What’s in a name?

Your name, while you had no choice in it, is something that you have lived with and will continue to live with the rest of your life.  Maybe you love the name you were given.  Maybe you hate it.  But do you know why you were given it?  Giving someone a name, especially when you haven’t even met them, is an important yet daunting task.

Until I was pregnant with my twins, I had never really given the idea of “naming” much thought.   In the beginning of my pregnancy, my husband and I, just for fun, had discussed some names we liked for both girls and boys.  At 20 weeks, we found out we were having twin girls, but we also learned of many complications.  So giving them names was last on our priority list when we weren’t even sure they were going to live.  After a surgery on my placenta and positive news from the doctors, my husband and I started seriously looking at names around 24-25 weeks.  At this point, we decided we wanted our miracle girls to have names with strong and significant meanings.  We started eliminating names we liked earlier because they lacked the meaning we were searching for.  We landed on “Eva”, which means “full of life” and “Abriella” which means “strong one of God”.  As I prayed for my unborn babies, I hoped that these names we had chosen for them would not only given them an identity, but would truly represent who they are and who they would become.

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That is just our story.  I’m sure so many of you have your own stories.  Maybe you chose a family name or the name of someone that is or was close to you in order to honor that person, like the new royal baby, Prince George.  Maybe you chose a name that is important in your religion or faith.  Maybe you chose a name that starts with a certain letter because you want your children and your family to be united and connected through that letter.  I was named after the famous actress, Melissa Sue Anderson from “Little House on the Prairie”.  Maybe you, like my mom, liked the name of someone famous, and chose that for your child.  Maybe you waited to see your child before you gave them a name.  Maybe when you were little, you picked out a name that has stuck with you.  Or maybe you just REALLY liked the sound of a certain name because it was unique or special to you for some other reason.

No matter what reason or what name you have given your child(ren), you did it with intention and purpose.  Share your reasons with your child and help give them an identity, not only in their name, but also in who you hope for them to be as that person.

I would love to hear your stories!  Please comment below.


  1. I love hearing how people chose their kids’ names. When I found out I was pregnant the first time, we knew the baby’s name would be Sam (after my grandpa). It was fun because we knew the name even before we knew the gender! (Sam or Samantha) And I gave him my dad’s name for his middle name (Roark). For our second son, it was my husband’s turn to pick the name. He picked the name Cooper from a list of baby names online, and then gave him his grandpa’s name for the middle (Alonzo). And ever since my husband and I were dating in high school we have said that someday we would have a little girl named Nora. When she finally came along last year, we chose my aunt’s name for her middle name (Nora Jean). I love the fact that all three of our children have such special, meaningful names! Great post, Mel! 🙂

  2. When we were having a boy, my husband and I couldn’t agree on any names until we focused on family names. We ultimately chose our fathers’ middle names for our boy (Leonard Warren, and we call him Leo). Then when we found out we were having a girl, we knew the name immediately…before we were married, we had already discussed names. My MIL’s middle name has always been one of my favorite girl’s names, and it just went really well with my sister’s first name. We decided to give her my sister’s name as her first name and my MIL’s middle name as her middle name (Sarah Ruth), but we call her by her middle name (Ruthie).

  3. My husband and I both liked the name Finnigan for a boy. When we found out we were having a girl, we decided to stick with the “prefix” of Fin. Initially my husband suggested Finnian, but it sounded a little clunky to me. I thought of Finley, and we agreed that would be her name. Later on I found out it translates to “fair warrior.” I had never heard of the name Finley before, let alone met one, but since her birth, I know of at least four other Finley’s!

  4. This is very true! I don’t have kids yet but I work with people with Alzheimer’s disease and the magic of names will carry on into an old age disease as memories unravel from most recent to earliest. Seniors with late stages of dementia will actually smile or turn when the recognize their own names or names of loved ones. I promote http://www.kidsmusicboxcd.com for kids but I encourage my old clients at a home care agency I work for (www.afamilymemberhomecare.com) to get these songs for their aged loved ones with any type of dementia.

    Anyway, thank you for having this blog. You write beautifully 🙂

    Catherine Lee

  5. My eldest is named for great-grandmother. My husband is half Armenian, so we gave her a family name to honor Nana and his heritage. Her middle name is my paternal grandmothers middle name. She died when my dad was 14 so I never knew her but I’ve been told I look a lot like her. So our eldest is Araxie Belle, nn: Roxie

    Our second daughter is our rainbow, conceived after 4 losses and many tears. Her middle name is my FIL’s mom, who was smart and sassy. Our youngest daughter is Indigo Grace


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