What’s in a name..?

Along comes another celebrity baby, along comes another so-called silly name.

Except I don’t quite agree with the silly bit. As in, who can decide what is silly or not?

I don’t ‘do’ gossip magazines and the like, partly because I just don’t have the time and mostly because I am generally not that interested in the mainly made-up stories about people who don’t really interest me. But I am online probably more than I should be *cough* so it is quite hard to completely escape the latest celebrity news, in particular when a new baby comes along. For starters it is usually all over Twitter!

But I digress.

Over the weekend, Myleene Klass anounced the safe arrival of her second baby girl and yes, there were celebratory comments but these were mostly overshadowed by the ones that were criticising their choice in naming their new baby girl Hero Harper. Yes, it is unusual but who’s business is it but theirs what they decide to name their baby? And it kind of struck a nerve as I too gave my girls more unusual names and got so much criticism for it from some family.

And it hurt.

My Other Half and I agonised over all of our children’s names for the whole nine months and none of them had a name actually chosen before they were born – only ever a long shortlist! But we really did put thought into their names. And they were names that we truly truly loved rather than something that was ‘nice’ and predictably safe. We didn’t choose more unusual names trying to ‘different’ or in some attention seeking way. In fact, anyone that knows me will know just how incredibly shy I am in real life and that I am anything but an attention seeker! But the way I saw it was that you only get one chance to name your child and I could only give my children a name that I absolutely loved. And given the reaction that this got from some family saying that they should be given ‘proper’ names, I see now that for me, I was rather brave in my choices. But I am so glad that I was and that we stuck to our guns and gave our children names that we really loved.

I hope that my children love their names too – they certainly suit them! But covering all bases, they do have more conventional middle names should they grow up not to like them. That said, at some point I think everyone dislikes their name, I know I hated my boring old name of Sarah as a teenager (mainly because there were so many Sarahs about..!) So no doubt at some point my children won’t like their names because they are unusual. I don’t think you can really win either way with that one!

The thing is, choosing a name is really quite a personal thing. It is all a question of personal taste except you are putting your choice out there for the world to share as it were. But that doesn’t make it alright for people to criticise your choice. So an unusual name isn’t to everyone’s taste? I totally get that! But that doesn’t make it alright to ridicule it. Or question your choice. I would never criticise someone who gave their child a so called ‘normal’ name so why label somebody elses choices ‘silly’? What gives anyone the right to be so harsh in judging somebody elses choice? And is it really any of their business anyway?

Is it so wrong to go against what is apparently the norm when it comes to choosing your baby’s name? Who decides what is the norm anyway? I find it hard to believe why some people do have such a problem with it. And why they feel the need to be so vocal in telling you so!

I don’t know, maybe I’m wrong…

What do you think…?

31 thoughts on “What’s in a name..?

  1. Mummy and the Beastie says:

    I personally think Hero is a very odd choice but each to their own. I have only just found this out on your blog so I am not up on my celeb knowledge anymore! People can be very judgmental regarding names and I do think that is wrong. I hate it when people ask what children are called and then go ‘hmmm that’s a nice name’, so fake and often it would be best if they had never asked. We are all different and we all have the right to choose what we like for our children.


  2. Foodie Mummy says:

    I completely agree with you. I like unusual names myself but wouldn’t go as far as some celebrities do (Pilot Inspektor is a tad too unusual for me). And although my girls names are quite ‘normal’, they are not really widespread. I wrote a post with the same title a good while ago http://foodiemummy.blogspot.com/2010/04/whats-in-name.html. We are in the thick of it at the moment, trying to find a name for Peanut. Mr Foodie wants to choose the name this time around and I agreed as long as I like it. Unfortunately I have had to draw the line when he started wanting to call Peanut, Logan, Clark , Bruce, Nightcrawler, Gambit etc after Wolverine, Superman and Batman and other various X-men characters .


  3. Lisha says:

    Always an interesting topic – names! I completely agree with you that we only get one chance to name our children and should give them a name that we love. At the same time, our children will not be living in a bubble, and we should keep in mind that they may be subjected to hurtful remarks because of their names (yes, I’m thinking about you, sir, who named your daughter Facebook). Although I shouldn’t be surprised, when I wrote a post about names, I found out about all kinds of crazy monikers (http://www.oomphalos.co.uk/2009/11/honey-how-does-the-name-chartreuse-beezlebub-sound/).


  4. Alethea says:

    My son has a very ‘normal’ name, but it is purely because we loved his first and middle names and loved their meanings. I think it’s is 100% up to the parents and really is nobody else’s business. If we ever had another baby the names are already chosen. Girl or boy the names would once again be quite traditional, but again it’s because we just love them.


  5. Fran says:

    I actually like Hero but it’s quite unusual; at least it’s name rather than something made up!
    I spent hours pouring over the baby books & naming websites when I was having the twins. I initially wanted to have really easy names so that they wouldn’t go through life having to spell them out to people as I had done. Then I wanted rhyming names as I though it was cute, then decided it was rather naff. Then I looked at meanings as I didn’t want to give one without a nice one.
    It seems as though whatever you name your child the world and his wife have an opinion, good bad or indifferent, their reactions can really make a bad day worse.
    In the end my Grandmother in Mallorca died just before they were born so that decided one of the middle names for me. That sort of decided the other names as I didn’t want to give English first name with Spanish middle ones. They ended up with the Spanish versions of names I liked in English. I didn’t think they were particularly hard to say or spell. Clearly this is not the case and I was asked by one lady if I had named one twin ‘Australia’ as that was were she was conceived!! ( Her name is Estrella)
    Despite having agonised over them for months, we now spend the majority of time calling them by anything other than their names which is quite funny really! 🙂


    • (mostly) yummy mummy says:

      Thanks so much for the comment!
      Yes, I agree, whatever you choose there will always be opinions! And I know that whether somebody likes your choice of name or not shouldn’t make a difference but when some people are so blunt in their opinions – it can be quite hurtful!
      As for the spelling thing, I’m afraid that my poor children have been blessed with a surname that they will have to spell out on a daily basis for the rest of their lives! Not much I can do about that though – they’ll have to suffer like I do 😉


  6. Leila says:

    I think it should be each to their own really but I do have reservations about certain names like Fifi Trixibelle and the like….but they are not my kids…and in the land of celebrity the more unusual the name, the more publicity you get.

    I’m curious to know your children’s names now!!!



  7. Carolin says:

    We’re expecting our baby girl in 13 days and as soon as I fell pregnant we were discussing names. They are so important and you just want to get it right. Fortunately, we knew exactly how we’d name a little girl but finding nice names for a boy was an absolute nightmare – personally, I am not a big fan of really unique names (I just think about all the hassle when they learn how to write their name *lol*) but I didn’t want a trend name either. It’s hard to find the perfect name for your baby and there are so many people who try to get their word in but I think as long as parents put thought and passion into finding the right name I can even accept names like “Hero Harper Quinn” 😉


  8. I heart motherhood says:

    I agree with you wholeheartedly. With our first we knew we were having a girl and we told everyone that but we kept our potential names secret. Everyone loved the name when she arrived but when we let slip the other contenders we got lots of negative comments and ‘thank god you didn’t etc!
    Now we’re expecting a boy in July and we’re already getting remarks like, ooh you won’t choose a girly name will you or something weird. The thing is the 2 names we have in mind will raise eyebrows and knowing my family they will have no tact in saying so! But we don’t care because we love the names and it’s none of their business.
    So glad you followed your heart on your names! X


  9. anjobanjo22 says:

    Wow I feel the same exact way. People should really try to be less critical in matters that are quite personal. I don’t think they truly realize how hurtful those comments can be.

    Oh by the way….

    Congratulations! I just awarded you with the Versatile Blogger Award (it’s a fun little award passed around within the blogging community). Here’s the shortlink: http://wp.me/p15O7Y-8x.

    I look forward to the many great posts to come! 🙂


  10. helloitsgemma says:

    I am a Gemma in her 4th decade (I know – I look 22!). As a child I was the only Gemma in both my primary and my secondary school. I usually started each term with various teachers mispronouncing it. I hated it, it made me stand out, teachers made me sound silly, remembered me for the wrong reasons etc. As an adult I love it, people always remember it because it usual for someone my age, although there are more Gemmas around I’m rarely confused with anyone else. If I phone people I only have to give my first name and they immediately know who it is. Hopefully, these benefits will come to your children. There is something about being pregnant that means everyone has an opinion and really all that matters is your opinion.


  11. Gemma Payne says:

    I had a baby boy 2 weeks ago and we decided to call him Elijah because we love the name and it is slightly different from the norm. This has been greeted by lots of disappointed “Oh’s” and “mmm’s” by friends and family members which I feel is completely unfair. If you dont like the name that someone has chosen for their child, just say “lovely”.


  12. Circus Queen says:

    Actually Hero is a girl’s name as in Shakespeare’s Hero and Leander. It’s a name I’ve always loved and I even suggested it as a middle name for our daughter who’s due at the end of May. My husband wouldn’t have it though. Instead we’ve decided to go with a more ‘ordinary’ name for the middle since her first name is going to be rather unusual. We’ve held back on telling people the name, even though it’s already been decided, mainly because we don’t want people ‘twisting up their faces’ at it. At least once she’s born, they’ll attempt to be civil. Celebrities haven’t that luxury though. Their lives are up for debate.


  13. Susan Mann says:

    I think you chose beautiful names. I think as long as their is thought behind it and you both like it then any name goes. You will never please everyone. x


  14. 21stcenturymummy says:

    We’re looking at names at the moment. I always had a problem with my name. My parents chose ‘Janine’ (over Roxanne). It is pronounced the French way, ie with a soft ‘J’. They didn’t think about how other people would pronounce it – ie with a hard ‘J’. I hated having a slightly different name and I never bothered correcting people, in fact that’s how I pronounced it too. When Janine arrived in Eastenders, that really put the nail in the coffin.

    We chose the name Isabella for our daughter, mainly because I love the name Izzy. But I’ve never shortened it. Her middle name is Scarlett and I often wish we’d called her Scarlett – especially as she has red hair. This time around, I would like something unusual, whilst my husband wants something more traditional.

    I would never tell anyone the names we had in mind before the birth. Everyone always has an opinion.


  15. The Outlaw Mom says:

    Great post! I am planning a post on all the names I wish I had gone through with for my two little ones (and now will never be able to use since the baby shop is probably closed for good) so that someone else in the world can have the pleasure of naming their little ones what Hubby and our families protested against. Isn’t it amazing how much people have an interest in essentially what is none of their business? Plus, even if you think Hero -or what have you- is a strange name now, in just a few short months it will sound completely normal! Actually . . . now that I think of it . . . my children are young enough that I’m sure I could change their names officially now and they would be none the wiser!


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