Reasons to get out of bed…

What’s in a Name?

My wonderful boyfriend and I have decided not to find out the gender before the birth of our baby. However, because of that we’ve had to choose both a male and female name. I thought this was actually a lot of fun. It took T and I a little while to choose names that we both liked, but we’ve come to a compromise pretty easily. The only snafu was that T thinks I’m trying to name a grandmother instead of a baby girl, but I really like old-fashioned names.

We’ve decided not to reveal the names before the birth and I get the impression that it’s really driving people crazy. Why have we decided to withhold the name? Basically because I don’t want to hear negativity. I don’t want to hear “Oh, you shouldn’t name your baby XYZ, because I knew an XYZ in the second grade and he was a jerk.” That sucks, but I didn’t know an XYZ in the second grade who was a jerk so I don’t think my child will be a jerk just because of a name…

Lots of my coworkers have named their children with names I’m not in love with, but I would never tell them that! About 4 of them have named their daughters Avery. The name Avery always makes me think of office supplies, but I keep my mouth shut because my opinion doesn’t matter! They like the name and that’s all that really matters. But I’m not sure everyone would feel that way…

Also, while I don’t mind my wonderful boyfriend commenting on how I like old-fashioned names, I don’t want other people complaining about it. If they do it after the baby is born, at least I can say “yeah, but isn’t she cute?” and divert attention.

Often times, I feel guilty about not sharing the names because I think some people are taking it personally. There are a lot of people I love who I feel like I should tell but I’m afraid of needless negativity. There are also a ton of people who I’m not close to who think I’m being silly and practically interrogate me about the naming choices…

Because we aren’t telling anyone, lots of people have been giving me suggestions without my request. Specifically, people want me to use their names, which is sweet (or they are just being silly, depending on their personality)… except that the suggestors aren’t very close to me at all. My favorite is that one of my newer coworkers wanted me to use her middle name because she never wants kids. Hannah may be a nice name and all, but it doesn’t have any particular meaning for me.

Lots of people are curious as to our logic on what type of names we considered though, so I thought I would share that. First and foremost: popularity! My name is Jen, when I was in the 2nd grade, there were 3 girls (including myself) in my class of only 20 kids named Jen and we all had the same first initial in our last name! I’m almost never the only Jen in a room… so I didn’t want to use any name in the top 20 for popularity.

On the flip side, I only refer to my wonderful boyfriend on this blog as “T” because his name is so unique (I never call him T in real life). He’s never met anyone else with his name (although he might if he lived in Scotland). His name is spelled phonetically and is very easy to pronounce, it’s just unique, but we didn’t want to go too far on the other end of the spectrum. Both T and my brother spent their childhoods unable to find anything in a store with their name on it (like a Christmas ornament) and I think it made them both feel a little too unique. So not too popular and not too unique.

Factor number two: nicknames. My best friend’s name is Sarah and she hates the fact that she doesn’t have nickname. (Technically, the name Sarah does have nicknames, but she has no interest in being known as Sar or Sally). And on the other end of that spectrum, I would like a child to have a full name. I knew a girl in elementary school named “Jenny” not “Jennifer,” just “Jenny.” I’ve always felt badly because I feel that in adulthood (in the business world), full names are helpful. No one who knows me ever calls me Jennifer, but every form I fill out has “Jennifer” on it. At work, I answer the phone “Jennifer.” I use it all the time for formal things and I appreciate being able to do that.

So those are the biggies: not too popular, not too unique, has a nickname, and has a full name.

What are we calling the baby now? Well, not “baby” that’s for sure! I’ve called it baby more times in this post than in real life in the last 5 months! For some reason, I think of a baby as something on the outside that smells good (or badly if it’s pooping) and is needy and cuddly. Right now, it doesn’t feel like a baby, it feels more like a belly ache to be honest… (and I say that in the most loving way, I promise).

Every time I go for an ultrasound, the tech says “and there’s your little peanut.” That’s just weird to me because this is my little peanut:

THIS is my little peanut. She's had the nickname for almost 4 years.

THIS is my little peanut. She’s had the nickname for almost 4 years so she gets to keep it.

So the gender neutral name that we’ve chosen is Booger, Boogs for short. The reason we went with that name is because in the beginning stages, websites told me that the baby is the size of a caper, a grain of rice, a peppercorn… which to me was like a booger, a booger, a slightly larger booger. Booger really resonated with me especially after seeing Bodies the Exhibition a few years ago at the Museum of Science. (But that’s a little morbid, so I won’t go into the full details).

So while I think we have some really nice names saved up and in the vault, we’re calling our little fetus Booger for now. I don’t imagine we’ll keep the nickname after the birth though – then the baby will have real nicknames. Some people in our lives (the future grandfathers specifically) are very upset about the name Booger, like we’re planning to use it forever. And of course we’re not. Unless Booger is a girl, and then T says he’s calling her that forever – because “who is going to want to date a girl known as Booger?” (T thinks it will make his job easier in regards to keeping her away from creepy boys/girls wanting to date her.) 🙂

So what were/are/would be your criteria for a name?


Comments on: "What’s in a Name?" (14)

  1. As a Sarah, I fully support all your criteria. Being one of four kids in the same class with the same name gets old after the fourth or fifth year. I’m so disappointed “Max” made such a comeback – it’s been my favorite forever.

    • Knowing you are also a Sarah, I was a little worried about talking about my other friend Sarah’s feelings about her name. I’m glad to hear I didn’t offend!

      Aw, Max is a great name! Maybe you’ll luck out and it will slide down in popularity… (or you could always use it for a second+ child, so time can pass a little before you use it.

  2. Tech calls your baby “Peanut.”
    Peanut is your cat’s nickname.
    You call your baby “Boogs.”
    Boogs is my cat’s nickname.
    Love your rationale for not sharing names before the baby is born!

    • Thanks, Jill! I love it! 🙂 How did your cat come to be nicknamed Boogs?

      • When he was a kitten, we bought some cat food online. In the box was a “free gift” – a small pad (maybe for a cat to lay on, I don’t know) with a picture of a cat and the following saying, “I like my fishes. I like to boogie.” Weird, I know.
        We started saying that to him (also weird) and then started calling him “Boogie” which turned to “Boogs” over the years.
        Haha. I’m laughing as I type this. So silly. 🙂

        Hope you are still doing well!!

  3. We call my youngest nephew (Garrett) Boogie (which is also for Booger) and his older brother (Caleb) Dude.

    Also, I was the only person with my name in my class and I rarely meet people my age with my name and I could never find pencils or ornaments, but thanks to Dr. Quinn people now name their daughters Michaela and spell it any way they please (even though logically as the female form of Michael it should be Michael with an A) which I find REALLY annoying! when little girls say their name is Michaela and I ask them how they spell it if the reply McKayla I think…. no, your name is not my name it is a fake Scottish last name!

    Oh and “grandma names” are coming back! I know several little Ruths, Charlottes, Alices and even a Millie (Millicent) and a Pennie (Penelope) ! So long live the old lady name!

    • Caleb totally has a better nickname than Garrett! (and I say that with total love for the nickname Booger/Boogie).

      Haha! I thought about you during the Olympics (girls gymnastics, primarily), wondering what you thought about her spelling!

      Yay! Those names are great! Long live old lady names! (at least they’re better than “Hashtag” – someone actually named her child that in 2012…)

  4. Both of my names were unique for the time I was little. Stacy Ruth. Although I can relate to feeling like my name isn’t exactly professional. When I teach (swimming, zoo) the kids call me Ms. Stacy. I find it a little weird. However, I don’t understand the need to nickname everyone. I hate it when people call me Stac, with very few exceptions.

    And I know several people who didn’t reveal any potential baby names for exactly the same reason. I see nothing wrong with not telling

    I have known of fetuses referred to as Plum, Peach, Pickle (my family seems to like p’s), and Booger (you make two).

    • Yeah, nicknaming Stacy is odd because it’s already a short name…

      Thank you for the support on not revealing the name and letting me know you know someone else who calls their fetus Booger! I’m psyched I’m not alone! Peach, Plum, and Pickle are all adorable! 🙂

  5. […] fact: The doctor told me that if Booger were born now, he/she would have a really good chance of survival. I still wouldn’t be able […]

  6. […] a related note, they’ve started to “weigh” Booger. On the bell curve of baby weight, Booger is around the 30%. The doctor is ok with this (they […]

  7. […] during the last ultrasound, we got to see Booger‘s little lips in action – and at first I thought they were making a little kissy face, […]

  8. […] hope that Booger gets either my dark hair or my wonderful boyfriend’s predominant freckles. T and I are both […]

  9. […] to think about size)… so I started checking again. That first week I looked into it again, Booger was the size of a green pepper. Mmm… green pepper… The next week, Booger was the size […]

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