What’s in a name?

With only a few weeks left before Speckle arrives, the question we are being asked most frequently is ‘Have you decided on a name?’ The answer to this is yes, but before you get excited, I am not going to tell you what it is! That happy announcement will only be made when Speckle’s safely made his way into the world. There are a few reasons for this. Firstly, we’ve been pretty open about our journey so far and it’s sort of nice to have a secret for a change. Secondly, my mom changed her mind about my name three days after I was born (I even got cards saying, ‘Welcome to the world Kirin’) and I want to give myself the option of changing my mind when I see our little boy.

So sorry, but you’ll just have to be patient. What I will tell you, however, is a bit about the process we’ve gone through trying to name our son. Let me start off by saying that I got to know an incredibly analytical side to my husband while these discussions were taking place. I adopted a sort of ‘read through the book and see what jumps out at you’ approach, while Col was far more methodical. Potential candidates had to meet the following criteria:

  • Must start with ‘C’ (this because we’ve decided to give Speckle the same initials as Col – CMR).
  • Must be a strong name.
  • Must be a traditional English name.
  • Must not have an Afrikaans equivalent, or the child will spend his life having his name mispronounced as we live in a predominantly Afrikaans city.
  • Must not be the same as anyone who Col went to school with, but whom he did not like.

This last one was by far the hardest to meet as Col went to Pretoria Boys High, meaning there were hundreds of boys in his year. In addition, the irrational side of Col came through here because when I asked why he didn’t like a particular boy, he usually just said, ‘Because.’ Using forceful arguments of association, I managed to get this criteria bumped pretty far down the list (although I think our chosen name does have a previous ‘owner’, but thankfully one who didn’t seem to rub Col up the wrong way).

The name discussions took place way back in May, and the winner was selected before Col left for Scotland in June. As Col and I both tend to be sharers by nature, it’s been tough to keep it under wraps this long so if your innocent query about a name was met with hostility, I do apologise. Put it down to hormones on my part, and fear of my hormones on Col’s!


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