Thursday, May 13, 2010

What's In a Name?


Okay, so by now everyone has probably seen the news. That's right, Jacob and Isabella were the top baby names in 2009. Now, as much as I love Twilight (and love mocking Twilight even MORE), I have mixed feelings about this. My first thought was "Oh, those poor, poor kids."

Actually, Jacob and Isabella were popular before the Twilight series became so popular. Jacob has been #1 for boys for the past 10 years and Isabella has been in the top ten since 2004. So I'm thinking that no one will really know if an Isabella or a Jacob is named after their respective Twilight characters. It could be a Twi-moms little secret, and probably is secret from Jake and Bella's unsuspecting Dad.

But, what about the name Cullen? It jumped 297 spots on the top names listing and I'm pretty sure that's quite obviously a Twilight-inspired name. You know who I feel sorry for? The people who have never read Twilight, but happen upon the name Cullen and choose it for their baby boy. You know their friends are whispering behind their backs and they have no idea why.

Cullen? As a NAME? Really? *rolling my eyes* What's next, a bunch of girls named Swan?

And, I don't like the name Cullen because I'm not a fan of last-names-as-first-names.

I actually do like the name Cullen! But obviously I wouldn't go there now. And that would be a little bit more difficult to keep secret from the husband.

And I think we can all breathe a collective sigh of relief at the fact that Renesmee did not even make the top 1,000.

Renesmee is proof that people shouldn't be ALLOWED to make up names. It reminds me of that movie with Natalie Portman where she names her baby Americus. I mean, really. #namingfail

No matter how much the name "Bella" may make us cringe now, I DO admit that it's a pretty name. And we can see why people like it. Besides, isn't that part of naming our children? Picking out things that we like?

Or picking out things we like second best because your husband won't allow you to name your daughter Alice? (Alice, by the way, moved up 69 spots on the name list in 2009. Just sayin.)

Exactly! And Alice is a GREAT name. Your husband is loco.

I think names like Bella and Jacob (and Alice) are okay because they're REAL names. But what about made-up names? Like, I saw a poor kid once who was named after a video game character. And I know for a FACT that the name was invented solely for that game, so there's no way the parents could argue otherwise. The poor kid was named Zidane.


That noise you hear is the echo of my head, thumping against my keyboard, from 4 years ago.

Was that a girl or boy? Either way.

I do think literature inspired names are the best though. I also wanted to name our girl Zora, after Zora Neale Hurston, but again the damn husband said No! He also denied my Zadie, after Zadie Smith. Obviously I like the Z names.

Well, you could always try Zidane. *snicker*

I always liked the name Zelda, as in Zelda Fitzgerald. Not Zelda, as in the Legend Of.

Notice that when you and I say "literary names" we pick the authors and not the characters?

I was just thinking that! I like the legacy of the writer rather than the character. If you name your child after a character, then you have to explain it someday: "Yes, Cullen dear, you're named after a family of vampires. But vegetarian vampires! I don't know, I was really into it for a while. It took over my life, really..."

*laughing* You have to be careful with writers, too, though. "Oh, Hemingway, you were named after a literary genius. A drunk, cheating, literary genius."

Oh you're right! But then that kind of rules out Zelda Fitzgerald, right?
Looney? Drunk? Yes and Yes?

You'll notice that my daughter is not, in fact, named Zelda. *grin*

*ahem* You might ALSO notice that my name is not, in fact, Meadow. That's right everyone, I've uncloseted myself. A little. I mean, I'm not giving out my address or phone number or anything. ANYWAY, my point is that my NAME is Leigh. And so from now on, that's what you'll see here. You've always gotten to hear ME through the posts, so now you'll have a real name to go with my real face. Now, I know that some of you are wondering about Rain. I'm working on her. I wouldn't be surprised if she outs herself here soon, but until then you guys will have to accept the pseudonym.

All in good time, my friend. All in good time. *wink*

Well Readers, back to the post, what about you? What literary names do you love? What do you hate? Tell us!


  1. I am actually beyond happy that in the country where I live we have a law that forbids to name ur kids with crazy-book-like-names. Plus no one can name their kids after historical characters and so on.

    Of course I am pissed because I had a perfect name picked out for my future baby girl when I was like 10 and now I cant use it! And no its not Bella, or Renesmee, I am more crazier! I wanted to my baby after Pipi Longstocking!

    WHAT? I like the name Pipi Lotta! It sounds pretty damn cute in my native!

  2. I'm all for crazy, effed up names. But then I named my child Gwenyn Willow... which is pretty much a Hobbit name, like whoa.

    But the Welsh in me was like "NO VOWELS!!" And the hippie in me was like "NATURE!!" (I ignored the goth princess in me for the sake of my marriage.)

    But still, strange names? I support them fully.

    (Except for Reneesme, which is ugly x 239482398.)

    Okay, so I support strange names, as long as I like them.

    YES. I should be consulted on all things.


  3. Twilight ruined one of my favorite names-that I always thought I'd use either as a first name or middle name - Isabel. It's too close to Isabella and now I'm like there is no f'ing way.

    I always loved the name Rowan for a girl based on The Witching Hour series by Anne Rice. I was convinced that'd be my daughter's name. I've grown out of it mostly and my husband was like, um, that is not a pretty name. He cut me, he cut me deep with that one!

    But, while we have no children just yet-I wouldn't mind looking to books for a name. I'd love to tell the story to my kids about why they have the name they do. BUT, because I want it to be a good story (not like Leigh's (that's going to take some getting used to:)) Cullen explanation- b/c that story would be kind of embarrassing!)-we better pick a really good book and character or author!

  4. I am planning on using Rosalie and Lilian after my husbands grandmother and mine respectively and was a little upset that Steph used both on one character in Twilight but I'm still doing it, I'm hoping that by the time they're old enough to notice the Twi-dom will have faded.

  5. So, the poor Zidane name has been bugging me-partially b/c it's just sad and so nerdy. But, also because it reminded me of something-and I couldn't remember what. I finally was talking World Cup stuff w/ the husband and we started talking about the French soccer player Zinedene Zidane who head butted that player a few years back. So, the poor kid is named after a game, but also shares a name w/ a headbutting french soccer player. FUN! :)

  6. Oh I remember that soccer incident!! That poor kid!

  7. I have a Winnifred Skye, Finneon Calder, Zella Narie and Oak Isak Donan. How's that for names?

  8. Gwen - I'm jealous! I love Winnifred! I wanted Winnie for a girl too (Wonder Years) and DH said nope. And Zella! I love all of your names! My boring husband and his name vetoes....

  9. Okay so I am so not a crazy twiMOM, my daughter was born before. Her name Izabela Rosalie! Yes, so imagine my surprise when both are used in he series. LOL, my son well he's a William Michael Robert. So i like mine old fashioned.


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