pottersville

November 29, 2006

raising hops into beers

Abc_beddingI’ve read the articles and book excerpts.  Along with suggestions from eager grandparents to be, I’ve received emails linking to studies and lists and more articles.  Everyone wants me to have the latest baby-naming must-have info.  We might as well be informed just how much we’re screwing up our kids, even before they’re born.  There are now java programs which chart names through history, showing popularity.  I’ve read more on earning potential, how a name atop a resume can significantly impact employment.  How names historically aristocratic have lost their impact today due to overuse by "commoners."   I’ll admit I even googled "top-earning names" and found research to support the likelihood of certain names, over others, garnering a six-figure life.  There are more studies on likable names, black vs. white names, and on certain sites, they list the general personality preconceptions linked to certain names.  Everyone thinks Molly is likeable and very white, it seems.  Lola is a girl who dresses like a French maid each year for Halloween.  Stephanie, it seems has the following traits: "Most people think Stephanie is a thin, pretty, feminine woman who is sophisticated and self-centered–a model, perhaps. Some think Stephanie is very kind."  Dude, the first "trait" is thin.  At least they got the self-centered bit right.  My mother’s middle name is Stephanie.  It’s Greek in origin and means, "crowned."  If I were a boy, they’d have named me Rory, meaning "red king."  At the time, they certainly weren’t using search engines to investigate the meanings of names, and I’d be shocked to learn if they knew the meanings of either Stephanie or Rory.   They went with their gut instincts.   

My gut instincts, I’m told, have to do with porn or pottery.  I really like stripper names like Emmanuelle (either calling her Emma or Elle for short), and Savannah (Savvy for short). They’re my top two, and Phil has vetoed both.  They’re long feminine names which work well coupled with BEER.  I mean, that’s what I’m working with here.  For girls, I like either long feminine names or WASPY names that sound like boarding schools: Parker, Prue, Greyson, Blythe, Laurant.  This brings me to the pottery part.   

This is my own theory, certainly not recognized in journals or Freakonomic scripture: kids with names taken from the Pottery Barn catalog will probably be pretty well-adjusted kids.  Sure, you thought it was only good for nesting tables and a leather club chair.  I don’t want children with really unique names because I don’t want that to be "the something" which sets them apart.  Though I do like the middle name BRAVEN or just BRAVE.  But Philip does not… at all.  Bottom line, I want them to work at being unique, to find what makes them special.  I don’t want it to be their name.  When you have a stand out name, sometimes that’s enough; you hang your identity on it.  We’re making these kids work for it.  So names from the Pottery Barn catalog seem like a safe bet. Emmett, Pearce, Payton, Hudson, Lucas, Charlotte, Harper, Maren, Rhys, Olivia, Tanner, Natalia, Abigail, Stella, Eva, Sophia, Gabrielle, Jacob.  So the kid doesn’t have to necessarily know he was named after a console table. 

As for where we are in the name game, we’ve come up with two names for girls, and two for boys, but we haven’t settled on anything yet.  We’re not sharing the names with people, because really, what good comes from that?  The hardest bit is coming up with middle names.  We know in the Jewish tradition, it’s customary to use the first letter of a deceased family member, in naming your children.  We’ve decided to do this with their middle names, since it’s hard enough for us to agree on first names without the limitations.  So for middle names, we need one name that begins with a "B" and one that begins with an "R."  That’s four names. 2 girl names, two boy names.  It’s not easy, and I refuse to leave them without middle names because what’s the fun in that?

*We don’t know the sex or sexes of our babies.  We suspect we’re having two of the same sex due to our technician once upon a hiccup ago.  My mother-in-law is certain they’re boys, "because you’re carrying it all in front," but we don’t know.  We also don’t believe in matchy names.  The twins will each be treated as individauls.  No matching clothes or identical things… um, aside from their bedding and cribs.  That’s already a done deal.

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50 Responses to “pottersville”

  1. Green Says:

    Beatrice, so if she hates her first name, she can call herself Trixie (and hey, she can use it for her stripper name without having to figure out that street/first dog combo), and Brea because it's kind of pretty in a weird way.

    Benjamin for a boy because it's an awesome name. Sorry, that's all I've got. Brian is too generic for my taste.

    Reply

  2. tanya Says:

    B/ R
    I love the whole first name/ surname thing. My theory is that a first name that ends in a vowel-sound, say Sarah, needs to have a second name that has no vowel sound, say Klein. Two consonant ending names together are just borrring. And two vowel names together are too noisy.
    those Pottery Barn names are super super super WASP Stephanie- I mean, don't you want something less uppity-crusty park ave. going to boarding school- becomes a finance kid, type?
    As for B and R, those are super tough. I don't like any names that start with B! Also I hope you are not going the route of the 100 most popular American names- Isabella, Grace, Emma, etc… get something unique, artistic! Like you! You are an artist! don't use the recycled old-world P.Barn names.

    Reply

  3. luisa Says:

    Is Benjamin technically a Jewish name or can it also be a Christian name, anyone know?
    Also- Stephanie don't you need to think about how the girl/boy names go together as it is also likely you may have one boy/ one girl? So you will have to introduce them as 'Emma and Riley'… etc… overly-used names, but they fit my example.
    Or are you planning on two of the same sex?

    Reply

  4. priscilla Says:

    Better the pottery barn catalog than ikea.

    Reply

  5. LB Says:

    For girls, give them the second middle name "De", and that way, it will look like their last name is "De Beer", thereby conjuring diamonds instead of ale. (And yes, it's technically De Beers and there are ethical issues re: their diamond mining…whatever…)

    Reply

  6. mcatgirl Says:

    I don't hold much stock in the "it is a boy because you are carrying it all out in front", I heard that so much through my pregnancy and had a girl. Who knows though…that is the fun of not knowing! I remember the fun of trying to pick out names. We had our boy's name picked out forever and couldn't decide/agree on a girl's name. We finally found one we both liked and named her Emily. Of course, it turned out to be the most popular name that year, we had no idea!

    Reply

  7. Bonnie Says:

    Stephanie… good luck with the babies.
    My name is Bonnie… go with that… I've only ever met two other Bonnie's.

    Reply

  8. lee Says:

    This is exactly the reason we found out the sexes of our twins before they were born. The name possibilities we would have had to come up with were more than I could handle.

    I didn't change my name and the kids have my husband's last name. So for the girl's middle name we used my last name (so she got two), and the boys' middle names are after favorite musicians. Over time, I'm glad we took that highly personal route. Music is a Big Deal in our family, it was communicated to our kids early on just by the story of how they got their names and I would encourage others to follow suit – it's a good way to start your own family traditions. Dead relative, author, rock star — whatever the process, kids do enjoy having a story attached to how they got their names.

    Reply

  9. southcitygirl Says:

    it seems BEER would be a hard last name to work with.
    Bonnie
    Benson

    Rose
    Rayburn

    Reply

  10. marif Says:

    I've always liked Bronwyn, Brooke, Rebecca, Rachel, Renae, and Rose

    For boys, Bernard, Benjamin, Barack (although you don't really strike me as "Barack" type of people), Robert, and Ryan.

    Reply

  11. Noisette Says:

    I'm more than a month ahead of you, gestation-wise, and we still have yet to decide upon a name. At this point I'm hoping for some sort of post-natal revelation.
    A friend of my mother-in-law just gave birth to a girl, whom she named (wait for it…)
    Jubilee Moxie Cherry. (get it? ugh.) No matter which name you choose, Stephanie, you could not possibly end up with a more debilitating branding than that. Good luck with the decision, though- it's a tough one.

    Reply

  12. Jackie Says:

    Stephanie – did you consider naming either a boy or a girl "Klein?" It would be so cute for either sex, and would be a nice way of passing along your family name (since you don't have any brothers). If you tagged on a multi-syllabic middle name, I think it would sound regal with "Beer."

    Reply

  13. Barbara E. Says:

    Ottoman Benjamin and Mediasuite Rebecca (Otto Benji & Sweet Becky for nicknames). You're very welcome. Though I've been partial to Kegger and Pretzels since I learned of P's last name.

    Reply

  14. jules Says:

    Hmm-I like Benjamin too. And Ruth, Raina, Reese . . .

    Reply

  15. Beth Says:

    As a currently preggo myself, I feel you pain. I have no advice, because if I did I would take it myself. My husband and I can't agree on anything…I mean anything. We are thinking of calling it, "it." :)

    Good luck and you're right not to tell, to many chefs, as they say.

    Reply

  16. misstraceynolan Says:

    The Pottery Barn catalogue. Har.

    Reply

  17. ruby Says:

    I love the name Savannah, very Southern and reminds me of home (which was the South but not Georgia). The Pottery Barn reference is too cute!I know this isn't two of each for each letter but its the best I can do!
    R: Rebecca, Rachel, Reece, Renatta.
    B: Brandon, Bailey, Bennet.

    Reply

  18. Nichole Says:

    I like the name Regan (even though it was the name of the the possessed kid on poltergeist) and my middle name is Reece. You can use either of those for boys or girls.

    I'll think about some B names.

    Good luck!!

    Nikki from St. Louis

    Reply

  19. finbar Says:

    Brendan is a nice name for a boy.
    Regan is pretty for a girl, so is Roisin (Row sheen).

    Impressed that your parents had considered Rory. Irish names rule.

    Reply

  20. DFW Says:

    My son's name is Brenton (like the formal version of Brent) If he ever doesn't like it, he can go by Brent. It's unique but can also be common (shorter version)It came up in the baby book as handsome, strong, itelligent, athletic. Nothing wrong with that, right? Goes good with Beer. _______ Brenton Beer. I like it.

    I also like Beau, Brea and Bronwyn.

    Good Luck!

    Reply

  21. Stephanie Says:

    Ryan, Riley, Reese (all for boy or girl), Robert, Richard, Rhianne, Rebecca, Richard, Ramona,…

    Beatrice, Bradley, Brandon, Brendan, Brianna, Blaise, Benjamin, Blake, Bryce, Blaine, Bethany,…

    Reply

  22. Allison Says:

    Picking names is hard (I found it harder for boys than girls), but they will grow in to whatever you choose. The best advice we got was to run the proposed names by boys aged 8-14, to find out whether torture awaits on the playground.

    Reply

  23. f Says:

    Queen Rania of Jordan– i like Rania.
    Priscilla, that was hysterical– IKEA!

    Reply

  24. mi mi Says:

    In the Greek tradition, (my father's Greek), I was perhaps to be named Sotiroula – god help me- after my dad's mom, but thank the lord my mother said NO way to that. So they both chose a nice exotic name and then tied it into my dad's name in Greek.
    My brother had to be named after my dad's father as his a$$hole older brother- neglected to name his son after the father (he is a jerk for many reasons)- so my father did the noble thing and named my brother after my pa pou- (grandpa in greek).
    I wish there were some Spanish traditions- well my mother's name has a "maria" in it, as does every single woman ever born in S. America does! ha
    Good luck with the names steph

    Reply

  25. Stepheney Says:

    Having been born with the longest and most boring name on earth (imho); I changed the spelling of my name to make it more ME. Of course I spent my middle/high school years being called "Stephen" because the lazy-assed teachers never took the time to notice the 'ey' on the end of my name. I never want to have kids but I have names picked out, yes, it's weird, whaddya want from me? B/R names………I like Raine, River, Bailey, Bella, Brayden, Brianna, Randall, Reegan, Reeves, and Robert. Hope that helps!

    Reply

  26. Noelle Says:

    Hi Stephanie,
    Here are my idea's:

    "B"
    Bethany
    Blair
    Bryce
    Blaine
    Brianna

    "R"
    Reegan
    Reece
    Riley
    Rye

    Reply

  27. detox Says:

    Rafi, Ranier, Regal, Roane, Ryer, Ryland
    Brylea, Baz, Bourne, Baron, Brody, Brinsley

    Reply

  28. tanya Says:

    Am I the only one who thinks of James Spader as BLAINE! in Pretty in Pink!???

    no no no

    Reply

  29. detox Says:

    i like romy too.

    Reply

  30. Huge Fan Says:

    My sister's middle name is Beth and I've always like that name and I've always like that name.

    Reply

  31. kessler Says:

    I also like the idea of naming one of them Klein. I wanted to do that with our first but both my maiden name and husband's last name end with LER so it sounded very odd. :)

    Anyway..

    B: Brock, Blythe, Bella, Blake, Brandt, Brett, Brooke, Benjamin, Bramm, Bethany, Bernice, Barbara

    R: Russell, Ross, Reese, Ryan (so cute for a girl), Robert, Rachel, Ryder, Raven, Radley, Ray, Raylee, Ramona, Renee, Randall, Raquel, Reena, Reade, Reeva

    Good luck with everything!

    Reply

  32. Kris in Hawaii Says:

    Naming twins presents an especially interesting challenge.

    I wanted classic names for my twin boys, so we went with Kyle & Christopher. Not rhyming but complementary consonants. Their middle names are the Hawaiian version of English names of male relatives. Kyle Kepano (Stephen) and Christopher Kawika (David).

    We also considered other Hawaiian words or place names for their middle names, such as Keali'i (the god/royalty) or Ke'ei (after a local beach we love)or Koakai (strong ocean) or Keikilanikai (child of the heavenly ocean). These make great middle names. But what works in Hawaii may not work elsewhere in the world.

    I think it makes sense to remember when naming children that giving your children highly trendy names dates them later in life. This would might mean that the Brianna's and Brendan's of today might well be the Ethel and Herbs of their generation.

    I LOVED dressing my twins in matching or coordinating outfits until about the age of four. They really did not know the difference. Their individuality was never compromised. They each become their own person soon enough. I am a twin also, and my mom dressed us in complementary colors. It's fun while they are little.

    Reply

  33. emily Says:

    Man, I do not envy you these decisions. I have a Max and an Ava. Easy to spell, easy to say. They can find other ways to be distinct, I'm with you there.

    Reply

  34. nh Says:

    I love the idea of using Klein, except I don't think Stephanie changed her name after marriage. It might be a bit awkward. I have a very unique name…I hated it as a kid but appreciate it now. But I am all for easy names. Good luck.

    Reply

  35. bime Says:

    B's:

    Britt
    Britta
    Barrett
    Brighton
    Brownwyn
    Becca
    Bradford
    Blythe
    Beth
    Balthazar
    Barclay

    R's:

    Rose
    Rachel
    Riley
    Ryder
    Rain
    Rylan
    Roysten
    Reed
    Roisin
    Rhett
    Rooosevelt

    Reply

  36. Andrea Says:

    How about a name from the Ikea catalog??? lol

    Reply

  37. Brian Says:

    Wow. You're a mess. Call these kids whatever you want – I feel sorry for them already.

    Reply

  38. Paige Jennifer Says:

    Reason #831 I'm not ready to have kids – I can't come up with a single name.

    Reason #832 I'm not ready to have kids – I'm not enjoying this game.

    Reply

  39. cherylynn Says:

    I've always likes Roman, Rome, Romi, Rory, and
    Bronte… and to circle back to stripper/drag names: Bijou, Beaujolais, bebe

    Best wishes to mom, dad, and guppies!

    Reply

  40. Melissa Says:

    My 2 cents:

    Renee for the R. My middle name is Rene with 1 E, and for some strange reason people thought it was pronounced Ree-knee. My daughter's middle name is also Rene. Spelling it Renea is pretty.

    B: Bronwyn (pronounced Brawn-win) The person I know with this name loves it. It's unusual but distinguished. Very strong, I think.

    Reply

  41. Another Stephanie Says:

    Here's a unique "R" name for one of your little Texans:
    Roan

    Reply

  42. ae38 Says:

    Not a name suggestion, but my sister is having a girl she will name Jillian. Her son's name is Jackson. It makes me want to barf. I mean, they're not even twins!!

    Reply

  43. emimarie Says:

    I LOVE this game… I have been playing it for as long as I can remember. Then I totally screwed everything up and became a teacher. Nothing ruins a great name like a high school student who is a total pain in the ass. So far, I've managed to hold on to a few of my favorites. For B names, I like Braden… sort of like Brandon and Brenden but a little different. Brady's also a good nickname or it works by itself. I guess one of the perks of teaching is that sometimes names are better after having a great student, which is why I am loving the name Bethany or Bethe right now. R names are tough… they all seem boring to me but I'll chime in again if I get inspired and think of one. Have fun picking names… I don't have kids of my own yet but there's so much to look forward to and it seems like once you've settled on names, you start thinking of them as real people. How exciting!

    Reply

  44. Bonny Says:

    At a pre-school party the teacher called "Bertha" and up to her desk went this darling little girl with adorable blond pigtails. Go figure. I supplemented our Thanksgiving favorites with some of your recipes and they were indeed delicious. Thank you for sharing.
    Boys:Ross, Rand, Reid & Robert
    Brett, Blake
    Girls: Barri & Remy
    Stay well!

    Reply

  45. Fiona Says:

    Wow! That's a lot of names you have to choose, hadn't thought about how difficult it must be to name twins before. I suppose they have to go together well also (but not TOO WELL, because that might be a bit tacky!) Ahh, well – good luck with it !!

    Reply

  46. Keeks Says:

    I personally love alliteration…

    Could there be a cooler kid than Buddy Beer?

    Reply

  47. Jennifer Says:

    I thought I would just share some names with you that I really like.
    For a "B" girl, I like Bree (partial to that one because that is my middle name) and Beryl.
    For a "B" Boy I like Beau and Berenger.

    For a "R" boy name I like Radek and Reardon and for a "R" girl name I like Rane and Rhea.

    Have fun!! =)

    Reply

  48. Amanda Says:

    My husband and I warred about our baby's name for the entire 40 weeks she was in my belly. I was in love with a name he despised (Anneliese) and I pestered him every day to just give in but he did not. After she was born I begged one last time and he said no again so we chose a different name (Avelyn). I am happy with our choice now and our girl definitely suits is. All I'm saying is, I feel your pain about having a hubby who doesn't see eye to eye with your suggestions.

    Reply

  49. Buffy Says:

    Growing up I never felt my name set me apart. The best it did was earn a 'huh?' and a 'is that your real name?'. Then people pretty much forgot all about it and just shortened it to 'B'.

    That said, I hated my name growing up. Felt I had been hard done by by my mother. Wanted to be 'ordinary' like my friends Sarah and Michelle. Couldn't wait to leave home so I could change it.

    But I grew into it. I enjoyed being different. I enjoyed having a name that opened doors for me. And it did…still does…people remember 'Buffy'. I don't know why, but they do. (I'm sure Josh Whedon has a lot to do with this.) And I've reaped the benefits. It's like a business card I don't have to carry around with me.

    Reply

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