There are so many websites and books dedicated to baby names. The catalogues of names are so vast and varied and are in so many languages. Each name, really almost no matter which you choose, probably has ten or more different meanings depending on where you’re from. This is why in naming my first daughter, my partner and I wanted to keep it simple. But we wanted it unique enough that she could own it without feeling like she might be confused with someone else.
The worst part about having a common name is that as you get older you hear it more and more. For some people, it doesn’t bother them at all. For example, Richard is an extremely common name. But oddly enough, I didn’t know that many Richards growing up, only one or two when I was in school. Richard means “king,” and people making the joke “King Richard” never bothered me - in fact, I liked that. I didn’t care for “Richie Rich” when I was younger, but now I don’t mind it. I’d love to be Richie Rich! With all that money to do whatever I wanted - okay, fine with me! Really, it never bothered me having a common name. That is, until recently.
It seems like every single day I hear about a Richard. There’s one hosting a show we just watched. Or there’s a Richard convicted of some serious crime on one of those true crime shows. Richard, Richard, Richard. Ugh. I believe it’s only started mattering to me since I wanted to try so hard to not have Nova Skye deal with that same issue. You really don’t run into a Nova every day. In fact, there aren’t even that many online - and most of those that are use Nova as a pen name! The name Nova also has several great meanings - “new” and “young” being the Latin definitions, and “chases butterflies” in Hopi Native American. The last one I particularly like.
But it’s interesting to consider what significance the names that parents give their children have to those giving them. Names are extremely powerful - it’s been proven on so many different levels. Nova is a new beginning in my life. Her being born is going to take me back to my own childhood. Fortunately, I had a really good one, and I want her to enjoy the same good things that I had, too. Having a child should make you feel young again - though, it sort of makes you feel old at the same time. I’m actually a few years older than my parents were when they had me, so I kind of am having a late start. What I know is that my name definitely had a positive effect on me. I want Nova to have a cool name, but one that will set her apart. I want to preserve her uniqueness. When you start hearing your name used for other people all the time, it does something to you. I’m not going to launch a huge scientific mission into the matter or anything, but that’s what I’m trying to avoid altogether. I want Nova Skye to own her name forever.
You may wonder why we chose “Skye” as the middle name. It’s common enough, right? Well, the two names go well together. The combination offers a certain flair. See, there is sort of a selfishness that you have to overcome when you’re naming a baby. You have all of this power, more than you realize at first when you play the name game. I’m actually shocked how easily my partner and I came to an agreement. We chose from a list that she’d narrowed down, and we each had the same favorite. She wanted something Native American, too. When you come to a decision that quickly, you pretty much have to go with it. My second choice was Xylophonia. But I wanted to spell it Zilophonia. Actually, that was just a joke. I didn’t have a second choice. I stuck on Nova as soon as I read it on the list.
I highly, highly doubt most people have that easy of a time. What I do want to say, though, is don’t just blast people for not being creative by choosing a relatively common name. People put a lot of thought into their decisions… I hope. Like I’ve never been crazy about naming a child junior, but there’s something about the continuity of juniors that has always fascinated me. It can be both good and bad. There’s good and bad about whichever name you choose. Some clever fool out there will make a joke about it. But the less you hear a name, if it’s easy to spell and say, you’re probably safer. That was my thinking. That and Nova is an awesome name. Please don’t steal it.
On that note, people do like to “steal” names that sound good to them. You can name your child whatever you want. But I urge anyone about to name a child, or considering assisting someone with naming a child, to really put a lot of thought into it. You’re in control of the kid’s future. No matter what you choose, keep in mind what effects it will have. While I don’t understand all of the ins and outs about things like numerology, I definitely keep them in mind whenever I name a character in one of my stories and especially in this case. Those things end up being pretty darn accurate, so definitely consider them in your naming process. Research names thoroughly. Even as quickly as we settled on Nova Skye, I did a lot of digging before we absolutely decided on it. There’s no right or wrong answer, really, and snap decisions on naming are not necessarily wrong, either. I just want to be clear about my thoughts on the naming process.
I’d love to hear the story of how you were named, or your children were named. Or, how would you name a child? I’d love to hear your thoughts.