Why Nameberry Will Eat Your Soul

4 years ago



My husband and I are expecting a baby boy in February.

We are very excited about having another little cocktail of our DNA to raise. We DO enjoy this parenting thing — even though I dream of the day when the kids have flown the nest, and Ernesto and I can move into DC, and get this super way cool apartment in like — I don’t know — fucking Dupont or something (because we’d be rich — because we wouldn’t have extra mouths to feed. shit, never mind –we’d have college tuition, but whatevs, right?) So yeah, we’d be living the life in Dupont or something and we could walk to some cute little restaurant and catch a movie every night without a fucking care in the world because WE’D HAVE NO KIDS TO WORRY ABOUT.

No, but really. I DO enjoy this parenting thing.

So. The baby. That’s due in February. Totally excited about that.

And of course, one of the many exciting things of adding a new cocktail of DNA to the gaggle of cocktails we already have, is naming the little guy. And before we found out we were having a boy, I had the cutest girl name picked out OF ALL TIME.

Penelope June. (aka Penny June)

Nickname: P.J. or just Penny

I mean, doesn’t that name fucking kill you? Kill you with total twee? But an awesome kind of twee?

But alas.

We were reassured by the sonogram technician that we were having a boy. Which I’m thrilled about, of course. But then we really had to focus on finding a boy name. And nothing seemed to clique.

At first we thought we’d go classic — like Henry. Yeah. We totally were digging Henry at first. Henry James was gonna be his name. I mean, it’s such a smooth, classic name. A nice name. Not trying too hard. The name of a true gentleman.

Cool. Okay. Done.

Well… not quite. I woke up one morning and was like — this kid is soooo not gonna be a Henry. I don’t know, it was just a vibe that I got. Not that he wouldn’t be a gentleman or anything. Because he totally will.

So back to square one, we consulted a baby name book that we purchased at a used bookstore.

Let me say one thing about baby name books — they’re fucking awesome. Why? Because all those damn baby-naming websites are so overwhelming. Nameberry was starting to get on my nerves — and it was eating my baby-naming soul.

I was eating, sleeping and peeing baby names. I was getting Nameberry emails daily to notify me of the latest indie, hipster, vintage, twee baby names. It was like a black hole of fucking cuteness. I was obsessed, okay? Obsessed.

As an example, here is the list of boy names that I had saved on Nameberry. You’ll see that I was going slightly insane.

Mateo, Finn, Lucian, Paolo, Blue (yes, Blue), Vittorio, Rowan, Milos, Milo, Beau, Tennyson (fer serious), Luca (love), Soren (my brother’s name), Otis (ultimate hipster), Ives, Otto (love again), Etienne, and Mikko.


Most of these names (and I say most — not all) I would never bestow upon a child in real life — only in my insane imaginary Nameberry universe would I ever name one of my beloved cocktails Paolo Blue. I came to the conclusion that Nameberry wants to kill your spirit and replace it with manic pixie dream girl-like craziness.

Anyhow. Baby name books. They’re a bit saner. You open it. Browse. Doggy ear a few pages. Underline. Discuss. Put back on shelf. Repeat that a few times and you’re usually set. Ernesto and I found this process so much more pleasant. It was just nice to sit on the cozy couch, next to the warm table lamp, reading off names, smiling, laughing, and taking a serious moment to ponder. You know. It was like sharing a moment and shit.

After a few rounds of this, we came up with a name combination that — well ok — comes straight from my Nameberry list. I know. I KNOW. But the book really helped us relax and narrow it down. Our boy is gonna have an Italian name. Like an INSANELY Italian name. It’s so Italian that when we mention the name to people, their eyes grow big and they take a step back — that’s how fucking Italian it is.

But whatever. My husband’s Italian so it’s a total winner.

So there you have it. In the end Nameberry ate my soul, but ended up giving me a name — in a roundabout sorta way.

Read more of my amazing, groundbreaking thoughts at motherhoodismagic.com

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