Monday, 5 October 2009

The Name Game

OMG Pregnant has passed this meme to me and, in light of my current situation, it is jumping to the head of the queue, before all the other memes and awards that I have building up. Because, look, it’s all about naming babies!

Here’s the deal, from Mommy Words: Names are important. Your kids’ names were chosen for a particular reason and they mean a lot to you so this would be a great story to share! If you don’t share your kids’ names on your blog you can just tell us where you got the catchy nickname for your little ones or just go through 1-10 and amuse us with your naming antics! No problemo! Copy the image above to use on your blog. Go ahead and answer the questions and then pass this Name Game and the simple instructions on to 5 other bloggy moms or dads who you think might want to share their story! Make sure to let Mommy Words know so she can follow the Name Game!

  1. Do you have any cultural or religious naming traditions?
    Not to my knowledge, though we did know there would be two middle names, as my surname needed to be in there as a middle name. (We are married, but I kept my name – there’s a post all about it, somewhere.)
  2. Did you or your partner come to the marriage with pre-selected names?
    I didn’t and don’t think Chris did.
  3. Did you consider the sound of the first and middle and last names together? Did this make any sad eliminations?
    Yes we did consider these things, and for Eleanor, we also considered how it would sound with her big sister’s name. Don’t remember whether it caused eliminations!
  4. Do you have veto powers?
    We wouldn’t have anything that we didn’t both like, I believe. So, I suppose we both had veto powers.
  5. Did the baby naming cause arguments?
    Not really. First time round there were some names I was disappointed to have to let go of, but I don’t think there were actual arguments about them.
  6. Do you think it is easier to name boys or girls?
    Well, this time round a boy’s name was easy to come up with, as we’d already chosen one last time round and kept it! But apart from that, I don’t think one’s easier than the other.
  7. Did you eliminate names because of people from your past or present who you don’t like or because a certain image comes to mind.
    Not really. We probably eliminated some for being a bit too popular at the moment, though, which was a factor.
  8. Did you / would you survey your children to get their thoughts on the name?
    We asked Rosemary for some ideas when we trying to come up with girls’ names, but she wasn’t hugely interested. As soon as we had chosen, though, she started coming up with alternatives. For a fair while, she went around saying the baby in my tummy was called Holli (a choice we wouldn’t have made, as I have a cousin called Holli). These days, apparently ‘Eleanor has four names – Eleanuh, Eleanor, Chicken-Beef and Poppy’
  9. Did you tell people the name or possible names before the baby was born or were they “in the vault”?
    We shared the names, as soon as we had come up with them. It’s really important to us (or possibly to me and Chris has kindly gone along with it?) to be able to bond with the baby while she’s inside and knowing the gender and being able to talk about Rosemary or Eleanor, rather than ‘it’ or ‘the baby’ makes this much easier. It’s doubly useful this time, because it has allowed Rosemary to more easily appreciate that there is a baby inside my tummy and she talks to her and sings to her.
  10. Did you use baby name books?
    I don’t think so, but think we may have looked at some naming websites.

Drumroll Please… What did you name your kid(s) and why?

Rosemary Alice Goddard Clark

Rosemary is a combination of two of our grandmothers’ names. Rose was Chris’ Nanny and Mary was my Granny Mary. Chris’ Nanny was still alive when Rosemary came into the world and so she knew that Rosemary was partly named after her, which is nice. It was also very important for us to have a long name that the child could choose to shorten in various ways as and when (and if) they wanted to, because not everyone is always happy with their given name. I had been quite keen on Maria, after my Granny Mary, but Chris had some issues with names ending in the letter A, so that was eliminated. I honestly can’t remember who came up with the combination, but we both really liked it – the name and also the fact that it had meaning within both families, we also liked that it was an older name that isn’t especially common at the moment.

Alice we came up with in hospital, after my waters broke and waiting for contractions to start. ‘Oh no. We don’t have a middle name!’ We just went through a few, taking turns suggesting them and saying ‘Hmm, maybe’ or ‘No!’, or ‘Yes’ and we both liked Alice and sounded good with Rosemary! I do have a second cousin called Alice and had a childhood friend called Alice, but they’re both really nice.

Eleanor Brianna Goddard Clark

With Eleanor, we were again aiming for a name that could be shortened in various ways and also wanted something that would be sound good when said with Rosemary. We considered a combination of the other two grandmothers, but that didn’t really work (Treena and Lena), so it was just a case of coming up with ideas and finding one we both liked. I’m fairly certain that Eleanor was Chris’ idea, initially, and I really liked it, too. We discussed it a bit and looked up things about it – it’s what Sam Gamgee called one of his daughters, though with a different spelling, for example; there’s an Eleanor in Sense and Sensibility, again with a different spelling. As with Rosemary, it’s not hugely common in this day and age, which we like. And we like it. We do both pronounce it differently, which is amusing – one of us will probably end up using the other’s pronunciation in the end!

Brianna is a female version of Brian. If Eleanor had been a boy, then her middle name would have been Brian – at my request. My father (Brian John Goddard) passed away in 2007 and I wanted his name in there if it was a boy. Chris was quite happy with that, and then came up with the suggestion that we might be able to find a nice female version of Brian for a girl. We were neither of us too keen on Bryony, but liked Brianna, which sounds (and possibly is, I don’t recall) more Celtic (my dad was Welsh) and again, is a little unusual. It is a little too unusual for some people, and we do often have to spell it out and people hear ‘Rhiannon’ instead of Brianna when we say it sometimes.

They both have the surname Clark, but have Goddard as a second middle name. We didn’t want to go with the whole double-barrelled surname, because it’s a bit too much to lumber a child with. For the most part, Rosemary is Rosemary Clark, just officially, Rosemary Alice Goddard Clark. Sometimes people stick the Goddard onto the Clark to double-barrel it and they are corrected. It was important for me to have the Goddard there, so people wouldn’t question my parenthood, but I could remain Tasha Goddard and not have to change my name. Though I have found, since becoming a mum, that I am far more often called ‘Mrs Clark’ and Chris is far less often called ‘Mr Goddard’. I let it go a fair bit, these days, especially if it’s someone I’m going to see once (e.g. British Gas engineer), but will correct pre-school staff and doctors’ receptionists and so on. If I phone up nursery school or playgroup, I tend to say ‘This is Tasha, Rosemary’s mum.’ and just leave the whole surname out of it.

Well, that was fun. Took my mind off Eleanor still not being here (no more contractions since they were gone on waking Sunday morning, by the way).

I need to pass this on. Am trying to think of anyone else who uses their children’s actual names, and OMG Pregnant has already passed on to two I would have chosen (Emily at Maternal Tales and Amy at And 1 More Means Four, who is currently suffering through first-trimester tiredness with her fifth, yes fifth, baby):

That’s everyone I can think of who uses their children’s actual names on their blogs – and I might actually be wrong about them! I shall also throw it open to anyone else who wants to do it, because I find names fascinating.


  1. Thanks for the tag. As it is a rainy day I have completed it already for your reading pleasure!

  2. I'll let you in a secret. I'm a Rosemary. It's a mixture of my maternal grandmothers' names Marie and Rosamund. Good choice! And Eleanor too!

  3. I would love to take part in this too - sounds like fun and would love to describe how I named my little ones!

    Fab post!

  4. Great idea for a post!
    Award for you at my place!

  5. Lovely names! My kids also have the two middle names for the same reason; Rosalind (Rosa) Ruth Wilson Pearce, and Bjorn Anthony Wilson Pearce.

    Rosalind was my choice, named for Rosalind Franklin, the woman who helped discover DNA, Ruth for his grandma and Bjorn was my husbands choice, Anthony is for my dad. We were in complete agreement, amazingly!