Friday, July 09, 2010


"Proper names are poetry in the raw. Like all poetry they are untranslatable." --Auden

Although we've decided to keep the baby's name to ourselves until she joins us in the outside world, Ben and I are enjoying being able to refer to our girl by name. (She just kicked me as I typed that.)

As I've mentioned elsewhere in the archives, we'd probably still be at the drawing board had we learned that we were having a boy. Don't get me wrong, we would have been just as overjoyed to get that news, but we didn't have a name waiting in the wings, and Ben wasn't convinced about either of the only two boys' names I find acceptable -- so, in that regard, we got off a little easy.

The process of choosing a name is such a funny and onerous one. Early on, I provided my husbeau with a verbal outpouring of the many girls' names I'd been filing away since approximately the age of 20: Esme, Willa, and Winifred, for example. Nodding politely, Ben came back with names like -- wait for it --


Stunned into silence, I felt quite sure that my normally pensive, sweet, and brilliant spouse was either pulling my chain or putting absolutely no thought into this... otherwise, how could he insult me by suggesting a name like Caitlin? Who was this man I married?! And how were we ever going to reconcile our two vastly different naming aesthetics? But, you know, in the face of the tribulation that was Caitlin, I concealed my "that is never going to happen" expression (as he kindly did when I proposed Minerva). And honest to god, before long we came across a genre of name -- and, indeed, a specific name! -- that somehow met with emphatic approval by both of us. It kind of happened out of the blue, taking both of us a little by surprise, and we basically shook on it right there and then. And so our girl has a name.

1 comment:

  1. We were going to name the latest kid Frances. I was going to call her Frankie. I loved it, but everybody we tried it on absolutely HATED it, and we caved in. I'm sorry we did, though, because even though her name works very well, I think she's turning out to be somebody who could have rocked "Frankie."