Naming Your Baby: Monumental Responsibility or Fun Activity?

26 Aug
babynameArcher

Source: HeatherGolde.com

Guys, I’m stumped when it comes to baby names for a girl (which we are having, in case you didn’t know). I have a list of boy names that I love love love, but girl names? Not so much. A lot of my long-time favorites are now uber popular, and I always liked having a name that wasn’t super common, so I want my child to have one like that, too.

So part of the reason I’m stumped is maybe I have too many restrictions/requirements for names? I’d love for our kids to have Hebrew or Israeli names, to carry on that part of my heritage that was lost when I left behind my maiden name (Moyal) and took on Thompson. There are a ton of wonderful Hebrew/Israeli names for boys, but not much for girls.

Also, I’d love to give our daughter a meaningful name. Obviously, I grew up knowing the meaning of my first name, but also the meaning of my middle name (Netanya, which means “gift from God”). My sisters, Sarah and Rachel, knew their names meant “princess” and “lamb.” I didn’t want to simply give my child a name because I liked the sound of it, but now I’m wondering if I’ve been overthinking this, mainly because my favorite names right now don’t really have profound meanings and also aren’t of Hebrew origin.

It reminds me a *tiny* bit of when I was thinking about the tattoo I wanted to get. I literally thought about it and pictured it (my name in Hebrew) on my ankle for a full year before heading to the tattoo parlor. And you know what? I’ve never regretted that tattoo for even a minute. Still love it, 11 years later. I’m hoping the same slow process will help us to make a good decision about our daughter’s name, too!

What do you think? Did you grow up knowing the meaning of your name? Is the meaning important, or is it more important to like the sound and feel of the name, and what the name evokes? Or does it not really matter that much, because each individual ends up growing into their name and embodying it in a unique way? I seriously want to know your thoughts, and maybe your process naming your children; please share!

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3 Responses to “Naming Your Baby: Monumental Responsibility or Fun Activity?”

  1. Charlotte August 26, 2015 at 2:56 pm #

    I LOVE names! I think they are so important as I believe they give a child at least part of its personality. I truly think the name you pick should be a combination of all the things you’re concerned about. You should absolutely love it: Love saying it, spelling it, singing it, even screaming it… (which also makes it beautiful–at least to you), and it should be meaningful (even if only to you). There are many beautiful, meaningful names from many cultures. One of the beautiful things about Jewish/Hebrew names and naming traditions is that there are so many options! Use the “M” from your maiden name as the first letter of your daughter’s name. Make her middle name your maiden name (I am about 85% sure that I’ll do this with any children I have). In Orthodox traditions, many names are made from a sort of acronym using the letters of other family members to create a name (complicated, but pretty neat if you can make it work)–also made slightly easier in the Jewish world by the lack of “correct” spelling/transliteration of Hebrew. I also know a family who used grandma’s name to create a word scramble for their daughter’s name: Grandma Claire became daughter Carlie. The possibilities are endless! Good luck and have fun!

    Like

    • Joy Netanya August 26, 2015 at 7:03 pm #

      I love your tips! There’s more than one way to give meaning to a name, is what I’m taking away from them. Thanks!!

      Like

  2. henatayeb September 7, 2015 at 8:16 am #

    We believe names are very important.. they have an impact on who you are as a person.. their meanings are significant.. but it was also important to us that our children have names we like, that won’t get them made fun of etc etc..
    We had a lot of fun when picking names for our boys.. you should too

    Like

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