Friday, May 28, 2010

What's in a Name?

Flashback Friday
The Stories Behind the Names

For a while I've been wanting to see what happens when you click on the "add to your blog" button at Jigzone. Today's daily puzzle picture was titled "Sun Acacia Tree" and that reminded me of a post I read last week about "Baby Name Season" and so I figured the time had come to give this a try.

So, here's the puzzle. I hope it works. Have fun!
Click to Mix and Solve
Why did a puzzle of some acacia trees remind me of the baby name post? Because for a long time Acacia was going to be the name of our second daughter. Just in case the boys have forgotten that, I figured it was a good time to remind them of the "stories behind their names" for this Flashback Friday post.


We had our first baby back in the "old days" (before you were able to choose if you wanted to know ahead of time if you were having a boy or girl), so we had to be prepared with two names. We pored over the list of names, and the only girl name we both liked was Michelle. For every other name there was some reason why it wouldn't work, so Michelle it was. We also had a lengthy discussion over whether or not to choose a middle name, but the side of "girls don't have middle names so that when they get married their maiden name becomes their middle name" won.

Choosing a boy name was a little bit of a challenge. We knew we wanted to follow the tradition started by Wayne's grandfather of giving our first son a "W" name with a middle name of Orson. When you limit the list to one letter instead of all of them, you've dramatically decreased your options! If we picked Wetzel (Grandpa's legal name), we would have been disowned, and we didn't want that. Neither one of us wanted to deal with a Wayne Junior. I think we were trying to decide between William (after one grandfather) and Wilson (another distant family name) when Wayne came home from studying one day and announced that he had discovered another "W" name. The author of his textbook was a Mr. Weston. Immediately we knew we had the right choice!
Weston Orson
Fortunately, choosing the rest of the names wasn't quite so difficult. For each of the next pregnancies, we already had our girl name! I had always liked the name David, and Wayne liked it too. (Just like a lot of other people, as you'll see if you go check the Popular Baby Names site.) We also liked the idea of giving our children names from their family tree. So for the next baby we took the middle name of one uncle (Wayne's brother) and combined it with the first name of another uncle (my brother).
David Scott
One cold winter evening when the two boys were little, we were huddled in the closet trying to keep warm (a story for another day, but at least it was a big closet) and we started brainstorming names with memorable initials. I can't remember everything we came up with, but one of our "BMW" options was Bradley Michael Whitaker. We liked it so much we used it a couple of years later when it was time to name another baby.
Bradley Michael
When you get to a fourth child, you have to become a little creative. After poring over the name book we finally came up with two combinations that we liked, using names that our cousins had - Jeffrey Bryan (had to have a "Y" and not an "I") and Steven Todd (must be "V" and not "PH"). Since we liked them equally, the one we used first is the one that (at least in my mind) completed the phrase "Weston, David, Bradley, ________" best!
Jeffrey Bryan
And that meant we didn't have to do any thinking when the next baby came along.
Steven Todd
To tell the truth, I'm not sure what boy name we decided on for baby #6, and that bothers me now. (See, you're supposed to keep journals!) I think it was something like Daniel Spencer. In the end, though, it really doesn't matter, because we finally got to use our girl name.

Michelle

Now I'm sure you're all wondering why I even considered Acacia as a possible girl's name, so I'm going to tell you. At one point during our "having babies" years, we kept a dictionary handy and someone would read it and learn a new word each day. One time I opened it to the bookmark and saw the word "acacia" which was a type of tree. My sister had chosen "A" names for her girls, and I liked how "acacia" had my middle name of Kay inside it, and I just thought it would make a great name for our second daughter. Then we moved and I actually saw an acacia tree. It was planted in our neighbor's yard and hung over our fence, and it had thorns!!! So, no longer was it a candidate for a cute little girl's name. But that's okay, because we never had to name a second daughter.

4 comments:

ιŸ‹δΊŽε€«ζˆ said...
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Belkycita said...

I love the BMW name! That was one main reason why we wanted to know the gender of our kids, because I didn't really want to pick two names. I always have the fear that is a lame name.
Sad I know :-(

Harlene said...

I loved reading this! I should do a post like this. I have always hated my name,so I'm glad you went with michelle instead of acacia.

I love names where the child can define himself, not names that give a predetermined idea of who that person is.

We also never got to use our second girls name, Clara...that seems to be a pattern with Beckstrands!

Dave Whitaker said...

it was daniel spencer. i remember. those would have been great initials too...