What’s in a name?

What’s in a name? How did you decide on the names for your little ones? I was given my Auntie’s middle name as my first name, and my paternal Granny’s middle name as my middle name.  I’ve spent 45 years wishing that they were the other way round!

We didn’t know whether we were having a boy or girl when I was pregnant with my child.  Everyone thought I was having a boy, I don’t think there were any bet’s on Bump turning out to be a girl.

Sadly, four and half months before he was born, his paternal grandfather died.  He was 91 but had been in relatively good health until a second broken hip took its toll.  He caught pneumonia and never recovered.  When we knew that he wouldn’t be coming home, I had it in my mind to name Bump after him if he did indeed turn out to be a boy.  I didn’t tell my soon to be husband, as I thought it might upset him.  On the day he died, when we walked out of his hospital room, one of his nurses said ‘well you know what to call that baby now don’t you‘.  That’s when I told my other half what I had also thought.  It seemed to help him through those first days.

If Bump had been a girl I had already decided she would have been named after my maternal Granny.  It was not up for discussion, I’ve never told my husband that! That wasn’t meant to be.

Anyway, it was immaterial, as when Bump joined this world, he was most certainly a boy, the spitting image of his Dad and Grandfather – so the name fit him like a glove.

When I look at my son I see his Grandfather a lot.  I wonder what he would have made of him; he was so looking forward to meeting his fifth grandchild, I’m sure he’s keeping a watchful eye on him.

My Brother and Father, both have two middle names and I wanted to carry that tradition on too.  So he has a little bit of my own father in his name and a bit of his great-grandfather.  He’ll probably moan about it when he’s older; my brother has never liked having two middle names.  We’ll see.


27 thoughts on “What’s in a name?

  1. I didn’t want to upset anyone as I know how families can be having first grandchildren named after them. I picked 2 names I liked, and then after we had registered him, my other half told me that his middle name was the same as his granddads. This was news to me as I had been told he had a different name, turns out he hadn’t liked his name so changed it!!

    1. Hee Hee! When my brother named his son, he told Dad, who promptly told him that was his Dad’s name too! We had no idea because he had always used his middle name too.

  2. Funny about all the middle name comments. DH’s family have a habit of using their middle names (four of his immediate family do/did.)

    We chose names we liked but the second names are also family names. We had loads of boys names we liked but only one girls name. The middle name was one I just liked but it was chosen because it was DH’s paternal grandmother’s first name but he didn’t know that until we mentioned the name to his dad! She was known as Mary but was actually Isabella Mary. Isabella didn’t flow as well, so we went with Isabelle (I’d actually suggested Isobel but went with the family name spelling.)

    Second daughter was named before she was conceived! Shortly after first daughter I decided I loved the name Emily and thought I should have called first daughter that, and then my mum reminded me that it was my great-grandmother’s name so I loved it even more so it became “if we have a 2nd girl, that will be her middle name” before we even decided to try for a second. Her first name was one DH suggested and on looking up I discovered that it came from the same era as first daughter’s name so fell in love with it even more. Both their first names have never been family names before, but who knows what they’ll call their children if they have any. 🙂

    Sorry for long ramble! I find names fascinating. Really lovely (albeit sad) story behind Monkey’s name. DH has two middle names too, but his dad, uncle and cousin all have three so he got away lightly! I just have a double-baralled first name so never got a middle name.

    1. Thanks for your comments – I know, names are just so fascinating. My oldest friend is named Vanessa as she was a character in a book her Mum was reading when she was pregnant. I like that idea too – kind of ties you to something. All very interesting, I wonder what Monkey will say on the subject in a few years time. We thought he’d be the only one with his name at school but met 4 other’s with the same name within 6 months of him being born – old names are obviously coming back!

      1. I love the idea of book characters, but would need to have dozens of children. Maybe fish would be a better idea 😉 Old names have definitely been resurfacing over the last few years, especially with boys. Doris and Ethel don’t quite have the same ring as Stan or Arthur!

  3. How lovely naming Monkey after his granfather xx
    My three youngest all have middle names after lost family members too, it’s a nice tribute.

    1. Yes, I’m so glad we did it, in fact if things had been different we’d have named him after his great grandfather. Luckily, my sister-in-law really loved it when we told her what we had decided, and she still comments on it now 🙂

  4. That made me cry! We chose random names for our kids, apart from my middle one who has same name as my Grandad. Although we use a different version! He was called the shortest version of the name and my boy has a different shortened version. All of our kids have two middle names, because I always thought that was cool as a kid and it means they can have a name from each side. My boys both have their long-dead paternal grandfather’s name for a middle name – as do both of their cousins and a second cousin. He was a popular man! When I was pregnant for a third time and running out of boys’ names I even suggested it as a first name. But we had a girl!

  5. We thought of a name for Z before he was born and then when he was born we didn’t think he looked like that name. Eventually though, we did go with our choice and gave him his paternal grandfather’s first name as his middle name. For C we had 2 names and went with one of those and gave her my Mum’s first name as her middle name. I hope my 2 will carry on that tradition. My 2 have quite nice names I think. Nothing like some of the scary things you hear these days.

  6. I can witter on for hours about names. I’m pleased with the first names we chose for our two but I was determined that they would have middle names that reflected on our family. We gave Bud a second middle name as, without it, his initials would have spelled a word and they are the names of both of my grandfathers. One of the names is also that of an uncle and my Dad’s best friend, both of whom have also passed away. I always say that if he is half the man that those he was named after were I will be very proud.
    Little Miss’ middle names are after one of her Dad’s Grandmothers (it’s also a family name on my side) and the second is my Aunt’s name. Her due date was my Aunt’s birthday, she was so excited at the prospect of her arriving on that date, as she was born nine days late we gave her name as a middle name instead.

  7. names are intresting, we choose the first names of our three as names we just liked, but the middle names have more meaning as both darrens parents died in the year any of our children were born we wanted them to be remembered in some way, so jake has his grandads middle name as his middle name, and chloe has her granmothers middle name as her middle name. As for Mikey well he has my maiden name as his surname to tie in a link to my side of the family 🙂

  8. lovely to know how monkey name come from!
    chinese people has a different way of naming their children and we dont have middle name.

  9. That is a lovely thing to do I always think choosing a family name is so hard as you always upset someone but when something tragic like that happens I think it is so nice to remember them in that way.

    I also know what you mean about using second names, for years I thought my Dad was called Graham when in fact that is his second name, his real name is Michael!

  10. What a lovely story. I don’t have a middle name and didn’t give my children one either. There first names were just names I picked that I liked and not in the top 50 name lists of that year!

  11. Crikey – we decided at the very last minute! Donnie was cos we were out of options and I was reading from a bookshelf and saw a copy of Donnie Darko, which we both adore, so that was set. Handily it turned out it was his Great Grandfathers name too! 😀

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