Mini Austin is set to arrive in November, and while Chris and I have had a few baby names at the top of our list since, well, since we were dating, we decided to go back to the drawing board when it comes to choosing a Mini Moniker. All week long, we’ve been tossing names on the table with, “That’s interesting,” “I could get behind that,” and “Maybe–if it’s paired with the right middle name.”
After a trip of baby name book browsing on Saturday night, my brain was absolutely reeling: How were we ever going to pick a name? We had a long list of possibilities, but Chris’s name requirements didn’t necessarily match my requirements, and there was just too much information to process with one little iPhone Notes list. Enter the Mini Moniker Matrix.
You can see a mock-up (read: those names are out of left field and are NOT in considerations) in the picture above. The columns?
- Name in contention + meaning
- Meaningful? Yes or no? That is, do we like the meaning of the name? Chris and I both want names that the child can aspire to, so to speak. For example, Christopher Michael means “bearer of Christ” + “who is like God.” Sarah Jo means “princess” + “God is gracious.”
- Original? Yes or no? That is, what is the current popularity of the name in the United States. If the number is > 20, it gets a yes. Why? Well, Chris and I both have very common names, and that drove me crazy growing up. At the same time, we don’t want to choose a name that’s so uncommon or strange or exotic that Mini gets beat up on the playground.
- Rhythm? Yes or no? I like some degree of pentameter to names, and with Austin (two syllables) as a last name, we need an odd-syllabled first name + an even-syllabled middle name. This matrix is for first names, so to get a yes, it must have an odd number of syllables.
- Sentiment? Yes or no? Do Chris or I have any emotional attachment to this name?
- Nicknames? List them. Chris grew up with a number of nicknames at his beck and call, but I did not. We included this column just so we can be informed.
- Ethnicity? List it. Again, this is for our information, though any names with Scottish heritage will not be turned down by Chris.
We put every name on our list in the matrix, measured them, and then broke out the whiteboard. Names with three or four X’s went to the board + a handful of two X’ers (for middle naming). The result? We have three names in strong contention for Mini’s first name and five or six other names that we like for a middle name. Plus we have one combination that we both really like.
What is it? That, and all names that are in contention, will be kept a secret until we announce Mini’s name when he arrives. Certainly, if you have suggestions or guesses, you are welcome to share them. (Great) Grandma Irene thinks she has already named her first great grandson: Christopher Wayne Austin.