming is now tied to the twins first names and more importantly both the girl and boy list are in play. To date we have chopped off over 50 names. One change that we needed to accommodate was the process of picking a middle name. With P. we used Clem’s mothers maiden name as the middle name. This time around we are not going to do any family names of the living. We do have old family names on our current list.
How we find the names is really all over the place. From books, movies, articles and internet sites. This time around, one of our biggest sources (probably half of 115+ names) was both of our family trees on Ancestry.com. So far we’ve done 5 rounds of scratching names off the list. And there is still a good chunk of old family names on the list. Some of the names we took off were Rosemond, Cornelia, Landine, Darre, Kersdale, Haynes, Kimball and Andrade. But those names still have a chance. When we’ve picked those two first names, the list is back in play and we get to choose the perfect middle name.