January 23, 2012

What's in a name?

What's in a name?

I have long been a lover of interesting names.  I have been naming dolls, teddy bears, pets and my little brother for over 30 years now ...
baby bump name ideas

Officially, when my brother entered the world, my parents named him Damian.  But that would not do for a 2 and a half year-old, desperate for a sister!  So Carmen he became, and Carmen he stayed, (except on days he was Jacinta) until my mother said it was time to stop dressing him up as a girl and he WASN'T my little sister!
When I was very little, I favoured names like Emma, Louise and Justin.  As I grew older I preferred to make names up - my favourite teddy was Jameana Bateara.  Luckily by the time we had our daughter, I had moved on (slightly) and was giving some thought to what our child might be happy to be named later on in life.  Choosing a name for our child was extremely challenging.  My husband and I couldn't agree on anything.  Luckily, he had the foresight to suggest that if she were a girl, I'd choose, and if he were a boy, he'd choose.  I say luckily, because I knew from the moment our little peanut started growing inside me, that she was of the pink variety. And sure enough - she was!  However, on her arrival, the three finalists on my list didn't suit her at all (and she'll thank me for that one day!) ... they were; Lotus, Lollie and Cynamon.  12 hours after she was born, in my morphine-induced state, I was tearfully on the phone to my mother in New Zealand, panicking that my 12-hour-old baby didn't have a name.  
clover montage
As she was born on St Patrick's Day mum suggested an Irish name ... my husband was cheering for Guiness, my mum suggested Patricia, and finally when she said "how about Clover?" Richard and I both ecstatically AGREED and Clover she is!

It's a wonderful name - not only is a clover my favourite colour, but also it's really fun having a name that is SOMETHING.  
We've had clover themed birthday parties, she writes her name with a clover symbol, people buy her dolls or books that have clover's in them ... and I get excited about clover fabrics!  hello kitty clover
When she's older, if she chooses to enter the corporate world and isn't happy with Clover, she can easily make it Chloe!  But Clover isn't as unusual as some might think - it's actually been around as long as Pearl and Ruby ...  And funnily enough, we live in an area called Clover Hill – and yes, she does think the area was named after her!  
My husband, had we had a boy, would have named him Ash.  Not Ashley, Ashton or Asher.  Just Ash.  My mother in law was HORRIFIED when we told her that was to be his name if he was of the blue variety.  “WHAT?!  Like, as in ASHTRAY?” she worried.  But no, not ashtray – but Ash, as in the ash family of rainforest trees (not surprising as my husband is a horticulturalist). 

His name is Richard (my husband) which is such a STRONG and masculine name.  My name is Kylie.  That was a pretty cool name growing up, as I’m sure I was the only Kylie in the whole of New Zealand.  Likewise when I lived in the UK – there weren’t any around there either.  But on moving to Sydney when I was 24, what a shock to find a Kylie/Kylee/Khylee around every street corner!   Incidentally, Kylie means boomerang.  It was a great support to my loving parents, the meaning of my name when I was an extremely challenging teenager, as they always kept faith that no matter how difficult the stage I was going through, the lovely (if I say so myself!)  Kylie would always come back.  And indeed I did come back.  And there are times I fear my sweet Clover might morph into a horror of a teenager ... and I imagine my parents might watch from afar and chuckle, sitting pretty in the knowledge that karma exists!

My nieces are; Zia, Honey Belle, Francesca, Ruby, Emma and Sophie.  My nephews are Freddie and Louis.  What a lovely mix of names we have!  My sister is Yasmiin, which is the Estonian (her father’s heritage) version of Jasmine.  Having watched others struggle over not just the pronunciation of her name, but also the spelling, I decided long before we had Clover, that our child/ren would have to have names that were easily spelt and pronounced! 

Recently, amongst our friends, there has been a big influx of babies.  Maverick, Zakai, Sam, Grace, Violet Bessie, Coco, George, Harry and Minty.  A lovely mix of the more traditional and the new.    We have friends who have called all four daughters names beginning with M.  Mabel, Maggie, Maisie and Mary.  I love it!

If I’d have been able to have a son, I’d have liked to have named him Ziggy or Oberon.  Richard was most unimpressed with those options.  Oberon is King of the fairies (which didn’t appeal to him) and Ziggy was because I’d have a lovely dog named Ziggy in my late teens and 20s. 

I regularly post on facebook asking nic-nac likers what weird and wonderful names they’ve come across …. Undoubtedly my favourites which  have been reported are A-a and La-a.  Do you get it?  Adasha and Ladasha … Didn’t know it was legal – but there you go, some originality and bravery!

Moving on, here’s a list, courtesy of this website which is a great resource for many things baby related, www.babycenter.com.au/ of the top 20 baby names for Australians in 2011.  I wonder what 2012 will bring?

Australia 2011 - 20 most popular names

    Charlie (tied with Hannah)

nic-nac logo clover picnic  Kylie xo