What’s in a name?

Choosing a name for your soon-to-be-born child can be a daunting challenge.  It could take a full nine months.   Parents must cooperate and both be satisfied with the final selection.  Each partner may have differing ideas about how the name should be chosen.  Some wish to carry a family name.  Some desire a modern name, which may equate toa name that was popular 100 years ago.   For example, I have been hearing the name Mabel recently for infants.  My grandmother, Mabel, was born in 1908.   Some creative parents make up a “new” name.   We gave our children biblical names.

hello-my-name-is-660-x-660During the 1950’s through the 1980’s siblings often received names which all began with the same letter.  Twins had rhyming names such as Don and John.  There are theme names such as flowers like Rose, Lily, Violet, and Daisy; or months/seasons such as April, June, August, Spring and Autumn; and even gemstones such as Ruby and Pearl.   I have been partial to Faith, Hope, Grace, and Charity, but have been told these are “hippie names.”    Even last names can be used as first names.  Some strive for unique names only later to discover the name they choose is quiet popular.

No one will give their child the name of a kid they knew and disliked.  One must consider how a name could be shortened and even mutilated by other children.   Please pay attention to initials.  My brother had a third grade teacher who referred to students in this manner.  Unfortunately his initials were B.M.

We do not choose our own name.  It is given by loving parents who deliberate long and hard.   Some choose a name based on the name’s origin and meaning.   A few individuals will choose their favorite version of their name.  For example my name is Diane, but I often refer to myself as Di.   Most of us don’t even choose our nick names.    Our son Daniel, was called Danny as a child, but as an adult goes by Dan.

But every mother and father has the opportunity to choose what their children will call them.  Will it be mother, mom, momma, mama, or mum?  Will it be Father, Dad, Daddy, Poppa, Poppy, or Pop?    It is whatever you teach your child it is.  This too could change with time, and attitude.13076999_263584877342925_875694023625990266_n

When I became a grandmother, I chose to embrace my German heritage and named myself Oma.  Recently my granddaughters have shorted that already short name to just Oms.   Some grandparents do receive their name from a grandchild.  That is how my husband’s grandfather was called Bopo as was his father and now him.

I think it very nice when each grandparent has a slightly different name from other grandparents.   My grandparents were all called grandma and grandpa and all their last names started with the letter H.  It was often confusing.     I was 20 when my first child was born and my parents became grandparents at age 43.   My dad really felt too young to be called grandpa.  For more than a year we referred to my folks as Grandma and the Man.  Eventually our son named him Pa, and it stuck.

As you are considering names for your child, talk with your parents about their grandparent names, if they don’t already have them.    This Oma is awaiting the birth of her 12th grandchild in mid-Dec. 2016 and her parents are still working on her name. I am confident it will be as beautiful as she will be. 14440924_1204306552981429_8930950963544655844_n

 

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