Friday, April 27, 2012

The EQ

So, naming a child is a bit of a daunting task.
But a fun one.

I admit, I'm the kind of girl who thought about the eventual "what ifs" of baby naming long before there was ever even a possibility for a baby. At one time I had the idea to name a son Orion Xavier. Yeah... his initials would have been OX. I got over that.

Anyway, when we discovered that "we" would soon mean "me & J & a BABY" I started thinking of names pretty much immediately. J & I had some ideas. Such as, if the baby were a boy, we wanted to name him after our fathers. We'd use J's dad's middle name for the middle name, and find a G name to honor my father whose initials are GW, well, GWB technically, but the point is that our last name starts with  W, so we would be making another little GW. So there's that. We settled on G names pretty quickly. By like week 9 or some such. Had this baby been a boy, the naming thing would have been in the bag.

So of course the ultrasound tech says "girl." Kind of just like that too. "I'm going to say girl." Her exact words. You can understand then why I kept saying, "so they say" whenever we would reveal the baby's sex. "A girl, so they tell me." All the way up until they pulled her out. But I digress.

Girls names were much harder for J & I to agree on. We both liked the same type of names, but couldn't seem to find one name that we both really liked. I had the idea pretty early on that I wanted to use "Ella" as a middle name. It was my great-grandmother's middle name. Rose Ella. Pretty. Of course, as my grandpa says, because she was from Oklahoma, it was really "Rose Eller" but that's not really the point. Of course, my middle name is my mother's middle name which in turn was given to her to honor her grandmothers--that whole first initial thing. So, the family connection there really appealed to me. This is also why we liked the name Quinn, for either a boy or a girl. It's J's grandmother's maiden name. Well, O'Quinn. Or oQuin. Or something. I think the story goes that there are 7 or 9 siblings of that generation and none of them spell their last name the same. The presence or absence of an "O" (and the subsequent capitalization of it), an apostrophe and a second "n" are all contested. Regardless, we with with the "O'"-less-double"n" version.

The problem was finding any name that sounded good with "Ella" as a middle name. Names that end in "a" just don't flow right. Names that end in "n" wind up sounding like medicine or bacteria.

We decided to try Ella as a first name, but I wasn't really happy with the nickname-feel of it. I guess I tend to like more formal-sounding names. Also Ella is pretty common and while I don't mind names that are easy to recognize, spell and pronounce, I do also like names that are a little more... unusual. Even if that's because they're more classic and have fallen out of favor. Hence, Eleanor. Old-fashioned, classic, pretty, keeps the idea of Ella and also Ellen (my middle name), and even a little bit of a hint towards my grandmother's middle name, Nyra.

But we still weren't convinced, and couldn't decide on a middle name, so we narrowed our choices down to 3 names that we both liked and decided that we'd wait until we saw the wee Freckle with our own eyes before deciding upon her name. This drove many of my friends & family a wee bit crazy, but it was the right decision. It's also the reason for this:

One look at her (even when she was periwinkle blue and a tiny bit cone-headed) and we knew. She was Eleanor. Will she stay Eleanor? Will she become Ella as she grows? Will we continue to call her Freckle? Dunno. Right now, she remains The Squnchler.


Swistle said...

Oh, I LOVE naming stories! ...Er, as you'd expect.

Elsha said...

I love the name Eleanor! It was one of the names I picked out as a teenager when I was naming my hypothetical future children. We (obviously) went a different direction with Kalena's name, but I still love the name.

Jenn said...

I LOVE her name. It's beautiful.

Our first was easy to name (I had him named before I even MET my husband!) but when our second came out the SAME GENDER (another boy) we were stumped! We thought we were having twins and had two girls names, so when it came time to come up with a boys name we were CLUELESS. I kid you not, my hubby wanted to name him "Chortle". While that fits his personality perfectly, I'm glad my husband finally gave in on that name suggestion!

Anyway, Elenors name is beautiful and classic, but can easily be shortened to Ella as well, and add in the family tie with the middle name, it's so perfect :)


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