As of this very moment, I have gotten 243 comments suggesting names for my unborn child. Which totally rocks, because I swear to you that we are flat nowhere on the name thing and need every bit of help we can get. Those 243 comments represent 1004 suggestions for 334 separate names. You would think that out of 334 names we could find something we both like, but frankly the jury is still out on that. Far out. Those 1004 suggestions happened to contain 12 votes for Elliott, which is the name Chris is recently recommending and which I am flat out vetoing due to it being the name of a former cat. (No, my friends, not even Chris would recommend naming our child Pixel.) The cat Elliott was actually named Elliott because before I was born my dad suggested it as the name for his potential son. Or actually, for one of his potential sons since I was expected to be twins right up to 38 weeks or so. When my cat Callie had kittens all those many years ago, we named them after the names I wasn't given: Ann Marie, Jean Louise (who turned out to be Jonathan Louis, whoops) (those were my names when I was twins) and Elliott.
It is actually really too bad about the cat (who disappeared years ago and we assumed he had died but then I dreamed that he was living behind the airport with some hobos, what a relief), because I like the name. Although I would spell it Eliot, for T.S. Eliot who is responsible for some of the best strings of words ever put together in English. Such as:
Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherised upon a table;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
I mean really. Forget the meaning, if you want, and just hear that. Like "the evening is spread out against the sky" which forces you to speak slowly, to spread out all those vowels, and then "through certain half-deserted streets, the muttering retreats" which speeds you up and gets you all choppy and, well, muttering.
Whoops, sorry to geek out on you there. That's "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" dontcha know? One of my favorites. But yes, really too bad that we can't use Eliot, but such is the way things are.
And admittedly, my motivation in asking for suggestions was twofold. First, I need some ideas. And second, while I fully understand that asking the readers of my blog does not constitute a scientific sampling, I do think it is a fairly good idea to get a sense of some trends and thereby avoid some of the names that everyone is naming their boy babies this year. I want traditional, yes, but also most avidly do not want to be trendy. Which means this child will not be named Ethan (13 votes) or Andrew (14 votes) or Benjamin (19 votes) and most certainly not Jack (27 votes). We will also be avoiding all of those highly unique names so in favor now, because gosh but that's even trendier than Jack.
(No offense to anybody, please. Naming kids is entirely a matter of taste... not good taste or bad taste, just different taste.)
It was also entertaining to see how many of our family names were high vote getters. Looks like my ancestors are very much in vogue right now.
If any of you are wondering how I managed to compile all of this data, here's where you get to point and laugh and call me a major dorkatron. I typed all of your suggestions into an Excel spreadsheet. And then I made a pivot table. Y'all didn't know I knew how to do a pivot table, did you? I am full of surprises. Seriously, you want to see it? Naming your own kid and want some help? You can download my spreadsheety brilliance by clicking here. See how much I love you?
And ok, it is time for me to step away from the spreadsheet, which I keep going back to and marking names I do like and names I don't like and then forgetting which marks are for which ones and reversing them and then having no marking system whatsoever other than I like some names and don't like some names and there is no way in the world to say for sure which is which. Apparently making a pivot table is the extent of my cleverness. Thanks for the ideas though, we might even use one of them. In four of five years, when we give up and let the kid just pick his own name.