Sunday, February 5, 2017

Why I Named My Kids Noah & Elias: It Had Nothing to do With Michael Buble

The naming of people is actually a subject that sparks passion and coaxes strong opinions out of me. I've been asked several times now why I named my sons what I did, so I thought I would discuss it in a blog post. There was no real formula, but there were definitely several lists!

There are many reasons under the sun why we in western culture, choose to name our offspring. It may be for traditional reasons, like how some Jewish and Greek people name their children using the first letter of either the paternal or maternal grandparents to name their babes; or simply naming your child after a beloved relative that has passed away.

Nowadays, there is definitely the pressure to make the right choice. In the past, there didn't seem to be any issues with naming all the boys John, Michael, and James. (All names I love!) There seemed to be a list of "good, strong" names and people stuck with them. Today, it's all about being different and original, which can sometimes get annoying, but I'm a traditionalist. Parents need to see the big picture and think long term. You have to understand that you might be setting your kid up for a lifetime of hearing, "I'm sorry, what?", or, "How do you spell that?" I'm not talking about names that are culturally diverse, I'm talking about naming your kids things like, "Ribbon" or changing the spelling to "Tyffini".

When we chose Noah's name, I think I was about 8 months pregnant. My husband had drawn up a list of ninety-eight boys names, I kid you not. Brendan is nothing, if not thorough. We quickly whittled that down to ten favourites. Up until that point, I had my eye on the top ten baby name lists for both Canada and America, and Noah had never made the top ten. 

It never made the top ten until the year that our Noah was born, when it shot up to number one, of course. My generation views naming your baby something off the top ten baby name list as somewhat unfavourable, I guess cause we're all a bunch of hipsters that want to be seen as original, who knows. 

We named Small Human, Noah Anthony, after my dad, and Brendan's maternal grandfather, two men we love and admire. The name Noah means, "rest; wandering" according to Nameberry, and Anthony means, "priceless one". Plus I kind of dislike nicknames, and you just can't shorten Noah, which I love.

We chose the name Elias Brendan, because Elias has always been my favourite boy name, after Liam and Aiden, but for a time, every child being born was suddenly named Liam or Aiden. I had gone to elementary school with a blonde American boy named Elias Johnson, who was kind and smart and handsome, and so the name has always been associated with those positive traits to me. It means "Yahweh is God" in Hebrew, and its nickname Eli, I love just as much as the full name. We chose Brendan for obvious reasons, but also to honour my aunt (Tita Brenda) who passed away in 2014. It also means "prince" in Irish. Quite fitting for the husband of someone named Elizabeth Victoria, no? ;) 

Noah and Elias must be good names, because hilariously, Michael Buble named his kids the exact same thing, right after we did. Our goal was never to be 100% unique, because playing that game gets obnoxious, but it was to give our boys names that they would be proud to introduce themselves with. Whether they are garbage truck drivers, astronauts, stay at home dads, or famous sports stars, I wanted them to sound respectable and have good names they could live up to, you know?

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