Pleased to meet you my name is Susan Mary Margaret Patricia *cough, splutter* but you can call me CherrySue. Partially because I am loathe to tell people my plethora of names but mainly because that’s how online folk know me. I have a feeling with the recent spate of celebrities and ‘laypeople’ bestowing their babies’ with outlandish monikers that that’s a trend that’s set to continue.
My younger sister, Corrina, had serious difficulty with her name in her teenage years. Her reasoning being that she would never be able to get a necklace with her name on it – seriously. She went to the extent of informing us that her name would be Sandra, in her reckoning a nice normal name. She bought herself a nameplate for our bedroom door with a swirly Sandra painted in flowers. That was a short lived boycott; she’s happily Corrina again & has even since found a gold necklace with her name. Little did she realise how lucky she was considering Harper Seven Beckham, Fifi Trixibelle Geldof or even Reign Beau Rhames. Sweet Lord.
I’m not saying it’s easy to choose a name for your bundle of pink loveliness when they arrive. Pour over baby name books for eight or nine months if you will but even then it’s tough. My youngest didn’t have a name for two weeks as we just couldn’t seem to find the right fit. Swatting away suggestions of Paul or William as being ‘too old fashioned’ but settling on Adam (?!). Ah the reasoning of a 19 year old.
Growing up catholic in Ireland you get one golden opportunity to pick a name for yourself at Confirmation. For my entire sixth class I had my mind set on Ruth, I thought it was so exotic, so unusual. I didn’t count on our religion teacher vetoing exotic and/or unusual names (This still irks me) and landing me with the very holy but in my mind unholy Mary. Mary?!?
We gave both boys their Grandparents names as middle names, which I thought was nice. The boys however curl they’re lips when asked for their full names, you can’t win. I’ve told them middle names are a child’s way to tell they're in trouble so they should never need to hear them!
A good friend of mine is expecting her first baby now and himself wants to use his late mother’s first name. She is adamant it’s not going to happen as it’s not a nice baby’s name, his argument being ‘Mammy was a baby once too you know’ her argument ‘Indeed she was, in the 1940s’. A middle name is the compromise.
Mammies or Daddies never can tell if a name will suit their child though as they grow into the people and personalities that they’re destined to be, take for example the invitation I saw scrawled on a toilet stall wall - For a good timecall Chastity Williams (number supplied). I have a feeling Mammy or Daddy didn’t see that one coming.