What's in a name?

What's in a name?

Posted by Carolyn on 20th Mar 2017

Naming a baby is HARD. 

I've had four babies, and that means my husband and I have had four long, drawn out struggles over what to name them. Getting two people to agree on one name (a name, I might add, that will stay with that baby for the REST OF HIS OR HER LIFE, no pressure) is not easy, but annoyingly necessary. 

It's always interesting to hear how others came up with baby names, so Erica and I thought we'd share how we came up with ours.


Baby #1 - Meredith Jaymes - Born in 2008 at the height of "Grey's Anatomy" popularity, you might think we named our first daughter after the show's main character...but we didn't. I came across the name in a baby book, and we both liked it and how it sounded with our one-syllable last name. Another top contender was Kathryn (Catherine? Katherine?), but when she was born she simply was Meredith. We often shorten it to "Mere" (pronounced like "mare"). Her middle name is after my dad, James.

Baby #2: Nolan Curtis - My favorite book is A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and I've always loved the heroine, Francie Nolan, and her surname. In fact, had Meredith been a boy, she would have been named Nolan. We very nearly went with Lincoln, but it was getting a little too trendy for our taste. Nolan's middle name Curtis is after my father-in-law.

Baby #3: Felicity Quinn - I fell in love with the name Felicity and its meaning: happy. It took a little convincing for my husband to get onboard (FOUR syllables?!), but eventually he came around. Her middle name has the prefix “qui” meaning “five” and when she joined the family, we became a family of five; in my mind, her name literally means "the happy five.”

Baby #4: Beatrice Noel - We struggled to find ANY names we could agree on the fourth time around. I loved Reeve, he liked Eliza or Juliet. We kicked around Kathryn again, and eventually quit talking about names altogether. Then one day, I simply KNEW she was Beatrice, who is also my 94-yr-old grandmother I am very close to. Gratefully, my husband consented; I think he realized just how important honoring my grandma was to me (and to her–at 94, she's tickled pink over "her" baby). Bea's middle name was chosen by our son, Nolan; he was initially disappointed in the idea of another sister so we gave him that special job. The week before Bea was born, we had a big snowstorm and looked up “winter baby names” for inspiration; when Nolan saw Noel he lit up–it started with the same letters as his name! And his favorite band, NSYNC (proud 90s kid here), sings The First Noel! We chose the masculine spelling since it has become our unintentional trend with the girls to use a feminine first paired with a more masculine middle.


Baby #1 - Kya Rose - Our sweet miss Kya was born in 2010 and named by her daddy because her mom (ahem: that's me) just couldn't pick a girl name. I was bullied as a kid and it seemed like almost every girl name I considered was somehow connected to negative memories. We knew we were having a girl, so selecting a girl name was inevitable. My husband suggested the name Kya and I loved it from the start for its low popularity, and for the fact that I only knew one person with the name (and I adored her). Kya's middle name Rose is a connection to our Catholic faith and ties in to her spring birth date.

Bay #2 - Gavin Donald - Once again, Gavin's name was selected by dad (see a trend here?). My husband started studying baby names from the day we knew we were pregnant and after the 20-week ultrasound when we found out we were expecting a boy, the name Gavin was our top choice. Gavin's middle name Donald is a fourth-generation tradition, named after my grandfather, my dad, and my middle name (Dawn). Fun fact: Donald is also a Catholic Saint.

Baby #3 - Andrew Jakob - Names were tricky this time around. We didn't start seriously looking at names until at least midway through the pregnancy, and even then, we couldn't agree on many (errr...any) names. We didn't know if we were expecting a boy or girl, so we had to find boy AND girl names to agree on. My husband's family has many men named Andrew (it's my husband's middle name, both of his grandfathers' names, his brother's name, an uncle's name, and the name of several cousins) so my husband was less than excited about Andrew until I suggested the nickname Drew. Winner! Jakob was my husband's great-great-grandfather, who was also the first family immigrant from Germany. Jakob/Jacob also carries on our Catholic saint naming tradition in the middle spot.

And a side note: we kept all three of our children's names secret from our family and friends (even our own kids!) until after each was born.

Now it's YOUR turn! Tell us all about your babies and how they got their names! 

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