Name That Baby!, pg. 2
In the end, however, Ramala or Lwaxana just didn't seem right for our baby. And having spent countless hours scanning the lists of boys' names before settling on one for our son, Jacob, now 5, Gwen and I found ourselves looking for shortcuts this time around. So began our quest to find interesting ways in which new (and not-so-new) parents chose their children's names.
1. Go for unique. Jill Clark and John Anthony of Cheltenham, PA, perused several books while Clark was pregnant with their first child. They found Gianni, which equals Johnny in Italian. "We changed the g to a j and after staring at it for a month noticed that 'Ji' is an abbreviation for Jill and 'an' is short for Anthony," says Clark. They named their daughter Jiana and, she says, "I don't think we could have picked a better name."
2. Memorialize a beloved place or time. James and Michelle Giesey of Elgin, IL, decided to call their son Austin because Michelle discovered she was pregnant on a trip to the Texas capital. Robert Simonson and Sarah Schmerler of Brooklyn, NY, conceived their first child in Venice. So they gave their son Asher, who was named after his maternal grandfather, the traditional Italian middle name Benvenuto, which means "welcome."
A place name can be a town, a country, or, in the case of Kelly and Jeff Huddleston of Gainesboro, TN, a street. "There was a street near our home called Avalon," Jeff says. "One day we were discussing possible names and just then we passed by the street sign. We looked at each other and said, 'Avalon.' It made me recall our second date. We were listening to Van Morrison, and my wife commented on how she loved the song that was playing. That album happened to be Avalon Sunset." This leads to a corollary:
3. Pay tribute to your favorite music or TV character. Sara Stewart of Woodstock, GA, named her son Coda after the title of the final Led Zeppelin album. "His full name is Coda Jason Stewart," she says. "I figured if he ever didn't like the name Coda, he could go by C.J."
Shilpa Patel-Paul of Greenwood, IN, kept Shareena, her favorite name from Guiding Light, secret for many years because she was afraid someone would take it. Fortunately, no one did, and her daughter, Shareena Paul, is now 5 years old.