How we chose our baby name, part 2

Three months before our due date, the name game had become more complex.

Things had become really interesting when a friend recommended the US name site Baby Name Wizard. We then found the UK version, England and Wales Baby Names. I loved these sites because you could use the information about past popularity of names to see the likelihood of a name coming back into popularity or whether it was declining. This was particularly interesting to us because we didn’t want a name that was coming back into fashion any time soon. We wanted V. to be the only one in her class. I had a feeling, though, that no matter which name we chose, other examples would immediately come out of the woodwork.

Just weeks before V. was due, we had a shortlist of 26 names. We wrote each one on a sticky note and put them up on the wall. A separate sticky note for each first and second name. Sometimes the notes would be in columns, sometimes arranged in a random cloud effect. Once in a while, one of us would take two names and place them side by side in front of a sticky note that had our surname on it. This combination of three names would stay up on the wall for a couple of days while we mulled it over in our heads.

Strong contenders made it to a shorter shortlist. Weak combinations got cut. We approached it as though voting on a reality show: if you have to choose between two names, who stays to the next round and who goes home? It was just such a technique that presented us with V.’s final names.

We’re very happy with our daughter’s name. Sometimes, we can’t believe we went ahead and called her V. Although it fit all our criteria and was right there from the beginning of our search, it’s still pretty unusual and feels a bit daring. We’ve been feeling sightly smug over our choice, but the announcement of a royal baby this week has us slightly jittery. Perhaps my prediction of V.’s name appearing everywhere will come true and our daughter might possibly spend her entire life explaining that “no she was not named after the princess but in fact was born a year before her”. Fingers crossed it’s a boy.

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