The name Bodhi is definitely our favorite, but now we're scared its popularity is going to spike. We don't want any of our children to have a "popular" name, as we both grew up with them and know what it's like to have six other kids in the class with the same name. So, what do we do? Is Bodhi going to get super-popular now that a celebrity used it?
- Another Jessie
Bodhi is definitely one of the "buzziest" Hollywood names of the moment. But unless you and Megan Fox are eyeing the same preschools, Hollywood popularity isn't what you're worried about. Nationwide, does "buzz" necessarily translate to babies?
I can understand why you don't want to go from zero to 60 with a new name. It's a big change, so you want to approach it with caution. But you're right that asking your friends and family to help you try on a name will be tricky. It's hard enough to change people's habits when you're fully committed to a new name. Having them adopt something you're not sure about could just make it harder down the road.
An 18-year-old seizing the first opportunity of adulthood to file an application could be easily understood. But thanks to choice paralysis and a craven case of "Whatever will people think?," I'm nearly thirty!
Have I left this dream too late? And assuming I can find the nerve to do so ... how do I drop a bombshell like this so long after the logical time to have done so?
As you approach age 30, you're kicking yourself for not pursuing your dream of a new name a dozen years ago, when you were 18 and had your whole life ahead of you. Well, I'm going to make a prediction. If you don't go ahead and do it now, in another dozen years you'll be 42...and kicking yourself for not pursuing your dream when you were 30 and had your whole life ahead of you.
- Too many great names
Your question hits close to my heart. I'm forever falling for names, and wishing (for a fleeting moment, at least) for a new baby to apply them to. Each name is a dream in minature: a possible child, a possible future. Once certain names have spent time in your life, lingering on your favorites list, it can be hard to let go.
Can you pass your favorite names on to others? Anybody who has tried urging their name leftovers on pregnant friends knows that's not the answer. You can't make someone else dream your dreams.
- Want to Keep the Family Happy
My usual advice about name duplication is to be straightforward and cheerful and simply ask the people involved. But in your case, there are quite a lot of people involved, aren't there? A lot of people you care deeply about and want to "keep happy." Not just you and your partner, not just your brother and his partner, but other relatives embroiled in the "tension" in your family.
- Last names are tricky
Names can be the public face of the identity shifts that come with difficult life changes. Redefining your relationships and social identity -- for yourself as well as others -- is a big job.
I can see why Astro appeals. Having a name come to you in a dream feels like fate: a sign that can’t be ignored, or at least an awesome “How-I-got-my-name” story for your son. Plus it’s got that cool –o ending along with its starry sensibility.
I LOVE Aurelia with my last name, but wish I could use both Althea and Lyra as middles. Everyone I know is hoping I name the baby Lyra, but that won't give the full name the same flow.
Do any of these combos work?
Lyra Anastasia [Mom's Surname]
Aurelia Lyra [Dad's Surname] [Mom's Surname]
Lyra Aurelia [Dad's Surname] [Mom's Surname]
Lyra Aurelia Althea [Mom's Surname]
Aurelia Athea Lorelei (nn- Lyra or Lore) [Mom's Surname]
I'm tempted to just name her Aurelia Althea [Dad's Surname] [Mom's Surname] and nickname her Lyra if it suits her later in life.
- Want Them All
You asked "How do " fit in all the names, not "Can I." But the answer is simply, "you can't" -- or at least you shouldn't. Deep down you already know it, or you wouldn't have listed the options you did.
I know what it's like to love too many names. It's hard to let any of them go. But one daughter just isn't big enough to hold all of your naming dreams. It's like asking "How do I wear all of my favorite jewelry with a single outfit," or even "How do I seat five adults in a Mini Cooper." Best not to even try.
Middle names can seem like a gift to name-loving parents. If you've narrowed down your name list to two beloved choices, you don't have to give either up. You just have to choose an order. Right?
Yet the order is the decision, and it's often a tough one. In most cases, the name finalists share most of the same virtues. They both reflect the same parental tastes, after all. So the decision usually comes down to something like "Samuel Benjamin vs. Benjamin Samuel," where the two choices make similar impressions.
Do you think I should just come up with a nickname to have people call me, or should I change my name altogether? I have considered legally changing it numerous times, but always reconsider when I think of the hassle it would be to have to go through the process. I just feel like I have some sort of identity issue or something, because I have tried experimenting with different names, and don't even feel attached to the name 'Brooke' anymore.
- Not a Brooke
Whether you make a legal change or just a usage change, I believe it's definitely time to do away with Brooke. I say that not because there's anything wrong with the name Brooke -- there isn't -- but because you're twisting yourself in knots to prove that there is.
You say it's a bad name because it's hard to pronounce? That's a little tough to swallow, since the name has a single, unambiguous pronunciation that it shares with a common word.