Saturday, January 19, 2008

What's in a name?

Ceasar Augustus Thibodeau?

Well, we know we're having a boy now so that pretty much leaves picking a name as the only remaining loose end. Picking a name for your baby is a huge deal. Think about it; the name you give your unborn child is something he will carry for his entire life. So how do you go about picking a name? One obvious way is name your son after yourself. For those who don't know, I am a junior, named after my dad. When I was younger, I had always thought that I would do the same and carry on the tradition. This changed very quickly when I was in college and got a crash course in the dangers of being a junior - I filled out one of those credit things at Sears for the free gift and neglected to put the "JR" after my name on the application form and was subsequently greeted with a phone call by my father who spent the better part of 5 minutes cursing at me for ruining his credit rating. I decided right then that I would never give my son my name.

We picked the X Man's name rather quickly. My heritage is French Canadian so I kind of wanted to give my son a French name but the problem was that I hate most of them - Pierre, Francois, Jacques...they all sound pretentious. So I was in Germany for a class, perusing the internet sites for baby names but finding nothing. Frustrated, I slumped in my chair and asked my buddy Paul Granneman, "What the hell am I going to name my kid?" It was rhetorical but without missing a beat, Paul quickly replied "Xavier". I knew right away that he was right. I loved it. Surprisingly the wife did too and the legend of the X Man was born. We were living in Italy at the time so I also wanted an Italian name so we went with the most famous Italian of all time; Michelangelo.

And now it's time to do it all over again. We were both kind of hoping for a girl this time (actually, the wife was REALLY hoping for a girl) so we already had a name picked out: Scarlett Reagan. However, we hadn't really thought about boy's names so we currently have none. We don't really have a system for picking names so occasionally one of us will throw out a name and see if the other person likes it. The problem is, while we both agreed on Scarlett pretty quickly, we've yet to find a boy's name that both of us agree on. For my part, I would really like to give our second son a prolific name, a name of someone who has made an indelible mark on history. My favorites are Augustus, Ceasar (or the Italian form, Cesare, a very popular name in Italy), Napolean, Fausto, Romulus, Constantino, Hannibal, Ulysses. Those are names destined for greatness. Naturally the wife hates all of these.

I wonder how she would feel about "Manny Papi Larry Brady Moss Cam Bobby Beckett Curt Raymond Ted Youk Pedro Wes McHale Garnett Yaz Thibodeau"?


Anonymous said...

G-I-N-O. italian..destined for greatness..great dancer...ladies man

stormblade said...

My free advice this time Rik is not to name the boy - so much as give him initials. There are tons of famous and powerful people who had real names but no one knows them - they know them by their initials. Why not skip all the name stuff and just give him some good solid letters for first and middle names?

Do I need to cite come famous/powerful people with initials? Here we go ( and this list is by no means comprehensive):

J.R.R. Tolkien - very famous writers and English scholar
F.D.R. - Roosevelt, that was a real man
H.R. Haldeman - well, on second thought skip that one
J.F.K - no explanation necessary

Just a random thought from me to you...

Anonymous said...

H.R. Puffenstuff
P.T. Barnum
C.C. Sebathia
J.J. Abrahms
M.C. Hammer
T.R. Knight (?)
B.B. King
E.E. Cummings
T.S. Eliott
J.H. Christ
K.C. and the Sunshine Band
S.S. Minnow
W.W. EyeEye
O.O. Thibodeau!

ethib said...

"Naturally the wife hates all of these"

I suspect any woman would hate naming her son 'Hannibal".
Normal names. Look into them.

Rik said...

Well, don't forget that what might be considered "abnormal" where you live is considered normal here. For example, many people I know here in Germany like most of the names that I listed. When we were in Italy last weekend, I rattled off the list to our old friends and neighbors there and they loved most of them as well. For someone as well traveled as you, your comment about "normal names" kind of surprises me to be honest.

But I'll give you Hannibal, that was a bad choice. I was thinking of the lofty General rather than the serial killer from the movie.