Monday, March 7, 2011

What Is In A Name? Give It Lots Of Thought!

Because I have always loved babies, I did a lot of babysitting from the time I was 11 years old until I graduated high school. I knew a lot of children and adults and always paid attention to their names. When I was in high school I decided I would someday get married and have two children, a boy and a girl whom I would name Scott (to be called Scotty) and Susan (to be called Susie). In my youthful naivete I never gave a thought to the possible last name of a husband, how the childrens' names would fit with that last name, or to the possibility that my future husband would not agree with the names I had chosen. I did marry when I was 21, and we did indeed have a son and a daughter. My husband chose their middle names since I had my heart set on the first names. I should mention here that my married name is Smith.......even the doctor who delivered our daughter was a bit taken aback that we were naming her Susan (Susie) Smith (she still likes being called Susie and still adamantly against being called Susan or Sue). In retrospect, I should have given more thought to the name selection process because names have to last lifetimes. With a common last name like Smith perhaps first names should be more unusual, more sophisticated, more distinguished, and more memorable (it has been my experience that people rarely remember the names Smith, Brown or Jones but never forget a name like Katzenjammer). In selecting the names for my babies I was thinking just that.......of them as babies. I did not think of how their names would seem to them or others as they grew up, as they chose their professions, as their names were listed in various directories, or when they ultimately become senior citizens. My suggestion to anyone reading this blog is to give the naming process great consideration and ask yourselves some questions. Will the children(and others)learn to spell and write their names with ease? Think of the images their names conjure up in others. Will those images be strong and not make them objects of ridicule? When they are grown up and in their chosen fields of endeavor will their names be assets and not hindrances to them? To my knowledge, my children do not hate their names (or me for bestowing them on them). I hope you will be as fortunate with the names you select for your children. Frankly, I think I was just darn lucky.

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