the big name post

A fair warning before we begin: this post is for the uber-name-nerds, for the excited mom friends who keep asking, and for the intensely curious acquaintances who care about 8%. If you don’t fall into one of these groups, leave now, cause it’s about to get boring.

We normally don’t pick names this early, but these choices just seem right. (Also we normally don’t reveal this early, but our tastes have wandered into some very strange territory–I’m not at all worried about name-stealin’ hooligans, at least not among the people I know of child-bearing age who live anywhere near me. And if there were anyone who would choose names this wacky, we’re meant to be best friends for life. Call me!)

Naming 7 children over the years has been, at times (read also: every time), maddening. We have a designated “naming chalkboard” that has seen its share of good and bad ideas throughout our marriage:

(Photo circa summer 2014.)

Dang baby daddy! Always having an opinion and digging in his heels! I think I’ve told the “Behind the Name” stories of my first five kiddos, so I’m excited to share about our very top picks for the next 2.

Let us delve.

For the Boys:

1. Duncan: Duncan’s been on our list since we began having children together. (Well, more realistically, probably since Caleb saw ‘Highlander’ long before I met him.) It means “dark warrior”, and was on our extremely short list for a son every time we thought we were having a son. (Which was only once–and Merrick won that round.) It’s classic, it’s Scottish, it’s not common but not made-up or weird. It’s our solid, hands-down, numero uno pick for a boy. Mainly so Caleb can introduce him to everyone as “Duncan McCl—, from the clan McCl—.” (I’d insert eye roll here, but I’m so in love with this name that I’m willing to put up with–nay, embrace all Highlander jokes we may encounter.)

2. Benjen: Our next choice for a boy is the ever-so GOT-sy Benjen. And yeah, I know I know I know. Don’t name your kid after a TV show. This was never my original intention, but then I came upon this killer pic while scopin’ Pinterest for wicked cool sci-fi baby names:

And I mean.

I’ve always loved the name Ben. And Caleb’s always shot down Benjamin. Call Benjen a compromise. Youngest son? Check! Plus the George R. R. Martin character is freakin’ bomb: dude is a no-limit soldier, a sworn protector of all the people in all the kingdoms, riding around in a cold, dark world surrounded by dead souls; dying himself, but fighting the good fight for the living til the bitter end. That’s just noble, y’all.

Runners up: There were no runners up. Caleb and I disagreed on every other boys’ names except these two. I wanted Calder somethin’ fierce, but I backed down with that when it looked like Caleb was thinking of dragging out Riddick again.

UPDATE: Caleb got a wild hair and suggested “Gideon”. I am not in disagreement. I tentatively place it on my list.

And For the Girls:

1. Endellion: This is a raaaarrre saint’s name that allegedly means “fire soul”. (At least it does according to my extensive two-second google search that turned up questionable results–but hey, it’s on some rando internet site so it must be true.) Is there anything cooler than “fire soul”? The answer is no, a thousand times no. Bonus: the saint that carried this name was a next-level forgiver–she brought back to life a man who was killed for killing her favorite horse, and since forgiveness has been my word of the last half-decade, it seemed fitting.

We would not be regularly addressing our little fire soul by her full name though; we toyed with nicknames Endie, Della, Ellie, and even Lio, but nothing seemed quite right until Caleb suggested Indie–a mellow contrast to the more formal Endellion. (Think Toni vs. Antoinette.)

2. Olivet: Oh, this precious name has so much going for it. “Olive tree” or “grove of olive trees” were the listed meanings, but I will forever associate Olivet with peace, and the place where Jesus gave The Sermon on the Mount. (The most important sermon that lays out everything I am or want to be as a Christian.) Cute nickname Ollie won Caleb over in an instant, *although I am not opposed to calling her “Olive”, just sayin’.*

Runner-ups: I pitched Bernadette and Galilee so hard; the hubster was having none of it. I did get Caleb to say that Sunshine and trusty ole Annabelle were possible contenders. I confess my love of nature names and old lady names and obscure saints’ names (identity crisis much?) but I don’t solidly fall into any of those categories when it comes to actually figuring out what to call a human daughter.

You can tell I’ve had way too much fun with my new typography app. You can also tell that I’m not about choosing a name given to every other basic baby in the country. You will be shocked to know that it took zero convincing on my part for Caleb to come around to these picks. I was gonna to create an elaborate power point presentation and make my case and go to war over these faves. But he loved them from day 1.

So we will roll them around in our brains for a bit and see how they feel.

Middle names, though? It is likely one of us will die.


About Toni

Mom. Wife. Artist. I take care of the kids and pretend to clean sometimes. I can cook spagetti and I have never been arrested. View all posts by Toni

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