Monday, May 9, 2011

Naming Our Hypothetical Children

No, we're not pregnant.  Nor are we thinking about it in any this-is-real-we-have-a-time-frame-we-pulled-the-goalie-sort-of way.  Put that out of your head.  Especially you, Mom.

However, in all of our DINK glory, we have been discussing an ever important task associated with baby making.  Just when we thought we had a wedding reprieve, it's only been replaced with baby announcements.  You may think we're horrible people, but when you're sitting at home with your little bundle of joy, cooing at them and being drunk in love with your baby, Mr. Palindrome and I are sitting on our couch with a beer, a paused Netflix movie and our judgement of your choice of names.

We would never say it to your face, but our couch has heard many of our uncharitable judgments.

"What were they thinking?"
"If you had a family name like that, wouldn't you just abandon it?"
"That sounds like a boys name.  No wonder nobody can tell what the kid is."
"Seriously? With a Y? So low brow."

During one of our Friday night analyses sessions, I threw out some solid favorites of mine.  As it turns out, Mr. Palindrome has very strong opinions about my favorites.

"Those are Grandma names!"

This conversation devolved into me emphatically stating: "I push! I name!"  To which Mr. Palindrome retorted that he would just call the hypothetical child whatever he wanted, regardless of the birth certificate.

Since this topic repeatedly comes up every time we get a Care Calendar Meal email, we've continued our discussion.  After the Royal Wedding, I threw out Charles.  Yes! Sweet agreement.  Classic, strong, acceptable nicknames!  It was later confirmed when Mr. Palindrome sent me this email:

SUBJ: ideas for baby names?

Mr. Palindrome is all the more convinced that Charles is the name for us since it has international CEO power.

Right.  So we have one boy name that we agree on.  What if it's a girl?  I'm not naming a girls Charles, so in an effort to plug my old fashioned favorite, I looked at the Social Security's list of top 5 names over the last century.  Turns out my favorite girl's name and our favorite boy's name were popular in the same decade! 

I loaded up my ammunition and took aim.  "Hey Mr. P!  If Margaret is a Grandma name, then Charles is a Grandpa name!"  He resisted my logic and contended that Charles has held a more popular place than Margaret over the century.  So I looked for a tiebreaker.  I turned to the source of all internet truth: Wikipedia.  According to the Margaret page, Margaret is the 13th most popular name as recorded in the 1990 U.S. census.  Holding strong, I'd say!  Or there are a lot of octogenarians still kicking!  I'm still going to take the ultimate stand that the pusher has final say.

Do you have spats over naming hypothetical children?  Are you judging our old, fogey favorites? :)


  1. Haha Love this post!! We too have judged our fair share of baby names, and also fear BEING judged when we name our children!

    We both agree on a boy's name, but not a girl's! I think your choices are classic--would you be nicknaming them "Maggie" and "Charlie?"

  2. I love old, classic names!! One of my high school friends named her daughter Emilee. Now, I LOVE the name Emily. But the spelling makes me feel like I have to put a weird amount of emphasis on the LEE when saying her name. And another friend of a friend just had a baby and named him John Wayne LastName. Only...they call him John Wayne. Nice homage, but I'm not sure that his generation will really "get" it. (says a girl named after a song from the 70's, but anyway) :P

  3. As someone with the girl's name in question, I can say that when I was younger I hated it. Especially combined with my middle name I complained that it sounded like an "old lady who lives in a Victorian house full of cats"... The fact that I've always gone by Meg was also complicated. There are TONS of Megan's (and all the various spellings of that name) my age because of The Thornbirds, though why you would name your daughter after that character is beyond me. People are constantly calling me Megan and questioning how you get Meg fron Margaret. I counter that a) Meg in Little Women is Margaret, b) Meg Ryan is Margaret, and c) if Peggy is short for Margaret, then Meg is certainly better.
    All that said. I really like my name now. It is classic, but not too common. I like to think it is elegant. My mom and dad picked it because they'd never heard of a woman named Margaret who wasn't strong and I dig that.
    Also, my grandpa is named Charles.
    And we got married on the same day which is how I found you.
    And I'm not a creepy stalker, but these coincidences are weird :)
    End of novel length comment.

  4. So I'm huge into family names... except my family names are: Hannah Marie (my name, so no), Bessie Lee, Betty Jean, Wilmetta Mae and Leslie. (Yes, those are the women directly before me.)

    I've informed my husband that our first daughter will be Bessie Mae (the whole I push, I name argument. Plus my grannie Bessie and my mother (middle name) Mae are two inspirations to me) and he has informed me that he will call her whatever he pleases...

  5. @Mandy - I like Charlie and Maggie, but I like a lot of the derivatives! I'm not opposed to Chuck, Midge, Meg, Margie, etc!

    @Layla, too funny! My little brother went through a huge John Wayne/cowboy phase and used to tell people that his middles names were John Wayne!

    @Meg - So glad you commented! Yes, quite a few coincidences! That's awesome!

    @Hannah - I love the southern sounding homage to Bessie Mae! I just love the heritage names!

  6. Ha! Funny post. My nephew is named Charles (Charlie) after my dad :)

  7. @bigapplenosh - my cousin named their kid after my dad - I thought that was against the family name laws? I guess not!

  8. Thanks for stopping by at mine. I'd love to name a son Charles, but I think the hubs is vetoing. It was a family name, but after my mom's little brother Charles died soon after birth there hasn't been another one. Sadly, my husband's BIL's middle name is Charles and since they don't get on he isn't too keen. Maybe we'll go with Papa's middle name Hugh- though that doesn't revive Charles... perhaps one of my cousins will use it.

  9. Coming from the mother of a Margaret I think it is a wonderful name. Tom had VERY strong opinions about baby names. We drove to Asheville (6.5 hours) when I was pregnant. On the way there and back, we read every single girl baby name and meaning. We picked out our favorite 10-15 names. Then we looked into the meanings and crossed ones off that we didn't like the meaning for. Then we said them with our last name and crossed ones off that didn't sound good. Then we had about 6-8 names. We made a chart (on the back of one of my gradebook sheets). In one column we wrote the names. At the top of the other columns was a T and an H. Then we could rank each name a 0, 1 or 2 (2 being the highest). Margaret and Abigail got 4 points each. Hannah and Megan got three points each. A month and a half later we had a Margaret Hannah (Maggie) and an Abigail Megan (Abby).
    So yeah, we were sort of into names.

  10. @Meg - I like Hugh! Solid British name, eh?

    @Heather - I can totally see the whole scene in my mind's eye! Hilarious! I have a feeling when the time comes that we'll be nearly as thorough as you. Nearly.

  11. AHHHH loved this post! Was almost crying I was laughing so hard because I've said almost the identical thing. Please don't name your child some weird, bizarre never-been-heard-before or horrible permutation (spelling-wise) of an existing name. And love love love your top 2. They are both in my short list. Good work...guess that makes me fond of grandpa/ma names too, huh? :)

  12. I love Charles and I like Margaret, but I don't like the derivatives for Margaret (Marge,Midge..ugh). I do like Maggie and Meg though.

    I used to want to name my future daughter Hazel but decided that might be too grandmotherly.

    The names I really love are Siena and Kate for girls, and Gavin for a boy.

  13. I'd have to say that I'm partial to Margaret. But like Meg, I too wasn't a big fan when I was little. I never ran into any in school. But Margaret, like Charles, are names that also grow with a person. Unlike others which mostly end in an I.

  14. Did you see that Alicia Silverstone named her kid Bear Blu. I guess it's a boy! I knew she was weird when her entire wedding was 100% organic but that name is OVER.THE.TOP.