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The Name Game

One of the best things about being pregnant and having a new child, I think, is coming up with that person’s name. When done well, it is one of the best gifts you can give your child. That, and a good conscious, values, etiquette, general wherewithal, blah, blah, blah.

I have simple but weighty requirements for naming my child. I will share them with you.

  1. The name must be classic. It must notPhotobucket be a made up name, also known as “smoosh” names, “creatives,” etc. I can’t do it. I’d rather my child show his or her creativity from actually being creative rather than a weird name that no one can spell or pronounce. The name needs to have been around for at least 50 years, if not longer. If it was a “top 100” back in the 1800s then that’s even better!
  2. The name must have a regular spelling. I feel it is some kind of curse to have to spell your name every time you give it over the phone or something. I have a very simple, phonetically-spelled name and I enjoy never having to spell it for people (unless they aren’t paying attention or just don’t hear well, in which case they’re always going to ask you to spell it up).
  3. The name would preferably start with an A, D, E, K or R, as those letters make up our existing initials. I will make exceptions for middle names or first names with a nickname that follows this rule.
  4. Speaking of nicknames, Mr. Handsome is not a fan of them. He feels that the name you are given is what you should be called. I understand that; having a different name on your birth certificate from what you’re called is just one more thing you have to explain sometimes. However, some of the names that I really like just need a nickname, so I’m going to work on this one with him.
  5. The name must be cute enough for a child but also professional-sounding for an adult (but also not too stuffy/serious). It should transcend career choices as well: I want the name to work for everything from athlete to construction worker to doctor to hairstylist. This is the tallest order of the bunch, but I believe that name is out there.

With all that being said, I would like to take this space to document my current thoughts on names. I think the only reason pregnancy lasts for nine months (besides the whole baby-growing being meticulous, laborious work) is so that you can settle on a good name. I seem to change my mind every week or so. I need the time to settle on something worthwhile and then convince Mr. Handsome that it is the right way to go.

Here’s what’s currently “trending in my mind:”


  • Michelle Grace or Michelle Rose
    • I google all the name combos that I think of just to make sure they’re not already super famous or have a malicious association. Interestingly enough, Michelle Grace is a movie producer and Michelle Rose is an actress. That’s not enough to deter me though.
    • I love the Beatles and I love the song My Michelle. I would love to sing this song to my daughter. “I love you, I love you, I loooove you, and I always will…”
    • In keeping with my “initials” rule, I would probably call her Ellie. Also I just love the name Ellie but I don’t feel like it is a solid stand-alone name (and Ellie doesn’t really fit my “professional” rule). Also it’s a bit too trendy right now. Mr. Handsome probably wouldn’t call her Ellie, but I would. I’m okay with that.
    • Grace is a name my grandmother always loved. Since she passed away there have been two great-granddaughters named after her. They are the only two great-granddaughters that have been born since her passing. She was a good grandma.
  • Eleanor Mae
    • While I’m not a fan of following name trends, I have still always loved old lady names. Eleanor is a classic; it makes me think of Eleanor Roosevelt. There’s also an “Eleanor” Beatles song, but it doesn’t have the positive association that Michelle does. I still like it though: I can still use my Ellie nickname.
    • Mae is my paternal great-grandmother’s name. I always thought it was so pretty. I don’t think it defies the “no strange spellings” rule because this spelling has been around for soooo long. My great-grandma was born in the very late 1800s, I believe. I’m embarrassed that I don’t know for sure!
  • Kate Elise
    • I just like the name Kate. I have since I was in high school. It is in keeping with Mr. Handsome’s “no nicknames” rule this time, mostly because I’m not a fan of Katelyn or Katherine. I am afraid that Kate will rise in popularity this year, though, because of the lovely Duchess.
    • Elise is getting to be a bit too popular too (I think I should make “not too popular” another one of my rules…). I don’t mind using a more popular name as a middle name, though, because no one cares if there are three girls in the same class with the same middle name.
  • Also:
    • Ana/Anne
    • Ava (too popular, which makes me so sad because I really love this name so much)
    • Emily (also very popular, but not currently. One of the most popular names of the century, though.)
    • Etta
    • Rae (as a middle name because this was my mother’s middle name before she got married. I’m afraid it won’t work with our last name though because it starts with the same sound. Sad face.)


  • Adam Dean
    • I like Adam. It fits well with Kiddo1’s name and both names would be religious although we are not (appeases the grandparents though).
    • Dean is another one I like and it is in my mind because Mr. Handsome and I love to watch the show Weeds. Dean Hodes is not a proper role model for my child, though (well I guess that depends on his choice of lifestyle, but still, no). Still like the name though.
  • Elton Jude
    • I love, love, love Elton but Mr. Handsome does not. Elton is a Jane Austen character (Emma, another girl name that I love but is too popular) and also a character in the movie based on the book, Clueless, one of my favorite guilty-pleasure movies of all time. Mr. Handsome and I also love Elton John. We saw him in concert once (and we don’t see too many concerts so that’s a big deal).
    • Jude is from yet another Beatles song. Mr. Handsome says he has an Aunt Jude though.
  • Eric William
    • I think Eric is a good, classic boy’s name. It really bothers me that so many boy’s names are being stolen by the girl’s side. It’s hard enough for me to find a boy’s name that I like, let alone one that hasn’t yet been “femininized.” But I digress. I have a couple friends named Eric but I’m not naming my child after them (sorry friends), I just like their name. NBD.
    • My grandfather is named William. Since all my cousins have named their daughters after my grandmother, I feel like he should get a little name-love too. After all, he is a great grandfather!
  • Also:
    • Arthur (I just dig it)
    • David (another semi-religious name that I like. I would hesitate using it as a first name, though, because Kiddo1’s name starts with a D and I don’t want to be too “matchy.”)
    • Drake (popular now because of the rapper, but I went to Drake University for a second and I just like how the name sounds. Another “D” hesitation though.)
    • Jack (although I had a boss for like two seconds who was named Jack and I didn’t like him very much. I’m afraid I would think of him when I say my child’s name and that sucks.)
    • Ross (but I’m afraid it doesn’t work well with our last name, which also starts with an R)

There you have it: the names that have been running through my mind for the last eight weeks or so. Let’s see how they evolve over the next six months!

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