Names for things

My 4-year-old declared the other day that his two “blankies” now have names: Leo and Isaac. Not only do I love hearing what my boys name their loveys (usually only stuffed animals — this was my first experience with blankets!), but I particularly loved Leo and Isaac! What a distinguished and saintly pair! My third boy’s stuffed seahorse from when he was tiny was the similarly sophisticated Baby Harold and my oldest’s stuffed pup was appropriately named Biscuit, but it has not always been so: my second boy’s pretty notorious for naming his un-alive friends funny things like Bandaids (yes, plural) and Primary (which I thought was sort of brilliant), and the same boy who named Isaac and Leo has always called his stuffed lamb D2.

Just today, Barb from CatholicMom told me that her car’s name is Maxine as a “nod to “Uncle Max” St. Kolbe” — I loved that! It reminded me of my idea that Ratzinger would be a great name for a cat and one of you said it would be great for a German Shepherd as well! Ahhhh I love both of those ideas!! 😄 Those comments were actually in response to a post that included ideas for saintly/faithy names for a puppy, and I’ve talked a very wee bit about naming houses with Kendra in response to her comment here on her post about her new house with it’s awesome name, and today I’d love to hear what you and/or your kiddos are naming your things — from stuffed animals to other loveys to cars to houses to …? Computers? What else? Bonus points for faith connections, but I’d love to hear them all regardless!

42 thoughts on “Names for things

  1. My first car was called Franny the Granny, because it was a big, old lady barge of a car. Then I realized that my favorite teddy bear from my youth was named Fran, because my sister got it for me in San Francisco, so now I’m convinced I need a Francis/Frances of some sort. I don’t have a particular attachment to St. Francis of Assisi, though, so I wonder if I’ll ever be brave enough to use it on a child…or just keep naming inanimate objects Fran!

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  2. My daughter has two baby dolls: Margaret and Agnes. My son named his teddy bear “Pizza” when he was three. He is nearly four now, and has changed the name to “meatball.”

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  3. My car is named Felix! He’s called Felix mainly because Felix means happy and Felix is anything but a happy car most of the time (he’s a 1999 Honda, that doesn’t like to unlock and makes some strange noises)

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  4. I had a pair of identical twin great-aunts who lived together all their lives and never married (their names were Elta Rae and Elva Mae–sometime I should post the names of all that family. There were something like 16 of them and the parents were old-time Scots-Irish Appalachians.) Anyway, they were the kind of people who would buy a car, use it for a few years, and then trade up. Or, at any rate, they’d sell it to my grandmother (whose name was Fallidia Estelle) and buy a new one. They were always these enormous US-made boats, Pontiacs and Lincolns and that kind of thing, and they named every single one of them Chili-Comoochie. My Aunt Twins (we never called them anything but Aunt Twins) always said this was the name of a Confederate general. But my dad has never been able to find record of any general on either side being called anything even close to Chili-Comoochie, or any permutation of that spelling. When I was little we owned Chili-Comoochie #8, which in due time was passed on to my oldest brother.

    Maybe for this reason, my mom has always been really into naming vehicles. The red Mazda minivan she drives is called Ruby. They owned an RV for awhile and called it Harvey (you know, Harvey the RV). A little convertible my mom drove briefly was called Bella. A few years ago she and my dad got a little winter place in Phoenix which they rather tongue-in-cheek call “The Ranch” (the joke is that it’s actually a teeny little house with no yard). My brother and I joked with them when they bought it that they should have named it “The Farm” so when people ask them what they’ve been up to they could say, “Oh, we bought the farm.” As for me and my husband, the only inanimate thing we’ve ever named is our house, which looks like nothing so much as a big brown box from the outside. We call it “Little Shed in the Desert.”

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  5. My 2yo has several baby dolls (too many): Mary and Laura (she loves the my first Little House picture books!), Teresa (a name she knows from her Mother Teresa peg doll) and Angel (I don’t know how she decided on that one; she knows about angels but not as a name. Also, there are two babies called Angel but sometimes they also go by Saint Rose). And then there’s her favorite… Igor. Daddy named it and, unfortunately, it stuck! Igor comes everywhere with us, so people are constantly asking Igor’s name and I’m constantly explaining… :-/

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  6. I took possession of a car long ago on Dec. 8th, the feast of the Immaculate Conception. I named her CONCHITA, the diminutive commonly used in Mexico.

    Most of our other cars have something to do with the make or model. Bonneville was BONNIE, Camry was the uninspired CAMMIE, Spark became SPARTACUS!

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  7. I love watching my daughter name things! With very few exceptions, she is incredibly literal. She has “Seal”, and “Monkey”, and “Bunny” (who then became “White Bunny” when “Grey Bunny” came into the picture, and who is now “Old White Bunny” when “New White Bunny” came into the picture), and the like. She recently acquired stuffed sparkly dragon who was named Wales but then had her name changed to Dragon Sparkles when her best friend, whose sparkly dragon was ALSO named Wales, complained (the two koalas that were acquired near the same time are BOTH Koala Sparkles, despite the fact that neither of them have sparkles). Exceptions include (a) dolls/toys that were mine when I was a kid, and which have thus inherited my names, such as my baby doll Catherine (who, in Gwen’s auspices, is a boy), and two stuffed cats Snowball and Keturah; (b) a variety of stuffed toys whose names are some combination of “Rose” (her middle name), “Angelina” (from Angelina Ballerina), and “Heidi” (one of the guinea pigs at nursery); and (c) the weirdest one of all, her own baby doll who was “baby” for about a year and a half before suddenly out of the blue becoming “Abelia”. I have no idea where she found this name, have never seen or heard this elsewhere (which is strange, because it sure sounds like a name! She pronounces it \ah-BAY-lee-@\), and it’s the only thing that she has named a non-descriptive, non-copycat name.

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  8. All of my cars have had names, but not of the saintly variety.

    They have included the Yellow Lemon, the Trashmobile, the Trashmobile 2, Old Blue, Princess Sable, the King, and the Emperor. The Yellow Lemon and the Trashmobiles had a bad habit of stalling on me in inconvenient places at inconvenient times. One of them had to be towed three times in one week. The insurance company stopped paying because it had been towed so many times. Old Blue was a Jeep that had a transmission leak. I had to pour transmission fluid in it every trip. One of the windows refused to roll back up and the door on the other side refused to shut properly. By comparison,One of the trashmobiles stalled on me on an interstate highway four hours from home. I ended up having it hauled to a junkyard and taking a Greyhound Bus home. By comparison, Princess Sable (a Mercury Sable) and the King and the Emperor have been true royalty. My parents had a car they called Susie Saab.

    My cats are Archie, after Archie Goodwin from the Nero Wolfe mysteries, and Agatha, after Agatha Christie. I suppose they could both also be saint’s names.

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  9. Rhonda the Honda was my mom’s car, and hubby didn’t want Rhonda 2.0 when we bought a civic, so we named it Butch, to convey…strength? Haha it was also along the same lines as Trashmobile. Solidarity! Our son has a stuffed dog named Ralph…but no saintly connections. We have lots of rotating character names for the same dolls–Gracie and Rosie and Violet are huge winners. There was a short stint where we had an Elf on the Shelf and he was named Rumble Strip (after hearing Rumplestiltskin and learning about rumble strips on the highway in the same week)…

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  10. We tend to name our computers ‘Isidore’ after the patron saint of computers…my cars have all had names…my first was George of the Jungle, because it was a teal green that reminded me of the jungle.

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  11. Here is one anecdote that is relevant and faithy (I started listing all my named things and decided this one is the most interesting for this audience). Freshman year of college, I began Jeff Cavins’ timeline Bible study and was starting to work on reading the whole Bible. One day, a friend wanted to go to Build a Bear for her bday, so she and I went. She named her bear Caleb, and I named mine Joshua. Later that night, my Bible reading included the story of Moses sending scouts into the Promised Land, and all of them coming back reporting that they should not enter, except Joshua and Caleb were the two who continued to trust God and advised Moses to go ahead and lead the people on. It’s one of those cases where I’m pretty sure the “coincidence” was in fact a movement of the Holy Spirit. And guess what, I will never ever forget the names of the only two faithful scouts of the Israelites.

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  12. My grandparents’ car was named Camilla. I think this name was chosen because at that time it was quite uncommon. Instead, my parents didn’t name their car as they could not agree on a single name!

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  13. My Orthodox in-laws tell me in their tradition it is frowned on to name pets after holy people, so they name them for the place they are from- a nod to St. Francis would be naming the pet Assisi. My oldest had imaginary friends named Roar and Bucket Head. He also named his next younger brother Junior Sweetie when he was in utero- Junior in case he was a boy and Sweetie in case he was a girl.

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  14. I’ve never named a car or a house, but I did name my cello Bob when I was 14 or 15. Later, when I got my current cello, I experimented with the name Floyd, but it’s too silly for such a beautiful (handmade FOR me!) instrument. So, now it has no name, 20 years later… Yo-Yo Ma’s cello is named Petunia!

    Other than that, we have MANY named stuffed animals and dolls. I’ll try to list a few here.
    Abie (rhymes with baby)
    Eden
    Annabelle
    Janie
    Anna (pronounced like, well, Anna from Frozen)
    Charlie
    Mr. Bear is THE favorite teddy bear of my oldest, and he occasionally gets called Crystal as well (??)
    William Bear
    Claire
    Peter
    Charlotte
    Jasper (this is John’s doll, and I suggested this name…I haven’t named any of the other dolls, but I love Jasper so much that I encouraged this choice…but now I might steal it back if we ever have another boy! Jasper the doll is mostly called Jaspie Baby.)

    I know my children have come up with quite a few other cute and interesting names for their toys, but these are all I can think of right now.

    My own favorite doll from childhood was named Nora. I got her for Christmas a few months before I turned 3, and just a few days before my sister Sophia was due to be born. I was talking to my grandfather about what to name her, and he suggested Laura, which I misheard as Nora. I remember this, actually! (Not that he said Laura, but talking with him about the name and him saying what I thought was Nora.) My mom said she was so glad I went with Nora because she already had Laura in mind for another baby down the line. (And my youngest sister is, in fact, named Laura.) I loved my doll Nora so much and thought she was so pretty that eventually, I planned to name my own real baby Eleanor after her. But then I grew up and still haven’t gotten around to it, lol! I guess it has always felt just a bit too popular in my circles. There always seems to be a little Eleanor. I do seem to gravitate towards names with E, though, because I have an Elisabeth, may very well choose Edith if I have another girl, and Emma was my favorite name when I was a teenager (in the 90’s, before it got popular!).

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    • I LOVE that Yo-Yo Ma named his cello!! What a cool tidbit! And Bob is quite cool too! 😀

      I’m interested in the idea of dolls having names that might be used for real babies, like Laura/Nora and Jasper … my babydoll who I loved dearly was Lovey — and that’s what I naturally started calling my first real baby and all his brothers too! I call them all Lovey!

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  15. My dad has homing pigeons and there are two babies. My 21 month old named one Peace (his favorite word to say right now) and the other Cracker (which is his choice of food when he’s at my parents… Because I never buy them haha)

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