This blog has moved! Please join us over at!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Baby Boy Anselmo

Barbara writes:
My husband and I are expecting our second & final child, a boy, on September 26th and we can't seem to settle on a name. I am hoping you and your readers could help us out because there are so many Issues with naming this child that it is making my head spin.

Issue the First:
Initially we had assumed that if this child was a boy we would use either one of two names
Leo Joseph, named for both of our grandfathers, both deceased
Simon Edward, named for both of our fathers.

I truly love BOTH these names. However....our last name is Anselmo. I cannot decide if I love Leo enough to overlook double O endings. As for Simon Edward....I'm fearful that there would be Hurt Feelings over this one. For one, his father's name is actually Eduardo (Portuguese). For another, his father's name would be "only" the middle name and my father's would be first and I can see my MIL getting in quite a tizzy over that.

Issue the Second:
Our daughter's name is Madeleine Danielle. (Only Madeleine...never Maddie) She is not named for any family members. I feel like it is weird to use a family name for one child but not the other. But we have lots of really nice male names in the family and terrible female ones.

Issue the Third:
I do not love Madeleine's name. It was on a list of about ten that I was okay with naming her that I, frustrated with Hubs, gave to him to choose from. It was not my favourite. I will feel a bit resentful if this child also winds up with a name I feel kind of "meh" about.

Issue the Fourth:
This is the BIG Issue for me....our little boy's in utero nickname is Fred. We have all been calling him Fred since before we knew he was a boy, even. Now I actually LOVE the name Frederick (the in utero nickname came about partly because my family mocked me SO mercilessly for saying I liked Frederick). My husband most decidedly does not like it. I have no problem compromising on names but there are currently no frontrunners and so Fred is still Fred and I am worried I will not be able to call him anything else soon.

Our short list is currently Nathaniel, Leo, Simon, Felix, Desmond and Donovan.
My husband likes Felix best, which is weird since that's not his naming style at all.
I don't mind Felix terribly but am not crazy about it either. My favourite name so far has been, sadly, Frederick.

I also really, really love Elliott but hubs vetoed that one.

Other names that have been vetoed are Jeremy, Isaac, Ezra, Isaiah, Oliver, Henry and Jean Luc. They were all names I LOVE but DH doesn't. He has never suggested a name therefore NO names he loves are on the veto list.

Um, what else? Oh...if this baby had been a second daughter we would have likely named her Natalie.

I will give you a clue as to how dire the situation is: our daughter has long insisted a baby boy should be called Matthew. Neither Hubs nor I hate it but neither of like that it is so common either. We are, however, so absolutely tired of discussing baby names that we have seriously considered letting the FIVE YEAR OLD name the baby.

(If we choose a name that doesn't automatically come with a middle name ie Leo, Simon, I'd like to use Matthew as a middle name)

Sorry for the novel. But there are just so many things BOTHERING me about naming this baby and I really wanted you to have all the info. Thank you so much for your help.

OH! A fellow fan of Frederick! I reallllly like that name. Two of the names on my own list are Simon Frederick and Oliver Frederick.

We need to summon your husband. Call him over. Here is his assignment: he needs to give serious thought to his family, since he's the one who knows them best, and he needs to tell us if, for example, his parents might be happier with no namesake at all rather than a middle/changed name namesake. Some parents would go one way on this and some would go another. And Simon Frederick Anselmo would be a terrific name, and would let you have Frederick and even still call him Fred sometimes as a nickname. And it's a pleasing naming story.

Which grandfather is your husband's, Leo or Joseph? Another option would be to use that as the middle name instead of Edward. Simon Leo, or Simon Joseph. Then instead of one father getting higher billing than the other, it's the nearer generation ranking over the farther---and yet still one name from each side of the family. (Plus, let's remember that the surname is from your husband's side of the family.)

Another option is to use Eduardo instead of Edward. It may grow on you with time, and it may improve the situation with the in-laws. Simon Eduardo Anselmo. In that case, it could be argued that "Eduardo Anselmo" is more than half the name and also both your father-in-law's names, so it's nicely balanced with just one of your father's names in the first-name position. You could even have your husband frame it that way: "We named him Simon Eduardo Anselmo---Eduardo Anselmo after you, dad, and Simon after Barbara's dad." Plus, that arrangement of names avoids any confusion there might have been if there were two Eduardo Anselmos in the family.

I think it's okay to have one child with family names and the other without, though I feel the same way you do about it. We have a similar situation in our family, with all four of the boys having one family name, and two of the boys ALSO having the names of friends of ours, and our girl having no family or friend names. I thought it would bother me, but it only bothers me a little teeny bit, and only when I'm telling someone my kids' names and I'm saying "Rob, after my grandfather; William, after Paul's grandfather; Elizabeth....after nobody, we just liked the name...." and so on. But a lot of the time I'm just listing the names ("Rob, William, Elizabeth...") and it's not an issue anyway. AND, I do think that culturally it's understandable if a boy is named for family and a girl isn't, irritating as that tradition may be.

I like these three as finalists: Simon Frederick, Simon Leo/Joseph, and Simon Eduardo.


beyond said...

Hmmm. I really like Frederick too. From your short list, I love Simon and Leo. Great names. And I have to agree with pretty much everything Swistle says.
Good luck!

Lisa said...

I like Swistle's suggestions.

I just wanted to give my naming story for my 4th. The first 3 kids have names ending in "N" so we decided (on purpose) to find a name ending in "N" and had lists of them. The 2 older kids got stuck on the name Austin. They would say, "My baby brother, Austin is his name, ..." With all the time us telling them that might not be his name. So, still deciding up until the hospital and the birth, Austin got higher and higher on our list, it was familiar, we had heard it a lot, it wasn't a bad name. And that ended up being his name. And we love it, and it is a neat naming story.

So using Matthew would be a pretty nice tie-in to his bigger sister.

Good luck with all your naming issues! I can't wait to hear the final choice.

Kristen said...

I agree completely with Swistle. Using two family names would be great if you really love the names. You could even have your husband ask his family: We were thinking Simon Edward or Simon Leo/Joseph and let them help choose. But its his family, so your DH should be the "bad guy" and bring up the options.

I do not think there is anything wrong with a 5 year old helping with the name (unless she chose Dora or Elmo). Good luck and congrats on your baby boy!

Katie said...

As usual, Swistle is spot-on, great advice!
I like her suggestion of Frederick as a middle name.

Also, I think it's okay to have a sibling's input. My 5-year old son was very instrumental in naming his younger brother and he feels very proud of that and it's a great story.

Good luck to you!

Anonymous said...

I think that since your husband got to choose Madeleine, you should get to choose this name. Make him give you a list to choose from like you did for your daughter.
I personally LOVE the name Frederick.
Frederick Matthew would be cute, or Matthew Frederick. I think you should avoid family names if your daughter does not have any.
Just my two cents.
Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Regarding family names for some children and not others...

I am one of 4 children, and my 3 siblings all have family names but I don't. Instead of feeling left out, it has actually made me feel more special - my name was chosen simply because my parents loved it, not out of any sense of obligation. I like that it gives me a sense of their true naming style with no outside influences, and I've always been happy with my name. Just wanted to throw that out there!

Christine said...

I'm the oldest and my middle name (Ann) is after my Great Aunt, my sister's name is not tied to any family members and both my brother's first and middle names are after family members, and there has never been any issues as to our names.

That said, I really like Frederick with the middle name Matthew. You should totally sway your husband. Otherwise, I like Simon Leo/Joseph or Simon Edward/Eduardo and let your husband pick out the middle name (with his family's imput if he chooses.)

Good luck!

Mrs. Haid said...

I love your last name! I once had a summer fling with a guy named Michael Anselmo. I know Michael is a common name, but he was never a Mike, and I always called him MichaelAnselmo, like one word. I think its like Madeline Anselmo, and those names are very sweet together.

Best of luck with delivery!

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to chime in to second Swistle's point that your son will automatically be named after your husband's father and grandfather via his surname. I don't think your should feel bad about giving your side of the family the first name slot.

I also think Frederick is adorable, and letting your daughter give her brother his middle name would be really sweet also.

StephLove said...

I like Simon Eduardo and Swistle's reasoning behind it. Simon Joseph is very nice, too, though. For me it's a toss-up between those two. I have a boy who's named after a special place and a girl with family names (first and middle) and it's never been an issue.

Jan said...

I like Leo and don't think the double o is too much though I think Simon matches better with Madeleine. I think it's okay to only use one family name from either generation. I also think it would also be okay to not use any family names - go with Frederick Matthew!! Your families will get used to it.

The Mrs. said...

How awesome does 'Leo Anselmo' sound? It's international, smart, and, frankly, very cool. It's the sort of name that gets remembered after an interview. It could be the name of an inventer, rock star, bush pilot, or CEO.

All of your choices would make a good story... just pick whichever you love the most.

Best wishes to your growing family!

CC Donna said...

Why would your husband's family feel offended if the baby's first name is after your side of the family?! Both children carry their last name!

I personally feel that the woman's side gets the short end of the stick. Dear Abby, (or was it her sister, Ann Landers) had a great idea. Boys carry the father's last name and girls carry the mother's.

Anyway, My daughter gave her husband a baby name book, specifically the Baby Name Wizard, and paper and pen and to him to start coming up with names.

It helped with the deadlock and got them communicating but in the end one of Swistle's loyal followers recommended the winning name.

Anonymous said...

If you mix the syllables of Simon and Edward, you get something like

Edmund Seward

No chance you like either of those - or think name combining would appease the grandparental units?