Privacy Policy for

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What's in a name?

To borrow a line from Shakespeare, "a rose by any other name would smell as sweet." But what about a little boy? While I'm normally the type of person who makes quick, confident decisions, I find myself almost completely immobilized when it comes to naming my future son. I'm afraid of making the wrong decision, of saddling my son with an overly popular or trendy name, of having the other parents in my son's class silently wondering "what were they thinking?" In short, I'm feeling overwhelmed here folks. And, to be honest, Dave hasn't been much help as he's preferred to veto names rather than offer up suggestions or provide any ringing endorsements.

At the start of my pregnancy, the proverbial question was "what are you having?" Now, the question has become, "what are you naming him?" Even my OB/GYN asked me the question at my check-up last week! My answer so far has been a noncommittal "we're working on that," but I know that I'd like to sort that out before I get to the hospital -- if not long before that so that I can get my family and friends off my back. After all, they're desperate to start monogramming!

There are a few things that I know: (1) I'd like to use at least one family name, if not two; (2) I'd like a name that works as well for an adult as it does for a child; and (3) I want a name that fits with our last name (Conn), a task that's tougher than I'd thought.

I also know that we've narrowed down the potential universe to four possibilities...okay, at least I think we have. And since Dave and I have been testing these names out on friends, family and co-workers to gauge their reactions, I thought I might as well open the vote up to a wider focus group, if only to get a more accurate reaction. Bear in mind of course that I reserve the rights to ignore everyone's input altogether or even to go in an entirely different direction.

Here's a quick rundown on the origins of the names (in no particular order) that are still in the running:

William Evander: Named for two men in my mother's family (William Evander Averill and William Evander Hall), the former being my own namesake. William has also been a common name generally in my mother's family -- in fact, both my maternal grandfather and my uncle are Williams (though they went by Bill and Wendell, respectively). Unrelated but nonetheless interesting is that Evander is Greek for "good man" and a deific king in Roman mythology. The classicist in me loves that. Downside: William is uber-popular; Evander may conjure up images of boxer Evander Holyfield.

James Michael: Named for Dave's father Jim and my father Mike. Pretty simple, really. Downside: Both James and Michael are popular (though less so than William); feels rather uncreative on my part.

Graham Kirk: Named for both my uncle and great-uncle, the latter of whom was killed in WWII. Kirk is Dave's middle name as well as his father's. Downside: No workable nickname for Graham (that could be good though, too).

William Moultrie: Named for this guy, a direct ancestor of Dave's through his paternal grandmother. And, as noted above, William is a frequently used name in my mother's family. Downside: Again, William is uber-popular.

And now you get to vote. Of course feel free to leave me comments explaining your vote or even if you've got another name you'd like to throw into the ring.

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