Naming Conventions – Part 2

So, when I last spoke about naming conventions, it was pre-birth and there’s always an element of doubt. You might have a name, or a shortlist of names, fixed in your mind, but then reality is a very different thing. The name(s) you pick will be attached to your little one for life, or until they change it by deed poll. I’ve heard plenty stories of parents changing their mind on names, or waiting for weeks after birth to settle on a name. Thankfully, we were lucky. We had a clear frontrunner for weeks, and there was nothing that made us change our mind.

Welcome to the world, Elodie! Now we just have to figure out how to get your grandparents to learn how to say the name…

Registering the birth

While this should be fairly straightforward, there are a few things to remember: If you’re not married, it’s best, if you can, to have both parents present. Don’t forget to bring passports and a proof of address. That’s about it.

The one thing I was a little concerned about was that we wanted a double-barrelled surname for Elodie, an amalgamation of mum’s surname and mine. Thankfully this wasn’t problematic at all, as far as the registry office was concerned. I have heard tell that there may be issues in future, in that mum, baby and I all have different surnames, but that’s a temporary situation…

Yes, you may buy a hat.

Naming Conventions

Choosing a name is incredibly difficult, doubly so if you don’t know the sex of the child. Endless baby name books and online lists will tell you the most popular names, mythological names, seasonal names, names based on colours, feelings, royalty, celebrities or Game of Thrones. And that’s before you take into account family members you wish to honour, ignore or appease, and the fact that apparently half your friends are apparently called Emma or Matt.

Thankfully we were able to narrow the list by half, by knowing we were going to have a little girl. What a relief! We had a decent list of girls names potentials, but very little for boys! For some reason we just found boys names hard, they were either done-to-death boring (oh look, Harry, Oliver and Jack are still at the top of the popularity charts since about 1597), or hugely pretentious (apparently Marlowe and Tennyson fall into this category, which were my contributions).

Finding a name must be even harder for teachers. They’ll have heard every name under the sun, and will associate the face of a pupil with it, and their corresponding personality traits.

So we get asked a lot for the name(s) we have chosen, but aren’t revealing them to anyone. Partly because we don’t want anyone stealing them, and partly to give us cover to change our minds! It won’t be long now until everyone will know her name anyway!

‘Home Language’ and mixed language use

Language has been something I’ve been pondering for a while; while I may be British, speak primarily English, even write professionally in English, I am actually bi-lingual. My mum was German, and many of my formative years were spent in Germany, and so the question of ‘home language’, literally the language spoken in the home, inevitably came up for our own new arrival. It’s a bit of a dilemma: German’s not exactly the most useful language in the world, and it means I’d have to speak more German at home. That’d be quite an increase from a a grand total of zero!

Apparently though, babies can separate out the differences in language and meaning, the idea that it’d get all confused and mix up languages is apparently a myth. There’s even a benefit, in that current thinking is that babies brought up bi-lingual may well have a head start in the development of language centres in the brain. I can’t really argue with that benefit! So, for now… Auf Wiedersehen!