How’d You Pick That Name?

12188813 A few weeks back I posted about a contest to guess the top baby names of 2008. Well, I'm a little late with this update, but the Social Security Administration's list is now available. Looking at last year's "winners" (Jacob, Emma, Michael, and Isabella topped the lists) got me thinking about how people pick their baby names. People look to all different sources of inspiration—family names, the bible, movie stars, sports legends, cities they've lived in, etc. (I know my mom named my sister and me after characters in her favorite books—Little Women and Jane Eyre.) So tell us—how did you pick out your little one's name?

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  1. by Melanie

    On June 5, 2009 at 11:20 am

    We liked the idea of using family names so we gave our daughter my grandmother’s middle name. However, when it came to the first name they all sounded too old fashioned (Effie, Thelma, etc.) so we combined our middle names of Marlin and Maria to come up with Marlia. We like that it is fairly unique (but doesn’t sound crazy like some made up names) and have since found out that it is also a place name and last name in Italy, which I like due to my Italian heritage.

  2. by Gina

    On June 5, 2009 at 11:43 am

    My daughter’s name Rylee came from close family friends (the Rileys) and her middle name Marie is our passed down family middle name. Our son’s name followed family tradition where the first born male’s first name will be the father’s middle name. My husband is Robert Paul so my son’s first name is Paul. His middle name is his Godfather’s first name Ryan. Rylee Marie and Paul Ryan. We like that everyone has heard the name Paul, but not a lot of little kids have that name now (actually, our son is the only person under 30 that we know with the name Paul!)

  3. by Camille

    On June 5, 2009 at 12:15 pm

    My husband was a professional trumpet player for years and some of that was in jazz. Our children, Ella and Miles, are named after Ella Fitzgerald and Miles Davis. We picked them up out long before “Ella” became so popular!

  4. by Jen E @ mommablogsalot

    On June 5, 2009 at 1:06 pm

    To be honest, my son’s name just sort of came to me – it’s a common name (Michael) so obviously I’d heard it before but I chose it because suddenly I just knew it fit. There was really no rhyme or reason, it was just right.
    Our newest addition’s name will be Emily – it was chosen by her big brother in a manner of speaking – he loves the characters Emily Elizabeth from Clifford and a train named Emily on Thomas and every time he’d say the name I swooned a little. After like 4 or 5 times, I realized, “That’s what I want to name her.”

  5. by Kathy

    On June 5, 2009 at 2:09 pm

    I went with names that sounded good with our last name.

  6. by Amanda

    On June 5, 2009 at 2:26 pm

    With our first, my husband wanted to name him Archer, but since I was afraid if the inevitable Archie nickname, I knew we had to choose something else. So I found the name Bowen which means “archer,” and we fell in love with it.
    My youngest son’s name is Wilder. No particular reasoning behind it except that we wanted a “different” name that wasn’t too far out there. He was 24 hours old before we’d given him a name, and to be honest, he’s 11 months old and it’s still growing on me!

  7. by Emily E.

    On June 5, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    My daughter is Olivia Ann, named after me. My maiden name was Oliver and my middle name is Ann. I like that we kept the southern tradition of taking the mother’s maiden name as the first daugther’s name but made it feminine.
    It was actually a friend’s idea. We had no problem coming up with boys names but didn’t know what to do for a girls name.

  8. by anna J

    On June 5, 2009 at 3:55 pm

    My children’s names are Soren, Ryker, and Luna. Soren was my husband’s great grandfather’s name. Ryker, meaning Richard in Danish as well, is also a family name. My husband loves astronomy, I wanted a L name and Luna, meaning moon fit the bill.

  9. by Tati Feige

    On June 5, 2009 at 6:05 pm

    I had liked the name Emma for a long time and, thankfully, my husband agreed. I liked the idea of using a family member’s name who was deceased, but my sister had already used both our grandmother’s names. When 5 months pregnant with Emma, my DH and I went on a (last) vacation to San Francisco and we watched Spiderman 2 in our hotel – at the beginning of the movie they show a billboard for a broadway show with ‘Emma Rose’ – as soon as I saw that i knew that would be her name! Turns out, my great grandmother’s name was Rosa!

  10. by Kena

    On June 6, 2009 at 1:06 am

    My son, Reid Thor, was originally supposed to be named Thor. Thor was my husband’s pick as it is the name of the Norse God of Thunder. I wasn’t too thrilled about the name and agreed to use it as the middle name. Reid came from Reid Richards…one of the members of the comic book group Fantastic Four.

  11. by T

    On June 6, 2009 at 5:22 am

    My son, Jackson Pete, is named after his two paternal great-grandfathers).
    My daughter, Josephine Varney, was named after my favorite character in Little Women (Jo!) as well as her maternal great-grandfather.

  12. by miss mary

    On June 6, 2009 at 6:37 pm

    I really didn’t pick my kids names. My husband wanted our son named after him. my daughter I had a list of names and my husband picked the one he wanted and my other son was named by my mil & sil
    I lost 3 strikes in a row, and I aim to please = -)

  13. by Dianne

    On June 6, 2009 at 11:56 pm

    I was always envious of my sister growing up as she was able to find personalized souvenirs with her name and I wasn’t as my name is spelled slightly different than the norm. So, I wanted my kids to have more commonly-spelled names. However, before my daughter was born, we were ready to name her Fiona after a friend in the UK…until the movie Shrek came out right then. All we could visualize was her being teased about being a green ogre! So, we went with our next favorite, Elizabeth. Her middle name is from both my name and my mom’s middle name. My son also has a “classic” first name and his grandmother’s Scottish clan name is his middle name.

  14. by Sammie Russell

    On June 7, 2009 at 9:23 am

    My son is Jag Oliver Campbell R.. Jag came from a nickname a good friend gave my husband. When we were looking at names we found that Jag is Hindi for The Universe. We were originally going to use it as a middle name, but it grew on us and became his first name. His two middle names are family names – Oliver after my great-grandfather and Campbell is my maiden name.

  15. by EllenW

    On June 7, 2009 at 11:03 pm

    Gina – our 3 yr old is also named Paul, after his godfather and his middle name Michael is my husband’s name. Our newborn is Benjamin Lucas – two names that the husband and I could agree on. Since our last name is a little funky I wanted names that were easily identifiable by gender and wouldn’t be misspelled.

  16. by Kathy O

    On June 8, 2009 at 10:12 am

    My husband asked me one day if I liked the name “Addison.” I absolutely LOVED it! After getting definate assurances that I was on board for the name and that it was now probably the name on the top of our list, my husband, who is a die-hard Cubs fan, reminded me that Wrigley Field is on the corner of Addison and Clark streets. I had a sad trombone moment (wah, wah, wah, waaahh…) and then decided that I still loved the name. Addi is 3 years old now and loves “daddy-ball.” And we love her…

  17. by Katie

    On June 8, 2009 at 5:10 pm

    It’s funny you should put a picture of a Jane Austen book with this post. While watching “Becoming Jane” last summer the name Elizabeth Jane came to mind. I was not pregnant at the time, nor was I expecting to anytime soon. However, I loved the name Elizabeth Jane…Elizabeth Bennett is one of my favorite fictional characters, and of course, Jane, the author who brought her to life. I now have a two month old little girl, named Elizabeth Jane…but we call her Lizzie.

  18. by Becky

    On June 10, 2009 at 12:02 pm

    My son Peter is named after my husband’s grandfather. His middle name is Jude, after St. Jude, who is my husband’s family’s patron saint – everyone in his family has that name. For our next one (whenever that will be), if it’s a girl she’ll be Charlotte Joy – Charlotte for my husband’s great uncle Charlie who we loved, and I love to the name Charlie/Charley for a girl. If it’s a boy, he’ll be Max Jude – Max for my great-grandfather, and Jude again for the same reasons.