Naming a Person

Friday, February 28, 2014

At the beginning, when my uterus was still pretty small but I made up for it in bloating, Bryan and I went out for burgers. It was an incredible evening in which I was not repulsed by food, so I had to work really hard to not consume all of it in under five minutes. We started talking about baby names, which wasn't unusual because I've basically done it on every date we've gone on since we started goin' steady. It usually ends just as quickly as it began, because we don't agree on any names and then I spiral into despair at the thought of having a nameless human.

That particular evening in a miracle of the Lord, we chose a boy name and a girl name for our tiny fetus. We knew we wanted to find out if said fetus was a girl or a boy, and call them by name as soon as possible. They were names I'd had my heart set on for years and suddenly, Bryan loved them too. I think we were both dumbfounded, because it was so easy and that doesn't seem like something that should be.

We were really excited with our choices.

Our requirements were that they'd be strongly masculine or feminine.We didn't want anything that was too trendy, (because life is confusing being in a classroom with ten other kids with your same first name), but we also didn't want to sway so far in the other direction that our child resented us forever for naming them Bookshelf Dorsey.

Since neither of us are in the habit of keeping exciting things to ourselves regarding this pregnancy, we told our family right away. When we found out it was a little girlfran, we were basically ready to monogram everything.



Imaaaaaagine our surprise when, a little over a month later, Disney (FREAKING DISNEY) released a supremely cute movie just in time for winter called Frozen. That is all fine and well. Disney releases a lot of cute movies. Imaaaaaagine our surprise when one of the princesses in the movie shares the name of our unborn daughter. The name we chose so carefully and loved because every new baby doesn't have it, and it's beautiful and simple and strong.

In most instances, many people might have just chosen a different name and moved on. We definitely still have time to do that. The thing is, as soon as we found out she was a girl, we called her by name and really can't bring ourselves to imagine her as anything else. So we're keeping it. We will persevere through every assumption that we named her after a Disney princess, and I will pray every time we go into a mall that she doesn't lose her ever-loving mind when she walks by the Disney store and sees dolls with her name on them. At least we know what we can get her for Christmas every year until she's like ten, right? Maybe we'll get her little name cards to hand out to people that say, "No, I was not named after the queen of Arendelle. My parents named me before that movie." Maybe it really just won't matter in a few years. Maybe it will be on every monogrammed Pottery Barn Kids catalog from now until the end of time. OH WELL. Maybe I just need to let it go. (<--SEE WHAT I DID THERE?)

We love you, Elsa. I hope your hair is as great as your forever assumed namesake's.


Tell me about your name or your babies' names. Is your name Bookshelf and you really love it? 

38 comments:

  1. So let me tell you the ridiculous (at least I think so) of how I got my name! My mom had an emergency c-section about 2 weeks before my due date and so she hadn't decided on a name yet. Well then finally it was getting time to take me home and she STILL hadn't decided on a name! So her, my grandma and my grandpa, write 3 names down on a piece of paper and draw one from a hospital water jug. It had been my grandpa's choice. It was his favorite soap opera character's name. I rarely come across any other Trista's, except for that one Bachelorette. And it's often mispronounced/misspelled but I still love it. :)

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    1. Ahhhhh ahahahaha oh my gosh that is completely amazing. I wish I could have witnessed that naming ceremony taking place. I love that your mom just went with it! You rock it, girl.

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  2. I have a friend who named her daughter Marli right at the same time as the Marley & Me movie came out. She was worried about it for the same reasons as you, however it only lasted about a minute that people said anything. Interestingly enough a few months later we had our first daughter (and her name was also picked out since the positive pregnancy test and also kept a secret!)...Marlo. You chose a perfect name, rest assured ;)

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    1. I love all your baby names! (Especially Marlo). I am super impressed you were able to keep the name a secret the whole time. Have you done that with every pregnancy? ALSO, I just realized that when I left Facebook you had two kids, and NOW YOU HAVE FOUR. You're amazing.

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  3. My mom named me Jessica because she thought it was beautiful, unique, and old fashioned. Little did she know it would become the most popular name, like, ever. Growing up, my two best friends were also named Jessica. It doesn't bother me though, I have fallen in love with my name. Everybody calls me Jess anyways, which has only recently become a problem since New Girl has become the show of all shows. Everyone makes Jess jokes but she basically copied me, glasses and all.
    I wrote down the names of my future babies in a journal when I was like sixteen and still love them to this day. My sisters always try and get me to say them out loud but I won't because they are a bunch of copy cats and I know they'll steal them.
    Your little Elsa will be beautiful, have a killer head of hair, and be smart just like her momma. Can't wait to see her!

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  4. Picture it. 1987. The year of glory. My sweet mom, pregnant, doodling names on her trapper keeper. (I don't know why she would have a trapper keeper at 26, but this is how I imagine it..) Desiring to be trendy and romantic, she decides to combine her name with my dad's. M (for Michele) + Andy (for Andrew)= Mandy. Voila! No, no. My dad is not a fan. She goes back to the trapper keeper and decides R (for my sister Rian---named after a soap opera, might I add) + Andy -y +i (to make it girly)= Randi. Cue a life of always being called Brandy and no key-chains with my name spelled correctly. I have met 9 male Randys (one being an uncle..that was confusing as a kid) and only one other Randi that was a girl. It was short for Miranda...not the same.

    Your story gives me hope. Clinton and I are on pretty opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to naming our spawn. I am hoping we can agree when the babes stop being fictitious.

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    1. That truly is glorious, and I totally lost it. Especially about the Trapper Keeper. I think if I even tried to make up a name completely Bryan would just be like, no you are absolutely insane. There are usually never any Fran keychains either. And my sister Camille definitely never had any luck with personalized keychains or tiny license plates at King's Island.

      Also I think when it came time that we actually had to choose a name, Bryan was more open to it because he realized he didn't come up with any on his own -- he was just vetoing all of mine. So eventually he was like okay tell me your list and we went from there. He still killed a bunch of my other favorites but I absolutely refuse to remove them from the list.

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  5. Elsa is a beautiful name and the name of my great grandmother, who was a truly amazing lady. Our fetal daughter is named Heidi, yes, after the book and I do hope she doesn't hate us for a lifetime of association with braids and dirndls, but it's her father's favorite book, so...

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    1. Heidi is such a good name! It's classic and somehow has made it through generations without being super popular which is crazy because it's such a good one. And do people even know about Heidi anymore? Oh my gosh that makes me want to watch the old movies.

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  6. Congrats Fran! I am very happy for you and your husband. I have never seen Frozen so I was not aware that it was a characters name. It's cute :)

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  7. I was ALMOST named Ariel. My mom says when I was born that she knew immediately that I wasn't an Ariel and I went nameless for 2 weeks before they landed on Lily. She was SO happy that she hadn't named me Ariel when the Little Mermaid came out just a year after I was born. Of course, today the world is swimming with Lilys under the age of 6 and Ariels are pretty hard to come by. Elsa is adorable, keep it!

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    1. Nameless for two weeks? THAT'S AMAZING. I feel like I would totally panic and just pick a name really fast.. -- that's total dedication. Lily is such a good name, and I think it totally makes a difference if you're in a different generation than the one when it's popular. Like there aren't many people our age named Lily and that's what's nice.

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  8. Elsa is such a perfect name and it's going to suit her beautifully. I have boy and girl names picked out already and Rob has agreed to half of them. Your story is inspirational.

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  9. Oh, I love it!! It's equally beautiful and unique! And, Frozen will fade in time. When we picked Sophie (and still at time), I worried so much about every little girl in her class having that name. Maybe they will. Maybe they won't. But, it means something to you, and it will to her, and I can imagine it will fit her perfectly! Sweet little Elsa!

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  10. My name is Bookshelf and I really love it

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  11. That is a wonderful name!
    We named our 2 month old girl Juniper Joy. Yes, after the tree and berries.

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    1. Hahah tree and berries -- I didn't even think of that. The first thing I thought was how sweet it would be that you could call her June. I love the name June!

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  12. I hate it when that happens. Our frontrunner boy name this last year was George. And then the baby prince of England was born. Luckily, we're having a girl.

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  13. My parents' names both start with J & they wanted their kids to all be Js too, so they named me after a foster child my great-uncle cared for. It's nice to know you were named after someone special, but my name was the top girls name of my birth year. I've got a bunch of nicknames, people call me by my last name or some shorter version of my first name so it's not terrible.

    Elsa is pretty and classic...not too long, and I don't see it being a fad. Congrats!

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    1. I always admire the people that commit to the one letter for all the names. It's dedication I don't think I have, but it's fun to hear about. And that's true about how even with your given name you have little control over what nicknames you'll eventually take on!

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  14. When my husband and I first starting dating we discussed baby names. Emma was at the top of this list. For him, he loved the sound of the name, for me, it was a homage to one of my favorite authors, Jane Austen. It was perfect. I debated changing it after I found out how popular it was, but really couldn't, it was the perfect name for our girl. And I honestly still love it. (And we don't know any other Emma's for as popular as it is!). Stay true to what you love. Elsa is beautiful !

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    1. Emma will always be a perfect name. I love hearing what a confirmation it was that it was right for her once you met her. That is so sweet and true!

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  15. I hadn't met a single other child named Lucy, even while we were pregnant. Since she's been born there's been soooo many and all around her age. We even had a guy approach us at the park to let her pet his dog, Lucy. Very random. We picked another popular name for this new one. My husband was dead set on Ava. Thankfully I steered him away from that, but I'm sure we'll meet plenty of Hannah's before it's all said and done.

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  16. Congratulations on choosing a name! I imagine this will be a difficult thing for my husband and I when the time comes. I was (am) a teacher so finding names that don't relate to former students is difficult and I have a feeling my husband and I will be on completely different pages.

    Elsa is a beautiful. It's pretty common in Norway (makes sense being that Frozen is based on Norway) but you're right, not particularly well known in North America.

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  17. i think there are some other princesses that will be getting less play this year if you want to try those names out? Ariel? Cinderella? Jasmin? I'll let you think that over.

    jk Elsa will be so perfect & fit your little bean like a glove!

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  18. I love it! Elsa is such a beautiful name and I'm sure she's definitely going to do it justice :)

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  19. I love the name Elsa too! It was on our short list for Simone. I feel you. If Tate had been born 3 weeks earlier he would have been named Quinn. 2 weeks before he was born the 2010 baby name stats were released and that freaking Quinn from Glee single-handedly changed a gender neutral name to the name of a beautiful singing cheerleader. Thanks a lot, pop culture.

    Elsa will rock her name, I have no doubt.

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    1. Okay, no joke -- Simone has been on my list for a while and I was so jealous you got to have one of your own! It sounds like we have really similar (SLASH, AMAZING) taste in names ;) Oh my gosh, pop culture really truly ruins naming humans. I still love the name Quinn, but I totally get it.

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  20. Love the name :) And if anyone tells you that you named her after a Disney movie, you should kindly let them know that Elsa is from Hebrew origin and has been around for centuries: http://www.thinkbabynames.com/meaning/0/Elsa

    She is going to be one beautiful lady!!

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  22. Elsa is my grandmother's name, and I love that name and have wanted to use it for years, so I'm right there with you in the "I totally picked it BEFORE Frozen!" camp. Good for you for going ahead and using it regardless. It's an awesome name! The Frozen references will definitely die down over time, and meanwhile, I bet your baby will love sharing a name with an awesome princess when she's a little girl. :)

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  23. This is a pretty fascinating comment thread. I love it.
    I want in on the fun
    I named my baby (Sullivan) after his grandpa's best friend growing up who drowned when he was 21.

    As for me, my mom named me Elena, but then started calling me Suzy (like the CCR song) as a nickname a few days after she had me. It stuck so bad that I didn't even know my real name till my kindergarten teacher told me it. I still go by Suzy.

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  24. Oh that is a beautiful name! :)

    My mum saw my name on a box of doctors gloves and on the letterbox in the movie Arachnophobia! Haha. I think it's pretty neat how names pop up when you least expect it :)

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  25. i actually dont think disney princesses end up name trends, do they? can't say i've ever met an Ariel or Belle in my lifetime :)

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  26. Three years ago when we were expecting our second child, we really, REALLY liked Elsa for a girl's name. And then my brother and his wife, who were expecting several months before we were, went and named their daughter Ella. Nooooo..... so Elsa's now out for us. Which hasn't mattered thus far, because that baby, like our first, and like our currently-cooking third, was a boy. I'm glad you're using the name. It's lovely, as I'm sure she will be. Best to you!

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  27. Born in '88 and named Lauren... like every other child for the next few years, it seemed like. I love my name, but I didn't love being Lauren 2, or Lauren H... ugh. So my criteria for my daughter's name was classic and not popular. Tricky, I know. We settled on Margaret. It's lovely and suits her as a nine month old and hopefully as the 40 year old kick-butt boardroom exec and then as an 80 year-old grandma with a posse of grandkids.

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  28. Elsa is thee prettiest name, frozen princess or beautiful baby girl :)

    We struggled with baby names because our styles are different. I preferred unique but easy names while he preferred traditional names. Mostly he spent 3 months vetoing everything I picked before I heard a name on the radio and he actually liked it, giving us Easton John (John after my dad) & thus giving us a naming tradition of me giving the first name and my husband picking the middle (so far, we only have 2 so...) with our second I fell in love with his name when I was about 6 weeks pregnant, had a nickname picked out already and my maternal instinct told me BOY BOY BOY! So Hudson William's name was a bit easier. :) I love baby names and the stories behind them!

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