The Name Game

How did YOU choose your kids’ names? Here’s our story.

My husband and I have two boys, 10 years and one day apart.  When we began brainstorming for the oldest’s name, we were young and carried out the ritualistic research associated with the first child.  My husband’s first name is Albert, but he goes by Joe, an abbreviated version of his middle name.  He was named after dear uncle Albert, whom I never met, but I’ve heard was a good man with no children.

While the namesake reasoning is heartfelt, they never called him Albert and, according to my husband, he was unaware this even was his first name until 1st grade when a substitute did roll call.

All that being said, and the understanding that this was our first-born son we were attempting to choose a name for, it was very important and impactful.

We chose Josiah Wesley in the end.  Why, you ask?

My husband goes by Joe – this is a sort-of derivative. I had a Josiah in my family tree that I discovered during research. Josiah is biblical – we liked that.

Wesley is the middle name of every man in Joe’s family for three or more generations. Wesley makes me think of The Princess Bride which is my favorite book & movie of all time.

So there was a lot that went into that, right.  So here’s how that turned out 10 years later…

We call Josiah – Si.  Not Joe.

The obscure family member in my tree named Josiah, turns out was actually named Jeremiah or something like that, but called himself Josiah for whatever reason. I knew the story of Josiah very well from the Bible, but I have to remind Si that Josiah was killed in battle due to disobedience and overconfidence.

The whole “Wesley” thing upset some people because that was their intended namesake name picked out for their children and we used it first. The Princess Bride aspect work out fine because Wesley was and still is the most awesome of heroic men, in my book at least.

Fast forward 10 years and we are beginning the baby name selection process all over again.  Things got kind of weird…

My girl name, that I have never gotten to use (thank goodness) incites a heated argument whether a child is in the works or not.  Here it is: Halle Lulla Bush.  My reasoning?  Because she will of course, most likely, be a six-foot Amazon basketball playing sports-wonder and when she hits that three pointer from practically center court, we can stand up and holler “Hellejuha!”

I created this name originally because I truly loved the sound of it.  Then when all the blow back started, I really sunk my heels into it because that’s just the kind of lady I am.  It has since become a point of ridiculous argument.  **Note:  We do not have any daughters.

Next came the alliteration idea.  You know, where you name all your children with a M and they all sound sort of the same, and no one can ever get their names right?  Yeah, that idea…  BUT, ours was so much more than that because we are Star Wars fans.  So we thought, let’s name him Jedidiah and we will call him Jedi.  And then his middle name can be Master so his full name would be Jedi Master Bush.  Who wouldn’t want that for the REST OF THEIR LIVES?

We finally decided on Benjamin.  We call him Ben.  It works good, sounds good with our last name, and still throws a Hail Mary pass to Ben Kenobi, the greatest of all Jedi Masters.  But what shall his middle name be?  I think we should pick something we can fight about for three straight months!  Oh, you too?!  Great!  Awesome!  Let’s do that… ugh.

Joe wanted to name him Benjamin DANGER Bush and we was not joking at all.  I stand firm that if you name your kid Rowdy then you better put your boots on, he’s gonna probably live up to that.  Same with Damien, Rage, and Havoc.  So I was not supportive of Danger at all and here we are in the delivery room, with me refusing to back down, and I told Joe, “I will agree to just about anything other than Danger that you can come up with.”  And the next name out of his mouth I said “Great!  Tell the Nurse!” and as fast as two syllables can be uttered, Benjamin became Benjamin Brolin Bush.  I love it.  It’s original, I dig on the alliteration, and it’s not Danger.  Perfect.

Ben is only two, but so far his name has held up pretty well.  I can easily call him by both first and middle when trying to get his attention and add in the last seamlessly when he’s in big trouble.

List of weird pet names I call my kids
(you know you do this too)

  1. Sugar Pot
  2. Boo Boo
  3. Ben 10
  4. Si Si the Science Guy
  5. Rooter
  6. Booger

“It is a word. Words are pale shadows of forgotten names. As names have power, words have power. Words can light fires in the minds of men. Words can wring tears from the hardest hearts. There are seven words that will make a person love you. There are ten words that will break a strong man’s will. But a word is nothing but a painting of a fire. A name is the fire itself.”

– Patrick Rothfuss, The Name of the Wind


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One thought on “The Name Game

  1. Reading this reminds me of when my hubby was loving the name “Seamus” because of his Scottish heritage.

    This was before we knew if we were having a boy or a girl, and I just remembered thinking, “Maybe we’ll have a girl and NEVER have to have this argument about why I think that name is the worst ever.”

    Then we had a boy, but John Theodore won out. (Praise the Lord.)