Soooo… what’s with the funky name?

Choosing a name is scary, and selecting something that fit our criteria was just about as painful as we had expected. In the end we short listed thirty names. Some were names of family members, others were names of people we found inspirational, and others were just names that had a nice ring to them. Now, surprisingly, getting to thirty was painful, but getting to within the legal limit (three names) and the correct sort order was actually not so bad.

We ended up giving each of the above names a trial run, and tested out which ones stuck. In France, you have to register your child within three days of birth, which didn’t leave us with a ton of time so we came up with the idea to change names every time he ate. He’d start as Hugo, finish as Felix, and change to Eli three hours later. This actually worked out really well. We quickly discovered that most of the names either didn’t fit the boy, or didn’t fit our mouthes. Felix, as it turns out, is actually a bit of a pain to say — try ripping it off thirty times, and then compare to something softer, like Eli. Hugo was nice, but didn’t fit with the last name, and Sarah felt bad saying ‘No’ to her son every time she called him Noah.

By the third day, we were sifting through the final five:

  • Theodore – A great name, used by great people. Very flexible in terms of nicknames later in life. 
  • Xavier – Leftover from a Patrick Stewart kick; this name came with French and English roots, but isn’t super common in either place.
  • Augustus – It rolls off the tongue as a middle name, and may lead to world domination leadership later in life. Also, shortens to Gus, in case he needs a more modest version.
  • Reuben – From my Grandfather, who fought in Normandy. The only French connection in my family until now.
  • Elliot – An unexpected hanger-on from early spring. Had a nice ring, and shortens to Eli, one of the other options.

A few hours later, when we announced that Baby X was going to be called “Xavier Elliot Reuben” one of our friends very astutely asked ‘Is that two middle names? Or two first?” Yeah, it’s two first. 😉 The final selection was pretty easy actually, we each had a favourite first name, and both agreed that Reuben was a stellar middle name. In the end, the final order really came down to practicality. Xavier suits the region, and is the only name on the list that won’t come with pronunciation trouble. At least here, Sarah’s Grandma can’t quite get the hang of it, so he’s Elliot to her.
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