The Name Game

I have always fancied myself a bit eccentric. Not (hopefully) eccentric, in the way we tend to speak of little old ladies who wear outfits with matching shirt, pants, socks, shoes, earrings, nail polish-type eccentric.

But just slightly off center.

Not, over the cliff.

The first time my mom let me go to a hairstylist by myself (8th grade), she picked me up and was in shock at my short spiky crop cut.

When I was in high school, I had plum hair. And I wore white lipstick.

I’ve said before, I wish I had had one moment of clarity when I could have had a normal photo taken of me. I suppose there are, but they also contain the awful prom dates I managed to snag. That’s an entire week of blog posts in itself.

My best friend was an Annapolis, MD prep. We always joked about how different we looked when together. Sort of like the clothing version of Jack Sprat and his wife. Me with my plumb asymmetrical hair and intense eye shadow and esprit cowboy boots with long johns under a skirt (hey, I was still a girl!) and her, with her expensive Georgetown cut and color, natural makeup, tweed skirt and cashmere sweaters.

Seriously. We couldn’t have been more opposite in the clothing department.

But we had so MUCH in common and managed to balance each other out. We always found something absolutely hysterical in any situation. When she had drama in her life, I was the rock. When I had some drama with one of my skateboarding,mohawk wearing beaus, she backed me up and helped get my feet re grounded.

One thing we spent a lot of time doing one summer, was making up names for our future children. This was when we knew we would be living in the same town, on the same street with husbands who were also best friends (this was during our moments of optimism, when we figured I would one day have to marry someone with normal hair and goals).

Of course, our names were as different as our choice in clothes.

I picked names like Celia and Padric. She chose names like Caroline.

Years later, after a stupid fallout, and fortunately, regaining our friendship, we both have had the opportunity to choose names for children. And it is still fun.

Names are fun. And they have become so fashionable in the past decade. (maybe they always were?) Actually, I should say, unusual names have become quite fashionable.

It probably started with Demi Moore naming her daughters Rumer, Scout and Tallulah.

Naming my children has been quite an adventure for Sean and I. I still love the unusual.

Somehow, by a miracle of the Lord, we both wanted Abigael as a daughter’s name. There was never any doubt. (though, I was miffed that it suddenly shot up from nowhere to the top 10 list of names, the year she was born). Boys names were harder.

We wanted traditional Gaelic names. We both have  Irish ancestry  and loved the traditional names. However, they tend to have odd, unpronounceable looking spellings. Take “Sean” as a simple example. My husband has had his name mispronounced – rhyming with “bean” – countless times.

Abigael isn’t a Gaelic name. It’s Hebrew. But the meaning was perfect (a father’s joy) and we chose to spell it with a “gael” at the end – a Gaelic spelling.

Our second born, is Quinlan. We call him Quinn. Not too difficult. Though, when he was little, people thought he was saying Ken or Kenny.

Next, is Seamus – pronounced Shea/Shay-mus. Unfortunately, we have probably doomed him to a life of a mispronounced name. I remember taking him to a checkup, telling the receptionist his name. She wrote the pronunciation out phonetically. When the nurse came out to call us back she call for Sea-mus… We knew we’d get that… but hearing it shouted across the waiting room made my skin crawl.

This baby has a name. The name is not crazy to pronounce or hard to read. But it is a traditional Gaelic name. (though, he has no middle name yet…)

I’m curious if there are any guesses on his name?


  1. http://Melissa%20@%20Breath%20of%20Life says

    No guesses on the new baby’s name. I’m not familiar with Gaelic names. However, my daughter’s name is Celia (even though I never had plum hair!);D

    I picked out names in high school too…didn’t use any of them.

  2. http://The%20Flip%20Flop%20Mamma! says

    Oh you’re just going to leave us hanging??? I want to know what it is, and When did you find out what you were having? My preggo brain must have lost that detail somehere. If ours is a boy it’s going to be Jonathan David Jr. We still have no names for a girl though!

  3. http://Susanne says

    Keilan? Alistaire? Daegen? Darick?

    Ok, I give up. :v)

    I have a hard time imagining you with plum hair and white lips. You really need to post a picture! Of course with your long johns, skirt and cowboy boots.

  4. http://Kimmy says

    Karla: I’m going to guess Kieran? I love this name but my husband wasn’t as keen on it for our youngest boy. We settled on Tyrone but resorted to calling him Ty quite early in life. I personally love Gaelic/Irish names. Our oldest son was almost called Sean. It was a close second to what we did call him, Mitchell. Hope all goes well with your pregnancy, labour and delivery. I love your blog.

  5. http://Cmommy says

    I was also thinking “Kieran”, but wonder if it might be “Caden” (I sooooo wanted to use this…my youngest spontaneously announced at the age of two that his name was Caden!)

  6. http://Terri%20@%20In%20His%20Hands says

    My guess was Kieran. One of my best buds in high school was a Seamus. Just love that name. He btw, married Dustin Hoffman’s daughter. LOL

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