Tuesday, May 6, 2014

What's in a Name?



Some people asked about August's name, so I thought I'd share a little about how we decided on it.
A note: don't be offended if I use your name, your baby's name, or a name you love as an example of a name I disliked. It's all personal preference. We can like different things, right guys?

Travis will tell you that Baby Names (proper noun) are the thing we fight about most in our marriage.
Which is silly, but probably true. (Except for maybe arguments about when he's allowed to travel out of the country again, leaving me alone with three kids.)
The problem is, we would both define our "name preferences" the same way, but I am apparently more liberal with what names I will allow into said category.
So we like names that are old, without seeming either out of date or overused.
Like Micah, for instance.
Micah is a prophet in the Old Testament (so old), but between us- Travis and I have only ever met two or three people named Micah (so not overused.)
Where Travis and I disagree on names is whether or not it's out of date now.
For example, I love the name Lewis (or Louis), but Travis hates it. It's old, it's uncommon (at least in the USA), but it's not cool enough for Travis.

Neither Travis nor I like new-fangled names- like those that I think have been invented in the last 20 years (names like Huxley or Braxton- just names with Xs in them in general...). We do like solid, old-fashioned names like Joseph, Matthew, and Robert- and have a lot of those names in our families- but they aren't quite unique enough for us, so we try to give them to our boys as middle names.
(Grey Christopher, Micah David, August James.)

Honestly, most of the baby-naming process is me. Travis will rate names I suggest and lend his occasional opinion, but he doesn't really volunteer ideas or submit names for consideration.

At the beginning of this pregnancy, I started making mental lists of names I liked. Anything Travis didn't hate was the baby's potential name.
My original boys' list looked something like:
August
Anders
Julian
Jude
Rory
Theo / Theodore
Enoch
Jonas
Emile
Rouen

Once we discovered that I was pregnant with a boy, and I started feeling his movement regularly- I started "trying out" names.
I would spend a couple days thinking of the baby as "Baby Rory" to myself. I would imagine pretend conversations where I would introduce my children: Grey, Micah, and Anders- to see how I felt about having an actual child by that name, and to see if I felt like the baby's (still mostly-unknown) personality fit with said name.
Sometimes I would go a week or more thinking of the baby by a specific name, only to decide it wasn't quite right.
I asked the boys all the time, "What should we name the baby? Baby Theo or Baby Jude?" And I took note of which names they pronounced adorably or consistently preferred.
And I slowly crossed names off the list.
By January or so, the list was down to four names:
Theo
Julian
August
and Rory



The first time that August started to pull ahead was when we had a friend over. She asked what names we were considering and I listed them off. About a half hour later, we were discussing our living situation and I said "Well, our lease expires in August."
Grey looked up from where he was playing nearby and laughed.
"August?" he asked. He laughed again. "August, Mom? Baby August?"
It was adorable, and I took note of it.
I asked the boys more frequently, "What about August? Should we call the baby August?"
At some point, I said to Micah "Come feel your baby brother kicking," and he said "What's Baby August doing now?"
And I thought, "Oh. Is that his name now? Is he August?"
It fit him, and Travis and I both liked it. But we weren't quite set on it.

The week of Valentine's Day, the boys were playing downstairs with the neighbors. Micah asked Elizabeth to help him cut out a heart and then requested that she write "To Baby August" on it.
And that was it.

As far as I was concerned, the baby in my belly was named August.
So to some extent, August was named by the boys.

Lots of people have said that they'd never heard the name August, but I think that's untrue.
Most people are just more familiar with the European version Augustus.
Like Augustus Gloop or Caesar Augustus.

August's middle name, James, is the name of my great-grandpa who passed away in January while I was pregnant. We were visiting him when it happened, and it was then that we decided to give the baby the middle name James. So James was decided even before August.

So there you have it.
August James, our newest addition.


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7 comments:

Yolo Momma said...

Yes, naming children can be a real chore between you and your spouse. I come up with all the ideas and Matt would shoot them down. My thing for boys names is that I don't like names that get circumcised when in adulthood. Like Michael, Nicholas etc... The name Nolan means champion and can't be cut...so it was a hit with me :)

Betsy Reddoch said...

I think I have the same criteria for names as you and Travis. For our boys we went way-way back to biblical times (Judah and Asher) but the names still seemed current and cool to us. But I have met about a billion Ashers since moving to Utah (it was extremely rare in CA). And oddly we met a baby with the EXACT same name as Judah a while ago (Judah James) so I guess we're trend setters?
I love all your boy names.

MARCIE said...

And of course August is growing on us already! And I love that you named him James after Grampa. I was looking at family charts recently and remembered a g-g-g etc grandfather named Pennock. Maybe you will consider that for your next little boy!

Sarah Ward said...

Love the name! Our boys have "uncommon" mostly first names, Isaac, Lucas, Cameron and Ethan. I have known one August and everyone just called him Gus. I would have loved to name a boy Ezra, but no more babies here!

bindi said...

It's a wonderful name and fits him perfectly! It's a rare name here in Australia but I love names like that. And I love that you could shorten it to Gus. We have a history of naming boys James in my family, so when our son was born we wanted to acknowledge that but give him something a bit more unique - so we called him Jimi.

bindi said...

It's a wonderful name and fits him perfectly! It's a rare name here in Australia but I love names like that. And I love that you could shorten it to Gus. We have a history of naming boys James in my family, so when our son was born we wanted to acknowledge that but give him something a bit more unique - so we called him Jimi.

Erin Courtenay said...

Hi - I love the name August! I love your style and I like August the best on your list. I'd love to know what girls names were on your list for both pregnancies (before finding out the sex of course)! Congrats!!!