What’s in a Name?

My daughter has a very unusual name.

I first came across her name while reading about a glamorous cosmetics magnate in my teens. The name just sounded perfectly rounded in my mind: timeless, classic yet new. I even wrote it down in a diary as a possibility for my future daughter.

When we found out I was pregnant with twins, Darcy and I made a bargain. We would come up with four names BEFORE the ultrasound that would tell us the babies’ sexes. These four names would cover the whole range of possibilities. I would then find out the sexes (as would everyone else, except my Dad) and Darcy would not. Darcy wanted to live the dream of the doctor telling him, “IT’S A (fill in the blank)!” But I needed to prepare.

There was a big caveat for the naming: at least one of the pair needed to be a traditional Hebrew name. We had already agreed on the top name for a boy. It was perfect because although it was not a Hebrew name (in fact it originates from England, as do I) a lot of Jewish men who immigrated to America from Eastern Europe adopted it. The name is a hybrid of many cultures, uniquely American in a way. We both loved it. And it suits my son to a T.

But, oy. That meant if we had boy/girl twins, we needed a traditional Hebrew name for a girl. There’s not that many women in the Torah. My favorite Matriarch name was unfortunately shared by an ex-flame of Darcy’s. (Rebecca, if you must know. I still love that name, but, no. I’ll never forget the time that Rebecca flat out HIT ON DARCY in front of me. I’m NOT MAD. Even 12 years later. Clearly.)

My brother-in-law happened to come over to our condo to watch sports while we were in the midst of thumbing through several different baby name books. It was coming down to the wire: we had a few days left. Someone called my BiL, and he spoke for a while to them. After he hung up, I asked him, “Who was that?” Because I am really nosy. And he answered with that name from my teens, which I instantly remembered. Darcy and I looked at each other and both said at the same time, “I LOVE that name!”

We looked it up immediately. Turns out it’s a traditional Hebrew name and it means “good.”

That was it.

It IS unique. Even though we go to a Jewish pre-school, almost no one (parents, teachers or children) in the class had ever heard the name. I usually have to explain it.

But it fits her seamlessly: she’s a sassafras, she’s feisty, she’s independent and yet she loves everything glamorous, she dreams of living in Paris and is smart as new paint.

I love her so, so much.



Filed under Family

15 responses to “What’s in a Name?

  1. She’s breathtaking.

    I’m sure her names is, as well!

  2. I love that story. Your daughter is just beautiful.

  3. Love the story of your daughter’s name and what a gorgeous photo of her!

    My children have fairly normal names, but they are still meaningful to us. We considered naming Abigail a much less common name, Maren (we would have pronounced it to ryhme with Karen), but in the end went with the name we would have given Sean if he was a girl. If we ever had another boy we likely would have named Brady. I love the name and it also is one of my favorite cousin’s names.

  4. Wow, she really is a beautiful child!

  5. Amy

    How adorable she is! What a great name story, too. I was torn between two names for Ike (short for Isaac, the other option was Benjamin) right up until they asked if we had a name for him after he was born.

  6. It is hard to read this without knowing your daughter’s name – now I really want to know! It sounds like a great name, from your description.

  7. What an adorable little girl! And like Deborah, I am very curious about the name. I have a few guesses…

  8. She’s so pretty and I love hearing interesting name stories like this! I was named after a song and I always dreamed of having a little girl named after a song too. When we started TTC, DH picked out the girl name we eventually used for Miss E but I wasn’t crazy about it at first. It grew on me, and eventually I realized the name was in one of my very favorite songs (but pronounced the French way whereas we say it the American way). Done and done.

  9. What a beautiful story. And an equally beautiful little girl.

  10. I *love* that picture, and the story. 🙂

    My daughter’s name is unusual, too, here, anyway … we usually have to explain that she’s not a boy, and that no, it’s not the girl version of the boy name. But her name suits her, too.

  11. I have a guess too. ; ) She’s adorable.

  12. I had to know so I looked it up and I love it! Her eyes are so deep and as Lavender Luz said, breathtaking.

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