Monday, November 26, 2012

What's in a name?

I think that picking a name for your kids is one of the hardest things a parent has to do. It’s a huge responsibility.

And I had the extra challenge of making sure that our name worked in both English and Spanish and we had to pick a boys and a girls name because we didn’t know what we were having.

I agonized over the process…poring over baby name books and conducting endless internet searches…all in the hopes of finding that perfect name. Or rather the perfect 3 names because I was convinced I should have a shortlist of 3 and then when I saw my child for the first time I would just KNOW which name was the right one.

You know what they say about the best laid plans…

With my first child I got my shortlist down to about 11 and then I couldn’t bear to cut any more.  And then one day hubby says to me all too casually “What about Malia for a girl?”

The other 11 on my girls list just disappeared…hubby had chosen the perfect name.  I was in love.  Thank goodness we had a girl…

With our second child I recycled many of the favourites on my first list (of course) and again got to the point where I just couldn’t edit it down anymore.

Once again hubby stepped in with the winner.  Casually email to say “hey I found this website of Latina girls names…what about Téa?”

Done deal.

So here – in no particular order because it’s been way too long – are some of the other names we considered.

Juliana – this was a very close 2nd place finisher for our 2nd daughter. But we thought it was just a little too formal.

Amaya – a name I could never drop from the list completely…but I was pretty sure we would never use.

Alicia – pronounced A-lee-see-ah.  And the fact that I had to sound out the pronunciation phonetically is exactly why we dropped it.

Trevor – but we thought it would be weird to name our son after the only man I am allowed to leave my hubby for. One day Mr. Linden…one day…

Lucas – this was always at the top of the boys list.

Adrian – another solid boys choice…although kind of a girly sounding boys name in my humble opinion.  (apologies to any male Adrian’s that may have stumbled upon this post…it’s nothing personal.)

Luciana – I have met 2 Luciana’s in my life and they are both amazing women. I love the name.

Ava – a top contender until we noticed it was the 2nd most popular name that year.  I went to school with too many Kelly’s (number one name in my year) and didn’t want to do that to my kids.

-- and finally the history on the winning names --

Malia – pronounced Ma-lee-ah (like Maria but with an L) – her name is often mis-pronounced and she gets pretty testy about that. It’s Polynesian and means `calm and peaceful`.  Hmmm…I guess descriptions aren’t always accurate. 

Téa –keeping the traditional latin spelling with the é proved to be a bit of a mistake.  No one knows what the accent means and she often gets call Tea (as in do you want a cup of…)  When this happens I get pretty testy myself…I mean why would I name my kid Tea?  Then I remember that anything goes these days. (I’m looking at you – parents of Audio Science and Moxie Crimefighter.)

Despite their minor challenges I absolutely ADORE my daughter’s names…and they suit them both to a T. I think we did all right with our huge responsibility.  I’m just glad I won’t have to do it again!

And there you have it…the answer to what’s in a name…

Linking up with the Stasha for another MondayListicles.


  1. I'd assume people would have an easier time with Malia since President Obama's daughter shares the name, but alas, people are dumb! Great list!

  2. Those are beautiful names! I love the meanings behind all of them. I looked up the meaning of my boys names, which there isn't really anything for. Both say come from John... so that's weird

  3. I love those names! I figured people would get Tea b/c of Tea Leone, the actress but I guess not.

  4. Choosing a name IS difficult! Thankfully Lil Duck's dad and I agreed right off with her name. There was no list. Naming the new cat? Well, that was a bit of a challenge. :D

  5. It's so interesting to hear how people choose their kids' names. My husband and I made lists too when we were pregnant (3x). It was kinda fun and challenging at the same time. The fun part was trying to figure out how kids would the names to make fun of them. Immature, I know, but we were just thinking ahead, you know? ;)

  6. Great names and stories. We use blog aliases, so my five stories won't see the light of the blog but I do love reading other people's posts. Erin

  7. I agonized so much over my kid's name! You have some great ones here.

  8. I considered Amaya for our daughter's name too, because our last name starts with an "M" and I didn't want to have "Maya M__". I was really into it until my husband said, "Amaya? Am-I-a bug? Am-I-a cat?" and that ruined it for me.

  9. Tea is a popular girls name in SLovenian too. And I am an aunt to Malia. Beautiful names!