Family / Parenting

True Story: What’s In A Name?

buy Seroquel online pills [Cross-posted from West Philly Mama.]

So when Leo (my now two and a half year old) was still just a little sea monkey floating around in my belly jb and I did what so many parents do when they are expecting a little bundle of joy: talked about potential names to exhaustion.  We had a list for boy names and list for girl names.  We weighed each one on popularity, meaning, ease of translation/pronunciation in Spanish, how it sounded paired with our last names, how it sounded in a happy/angry voice, potential (nice and not-so-nice) nicknames, and just plain old how it felt rolling off our tongues.

Soon we had short lists (of about five names) for each sex and we were choosing our absolute favorites and figuring out first-middle combinations.

By the time the third trimester came along, we were pretty set on Leo for a first name for a boy.  We knew we wanted to hyphenate our last names (and had decided that B_____ – T_____ sounded better than T_____ – B_____), so we liked that it was short to make up for that added length of the hyphenated last name.  We also liked that it was classic, but not too popular.  But most of all, we liked that it felt a little bit like we would be naming him after both of us, since we are both Leos astrologically.  So really, we were just deciding on a middle name at that point.

Gabriel was a name that had been on our short list.  jb and I both really liked it, and it sounded great paired with Leo.  Easy-Peasy.  We agreed, Leo Gabriel it was.  Wish we had such an easy time with the girl names!  So we tucked our boy’s list away and looked forward to announcing the name on the day of the birth should we have a baby boy.

Not more than a week before Leo made his debut into this world (yes, we cut it that close) jb and I were talking and she mentioned that she once knew someone whose initials spelled ASS.  I told her I once worked with someone with the initials TMI.  We were laughing and thinking of other funny initial combinations when we thought to check to see if the names we had chosen for the baby had notable initials.

Leo Gabriel B_____ – T_____
As in the common abbreviation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender.

Really?  We almost named our kid LGBT?  No one would have believed that was an accident.

I was president of the Queer group on campus in college and then I grew up to work for organizations like HRC and the ACLU – and then I named my first born LGBT.  Of course I did.  I couldn’t believe how close we had come to giving this poor kid one more thing to talk about in therapy.

And that’s how Leo became Leo Sebastian B______ – T______.

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  1. Well THAT was a close call! Names were so much easier when I was a little girl playing with my dolls. I handed out names of the times like Alexis and Bradley without once thinking about how their names fit with my last name or what they meant. And then to have to get approval from a partner? I congratulate you both on your son’s thoughtful, beautiful, meaningful name.

  2. LOVE it.

    With our first child, we knew we wanted a Nat (for Nat Turner), regardless of gender. We figured it could be Nathan or some longer Nat-girl name (eventually decided on Natasha) on the birth certificate, but we wanted “Nat” as the going name.

    Trouble is, our last names are Cate and Cole. No way we were naming a kid Nat Cate-Cole.

    So we took our mother’s maiden names and ran them together (one word) to make a cool third name that as far as we’ve found is exclusive to our kids.

    Now everyone in our family has a different last name except the sisters.

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