Friday, June 13, 2008

A rose is a rose, and all that stuff

When people compliment you on your child's name, do you believe them? I always wonder if they are just being polite. We get lots of comments about Jo's name, most of them very nice with the occasional "oh, that's ... different!" or "oh, that must be a family name!" accompanied by an overly bright smile. Those I know are fake. The rest I usually believe are legitimate, but maybe they're lying too. I don't care because I love her name, but who doesn't like a little external validation now and again?

Opie's name is way more common (way way, much to my chagrin; husband prevailed on that one) and we get many fewer remarks. When we do, it's "That's my nephew's/friend's/neighbor's name" and not much else. The nickname, on the other hand, gets a lot of attention. And even a whole entire blog named after it.

Edited to add: I really don't have any qualms about Jo's name, or take any fake comments personally ... I'm more wondering what your take is! On Jo's name. No, just kidding. Your kids' names, and reactions thereto.

14 comments:

Kirsetin said...

I hear you - external validation (valid or not) really is nice every now and then. My guess is that you're right on target: there are probably lots of sincere people who really do like Jo's name, and a few random people who didn't learn to "just say nothing!" But from all of the names in the world, you picked the one you loved best for your girl, and one day, she'll love that about you.

Heather said...

Sometimes I hear a name and I don't really like it at first, but the names usually end up growing on me. I think it's because the name fits the child so well most of the time.

I'm sure there are people that think my kids' names are weird, but I don't care. (Well, not that much anyway.)

One of our neighbors asked what we named our new daughter and when we told him he said "Oh. I've never heard THAT name before," with a look of disgust on his face. He's never had kids and he's a little weird though so I don't care at all what he thinks.

mothergoosemouse said...

Anyone who says "Oh, that's...different!" or "Oh, that must be a family name!" about Jo's name is delusional. She has a fabulous, classic name, and the cutest (without being cutesy) nickname. You need external validation, you come to me. :)

Lady M said...

It's not a family name? I thought Opiesaurus and Mayberrisaurus soundeD great!

Kimberly said...

My first daughter's name - almost five years ago - was a classic that hadn't gotten much use, so we heard a lot of "oh that's such a lovely name. Haven't heard that in a while." Now, unfortunately, it's gained in popularity so we don't hear much.

My second daughter's name, by contrast, is very popular and was very popular when we picked it so we don't hear much about it. Which is OK. Because like you said, you can be 100% sure if the comment is genuine or not.

Mandy said...

I never wanted my kids to be one of the five "Christophers" or "Jennifers" of their generation.

But when we found out we were having a boy, it became readily apparent we didn't agree on any boy names. Now we've ended up with two of the most popular 5 names for 2000 to 20007: Nathan and Jacob.

Sigh. Oh well. I like the names now.

motherbumper said...

I generally get a positive reaction but mostly older people just go oh and hmmmm - not that it's different, it's just not common. When people see it in writing, about half say it wrong - and they way they pronounce it had never crossed my mind. Also people mishear it all the time which I usually find funny. Ask me again in a few years when she's in school, and I'm sure I'll have a whole other take.

the mama bird diaries said...

My older's daughter is named Dylan. And some people are like.. Oh... interesting. a girl? hmmm...

Lisa said...

My son's name isn't one of the most popular but it isn't out of the ordinary either. We've had two people think his name was "Zeth" tho. Of course they'd think that Zeth was "wierd". Not his name!

Lisa said...

P.S. That is SUCH an adoreable pic of your little girl!

Alex Elliot said...

My husband and I wanted to give our kids more common names so we both had the experience of the only of our names throughout school. However, because everyone now does unique names, their common names are actually very unique and a lot of the unique names are very common. While we love our kids names, the most common response is that "Oh that's my dad's name" which is what both my husband and I got growing up "That's my mom's name!".

Christina said...

Strangely enough, it's older people who hear Cordelia's name and tell us how pretty it is. Younger people are the ones to say, "Oh, that's an...interesting...name." Or they ask us if we named her after the character on Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Sigh. Some young people these days have no history or experience with literature.

Kimberly said...

Having chosen one of Lear's OTHER daughters (no, not Goneril, that WOULD be....interesting), I feel Christina's pain. I cannot tell you how many times my sweet girl gets compared to a US president rather than a classic Shakespearean villain in an average week.

Which still beats the endless "Teenage Witch" comments I got over Sabrina, though.

(Every time I hear Jo, I think Jo March. And what could be cooler than that?)

bethiclaus said...

My oldest daughter's name is pretty uncommon, even in Spanish. People constantly ask us what her name is. I used to just say Alli, because I didn't want to deal with it, but now that she's old enough to know what's going on, I use her first name, Alegria. I almost always get the question, "What do you call her?" Um? Alegria? I think they want to know what they can call her, but they should just ask that then. I named her, I'm pretty sure I'm comfortable pronouncing her given name.