Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Name Game

I love the name we gave our daughter. I think Elianna Irene is very pretty, but I’m having a bit of namers remorse. Everyone just assumes that she is named after my husband, Elliot, but that is not the case. He actually cringes at the thought of naming our kids after him. There won’t be any Elliot Jr’s in our future. For some reason the fact that people always jump to that conclusion makes me angry. Here is the story of how Elianna got her name.

Since we decided not to find out the sex of our child until their birthday, this made picking out names twice as hard. We obviously had to pick out both a boy and a girl name. Surprisingly the boy’s names came so easily. And I really wasn’t focused on the girl’s names since I was convinced I was having a boy. I mean I would have bet money on it. So, with a month left to go, we had narrowed our boy’s name list down to 1 (we were so set) and our girl’s name list down to about 10.

Once I was admitted we knew we had to pick a girl’s name and fast just on the off chance we were having a girl. All I knew was if we had a girl I wanted some form of Ann in the name. I wanted to name her in honor of my mom (middle name Ann) and my grandmother (named Louanna). My grandmother already threatened my life if I named my daughter Louanna. That is when I decided Ann as part of the name would be perfect. I love the idea of family names and neither of our families had any. We were starting a new tradition. We had every prefix before Anna you can think of, Lillyanna, Rehanna, Ilianna, etc. and then we also tried Ann as a middle name, Isabella Ann, Madison Ann etc. I was actually leaning towards Isabella when sitting in the hospital looking at our list Elianna popped out at me. (we found it on a baby naming site in which we viewed every name under every letter…exhausting). It had fallen out of our discussions, but there it was in my face. I said it out loud and we both knew that was the girl’s name. The middle name came just as strangely. We had only a few middle name suggestions, Ann and Grace. Well Ann was out for obvious reasons. So I said Grace is fine with me. To which my husband starting laughing hysterically and as I looked at him puzzled like he told me to think of her initials…E.G.G
Ok, I can’t have my kid’s initials be egg. We were stuck. We hadn’t talk about any other names, still thought it was a boy so no biggie, right? Then Elliot looks at me and says “What about Irene after my grandmother?” PERFECT! My great-grandmother’s name was also Irene. I couldn’t think of more fitting name than Elianna Irene.

To set the record straight: she is named after the women of both our families and not her dad.


  1. Picking names is fun and challenging at the same time.

    In my family (I have 7 siblings), the names for youngest several were chosen in a semi-democratic way. We'd suggest names and ones we liked and, of course, Mom & Dad had the final say. The youngest 2 even went for several days or longer without a name while we tried to find one we liked (they were also born at home, so I guess there wasn't as much pressure to *have* a name immediately). Plus, it was nice to get to know the baby a bit before sticking them with a name.

    We decided first initials should all be different (to help keep track of our stuff) and several of us have family names. I'd like to do something similar when I have kids.

  2. I love that name. I think you picked out a great one, though I understand the frustration when people assume you named her after Elliot.

    How wonderful to have her name represent so many family members!

  3. Her name is perfect and squishy just like she is. :)