Wednesday, November 27, 2013

on naming a baby

a sweet little tag that came with a recent scarf purchase

When teaching pregnant women it's expected that the topic of baby names will arise. Lucky for me it's one of my favourite topics! I'm always delighted when my students start the discussion and even more honoured when they ask my opinion.

During Antonia's photo shoot last week we chatted about their preferred names. Pregnant with a boy after two girls, they only had a few names on their list*. They agreed with most people - boys names are hard!

We took a week to name Che. When I was pregnant we had a name chosen (I won't divulge) and as soon as we looked at his face we knew; he really wasn't that name. And so we ummed and ahhed for a few days, trying out a few different options. "Che" had been floating around on our list since early in the pregnancy and six weeks before he was born I bought Daniel a book called Loving Che. We had talked about a wanting a name that meant growth and life but we ended up choosing Che because it means "friend" in Argentinian, it has a beautiful sound and because it was the name of the cat in my favourite film. But then, when Che was about 18months old, I was reading a book about South America and within its pages was the meaning of "Che" in the ancient Mayan language. "Che" means "tree". We had it right all along.

We pronounce Che with a hard ch. Most people presume it's pronounced shay so when he was younger I would always say: "It's Che like Cha," hence he got his nickname, Che Che. It's definitely stuck, so much so that he often introduces himself by saying: "Hi, my name is Che Che."

As for "Poet", well, we just always loved the sound of it and the fact that it was a 'word' name. We expected much more criticism than we've ever received; most people adore it! We call her Poe for short and Poet Winter (she was born on the full moon in mid-winter) when she's in trouble. And since she's arrived, I've met or come across both boys and girls named Poe, Poet and Poetry.

I think the more children you have the harder the name game becomes. You kind of have to match the name to the baby's siblings and that can get tricky. Tell me, do you love talking about names? What are your children's names and why did you choose them? Do you have a secret list tucked away in case another baby comes along?

*little Archer (beautiful, strong name) arrived late last night. Photos to come!


129 COMMENTS

  1. I'm a long time name lover!

    We have three boys called Felix, Theodore and Jarvis - each of their names is so special to us and all were chosen before they were born. They all looked like their chosen names luckily, because by boy number three we only had the one name we could agree on!

    In fact all three feature on the first name list I made after finding out I was pregnant with our first son. All three names are long time loves.

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    1. Oooh I have a Theodore too! We are mildly concerned we won't be able to match it if we have another boy...

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    2. Don't worry, you will :) Felix was named before conception, Theodore was a long time love of mine and my husband caved and now loves it too of course.

      Jarvis was a very hard-won name for us because we both were barracking for other names. My husband wanted Wolfgang (Wolfie) and I wanted Reuben or Rupert - neither of us would agree to each other's choices so we started from scratch. We feel we came up trumps and love Jarvis more than any of those other names... and we're BOTH happy :) I for one, am so glad my husband rejected Rupert because Murdoch has been frightful since my baby's birth.

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    3. For girls we loved Ursula, Paloma, Ines and Wilhelmina.

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  2. I love baby naming! I totally agree about having siblings with complimentary names. Also, middle names are super important (I think). I have a Sophie Madeleine, a George Oliver, and a Florence Ngahuia. Luckily my George is a good few years older than the royal one...

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    1. Love love love your children's names! My husband is a big Sophie fan, I'm a big Florence fan, and we both love George but unsure we'd use it now with the Prince George and all. Beautiful names!

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    2. sigh…Ngahuia (and Florence for that matter!) is on my list. I love it.

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  3. Fab topic - love thinking/talking about names! I have a long girls list and a shorter boys list (yes agree, much harder!). I'd secretly love to have enough children to use all the names, but the thought of a dozen kids is a little terrifying, so may just have to stick with my top picks ;)

    I have two daughters. Lola Noelle (3yrs old) and Maeve Marigold (9 wks old). Both first names we fell hard for years back, and their middle names were also all time favourites, but not quite enough to use as first names.

    Whilst cradling Maeve as I type, I'm already pondering what to name baby number #3. Ha! Let's hope it's a little while off yet :)

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    1. I have a friend who has a Maeve and Lola! Great combination!

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    2. Thankyou! I've been surprised at how many people struggle to pronounce Maeve.. and a few friends had never even heard of the name! I knew it wasn't overly common, but come on guys! ;)

      Funny though, because I never doubted the way Che was pronounced, would never have thought of it as Shay.. interesting how people interpret/read names. Adore both Che & Poet. Can't wait to hear what you call your third darling, no pressure! :) xx

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    3. I love Lola! Such a sweet name!

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  4. Elliott was three weeks without a name, other than Baby... in the end I gave up and Paul decided he would be Elliott John- I'm still not sure it suits him!! Although it does fit well with Finn and Jonah so that's a plus. It does feel like a huge responsibility to give a child the name they'll be saddled with for life! Glad for me it's done and dusted x

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  5. I love name conversations too, and I adore all my choices. I have an Arlo Michael, a Jesse Oliver and an Adelaide Lexi. I do mull sometimes over Jesse as a more popular name than the others, but it suits him to a tee. All boy, all bright and sharp and busy. The Oliver because we both liked it, but my partner preferred it more than me. Arlo - suits him to a tee: unique, thoughtful, charming silly humour. Michael for my beloved dad, now gone from us. Adelaide - such a classic name for a truly non-classic girl, wild at heart and full of honest joy. Lexi for my kindred spirit, sharp as a knife grandmother, also gone from us. <3

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  6. Oh, I adore talking about baby names! I've never heard your children's from anyone before but I love both their names....and until this post, I pronounced Che's name completely wrong. :) I have 2 boys, Nicholas Michael and Matthew Aaron. I had those names picked out since I was in high school, dreaming of being a momma. I'm pretty sure that no more are in our future but if by any chance (or miracle) I had a girl, her name would be Alba Rae.
    This is a fun post...I'm sure your students adore you. xo

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    1. My daughter is Alba Rose. :) I love coming across babies with the same names as my children. I also have a Lawson James. I love thinking about baby names. I don't even know if we will be having any more, but I caught myself looking at a name book the other day.

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  7. It is so interesting reading about how you named your children Jodi. Che and Poet are both beautiful names. My eldest (7) is Annabelle. We wanted a longish, feminine girls name to balance out our surname of Smith! My youngest (4) is George. We wanted a strong, simple, masculine boys name.

    We did not deliberate for long over either names...we had them chosen before they arrived and when they did arrive the names seemed to fit. x

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  8. PS while on the subject of names may I ask where the Fidel comes from in your blog name? I have often wondered...

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    1. Fidel was his teddy - a gift from a friend not long after he was born (as in Che Guevara and Fidel Castro). x

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  9. I love baby name discussions too - but what mama doesn't! I have two girls. Anouk Adeline Yoshimi and Delphi Lux Hiroko. We are not planning on having any more children but if it happens (accidentally) and we are blessed with a son, we have a few names up our sleeve.

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    1. P.S. I also love Before Sunset and Before Sunrise, but am yet to see the third installment. :)

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    2. Delphi was on my list :) Adore it.

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  10. We don't have children yet, but I loooove talking names too! And my goodness, I always thought it was most definitely 'shay'!!! I guess I've been mispronouncing your blog name wrong too then?! I have a cousin Che (a girl) who is 'shay'. I have a most definite list of 'one day baby' names, which I won't divulge, but a few which are on the imaginery list which either my husband wouldn't agree to or I actually wouldn't use (as I have others way above them on the list) are: Clementine, Avery, Averil, Thea, Theodore, Millicent, Martha, Weston, Fergus. One of my friends is Georgia West. Isn't West a lovely name for a girl? I love it. My brother is Kelly, there aren't many other male Kelly's around (but it's a boys name!) and I love it for a boy, not sure I'd name my baby after my big brother though, might be confusing! My sister's name is Creina, a Gaelic word meaning 'precious' or 'wondrous'. We have never heard of another Creina, she always gets Karina, Katrina, Corina etc. No vowel between the C and the R - Creeeeeiiiinaaaa lol

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    1. Never underestimate what your husband will agree to after he has witnessed you birth ;) x

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    2. So true Jodi! My husband was never that into the name Amelie, but my mum said 'wait until she is born and he will let you call her whatever you want'. She was right.

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    3. I love Clementine! And Plum. Neither of which my fiancée would agree to. But I have a special place in my heart for both. Maybe I can persuade him with the next baby....if there is to be another that is!

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  11. I love hearing the stories behind names and why they were chosen. We chose Everly from the boy's Scottish name Ever, meaning 'life', 'strong' and 'always' (Mark's family is Scottish). We almost chose Winter for her middle name, as she was born on a wild and stormy evening at the beginning of June (I was almost called Winter too, but it was my Dad's turn to do the naming!) but we went with our first choice, Violet, as I had many dreams of violet light throughout my pregnancy (now I understand the spiritual significance!) and I also loved that it was a flower name, to represent the blossoming from a tiny little seed into our baby girl. It suits her perfectly.

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  12. I love name talk! We have an Eloise Clementine and I often find myself day dreaming of what we'd name another child. I have my favorite girl name picked out already but I'm just not sure the boy name we'd picked out for our daughter works anymore.

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  13. For Erick and I, our culture took high priority in making sure the girls' names were something traditionally spelled and easy to roll off the tongue in both the spanish and english languages. We needed names that weren't fussy or complicated, though we still wanted something unique to their characters.

    Sofia Michele ~ named after her aunt michele, taken away from this earth too soon by ovarian cancer. It is a very strong, yet beautiful name. We knew this one instantly before she was even born and it seems to fit her personality perfectly.

    Alba Mae ~ named after the dawn on that day in May. We didn't know if Alba was a boy or girl until she was born and we hadn't preemptively chosen names for either sex. The morning after her birthing, we saw the most beautiful sunrise together over Lake Michigan from our hospital room. We both knew in that moment it had to be Alba.

    xxx

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    1. Oh yay! You are the second to comment with an Alba. My sweet daughter is Alba Rose. I mentioned above on another comment that I love coming across babies with the same name as my daughter!

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  14. We didn't take long at all to name our Maile. My husband is half Hawaiian, and we knew we wanted to honor that heritage with our daughter's name. Maile (pronounced My-lee, and often mispronounced as May-lee) means sweet smelling, or fragrant, in the Hawaiian language. It is also the name of a beautiful flowering vine used often in the making of leis for special family ceremonies, like weddings. When we got married, my husband wore a Maile vine lei, making the name that much more special to us. I'm currently pregnant with baby #2, and though we don't know the gender yet (we find out in 2 weeks), we're having trouble with boy names (we already have another girl name selected). Perhaps I'll gain some inspiration here! :) Absolutely loved this post, Jodi. So timely.

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  15. How I adore naming babies! As a former teacher I had numerous options crossed of the list from the beginning. We have a strong connection to French culture so we wanted French names and are both lovers of literature so something literary was chosen. Hence, Bijou Guinevere and Remy Oberon. If there's a number 3 we've got a girl all sorted...but a boy? Hope your day is beautiful :) x

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  16. Jodi I am currently experiencing the stress of the "sibling matching" (and am planning a post on it, too) - the only other main names I like, are all food related! I'm also feeling concerned that amongst our wide network, all the good names have already been used gone ... you have the same name as a friend in the outer circle? I am going to be checking back in here for name inspiration. Kellie xx

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    1. foodie names; well, you are a passionate health/nutrition girl, it makes sense! It does get hard when your children get older and you meet more families and suddenly, all the names are taken. Eeeep. Come back here soon, I'm already impressed with all the beautiful names mentioned x

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    2. Oh I know what you mean Kellie! One of my 'on the list' girl's names was given to a little girl in the wider network this year and I am now considering removing it from the list... not that I am planning on naming another child but you never know do you?

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    3. I'm the same right now Kellie. I love the name Evangeline for a girl, but you can't have that and Josephine... rhyming names? I don't think so!! I'm loving the name suggestions here though. Always good to get a bit of fresh inspiration! x

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  17. I didn't think much about names until I was pregnant and yep, with a boy. Like you said...boys are hard! We kept debating all the way into the third trimester. My husband and I went to an art opening and there was a paining signed "Teo XXXXX." Don't remember the last name or even the painting but I thought...ah, that must be the nickname for Mateo. It just felt right. Mateo also happens to be a name from my husband's region of Croatia (Dalmatia) and so it works for both of our families in two countries. Easy to pronounce with a nickname we loved. Although he has about 10 more since then. :) He's definitely our Mateo. :)

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    1. I love Mateo for a boy's name. Gorgeous!

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    2. My brother's name is Mateo and while we didn't grow up with any other Mateo's it seems like the name is popping up all over the place now! It's just such a beautiful name.

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  18. Love the baby name game. Our first was either going to be Gabriel (I love Gabe) or Lucas (I love Luke too) if a boy and Brielle if a girl. Well he was born a boy and a blond one at that and we just didn't see a Gabe there but a handsome little Lucas Philip. My daughter was born 13.5 months later, Brielle Jilliann. XO

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  19. As you know, I love talking about names and I've written so many blog posts on the subject! We still have a girls' name up our sleeves (one that I think matches Clementine well) but if we have a boy we are screwed. x

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  20. ooh, this is timely. We have a Leo Sydney (named after one each of our grandfathers) and really struggled with choosing. I'm almost 6 months pregnant again and are only just starting to think about names now. It's tricky as my husband is French and so we need names that work in both languages. It's a much harder process than I expected... will be checking back in here for ideas!

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  21. Oh, this is a wonderful post and I'm delighted to learn about the decision behind your littles' names.
    When I found out I was pregnant I was standing in a flat in Rome, reading the pregnancy test we bought in confidence at the local pharmacy. The lady behind the counter looked at us with delight, knowing it was our first and we were both excited and frightened. We decided once we knew it was a boy that his middle name would be "Roman", since we first met him in one of the most amazing cities in the world. William Roman joined us later that year...and it was glorious.

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  22. We had no trouble naming our first two kids. Before we started dating I told my husband (as we swam in the sea off the Solomon Islands) that I'd already decided on my kids names and he just smiled and said 'how strange, those are the names my kids will be called too!' And so they were. Amaya Rosa Lily (generally called Maisie or Maya) and Caleb William Stewart - the William Stewart after my dad and a dear friend who died. There's also a lovely song Robert Burns wrote to his friend, William Stewart. But now with number three? It's so hard. There was a girls name we both loved… but my parents hated it. At the rate we're going we'll be sticking with 'Baby' for the first year or two!

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    1. Baby #3?! Oh, beautiful news! We never mention our favourite names to anyone during pregnancy as I find people are more likely to dismiss them (or tell you they know a dog with that name!) x

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  23. I have no babies yet, but I have a secret list a mile long - full to the brim with girls names! I really struggle with boys names! Im still confused about how to pronounce che - I've been reading it shay all this time and its the name of your blog - I dont know if my brain will let me switch! When you announced Poets name I was surprised and delighted and a little bit bummed I didn't think of that! *s*

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    1. it's "chay" - with a hard ch instead of a soft sh. Cha Cha - Chey Chey. I've had many friends tell me they wished they had of come up with Poet, too x

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  24. Our 15 month old daughter is Noa Blue. Noa is Hebrew and means 'movement'.

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    1. I love this! What a wonderfully gorgeous name. x

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  25. Folks get confused and think she's a boy but it's also a girls name in Hawaii, Japan, Portugal, Egypt and Fiji. We love that it's a little bit unusual but not too complicated. Blue is simply my favourite colour. :) I think Che and Poet are beautiful names - soft and strong simultaneously. x

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    1. Noa is a beautiful name for a girl. :)

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    2. Also LOVE Noa as a girls name. So pretty x

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    3. I used to know a little Swiss girl named Noa Joie - love it.

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  26. I love this Jodi. I quite enjoyed the name choosing though my husband wasn't that much help.. he liked to say 'no' to many a suggestion but rarely offer up some of his own! Ruby was always Ruby - long before I met Paul I knew my first daughter would be Ruby Grace (my great grandmother was Ruby Margret). He loved it too so that was easy. She would have been Noah if she were a boy. The first time I suggested Cole if we had a boy second time round Paul dismissed it instantly.. not sure how I changed his mind but he was definitely a Cole! He arrived 2.5wks early and we hadn't chosen a second name when he was born. About half an hour after he arrived Paul suggested Ewan and it fit together perfectly (we had been watching a lot of The Long Way Down with Ewan McGregor who I love!). He would have been Eden if he was a girl. And Eliot was what I really wanted and had to bargain for - we made a deal that if we had a girl she would be called Avery Violet (a name I loved and he didn't) in order for him to have his name as Eliot's second name if we had a boy (which he had previously said he would never want any of the children to have if we had boys because he never liked his own name - I remember it vividly during our first pregnancy though he denies it to this day!!). So, Eliot became Eliot Paul and he could not have been another name. I was glad all the kids arrived and they suited our pre-chosen names perfectly. Maybe we'll name the cat Avery when we get one.. x

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    1. ..and I should have mentioned we chose names that would be harder to shorten or make nicknames out of - I have never been a fan of the nickname and was always taught it was rude to call someone a name other than their full name unless they invited you to do so... Ruby gets 'Rubes' by a select handful which I don't love but she is okay with it. My MIL is renowned for NEVER calling the kids by their full names (which irks me to the core!) and when the kids were old enough to speak for themselves, they liked to set her straight.. Cole in particular. Because Cole-y is not what we had in mind when we chose a strong boy's name!

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    2. Oh Tahnee, I had to laugh... I'm such a nick-namer! I know all to well that no name is nickname proof! My straightforward one syllable name always got lengthened to Claire Bear, Clairabelle, Chocolate eclair etc etc. Perhaps that's why I like names with obvious, pleasant shortenings. x

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  27. Love all the beautiful comments above. I'm gathering inspiration for baby number three, as I am currently 14 weeks pregnant. :)

    When we named our first born Cohen, my father in law just nodded and said 'I hope he can fight'! He has since grown used to the name and admits it is a good strong name and suits him. Cohen's middle name is Byron, as we were married in Byron Bay. Our daughters name is Emerson Noni. Emerson, or Em or Emmy, just because we both like it and agreed on it (I think it was the only girls name my husband and I agreed on!), and Noni after my twin sister, Fiona. My nephew nick named her Noni when he was a toddler because he couldn't pronounce Fiona. The name stuck, and I think it is such a sweet name. xx

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  28. I also love talking about names.
    We called our son Arlo, but Django was on the list, and so was Iggy - in the end it came down to Arlo and Iggy, but now that I know my son, we should have gone with Dizzy (ok jazz reigns supreme in our house). If we'd had a girl the only name we ever agreed on was Fancy - which everyone else hated. Other than that we could not agree on a irl's name. We had once loved Gelsomina (from La Strada). We are not fans of the music of Arlo Guthrie, but do love Woody Guthrie - who named his son, so that is how we first heard of the name.

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  29. I love naming children (and things). I think it is incredibly important to pick significant and well-meaning names that are close to your heart. Our first born is Evangeline Kay, named for her maternal line after her grand-mother and great-grandmother. She is our "good news". Our second darling girl is Bethany Winter, named for all that those two names together connote: warmth, hospitality, homely, charity, love. Bethany was a place of miracles and Winter, my favourite time. We even considered their nicknames: Evie means "life" and Bessy means "God's promise/oath". So much truth in their names, reflected in their precious lives! <3

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  30. ooh, I love discussing baby names! I wish my friends, and others, would let me name their babies!!

    Evie Mai - our firstborn, now 5. We just loved the name Evie (right before it became popular) and the Mai is for our family middle name of Valmai.

    Dexter Ray - almost 2. We didn't intend for their middle names to rhyme, but once we'd thought of Ray it couldn't be anything else! (and it turned out to be a family name too)

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  31. I love names too! We are a French/Swiss/Kiwi family, so I wanted French names that could be pronounced easily and the same way in English (not too easy!). I also love the meanings of names. We had settled on Amélie Hope and Elise Grace for our twin daughters when I was around 24 weeks pregnant, not knowing they'd be with us at the end of that following week! It's amazing how appropriate the meanings of their names were, when we saw how they had to battle being born just before 26 weeks and weighing 700g...Amélie 'Industrious' and Elise 'consecrated.' Our third, a little guy, was born in August and we called him Théo Victor, meaning 'One who loves God' and Victor after his great grandpapa in France...being the first great grandson after a whole line of girls! Love your little ones' names as well :)

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  32. What a lovely resource to have! All these beautiful names. I have a little boy: Ravi James. Although we didn't really name him before he was born our list of boys names wasn't very long. We visited India while I was pregnant with him, and as the sanskrit word for the sun it suits him perfectly -all honey coloured curls and bright smiles (with plenty of fire thrown in on occasion!)

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  33. I love talking names too. As someone that has grown up with a "unique" name I have always preferred things a little quirky. I wanted Ever as a first name but we came to agree on Olive Ever. Olive meaning peace & of course something delicious so it suits her to a tee. I'm with Kellie I love fruity food names. I adore your children's names Jodi, they are just gorgeous.
    Qew xx

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  34. I love talking names too. As someone that has grown up with a "unique" name I have always preferred things a little quirky. I wanted Ever as a first name but we came to agree on Olive Ever. Olive meaning peace & of course something delicious so it suits her to a tee. I'm with Kellie I love fruity food names. I adore your children's names Jodi, they are just gorgeous.
    Qew xx

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  35. I am always still amazed at how when I was pregnant and wrote a post about how hard boys names are, you said "I think he will be Henry or Finn" and they were our top two choices (which you didn't know!) !! What crazy intuition!! I often think about what we would call another baby if we have one.. Something that goes with Sophie and Henry.. Hmm..

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  36. I’ve an Archer too.
    It was the only boy name on our list and has a lot of meaning for me: Diana goddess of the hunt was an archer, she was strong and wise; my own name means star in Greek and the archer is a constellation.

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  37. With my first Oliver 'olive tree', it came easy and there never really was any other name, I was skimming through the baby names book and we both liked it, his middle name is Paul after his dad, I still loved it at the end of my pregnancy - it just stuck so it was right. With my daughter I found it much much harder to pick a name, I spent many hours agonising over names, for me it's all about the feeling of a name, I need to love it and I'll know it when I find the right one, I really only came to a decision a week or so before she (we didn't know the sex) was born. We named her Iris, it has special meaning to me as it was my mums favourite flower, my mum passed away in July this year a day before my little girl turned 7mths so it will always remind me of her and it's something I can tell my daughter, it also means 'Rainbow'. I couldn't have picked any other name for her it just fits perfectly.

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  38. I remember discussing baby names with you Jodi! You suggested Banjo, to complement our first son's name- Dusty. I couldn't convince my husband, though, and in the end went with Henry (completely different!) We could of gone with the theme and had Rocky and Smoky!! I adore the name Poet and would of loved to steal it, but it just didn't 'fit' us. We found the girls name the hardest. It changed every time we were pregnant. We decided on Abbey a few weeks before she was born. We thought it was pretty and not too common. So whilst they all have 5 letters and end in the letter Y, they are quite different. One unique, one old-time cool! and one reasonably modern....and that's it!

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  39. At 32 weeks pregnant, name discussions have been fairly frequent around here. There are a whole heap of names that I like, but it's different again when it actually comes to naming another human being. I guess my main two influences on a naming our baby are that: I'm sentimental about my own names (Melania Elisa) which are both my grandmothers names - neither of whom I actually got to meet; and I feel fairly strongly about the names we choose being functional both in English and Spanish (well, at least the first name). So there are a few family names being considered, as well as some that we simply like the sound of. I don't know if we'll have it finalised until we actually meet our little one. I've loved reading through names here - great topic! Melania x

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    1. Happy searching Melania. My bubs names had to be both English/Spanish as well – and I love family names. Melania Elisa is a lovely combination.

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    2. Thank you Imogen! I loved reading about your children's names and the similar criteria, you've given them gorgeous names.

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  40. Names are at once so much fun and so much stress when you're trying to agree on something! I totally agree it gets harder with each child as you want them all to fit. We really set a precedent with "North". My father suggested it when I was 12 weeks pregnant and we both like it from the start. I knew Indigo was Indigo the hour she was conceived. I touched my belly that very evening and whispered, "Welcome little Indigo". Juniper was by far the hardest name for us. I felt certain she was something strong, tall, graceful and dark. We went through a lot of tree names and finally settled on Juniper especially because she was born in June and will likely use "June" as a nickname. Awesome post topic! xx m.

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    1. Meagan, I've long had a secret crush on your children's names. North, Indigo and Juniper work so well together.

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    2. I, too, love your children's names, Meagan. So lovely

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    3. I have twins named Juniper Vigil and Indigo Virginia!

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  41. I do not have children yet myself, but I adore literary names including Poet, Sonnet being my favourite for a girl. I also adore the name Quin for a boy.

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  42. I LOVE talking about baby names and naming babies!! I am bordering on wanting more children almost entirely so I can name them! Our first two girls were named before they were even conceived. Our first 'Astrud Violet' is named so for a number of reasons ... We had decided we would like to give a daughter my husbands initials and if it was a boy my initials, we wanted a botanical middle name so we landed on violet. My husband is a jazz musician and 'Astrud Gilberto' is one of our shared favourite singers so that's where the spelling came from. Our second daughter 'Freya Iris', was named so with no real reason for her first name other than we love it and it sat nicely with Astrud. We wanted another botanical middle name and it was going to be Honey until about 3 days before she was born (she was 6 days overdue) my husband called me panicked from work saying he was getting cold feet about Honey and thought it wasn't right, I told him the only other name I had considered was Iris because it is my late grandmothers name and we ended up with that, and I am so glad we did. We have never been able to agree on a boys name though Miles, Humphrey, Sidney and Porter are high on our list.

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    1. Whoops!! I didn't realise the google account was logged into my husbands profile

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  43. I love posts about names! My 8 month old boy is Jude Archer, I love his name....not being a huge fan of my own - Michelle shortened to Shell and NO middle name. I really hope he loves it too!
    I too have been pronouncing Che wrong all this time....

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  44. Che and Poet are beautiful names and suit your babes so well. I love the way that names grow on a person as they do, or we grow into them! We didn't know if we were having a boy or a girl (and had two name variations chosen for either) and in the hour after our little boy's birth as we gazed and loved on his face we knew he was indeed a Reuben Kael. Reuben is hebrew for "behold, a son" and Kael is gaelic for "victorious" or "slender"... The meanings were important, but mostly we loved the sound of the names on the tongue. He gets called Reu, Rube, Ruby-doo, mon petite choux (my little cabbage in french, referring to the vegetable Kale :))

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  45. My older girl is named Louise, quite classical, old name. It was obvious for us and we choose it when we saw her, it was Louise or Jeanne, so Louise fits her best. We call her loulou very often. For our second child, a boy, we had harder time to choose his name. On the end, 2 days after he was born, he still had no name... and then it was issa. It's Jesus in the muslim world, and also a Japanese name (you seem to like issa's Haiku, funny for me!). We loved this name as it has different significations and I do love the sound of this name. And then our third child is a girl, named lili. It was quite hard and funny to choose this name, and we hesitated to have both a loulou and a lili at home. and we finally choose lili some hours after she was born, for this peaceful and strong little girl. We always had to look at them and choose after...

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  46. A favourite topic here too (as you know all too well!)

    We have two girls - Eulalie Iris (Lalie) and Marguerite Edith.

    Edith is my late grandmother's name. The rest were chosen purely because we love them.

    I tend to gravitate to longer names with cute nicknames. I obviously have a thing for French beauties and simply couldn't refrain from going French again on round 2.

    We chose our girls' names because they are chic, feminine, strong...and have pleasant meanings (Eulalie means eloquent while Marguerite means both daisy and pearl). What I love most about their names is that they are unexpected (I try to avoid trends). Both names also have a rich history and wonderful literary and cultural references. I love the subtle tie that the girls' names have with the use of flower names.

    Some favourites that we probably won't use: Flora, Apolline (a little crazy I know! Apple / Polly), Dorothea (Dot), Henriette (Etta), Lucille, Maeve, Opal, Winifred, Aurelia, Mirabel, Viola, Delphine, Francesca... I could go on!

    As for boys? I just don't get excited... and Paddy and I tend to disagree a lot more with boys. I really wasn't happy with our boy choices - I definitely felt like we had 'settled'. I guess I'm not terribly adventurous... I like the classics - Henry, Frederick, Edmund (Ned), Theodore.

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    1. I'm named Henriette! I've never met anyone else with the name, and also never met anyone who pronounces it correctly when introduced (ie with an E, not an A). My name always gets shortened to Hen. Hmmmm........But still, I do love my name!
      x

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  47. Ruby, Mabel and Elsa (just born 4 days ago) I love the old classics x

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    1. Blessings, mama of three. And welcome to Elsa! x

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    2. So lovely to see a comment from you Jade! And, wow, a third little baby into your family! Elsa is such a beautiful name, and I've always loved Ruby and Mabel. I hope you're well. I must admit, I do miss your blog posts ;) x

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  48. I have 3 girls, Bethany(18) Amaris (7) and Éowyn (2). When my eldest was born I had two names picked, if she was fair haired I was going to go with Bethany and if she had dark hair another name, she had dark hair but as soon as I saw her I called her Bethany. My middle child we also had 2 names picked, my husband and daughter preferred Amaris, so that is what she is. With my youngest we had 2 names picked again, and hubby and her sisters voted on Éowyn. I love picking names, I wish we were going to have more kids, I have 2 boys names and 3 girls names I want to use :D

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  49. One of my favourite topics.

    There is just so much to say about baby names, that one day I'll write my own blog post. Each of my children have a combination of family names and names for love. Their first names had to be both recognisable in spanish and english and at their dad's insistence, they had to have two middles. I never choose the names completely until I met them, but rather had a shortlist.

    So we have Oscar Graeme Ignatius (3), Nora Lilian Céleste (20 months) & Iris Eulalie Pearl (3 months).

    The names that got away: Horace, Fern, Margaret, Artemis, Iolanthe, Ianthe, Ruben, Ruskin, Nell, September, Harriet, Eve, Romilly, Evelyn, Juniper, Clementine, (I could probably keep going).

    I love your children's names and I've particularly liked hearing about the naming of Ché. When I hear his name I think of the exclamation "what?" and the revolutionary ... but really with the meanings of friend and tree, it is beautiful and simple. Im x

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  50. We did not have any trouble choosing a name for our girl. It came as soon as my husband had said no to my first suggestion. Her name is Elisabet Ylfa. She is always just called Ylfa. It is Icelandic for a female wolf. Elisabet is my mother's name. We have not yet started thinking about having another baby, but I still have a list forming in my head of future names.
    This is such a lovely topic! It's so fun reading all the comments.

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    1. oh, how do you pronounce Ylfa? I'm intrigued! x

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  51. My daughters names come from a worldwide trip we took 4 years ago: Zoe Tiare (Tiare comes from Easter island and means flower) and Alma Aiko (Aiko is Japanese and means love's daughter). I love thinking about baby names and strangely I was always sure about a name for a boy: Leone! I'm Italian and it's not easy for the people to pronounce my daughters middle names, so everybody call them Zoe and Alma but I love that they have a piece of our biggest passion (travel) in their names!

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  52. To be honest, I wasn't entirely sure if Che and Poet were their real names since some bloggers give their kids nicknames on the Internet. But I think both those names are wonderful and I can totally picture a grown-up saying, "Hi, I'm Che," (or Poet). I think that's the best 'test' for a baby name.

    My husband and I are going to have a tough time with this when we have kids. I'm Francophone, he's Colombian, and we live in Canada, so we need a name that sounds good in French, Spanish, and English. The phonetics are SO different between these three languages! We have a few ideas so far, but we can't agree on spelling. Well, we have another 2-3 years before kids to figure this out, haha! :)

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  53. big, HUGE name fan here too. We are an American-Italian family,my husband is from Rome, so we went with Italian names. We have a Lorenzo, Francesca and a Sofia. They all fit them perfectly :)

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    1. I love the name Francesca (all your names are beautiful).

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  54. I absolutely love names and the thought of naming my children. You know how people usually dream about their wedding day, or having children? I was sitting at home dreaming about naming my 20 children (because I had so many names I loved, I needed to have that many children).
    We have 1 daughter now, her name is Georgia Rose, and we are so looking forward to naming the rest of any children we should be blessed with.
    And YES. We would agree that boy names are much more difficult. We only have 1 boy name picked out (finally) but about a million potential girl names.

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  55. I also love talking about names. I have two boys: Pau and Alvar.

    My husband is from Barcelona so the names had to be easy to pronounce both in finnish and spanish, as well as catalan. Pau (pronounced like written) is the catalan version of Pauli (in finnish - spanish Pablo/english Paul), after my late grandfather who was called Pauli. I also love that the word pau in catalan (la pau) means peace.

    For Alvar, I wanted something more traditional, since Paus name is so rare here (we live in Finland -- BUT the name Pau is very popular in Barcelona, it’s a fun contrast when we are travelling between the cities: he is still genuinely surprised that someone else can be called Pau as well!). We waited long (he was almost three months old) before choosing the name, one day I just thought he looked like Alvar and that was it. Alvar is a catalan name (catalan for Alvaro) and also quite common in Finland.

    Their second names are finnish (Pau Väinö and Alvar Touko), and they have their fathers spanish surname.

    In Finland people traditionally wait until the baby is three months before they tell the name (you don´t have to officially register the name before that either), its quite different from Spain where its not uncommon to know (and share!) the babys name from the beginning of pregnancy.

    Aino xx

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    1. Wow, that's so interesting Aino! What do you call the baby for the first three months? Just a word for 'baby'?

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  56. Love baby names! We did the whole sibling match thing. It wouldn't have been fair to have one name so meaningful and then another name that we simply just 'liked'. Both our children have Aboriginal language names that have been given to us by the Elders of the community I work in. Both names mean something special to our individual children and fit their personalities perfectly. Our boy Ba'il (pronounced ba-il) is a place name of where the Elders used to live at the old mission. It's a 'happy' place. His middle name is Lelio which is latin for laughter and was my grandfather's name. So Ba'il's name is happy laughter.

    Our daughter Milinh's (pronounced mil-in) name means calm and peaceful. Her middle name is Yindi, like Youthu Yindi and Yindi means child of the earth. I chose Yindi for a number of reasons, because the front man for the band passed away this year, also because it is a political empowering name, and because as soon as Gurrumul started to play while I was in labour - she was born. Her other middle name is Lucia which was my grandmother's name and is Italian for light. Milinh Yindi Lucia. My husband never wanted Yindi as a middle name but after witnessing me have a vbac, there was no arguments.

    If Milinh was a boy we would have named him Story. I always wanted to name my boy Story but could not refuse the privilege or deny my children the honour and future stories of being given an Aboriginal language name.

    I love hearing the stories behind children's names - such a great post Jodi x

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    1. What beautiful, strong and thoughtful names you've given your two, with the most wonderful meanings.

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    2. Love seeing all the wonderful names.
      Waaay back in the fifties I knew a family who had very unusual names for the time, Paris (the only boy) Nerissa, Thalia and Felicity.
      Another lovely name I knew in the 70's was Nerida, which she said meant sea sprite, which truly suited a girl who lived close to the beach.
      My own daughter is called Mischa, (Misha) Emily ( after my mother) she was tiny, fair and pretty and has grown into a lovely person, of whom I am very proud. I had chosen the name for a boy (late 70's coastal hippy) because I didn't think I would be lucky enough to have a daughter after a 7 year gap from my son.

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    3. Tara, I do love the deep meaning behind your children's names. I love the name Story, too, but I don't think we'd get away with a "Poet" and a "Story" ;) x

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    4. Jodi, if I was guaranteed a boy for number #3 child, I would defiantly go back and have another just so I could name him Story! I found choosing a girls name harder than choosing a boys. It's quite easy to find a strong boy's name however to get the right balance with a baby girl is ever so tricky. So many great suggestions on here! You've defiantly sparked a conversation! x

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  57. When we discovered it's a girl, it was surprisingly easy to choose our baby daughter's name.
    Between 3 different names such as Maria Eduarda, Maria Inês and Ana Beatriz, 3 tradicional portuguese names, (we are both portuguese living in Brazil), we decided we are expecting a little Ana Beatriz.

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  58. I love names! I've been thinking of names and listing them for years, and I only have a 1 yr old son! We kept his name a secret during pregnancy, even though it had been decided for about 5 yrs already! I felt like if I started telling people, putting it out into the universe, that I would start hearing it, learning of others with the same name, and I really didn't want that since I felt like it was a somewhat original name. We also just didn't want to hear anyone's opinion on it. His name is Murphy Jake. I just came up with Murphy as a first name because I liked the sound of it (obviously a pretty commom last name), and Jake is my husband's middle name. We get a lot of compliments on it, which is nice. We think a lot about our next child's name, and yes, definitely feel the pressure to match Murphy, and we're pretty sure we've decided on a boy name, but will keep it a secret again. Although we don't want to find out the sex this time until he/she is born, so I think that it will be really exciting to find out if we'll be using our boy choice or girl choice, or, who knows, maybe changing our mind completely after the baby is born! I love so many girl names. That's why it's harder for me to narrow those down. I love classic names like Josephine, Mary Ellen, Rosemary, and also cool hippyish names like Paisley. I can't wait to name another baby - such an honor! I do love your children's name, Jodi! And so many other great names in these comments. Thanks for a fun post!

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  59. I absolutely LOVE the topic of baby names and with 5 children we have spent a lot of time in the baby name space. I think its the baby that makes the name and I don't think I have ever met a person who didn't suit their name for this very reason. We love classic French names and all our names are meaningful to us as either family names or for some other special reason . We have Eleanor, Charles, Twins George & Noah and Flynn. When we found out we were having twins I was worried we'd start sounding like the Royal family with the addition of a William, Henry or Edward (which i love) so we decided on George and Noah. I have loved George since I was 13 and it was uncommon 5 years ago but of course now there is little Prince George...sigh. Baby no. 5 was hard as we had exhausted our favourites but we chose Flynn to honour our ties with both Tasmania (Errol Flynn) and Daniel's connection with The Northern Territory (John Flynn, founder of the Royal Flying Doctor Service). If baby no. 5 was little girl she would have been Quentin Elizabeth, another beautiful French names meaning 5th born as well as being the name of one of my greatest role models, Quentin Bryce :-). Lovely topic Jodi. Mel x

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  60. I do love the names Che and Poet. I never once questioned the pronunciation of Che, as it always reminded me of the revolutionary. And Poet, such wildly sweet name as well.

    The topic of baby names has also been been at the forefront of my mind lately. Although my husband and I don't have any children yet, thinking of baby names has been a fun pastime lately—and I agree, boy names are much harder to come up with and agree upon!

    I think it's important to incorporate heritage/culture and meaning into a name, and since my husband is from Germany, we've had to come up with names that can be pronounced and spelled easily in both English and German.

    After careful consideration, we've narrowed it down to two names (which we're keeping a secret!) each for a boy or a girl. If I'm blessed enough to ever become pregnant, I don't plan on finding out the sex until the birth, so we're hoping that the names we've chosen will fit baby, otherwise it's back the drawing board!

    A few names that we both adore, but didn't make the list: Jameson, Julian, Isaiah, Noah, and my most favorite, Zion (although I still may use that as a nickname as it means "Paradise" in Rastafarian culture.) We also love, Sydney, Lola, Violet, and Olivia.

    Thanks for the wonderful post!

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  61. Love this post! I have Noah James, Isabelle Jocelyn (Jocelyn is her Nana's name) and Pipi Grace (6 months) ... We had Noah and Isabelle's names picked out for most of my pregnancy, but for Pipi (pronounced Pippy) it was quite different - I didn't know her gender (a first for me) and we only thought of the name when I was in labour - it is Maori for Phoebe which means radiant. It's a bit more 'alternative' than our other 2 names but I just love it and it suits her to a T. x

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  62. Gracie, Archer (Archie) and Banjo. We took a little while to name Grace as I had been dreaming of a little boy and was overwhelmed (in a very good way) to find a sweet baby girl in my arms. With the boys I was more prepared with long lists but the moment we saw them we knew who they were :)

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  63. My two year old is Ellery Sage. We took five days to name him. Ellery means island with alder trees, perfect for a boy who has lived his life on a small island and a name I've never heard on another child. And sage, well I love its dual meaning and adore the silver green colour. Two nature names. Currently having difficulty coming up with something similarly unique with meaning for our second due in February, though lots of names I love. So hard too to find something we both agree on! But so much fun playing with names!

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  64. Congratulations..
    when we were thinking of names we found it easier to pick boy names.. we agreed upon more boy names..
    we are expecting another little guy in a few weeks and the name was hardly a discussion.. we just knew and agreed.

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  65. I love baby names.
    My kids are : Loik, Saule and Miko. Some people love it, some people just be polite and say "Oh, you have special names". Haha.

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  66. We have a Zander Joshua (named for my husband's grandmother's maiden name and my nephew who died) who is 4, 3 yr old Evie Claire (Evie means 'lively' and her middle name is after my husbands fathers St Clair clan), and twins Poppy Christina and Ruby Wendy who are about 5 months old and their middle names are our mother's names..

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    1. Goodness Kate, you're one busy mama! My middle name is Claire, too - after the midwife! x

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  67. Love this post! It's my first time commenting although i have been reading your blog for over a year now :) I am nowhere near of having children but we do have a tradition of "special" names in my family: I am French and my parents chose Mado Marie and Etoile for me (the last one means 'star' in french, they wanted something related to nature). My brother is Maël Malou Alban - 'Maël' is a celtic name meaning 'prince' if i remember well. And my half sister is Ainhoa (pronunced like a french 'é'-noa) Dylane and Méline. All of them are very rare, I never met anyone called Mado or Ainhoa. Maël became more common over the past few years, both for boys and girls ('Maelle'). I love that my siblings' names sound very sweet and kind, don't know if that makes sense...
    Lots of love from France!
    xx

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    1. I adore French names! How do you pronounce Etoile? x

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    2. It would be something like 'é-twal' :)

      There are so many beautiful names mentionned here! I just love reading through all of them and their meanings, especially those I have never heard before.

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  68. So many beautiful names in here... I love reading everyones meanings and special origins too. Che and Poet are divine names Jodi (I especially love Poe as a nickname)

    We chose a name for our lil man that couldn't be shortened like all names in australia seem to be - unless you like the potential nicknames too then it's totally fine. He is Leo Cassius and now funnily enough sometimes gets his name extended! (to leapo, leelo, leolion etc) My husband wanted Elvis... that would certainly be alot to live up to! haha. We've got a pretty long list of reserves for round two... though most of the boys names are for a cheeky/naughty little fella so we'll see!

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  69. Love reading the lovely names especially those I haven't heard before. Our son is named Brynn which is Welsh we wanted something unusual but still reasonably easy to pronounce as my name is one people always struggle with...our little girl is Alice after a much beloved great grandmother and it suits her to a tee.

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  70. Naming a new soul is such a high honour. Our newest baby boy we named Edison (Edi/Eddie for short). My husband and I are music lovers and record collectors and we loved the story of how Thomas Edison invented the phonograph and records made from tinfoil. A lot of people assume it is after the light bulb. It isn't but he was born in the dark month of December after me spending three weeks in hospital with complications, so I don't mind the bright light assumptions, they fit too. Had Edison been a daughter we were going to call him Lyra after the constellation. I have many friends named Che in Cuba, it is a name of honour there.

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  71. I've always loved your kids names--different, but not crazy. My parents named me Blaise, and most people have never heard that name, at least here in the states. I get compliments all the time. To me it's just a name, but I'm glad my parents gave me something memorable and impressive.

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  72. I have always loved dreaming about baby names. I remember reading a baby name book at my neighbors house while I babysat their two little girls. I would read it after they went down for bed in the evenings, and make mental notes of my favorites. I have 3 children now, Noah Triston who is 5 (his middle name is after my husband Triston), Julian London who is 21 months old (people sometimes think Julian is a girl, but no he is a BOY), and our baby girl Penelope Rose who is almost 5 months old. Having the privilege of naming a child is one of the sweetest gifts.

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    1. I meant to add I read that book in junior high and high school. :-)

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  73. Naming... so much harder than I thought it was going to be when I was a girl imagining my future children. In my childhood mind I never anticipated a partner that I would have his own opinions!

    Our children have unique names - including their surname. Together ten years when our first child was born but not married we found it hard to decide who's surname our children would inherit. I believed that our children should have my name - a rejection of patriarchal tradition. My partner agreed but himself rejected the idea of replacing it with a new matriarchal one... so in the end we made up a new surname that combines our first names spelt backwards.

    Sometime I wonder if we made the right decision - whilst our children certainly own their names and their perfect for each child's personality - there are time when I question giving children such unique names in this online world. So easy to find them via google - hence my reluctance to share here.

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  74. I love unique names. I have always loved Maeve, Grace, Eden, Luella and Mabel. And for boys Cedar and Tyran.

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  76. My little man is called Charles Henry Buddy Barker. I call him Chuck. But we really made a rod for our own backs as now any future kiddies will need a 4-string name like Chuck. How the devil do we find 3 names for each child when we've used 3 of our favourites on Chuck??

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