your pet, your plant, your boat, anything...
I have to say that I have been obsessed with names and naming for as long as I can remember. I have made baby name lists since I was 12 (Jessica rang it at #1 for years). Ask me what your name means and there is a chance that out of the 600,000 or so names (give our take a few hundred thou) I might know the answer! If not, I have a plethora of resources to find out. I can cross reference books printed in the 70’s with contemporary ones, or check in English vs French books since we have 6 name books and several websites bookmarked (props going to Nameberry). I can tell you what destiny is attached to each name based on numerology. I have named every plant in my possession. Our cats have middle names. Seriously, do you believe me now?
So you can imagine the pressure when A got pregnant. We were down to the wire, under the gun, on the hot seat, and every other colorful way of saying, “AAHHHHHH!!!” Mainly from having to name the baby, of course, nothing else. Ha! With the prospect of a real human being, I felt sweaty under the collar with the lifelong implications… What if he (it at the time) doesn’t like his name? What if he doesn’t suit it? These concerns however did not overshadow my deeply held belief that we would do a tremendous job. Why so cocky? Because I know the 100% foolproof Naming System. Ready to have your socks knocked off? Here goes (and don’t skip steps!)
1. Prepare a list of potential names (optional but recommended). Optional you say? You’ll see why later.. This is the longest step but worth it since it makes you feel prepared:
- Flip through at least two name books and consult name websites at tedium to start to see what looks and sounds good, or what has a good meaning. I found having the name books by the toilet helped.
- Identify whether naming based on dead or alive relatives is important to you culturally or just because it's a nice thing to do (whether based on first letter of name, version of name, or whole name).
- Decide how much teasing is too much teasing. Like if the kid already has vegi lesbo parents, do you really think Dick is a good choice?
- Decide if you’re going for “traditional” or “unique” or both. Secret hint: most people want both hence the 10 Jennifers in my class in elementary school. It’s hopeless really, it’s the universal unconscious at work.
- Decide how many middle names and who gets to pick them. Are you using the other partner’s last name as a middle or even as a first name?
- Don’t forget to check what the initials spell if you’re using middle names.
- Do you have a favorite author, novel character or Celtic god?
- Check if the name sounds good in French or any other key language.
- Did your mother almost marry a dude by that name? Trust me, it matters.
- Make lists and check them against each others’ to look for commonalities.
Once you have a decent list(s) that meets all the above criteria, move onto step #2.
2. Position the item/infant/creature to be named in front of you. Make sure you take a good look, scanning their face and/or overall shape.
3. Close your eyes. Get connected. Feel its energy and all that. Try and clear your mind of anything but what is before you. Go deep into your gut, and in that quiet place ask yourself what their name is. You’d be amazed, but names come. If you feel uncomfortable with closing your eyes, it works almost as well to do #3 with your eyes open.
4. Open your eyes. Look at them and take a test run by calling them that name aloud. Let it roll over your tongue. If you have time, try it on for a couple hours. Keep looking at them and asking your deep intuition, “is Walter your name?” You’ll get there.
The truth? It works. Our secret? After all that work, we didn’t use a single name from our list for Ben’s first name. The list did help us get oriented to what we liked though, and helped with middle names. It really comes down to vibes. Ben, Pan and Angus (cats), Queen Matilda and her daughters Rebecca and Elizabeth (plants) and Silver Shining Wheels of Radiance (car) were all named exclusively by steps 2-on.
Good luck! May the name gods smile upon you!