Saturday, 19 February 2011

Silence of the Sisterhood - part 14 - What's In A Name

What’s in a name?

From the moment I found out I was pregnant, I have wanted to name the baby.  It took Herculean willpower not to name my future children the moment Shaun agreed we should start a family (well, he didn’t so much agree as lack the self-restraint to disagree, such was my impeccable timing).

Convinced I am having a girl, it is girl’s names I focus on.  When we eventually contemplate the fact we might be having a boy, it will take 3 months of struggle to produce 3 names.  By the time I am 5 weeks pregnant I have 17 girl’s names to choose from.

I am big on signs, omens, the meaning of things; its just one of the perks of being an English Lit buff.  What disturbs me is how so many of the names I have always liked mean absolutely horrible things.  I now discover that friends have named their children after wreaths, meadows by rivers, horses and various degrees of melancholia.  Most disturbing of all, is that what I had always considered a really cute name – Molly, sounds so innocent, rhymes with jolly – actually means bitterness.  Now either all the Mollys in the world have mothers who can’t read, or they just didn’t care. 

Personally I can’t understand how anyone could name a trouble-free bundle of joy “bitterness” …..  but then, I am only 5 weeks pregnant at this point; all too soon I will appreciate the sick humour of calling your daughter Molly.
We don’t want a wacky name, after all, we don’t want to scar our daughter for life; having Shaun as a father will be challenge enough for her, but I also know girls like to be special, and something a little different may go down well.

I am drawn to a book that suggests names to match star signs, and we are smitten with names representing light and angels for our little Gemini.  An early favourite is Ellien.  Different, but not too out there; it means light; it can be abbreviated to Ellie, a name we both love.   Then someone remarks how in the playground she will be called Ellien the Alien.  It’s amazing how quickly you can go off a name.

After about 5 months we take the plunge, and agree on the name which was always our joint favourite from the start: Elizabeth.   Classic, but offering our little girl a choice of names – Ellie, Lizzie, and our favourite, Beth.   It means consecrated to God, and believe me, there have been many moments when I have wanted Him to reclaim his consecrated child, but Beth it is, and it is a name we instantly love.   Now if only my daughter could learn to be as endearing as her name …..
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