Thursday, December 26, 2013

Naming Background

12/20 Dave was talking to Ella.
I told Dave I should write a post about how we came up with the name once we actually finalize a middle name. Then he said he should write a guest post.   I thought a better idea is that we should both write the same story and see what aligns.

Dave's version:
Colleen and I were sitting in the office and I was thinking of what to name our daughter. I had previously decided that for a girl I'd name her Ainsley after the character in the West Wing who was a Republican counsel for the Democratic White House and had to stand up to a lot of prejudice and was a very strong woman. Also, it was a good Irish name. Colleen wasn't too excited about the name so I was looking on a baby name web site. There were a lot of name. So I just said pick a number from 1-100, and Colleen picked 18. #18 most popular name in 2012 was Ella so that was the name we picked. We also looked through all the other names on that list and didn't like any of them better.

Next, I was interested in the middle name. I decided that it would be super if the initials were fun because some people have some nice combinations of names and initials at work for their user names. Mine is dlm which is not very interesting. I thought it would be good if the initial spelled a word, so I used this command in Linux to see 3-letter words that start with e and end with m.
$ grep -i ^e.m$ /usr/share/dict/words
The only one was elm so then we knew we wanted to start the middle name with L. Now the problem with having a middle name that starts with L after a name Ella is that Ella has two L-sounding syllables and it's short. So the idea was to pick a long name (in contrast to the short name Ella) so that it would sound good and also one that didn't sound like "la" or "el". There weren't a lot of choices. We also considered a bunch of names that were not starting with L to see if they'd be good. We didn't have a name picked out when Colleen went into labor so while she was in the surgery room getting her spinal, I just decided we'd go with Lindsay and I told her in the recovery room and she was okay with that. She said she narrowed it down to that and another one so she was on the same page as me.
12/20 Holding a swaddled Ella for the first time.
My version:
So many months ago I said our child should have initials that spell a word. I've had CMC and CMM and neither one spell anything cool. So I had that thought but without a name in place. We didn't even know if we were having a boy or a girl.  Dave said he had a name picked out if we were having a boy or a girl. He's actually said both names for many years but now one of them is really popular. I won't repeat them just in case we use them for future kids but maybe he'll repeat them in his story.  I did say that if we had a girl it was less important to spell a word because she'd likely change her name then spelling a word would be pointless.

Then one day I'm sitting at my computer and Dave says pick a number 1 to 100 so I pick 18. He said alright if we have a girl her name will be Ella. Then he went to the boy page and asked me to pick another number. I refused and said this was a stupid way to pick a name. We didn't know if we were having a boy or a girl yet at this point.  Dave then read all the names on the list and said Ella is the best name on the list anyway.

I thought Ella should have more thought but it was nice. I wasn't set on the name but Dave was. Then he started telling his coworkers and such. He said the more people he told the more I couldn't pick a different name. He did this even after we talked about how we don't want to announce a name early because people make so many comments about it when you do that and so many new parents recommended not sharing the name until the baby is born.

So then to jump back to my initials spelling a word idea, the only word that initials can spell in elm. So that began looking for a middle name that starts with L. I went to many sites that list baby names that begin with L. I'd email Dave my favorites from different links even if i didn't fully love them. But he didn't like any of them. Then he'd send me or say to me some names with an L and I didn't like any of them.  After many days of this and many sites we decided to look at all names that begin with any letter. I started a google doc and at the top of the page Dave would type in names that he liked. After a few enters I had my list.  We didn't have any names overlap.  But then this document sat there for weeks and no decision was made at all.

A few days before the c-section, I kept saying we had to pick a name but we still didn't do anything  I looked at the google doc again and realized there weren't even that many names on there. I remembered Dave emailed my mom that we had it narrowed down to 2. Well my mom emailed asking if we decided and his reply was about the 2 names.  I had a few I liked and he didn't so I ruled them out. Dave said he liked Juliette but that didn't fit spelling a word and since I wasn't in love with it, I decided that wouldn't work.

Then Friday morning I went into labor. We still didn't have a name picked out.  Once I got out of recovery Dave said he decided on Lindsay. I said OK.  So it was decided.
12/25 Just before the end of her nap
Well there you have it. Two pretty similar stories on how Ella got her name.


  1. I like that you got Dave to type something. It's neat hearing both sides of the story. I love her name and especially love Lindsay for the middle name. Great choice!

    1. Thanks
      I think I should get his version of the birth story. I wonder if I can trick him into writing that.

    2. We still need your version!!

    3. Both versions of the birth story will probably never happen but mine is close to done being written.

  2. Lindsay= LynneC.? I like to think of it that way. ;-)