what's in a name?

The end of another year is drawing near and with that comes the usual wave of nostalgia-inducing "best of" lists. 

Since I've become a parent, there's an annual list that hits me especially hard; like a sucker-punch aimed right at my uterus.

Best Baby Names of the Year

It's taken me decades to grow into my name. I disliked it as a kid and even more so during the dating years (cringed whenever I had to shout it into a boy's ear on a crowded dance floor). I finally wear it proudly; no longer wanting it to be "normal" and preferring that it's unique.

When my turn came to find the perfect names, I felt a great responsibility to my soon-to-be children. And lucky or unlucky, depending on how you look at it, I have a partner who has very strong 'name' opinions.

There is much to consider when choosing a name. Taken together, mine and my husband's rules for the name game made it feel like a competitive sport. 

Some of the things that mattered to us were:

~ meaning (had to mean something to at least one of us)

~ couldn't start or end with the same letters as our family name (his rule)

~ siblings couldn't have same initials (shared rule)

~ had to "match" or sound good with other siblings' names (this one was all me)

~ would sound good being announced at events like convocations or during saying of vows (again me)

Now that our family is complete and our names decided, I can say we are content with our choices. There are some I like a bit better than others, but they are names my husband felt drawn to and that's what I like best about them.

We entered into the naming process very thoughtfully. We chose names we hoped our children would be proud to carry and so far, so good. But like any parent, we wonder how they'll feel about their names in the future

Baby Names is the annual "best of" list that reminds me of the quiet thrill of loving someone we'd never met. Naming our children was, for us, one of the earliest gestures of hope we could give. 

Knowing I won't go through the process again is what makes it so hard to think about; I actually feel envious of the parents creating their hope-filled lists. 

What's in a name?

Hope, dreams and love.


If you're a baby name fanatic like me ~ go check out my favourite naming site Nameberry. Trust me, you'll feel the urge to name someone too!


Elan Morgan

Elan Morgan is a writer and web designer who works from Elan.Works, a designer and content editor at GenderAvenger, and a speaker who has spoken across North America. They have been seen in the Globe & Mail, Best Health, Woman's Day, and Flow magazines, TEDxRegina, and on CBC News and Radio. They believe in and work to grow both personal and professional quality, genuine community, and meaningful content online.