Naming Baby

While I was pregnant and it came time to choose names for The Duchess, we struggled.  We had to choose both a boy’s and girl’s name since we hadn’t found out the sex, not for lack of trying.  Not only did she have her legs tightly crossed, but she was sitting on her feet.  This should have been our first sign of her very determined, independent nature (Have I mentioned that at not even 5 ½ months, she is starting to crawl by dragging herself across the room…on her face?).

We struggled, but not in the argumentative, “What is wrong with the name Blazer?” kind of way, but in the generally indecisive way.  We wanted to choose something that wouldn’t be too unusual if we lived in the UK, but wouldn’t be considered funny if we moved to America.  Although, American names are far less traditional therefore people tend to be a bit more adventurous.

Check out this link at  HuffPost on American trends to look out for in 2012, submitted by Pamela Redmond Satran from  It’s guaranteed to have some of my British readers chuckling aloud.  (Maybe we should have gone with the names Golden or Lynx or why not the best of both worlds, Golden Lynx).  

The future Golden is worried: photo via

We also wanted to consider our accents and choose a name that we both said the same way.  No Dawns, Audreys, or Isaiahs.  Finally, we didn’t want to choose a name that was #1 on the most popular baby name’s list…or even top 10 for that matter.  Neither of our names was that popular when we were born so we didn’t have to be constantly called by our first and surnames…The Native’s name will never hit the Top 100 list.  Having a name that wasn’t everyone else’s was weirdly important to me.

Finally, only weeks before she arrived we settled on names for The Duchess and were especially happy about our girly choice.

A few months back we moved to our current home and just this week I met one of your bog standard, friendly neighbourhood pensioners on my way into town.  This was our conversation.

Your friendly neighbourhood pensioner:  Hello.  Ooooh, can I have a look at the baby?
(turn the puschair towards her) Sure.
She is pretty.  What’s her name?
(insert The Duchess’ name here)
That’s…….(YFNP trails off and stares down the street without finishing the sentence.)

Clearly, my rules about names don’t suffice for the elderly populace.  She didn’t even try to pretend and say, ‘That’s lovely,’ or not even the honest, but polite ‘That’s different.’  She just stopped talking.

Good thing I found it hilarious.  I would have liked to see her face if I had said her name was Golden.

If you are a parent: What was important to you when naming your baby?

If you’re not: I had a friend who said she couldn’t stand when parents tried to give their kids unusual names just to be different.  Is there anything you think is important when naming a child?  Anything that is annoying?  Don’t worry, little reader, you can be honest!

By the way, in a mad weekend dash, why not nip over to a wonderful lifestyle blog written by a fellow expat  to submit a last minute entry in her competition?  She is giving away a beautiful bowband, knitted headband. Lauren is married to one of my old British buddies, lives in Rome and writes about those simple things that make life beautiful, inspiring, and just that bit more fun.


9 thoughts on “Naming Baby

  1. Lauren Dixon

    Brit, I read this aloud to Andy and we both laughed. I’m anticipating a similar problem for us… and even more complicated if we’re still living in Italy. Poor kid will be so confused. 🙂 Thanks for the blog shout-out! xx

  2. Stacey

    Ah the inevitable name question. It’s the first after ‘are you going to find out what it is?’. We wanted names that had family meaning, were old fashioned, and not on the popular list (Frederick’s was #538 in 2009). We actually had 2 boy names and 2 girl names picked out soon after we decided to some day have kids. They haven’t changed yet, only problem is if we have a 3rd boy :/

    1. Living Life as an Expat Parent Post author

      Does that mean the plan is four kids!? If you get to boy #3 and are looking for some old fashioned boys names, check the British Top 100. Old fashioned boys names are muoy popular here right now. The Native always said there is going to be a generation of children in the UK who sound like fighter pilots from WWII.

  3. Liz

    I’m so glad I found your blog! I live in Alaska and I LOVE it here, but I’ve always fantasized about living in the UK! 🙂

    Looking forward to your next blog!

  4. Lanna

    Hilarious story! I love the Duchesses name! It’s so funny to see people’s reactions to babies names! I think the two most important things to me w/ names is/will be 1. That it’s different but not weird ( I always liked having a unique name) & 2. It’s meaning. For some reason the origins & meaning behind a name are VERY important to me. Great post, B!


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