Sunday, January 31, 2010

What's in a Name?

Ever since I began blogging, I have thought about using creative nicknames for my children (like MckMama does). Hers are great because she has the whole "McK" think going on, and the McDonald's food theme . . . cuteness.

I thought of Special K for Kate, for a variety of reasons based on how special she is, and then some other cereal for Sam. Froot Loop? Oatmeal squares? Rice Chex? This options are endless.

I could use their, hmm, what are they, stage names? The Noodle and the Belle. They both have bucket loads of nicknames to choose from. For a long time after Kate started talking, she didn't say Sam's name. Our theory was that she didn't know his name because we called him all manner of other names. Dude. Buddy. Bubbaloo.

I always loved the name Sam, so when we found out our baby was a boy we knew that's what we'd name him. Samuel means asked of God, which he was. And he's such a cool dude, Sam fits him perfectly. His middle name is my father-in-law's name, Frederick.

We had a much harder time coming up with a name for Kate. I always loved Kate, too, and had a wonderful friend in college named Katey. She still is a great friend (although I am more humble . . . you had to be there) and I liked that naming my daughter Kate would be a tribute to her and to that time of wonderful, intense, loving, lasting friendships.

But. It was not to be so easy.

We have close friends of Craig's family that named their daughter Kate about 8 months before our Kate was born. They are missionaries to Papua New Guinea. My argument to Craig was this: they are about as far away as you can get without starting on your way back, so it's fine if we both have a Kate.

He liked Marin. I tried out Isolde and Carolina. Finally we sat down (at Federal Jack's) and made lists and talked about it. He agreed that I could have Katherine (Kate) if he could pick the middle name (her name was to be Katherine Anne because Anne is a family name on both sides).

He chose Isabelle.

I wasn't big on it at first (and would have vetoed it posthaste if I had known my sister liked Belle for a girl and was going to name her baby girl Bellencia) but then looked it up and it means "devoted to God" or something like that (I think it's a sad commentary on how lazy I am that I don't save this post, open another window, and google it, but hey. Limited time here). But we didn't officially decide until after she was born. Her hospital bracelet says "baby girl Leland" because we didn't decide right away. But she looked so much like Sam, and the names go well together, so we finally had a name for her.

So very often she's Katey Belle (and even though they live 900 miles away [give or take], my sister's baby calls herself Belle Belle), or KateyB, Katrina, Katrin, K.B., Katarina. One time we were out somewhere and I admonished her "Katherine Isabelle!" and this lady turned her head and said, "that's a beautiful name," which amused me to no end that Kate was being wild child and I was attempting to get her under control and the thing that got this lady's attention was how much she liked Kate's name.

She objects to names like "angel baby" or "sweet girl." NO, she protests, my name is KATE.

She also has a rap name, Tenacious K.

Sam has been variations on peanut: peanut butter pie, peanutter butter, Mr. Peanut Butter Pie. Also little man, love bug, noodle doodle, Sammy Noodle, Angelus, dudealoo.

Now that you know the entire story of how their names were chose and what their names and nicknames are, I guess the point of "disguising" them with clever names is moot. I'm still going to work on a cereal for Sam, though. Maybe.

Alright. I did just google "name meanings Isabelle" and found one site that said "My God is a vow" which is not what I thought, but the other site said "God's promise" which is more along the lines of what I thought it meant.


  1. and Sam is such a little dude! Name fits him perfectly!

  2. I love all the nicknames. I have many for Belle too. Baby duck, bug face, skinny pete, love bug. Anywho, I love that you called Sam, Angelus.
    You should go with that one for the blog. Ha ha ha, and Kate can be Drusilla. She is the nutty one.