New Nameberry article about “hiding” names

I have a new article up at Nameberry today! How to Hide a Problematic Name.

nameberry-screen-shot-07.19.17I got the idea for it during the Damian/Damien conversation of April and May and the Beretta conversation of June and July (sounds so monumental!). I was just thinking about how so many of us have names we love that we might be scared to use, for whatever reason, and I was thinking about reclaiming names, and thought it would be fun and helpful to put together some ideas for how to both use the name you love and avoid the negativity (either for yourself or for your child as he/she moves through the world with the name).

I’ll be interested to see what you all think of it!

New Nameberry post up!

A piece I wrote for Nameberry posted earlier this week, with a new angle on the topic of name regret: Baby Name Remorse: Helping Your Children Love Their Names (Avoiding name regret, junior version).

I’m sure many (most?) of us would be upset if any of our children decided they didn’t like the names so lovingly and carefully chosen for them, so I wanted to come up with some strategies that might help avoid that. I’d love to know what you think of my ideas! If any of you have experiences with this — not liking the name your parents gave you, or if your kids have let you know they don’t like their names — I’d love to hear that too!

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February CatholicMom column up, a Nameberry mention, and thanks for the fun!

I’ll start with the last bit of the post title — thanks for all your great ideas re: a sister for Reverie! That was so fun to read! You all have amazing ideas!

Secondly, our reader Clare, who has an awesome name site of her own (Name News) and is also my Welsh pronunciation expert, had a piece posted on Nameberry a couple days ago in which she mentioned Sancta Nomina — specifically the “Men Who Love Mary” category! If I’m ever remembered for one thing, having it be names for Mary would be one of my very top choices. 😍 Go check out her great post: Who Knew Victor Hugo was a Name Nerd?

Finally, my February CatholicMom column posted yesterday — a slight re-boot of this post from a couple years ago: Names for Miscarried Babies. Miscarriage was on my mind recently because my parish just started a miscarriage ministry and asked me to help with it (and you know I tapped into our reader Mandi’s great resources at A Blog About Miscarriage). I hope this is helpful for anyone who’s mourning a little one.

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New articles up at CatholicMom and Nameberry

My recent post about the alleged lack of naming after women and moms inspired me to write two different articles on different aspects of the conversation — one for Catholic Mom and one for Nameberry. Both are now up! Check out Gender inequality in naming? at Catholic Mom and Why So Few Girl Juniors? at Nameberry. I’d love to hear your thoughts on both articles!

 

 

 

Name thieves

Reader Anna posted a story to my Facebook wall today — one of Abby’s Name Sage posts on Nameberry that had gotten quite a bit of feedback: Baby Name Theft? Sibling rivalry over a name.

This is the issue:

I have always loved the name Josephine, called Josie or Jo. My sister likes it, too. She doesn’t have kids yet, but really wants them. To be considerate, I asked if she was okay with us using Josephine for this baby. She said it was fine.

My husband and I decided to use the name. [Their older daughter] calls her sister Josephine, and we’ve been referring to the baby by name, though we haven’t officially announced it.

Just recently, my sister told me that she’d changed her mind, and she wants to keep Josephine for herself. Now she’s not speaking to me.

We don’t want to change the name. It fits for many personal reasons, and it’s the name we both love. Yet now when I hear it, I feel frustrated and sad.”

Oof! So maddening! So unfair! So ridiculous! I’m certain all of us can understand the mama’s perspective (who’s actually pregnant, actually expecting an actual baby who actually needs an actual name in the actual near future), but I’m sure even the most laid-back among us can imagine the sister’s perspective as well. What a dilemma!

I love that the expecting parents showed consideration and asked the sister for her permission (for lack of a better word) — we did this also with one of our boys. I hate that the sister said okay, and then changed her mind after the decision was already made. I hate that the sister isn’t speaking to the mom. I hate that the once-beloved, perfect name now evokes anger, frustration, and sadness.

I posted once about naming “dibs” and included a bunch of links that I thought were useful. Given that we add the element of faith to our name discussions, I think we might all agree that relationships are, objectively, more important than names? This is something I try to keep in mind myself, though I know I’m more laid back about this particular issue than a lot of other namiacs. I also feel like we can all intellectually agree that no one owns a particular name, so the idea of “name theft” is somewhat misleading. There are also a zillion other names (and Abby had some awesome suggestions for this couple). I also don’t at all mind the idea of first cousins having the same name, and I think I would love the challenge of coming up with different nicknames.

But. I also know that this can be a hugely emotional topic (especially for emotional pregnant ladies! I’m sacrificing my body, my hormones, my sleep, and my comfort for this baby, let me have my name!), which can override any objective understandings of anything. And relationships are more important than names, but it doesn’t sound like the sister in this situation agrees, and it’s hard to have a good relationship with someone who refuses to play by loving-relationship rules, and who insists on behaving in a way that feels traitorous, petty, and selfish (and I can see how both the sister and the mama could feel this way about the other). But then we’re supposed to rise above and do the right thing regardless. Gah! What a mess.

My dibs post is almost two years old, so let’s revisit it — what are your thoughts/reactions to the Nameberry post? Any personal stories you’d like to share?

Number names 2.0

Abby at Appellation Mountain posted a piece at Nameberry today on number names (I should’ve realized that her tweets likely indicated the topic was brewing in her mind, but I didn’t even think of it) — definitely check it out, she has a lot of better ideas than mine! Numeric Baby Names: Una, Ivy and Octavia: Counting from Una to Eleven

Sancta Nomina

[I apologize to all the people waiting for an email back from me! This is the first week of school and I’m just now starting to catch my breath. Soon!]

Happy Birthday Mother Mary!! My bishop tweeted the greatest thought today: “Mary’s birth is the dawn of hope, humanity’s second chance.” A perfect thought not only for Our Lady’s birthday, but also for the Year of Mercy! ❤

Ages ago (like, back in January) Krista asked for a post about number names, and it’s been on my mind ever since. I’d had a rough idea of doing so around the first day of school — you know, ‘rithmetic and all — and then Abby at Appellation Mountain and I tweeted a bit the past few days (in response to a Haley Stewart tweet) about number names, so it’s definitely time to do this.

I was thinking of all…

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Article on saints’ names up at Nameberry today! And that St. Anne!

I have a new piece up at Nameberry today! Usually I try to stick to low to zero Cathtasticalness in my Nameberry pieces, but Pam asked me if I’d write an article on cool and unusual saints’ names, which was awesome of her and exciting for me, and I’m really pleased with how it came out: Best Cool, Unusual Saints’ Names.

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(It goes without saying, of course, that I don’t actually think these are the*only* best cool, unusual saints’ names — there’s an invisible “Some of the” before “best” in that title.)

And that image! Pam chose it — a peg doll of St. Zelie! — and included the bit at the bottom about the SaintAnneStudio on Etsy — can it be mere coincidence that she chose a shop named after St. Anne without any knowledge that St. Anne is our patroness?? That St. Anne! Up to lots of good!! 😄❤😄❤😄❤

Speaking of St. Anne … my second blogiversary is Monday (I know! What!) and we all (my hubs and I and the kids and my brother-in-law) are taking a mini pilgrimage to a St. Anne’s Shrine on Sunday (different one than we visited last year), during which I’ll be thanking her for her intercession and patronage, and praying for all of you and your intentions! If you’d like to send me your intentions, whether in the comments below or via email (sanctanomina@gmail.com), I’d love to take them with me. This will be a mighty efficacious trip, since “traveling with the kids” is no where on my Things I Love About Motherhood list, so you can be assured the graces will be a-raining down upon you! 😁

I’d love to hear what you think about my Nameberry piece, and don’t forget to send me your intentions!