There is a baby or two on their way and, somehow, you have to provide kid’s names that you feel will inspire them through life and also find something that your Dad can’t get some form of pun out of.
We had a different tact with my father. For months we tried to convince him that we were between two names, Chaka Demus or Pliers! As my wife is of chinese origin we managed to persuade him they were authentic Chinese names. He soon clicked that we were pulling his chain so we told him seriously that we were going to call the child Wolf! That shut him up.
My Sister had the same issues when she was thinking of a name for her daughter. She was born on April Fool’s Day which was an absolute god send to my hilarious Father. However my Sister thought long and hard to make sure he could also not find a joke in the name. She did well and He could not make a joke out of the name. But the inlaws could. Translated from Chinese, the name meant stinky shit. Which was nice.
Anyway, to find a name, we got one of those 10,000 baby name books.
Now I only know about 10 names in total, and barely remember them most of the time, so this was a brave new world Me and the Mrs were stepping in to.
So one night we settled down in bed and began at the letter Z as it felt such a ball ache to begin with A. We honestly have never laughed so much and 45 minutes later had only got to X. Which is when Xavier popped up. We both loved it and that was that! No more discussion. We were done. Although when he was born, and we told my father his name, my Dad still thought we were taking the proverbial.
My first name is exclusive to boys born between April 1971 and October 1972 – and is also after an albino orphan my Mum used to look after – but that is another story.
Mymiddle name is the same as my Grandfather’s and I think my mum expected me to carry on the tradition. But my wife never met Grandad but she knew how close I was to a mate who died 15 years ago. So we agreed that his middle name was to be named after the one person who was very much like my brother.
Also, as I mentioned, my wife is of Chinese origin so our kids also need a Chinese name. Not a middle name, or a second name, but another first name (bloody protocols!) So what we did, to involve and shut up parents at the same time, is ask them to come up with a few girls and boy’s names.
What we got in return was basically variations on a theme for each sex.
The girls names were all flowery, or beautiful, or full of birds when translated. Boy’s names were all butch and manly and filled with Dragon imagery. One did not.
The name we chose, when translated, meant someone who has a vision and also has the guile to achieve it. In my mind I thought of a very old school mate who believed Stephen Spielberg was going to call him to direct his next movie, so would sit in his pants watching TV all day in case he missed the call. I did not want my son to be like that. So we went with the name! I could also pronounce it. Which was helpful!
No such lengthy exercise with the second kid. I liked a name. I told the wife. She liked it. End of story. Youngest kids get it so hard. Yea whatever. This is your name. Get on with it!!
But will the name stick? Friends who knew us from NCT call my son by his Chinese name – because it is ‘cool’ to do so. We called him Junior for about 6 months as that was our name for him when he was in cargo.
At school they have given him a nickname. Now remember the lengths we went to find a good cool name, that begins with X? Well his mates now all call him, hang on, Dave! Dave I tell you!
He is never going to be an intellectual or fab writer with a name like Dave. I do have a mate called Dave who is a designer but he is Welsh so has always had something even more painful to live with!
No kids have the name Xavier in his school but the daughter has been burdened with a top 3 name. I must add that it wasn’t when we give it to her. So in playgrounds and playgroups, when a parent calls their child of their same name, you see about 5 heads pop up and look around to see what the hell is going on.
My mates all seem to like my kid’s names. Some of theirs are rubbish and I have told them. It’s ok to be a cool dad but don’t give your child a name that they will lose as soon as they legally entitled. Although Chaka Demus kept his I suppose.
Be imaginative though. I grew up with a John and he was not allowed a nickname as we said he could only be John. When we played subbuteo all his players had to be called John, and so did the team name!!
He is still John. He has called me a number of names over the years. None I can print here.