Tuesday, June 10, 2008

What's In A Name?

One of the first things people ask me when they meet me for the first time is, "Is Star your real name?" Yes, it is. Then they want to know how I got my name, or if my parents were hippies. (I think they are referencing Moon Unit Zappa.) My parents were not hippies, they had a nice, 'normal' name picked out for me, I was supposed to be Julie, until I was born 2 weeks late, which happened to be on Christmas Day, December 25th. So, they decided they wanted a Christmasy name for me. So literally a star was born!

I have a good friend of mine who is getting ready to have her first child. And we were talking about Baby names the other day. And how it might be a good idea not to tell too many people what names you're thinking of because your bound to get an, "I never liked that name," or a "I knew someone with that name and they were a horrible person," etc.

When we were naming our kids I remember thinking 'this is a huge responsibility! This will be this child's name for their entire life, it is how they will be known.' That's a lot of pressure. John, my husband, didn't want a Jr., he thinks his name is too common. And I don't think it helped that he married someone who's dad, brother & nephew are named John as well. So as a newly married couple we talked about having kids & what we would name them, and we decided on Kyle Micah for a boy. (As a teenager I had a huge crush on a Phoenix Suns player named Kyle Macy, and John likes to tease people that his wife named his first born son after some old crush.) And then for our first born daughter, since John's middle name is Eric we decided to name her Erica Starr after the two of us. Though by adding a letter to each of our names, we were giving her, her own spelling.

So, a few years later our first child was born & it was a boy. Kyle. Then 16 months after that, we had our second child, another boy. Oh, wait we already used our boys name! We had a hard time finding another name we both liked, we wanted something that sounded good with Kyle, so out came the baby name book. I love knowing where a name originated & what it's meaning is. We came up with a name we thought sounded good with Kyle so, I looked up the meaning. Now Kyle means 'Handsome', and 'from the straight'. This second name (name has been withheld to protect the innocent) means crooked nose. How could we tell one son, you are handsome and the other you are crooked nose? So, we decided against that name. Back to the drawing board. Then I found the coolest name I'd ever heard. I thought this is a great name for a child, a teenager, and an adult. Cause you need to think about it at every stage in life. (Can you imagine meeting a woman business executive or a lawyer named Buffy?) I wanted to name our son Canyon. John however thought the coolest name I ever heard was the weirdest name he's ever heard. So, as you can tell we got all the way to Z's before we found the perfect name. Zacheriah. Which means 'God has remembered'.

And when it came time to name our twins, I knew I didn't want 'twiny' names like Missy & Sissy. But, I did want names that flowed well together. We stuck with Erica, so we needed a name that went well with that. Then I heard Alexia, and fell in love with it. So, we have Erica Starr and Alexia Jewell. And one day I had had about all the kicking in my womb I could handle. And I was thinking about their names. Erica means 'Brave ruler', and then I realized Alexia means 'defender of mankind'. And I thought no wonder they are kicking each other so much, Erica's trying to rule & Lexi's just defending herself!

I like unusual names. Especially for girls. I think boys might not fair as well with too unusual of a name. My dad was a big Johnny Cash fan and now thanks to his grandpa, my son is. But I'm reminded of the Johnny Cash song "A Boy named Sue." Now, you don't want your child to be one of five kids in their class at school with the same name. But you don't want them made fun of their whole life either. And just know that if you name your kid a unique name, or give them an unusual spelling of their name, that they will never find their name on a souvenir key chain, Christmas ornament, coffee mug, etc. And trust me they will look and be disappointed when they don't see their name. You will have to special order anything with their name on it. With us, Zach may see his name but, it's always spelled with a K, we spell it with a H. And the closest Alexia usually finds is Alexis. And of course my name is never their either. Though right now is a good time to be named Star, because I can walk into any teenage girl shop & find t-shirts and jewelry with stars on them, cause there hip, for now anyway.

Put some thought into what your naming your child. What's cute or funny to you now, might not be to them when they have to carry that name around for the rest of their life. My maiden name was Fink. (yes you read it right!) and when my mom was pregnant with me my dad told her he was going to name me Ima. Ima Fink. Nice huh?! Luckily for me he was just joking. I don't know if Star Fink was any better. But, with a name like Star people never paid much attention to my last name. Which was a good thing, because if you notice, Star spelled backwards is Rats! ; )


Anonymous said...

Very good idea's for helping me choose a name. But I still have no idea what to name her. I guess I will start with a name book and start with the A's.


Marissa said...


That was hilarious and fun to read! Thank you for your honesty and your humor. You're right, we can't take life too seriously but just have fun and trust in the Lord while we're on this short journey here on earth. I applaud you for responding to God's call by putting together this blog.

Thank you for sharing your heart. You are definitely a "STAR!" In fact, I give you 5. :)

Love your sister in the Lord,


Michele said...

True to your blog, you have me laughing! I love your tale of finding names for your kids! I am still chuckling to think of Zach as "Canyon".
Thank you for doing this-another way for us women to open up to one another and communicate!

Anonymous said...

We like different names too. Our goal was for our children to NEVER be able to find their names on those little license plates at Disneyland. :o) We did good with Larisa (La-reesa) and Keeve. But we lived in Northern Canada when we named Austin. It was unheard of up there.... then we moved to Arizona... Oh well. One kid has the little license plate.
Blessings, Linda