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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Namesakes and Intentions

Naming baby after aunts, brothers, grandparents, is a pretty common occurrence. Occurring just as frequently is the namesake dilemma - you absolutely love your great Aunt Dolores Maud, but the name sounds old and you can't get over the Seinfeld Reference. Still, you really want to honor her, what options do you have? Opinion on this varies widely, and I am going to diverge from some of my fellow baby name bloggers on this one. To me, namesakes are all about intention. Names, after all, are part of the narrative of our lives, they carry the meanings we give them. Therefore, if the narrative of your daughters name is "Oh! Her name is Lori after her Great Aunt Dolores!" or even "We named her Molly! We combined her Great Aunt's first and middle name to get it - Dolores Maud." Or perhaps "We named her Desiree Monique, we wanted her to have the same initials as her Aunty Dolores Maud." To me, all of these are namesakes, they honor the person they are intended to honor because they tie the narrative of the child to that relative. The child will grow up knowing her Great Aunt was special to her parents, incorporating her Great Aunt's name into her life, and that is what namesakes are all about.

What do you think? Is it the name itself or the namer's intention that makes for a namesake?

1 comment:

  1. I think it's the intention. I was named Allison after my great-grandmother Alameda. Obviously not the same name, but the intent is there.