What's In A Name?

That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. --William Shakespeare

I get the Bard's point, but you have to admit, a name and the thing or person it represents come to define each other. For example, our two grand-girls are Karlee and Harper. Before they were born, when the names were chosen, I liked the names, but they didn't yet have a face or a personality--they were, at that point, pretty much just words. Don't get me wrong, they were carefully and wonderfully chosen. After all, they were to be the names of two very special girls. 

Karlee's name is sort of a mash-up of her parent's names--very cool. Harper happens to be the name of the woman I believe to be  one of the greatest writers ever: Harper Lee, To Kill A Mockingbird. I doubt that's why her parents chose the name but it has that significance for me anyway.

As their five and two years, respectively, have passed, these girls have defined those names and vice versa. I can't imagine them being called by any other name.

And NOW--drum roll please--there will be a third grand-girl, to be named later. Being POPS is a wonderful thing.

It is not my job to name the third, but that doesn't keep me from pondering possibilities and wondering what the perfect word is that this little girl will bring life to.

The name game is very complicated these days. Back in the day, there were fewer choices or so it seemed. The only resource for ideas, other than helpful family and friends, was a paperback book of names and their meanings you could pick up at the grocery store between the TV Guide and the National Inquirer.

Today though, there's the WWW. Now you can Google prospective names, click on images and see if any stripers, serial killers, politicians or their mistresses pop up. There you will also find all kinds of research to guide the process:

  • Names most likely to get you beaten up at recess
  • Names of kids teachers hate (or love)
  • What the celebrities are naming their kids
  • Names that may get you stabbed in your sleep when they're teenagers
  • Most popular names

The prevailing opinion seems to be to avoid "popular" names, because you want your kid to be unique, plus (and I'm not making this up): it will be easier for them to have their own name as their handle for Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, etc, etc. In fact it is recommended that as soon as you've picked your soon-to-be-born's moniker, you should go ahead and set up all those accounts. That way on Baby Wallabee's very own Facebook page you can post: Wallabee's first steps, his first word, his first haircut...

So, I've been giving it some thought and research. One thought I had, because I'm a big fan of Downton Abbey is that it might be good to have an aristocratic sounding name like Lady Mary, Lady Edith, Lady Gaga or the Dowager Countess of Grantham.

Thanks to the baby's daddy for the graphic.

Thanks to the baby's daddy for the graphic.

One thing to consider, the names of our two grand-girls share a common characteristic (as do the names of their parents), the third letter of their names is r. "Paris" came to mind but that Hilton girl tarnished that one. I thought of the cute little pop singer from New Zealand, "Lorde" but that would be a lot of pressure. Although her 5 year-old sister does a moving rendition of Lorde's hit: Royals.

If her parents chose to follow the lead of celebrities, as often happens in baby-naming, according to my extensive research, the name "North" would work. That of course is the name of the poor baby born to Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. Yes, you're right, that makes the baby's name North West.

Well, as you can see, I am not one that should be naming anything. So I'll just stick to being Pops. I have two witnesses who will tell you I'm pretty good at that (as long as I have my wallet open). BTW: the name Pops has no meaning whatsoever for me without those two and soon to be three grand-girls.

Lurleen Lumpkin

Lurleen Lumpkin

P.S.: Turns out maybe the baby's daddy maybe shouldn't be naming babies either. He suggested the name "Lurlene." His justification: It rhymes with the name of the baby's paternal grandmother (Arlene) and it is a tip of the hat to Lurleen Lumpkin a character on The Simpson's. Simpsons creator Matt Groening is related to the baby's momma, Kara. And, it fits the third R qualifier.