parenting

What’s in a name?

Abacus. Literally.

Naming children is always a dicey issue. It’s something that they will have to grow into and live with for the rest of their lives, whether or not they like it. I know I don’t have the most common of names, but you can find it in a baby name book. My personal preference are traditional English names, even if they might be a bit common (Mittens) or the unusual (Abacus).

Giving a name is also such a personal thing that I don’t think anyone is interested to hear negative comments about it. Even if it is randomly made up or is a word for a fungal infection (not my kids, of course). Once, before Mittens was born, I was asked what he was going to be named, and I got the feedback “AH? That’s so COMMON.”. So for the next two babies I would make up random names like Choy Sum, Fatt Choy, and the like.

So what’s in a name? Well while Abacus has a pretty unusual name, it kind of grows on you, and in retrospect is befitting of a boy who needed all the bravery possible in his early days. For that reason we also named him ๅ‹‡ๆฉ, to encourage him to have strength to pull through his first week.

For us, each child is an integral part of the family, with their own “role” to play, as reflected by the middle names that I chose for them. There’s Gerard after St. Gerard Majella, patron saint of motherhood, pregnancy, etc., whom we owe our abundance of blessings for having our brood of healthy children through safe and easy pregnancies and deliveries. Then there’s Francis after St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of the family (although this is lesser known than his patronage of animals).

And then there’s Maria, after St. Maria Faustina Kowalska, patron saint of mercy, befitting of Scout’s first name which was chosen because it is an elegant English name, as well as a derivative of the Sanskrit name of the bodhistava Guan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy and Compassion.

I’m not fond of referring to them as a princess or prince, because I’m pretty sure I wasn’t born or married into any royalty, and I don’t want them to think we put them on any kind of pedestal, and are just here to wait hand and foot on them.

So as they grow older and understand the significance of their names, I hope they will remember their role models and treasure their roles in the family. How did you choose your child’s name?

** All names have been changed, of course. Surely you didn’t think those were their real names? ๐Ÿ˜€

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13 thoughts on “What’s in a name?

  1. Mine were from a babybook and we just prefer something that starts with the letter “I” as in Isadore and Isadora. Now I am stuck if im going to have no. 3.. perhaps Isadori? or Isadoro? kekeke..

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  2. Yeah, our ‘lil kiddos should be named appropriately so that their self esteem (someday) won’t be affected because of their given name.. I personally know someone who really curses her name..*-*
    I so adore the name “Athena”..I kinda consider it as the best ๐Ÿ™‚ hehe

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  3. Ahh I’m confused. Abacus not the real name meh? Hahah. I named my girl after a heroine in the bible. If I have a son in future, he will be named after one of the kings in the bible as well =)

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  4. When I first read this post a few months ago – it really got me thinking that you actually named them Abacus and Mittens! hahaha until I got to the last line… Think I remember asking about their real names on the SMB wall ๐Ÿ™‚

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