Baby Names: What Were You Going to be Named or How Did You Decide On a Baby Name?

You guys, who knew naming a human was so much pressure?! Jared and I still haven’t officially decided on a name for baby girl, and I thought reading through my friend Kelly’s post on how people got their names was SO interesting.

I’m not going to lie, I also read through her comments to try and jack cool names from people, haha! Call me shameless…

“What were you going to be named?” might be the world’s most underrated question because, holy moly, there are some interesting stories to be heard there. I also love hearing how people decided on names for their babies too, so give us the scoop on yours!

Here’s the scoop on how our parents named us…

Ashley Elizabeth —

Apparently my Dad agreed to let my Mom pick out my name (what a guy!) as long as he got to choose my middle name (Elizabeth).

This is what my Mom had to say about reminiscing over picking out my name… “Interesting tid-bit…there were several Ashley’s that were born the same day and they accidentally brought us the wrong baby the second day in the hospital, ha!”.

Now if that’s not a classic “Ashley” story from the 80’s and 90’s, then I don’t know what is. If it wasn’t for me looking like a long lost twin of my Dad’s then things could be really questionable right now. Hence my insistence on naming our baby girl something unique so that 500 other people don’t turn around when we call her name. Now actually coming up with that name is easier said than done.

We have, however, decided to keep her name a secret until she’s born! We currently have one that we both really love after running through a list of several that didn’t feel right after we started calling her by it. We shall see!

Jared James —

Since Jared is a twin, his parents had double the go of it with deciding on names. They said they knew for sure that Jared would be the name of whichever boy came first, but it took them a while to decide on Jacob (his twin brother’s name).

Hilariously enough, “Jared” came from an old TV show, Big Valley (specifically this guy, they just changed the spelling). Basically Jared’s alter-ego in a nutshell, haha!

“James” came from his Dad’s name carried down. Clearly, the J names were a hit with the Smith’s!

So, how about you? How did you get your name or how did you decide on your baby’s name? Let’s hear it!…

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  1. My sister was going to be named Astrid. My brother was going to be named Max. I was never had another name in the running. As it turns out, my sister’s name is Beatrice Athena M and brother’s is Magnus Frost M. Mine is Katerina Winslow M. Athena for the goddess, Frost for the poet, and Winslow is a family name. My first name, Katerina, is after the famous skater. I love love love our names. Our parents picked out great ones. I know you will too!

  2. Studio DIY actually had a thread on this last month and it was SO entertaining to read – so is this! I love hearing how people ended up with their names… mines a weird one…
    So… I was ‘unexpected’ and unknown about until my mum was 5 months pregnant, and I was then born 5 weeks early… so my parents didn’t have a whole lot of thinking time 😂
    My mum wanted to call me Pebbles. PEBBLES! Like in the Flinstones! Pebbles Ellis, can you image what different directions my life might have taken?!
    But my parents eventually decided that Chloe was a nice name for a girl.. but that’s not my name, right? Nope, that’s because when I was born early and very very unwell they decided not to use Chloe (I’ve always seen this as like it would be a waste of a good name?!) and so I was ‘baby girl ellis’ for the first nearly three months of my life while I lived in an incubator. Eventually a nurse suggested to my mum that Lindsay was a nice name and my mum didn’t know how to spell it, so spelled it phonetically.. and so I am Lindzi!
    My first baby (who I’m currently expecting, due Nov 5th!) it’s safe to say will live knowing that I have put A LOT of bloody thought into their name! 😂

  3. I am named after my great, great aunt. My mom always knew she wanted to name her first daughter Justina and luckily my dad also liked the name. My middle name, Moniz, is my mom’s maiden name. I love having a name that not many other people do (though I hate being called Justine, Christina, or Christine). If I have children of my own, I would like to pass on the Moniz as a middle name.

  4. My name is Rachel but my middle name is Opal, after my great-great grandmother. It’s always fun to play around with middle names and keep the first name something fairly sensible to avoid bullying.

  5. My name is Brandice Lynn. It’s pronounced the same as Candace or Janice. I’ve never met anyone with my name before and neither has anyone I’ve met. It makes for weird introductions sometimes but it’s also a good ice breaker. My parents pulled it from some 80’s baby book. Can’t wait to hear what you name your baby girl!

  6. Our youngest son was named after our grandfathers, we took their last names which are also our mothers maiden names –
    Reed Hallden
    Our daughters name came straight out of a baby book-
    Taylor Alexis

  7. My brother and I’s named were both drawn from the name’s of tree farms that my parent’s bought. My brother’s name is from a nursery tree farm and my name is from a Christmas tree farm. To explain the farms ended up being my parents first expansions of their business and allowed them to be in a position to comfortably have children so they decided to name us after the farms.

  8. Well my parents thought they invented my name. My father’s name is Brad and my mother’s is Diana. So they combined the ‘Br’ and ‘iana’ to come up with my name! They said after I was born they started hearing more Briana names. 🙂

  9. My mom planned on naming me Ann Marie. But after a very hard and difficult labor, she said she was out of it when asked what she was going to name me. My godmother (who is also my aunt) Rose happened to be in the hospital room with my mom at the time. So instead of Ann, my first name became “Rose” after my aunt.

  10. I’m Shawnee (after the Indian Tribe) and my husband is Hamilton Palmer. I’ve always thought Palmer would be a cute girls name!

  11. I have no idea about my own name. But my 8 month old daughter is named Ellinor. Her dad hadn’t been all that keen on baby name talk, but out off the blue over dinner one day he said; I think it should be Emilie or Sofie (we are Danes). But the he sat think and said; I also have a third name and can’t remember why I discounted it. And that was Ellinor, I fell in love instantly.

  12. My son, Finnick Ivary, is 19 months old and I always love telling people how he got his middle name. Middle names for us were the hardest to decide. Do we stick with family? Do we go with something random that has no meaning but sounds good? My husband’s middle name was chosen by his sister whose favorite movie was The Little Mermaid at the time so he got Eric as a middle name. I on the other hand got Leigh which was an alternate spelling from my great grandparents last name Lee. For Finn, we ended up combining our grandpa’s names, Ivan and Larry into Ivary and I love how we got to honor both of them!

  13. I was named after my older brother. There is only a one letter difference in our names. When I had my own daughter I had a name that I was in love with. In the end, dad choose a name and I choose one of my favorites. She really didn’t have an official name until we filled out the paperwork the day we left the hospital. Never fear, this is a big decision and it takes time.

  14. My parents only had 1 name picked out for a girl and that was Cheryl Maree but she ended up having twin girls so she split the names and had our Grandmothers’ names for our middle names. We called our daughter Lisa because I did not want people to be able to shorten her name. My husband dislikes middle names very much so Lisa does not have a middle name. When Lisa was at school it seemed like she was the only child without a middle name so we told her to pick a name she liked. This lasted a few years but now she does not include a middle name on documents as we never made it official.

  15. My husband and I met internet dating. On our very first date my husband said “If things work out and we have a baby, its gonna be a boy. And we are going to name him Henry.” Well, Henry is 8 now. And his father is just as strange as ever.

  16. I love name stories! My parents chose the name Bethany early on, which has several popular meanings, (House of figs- you read that right- figs, House of sorrow, House of song), none of which they knew until, right before an important doctor’s visit, a well meaning friend questioned if they were sure they wanted to name me “house of sorrow”. At that doctor’s visit, they found I had begun fetal demise, and were encouraged to abort me. But my parents decided to wait and pray instead. It also made them intentional about picking my middle name, Jane, which means “God’s grace.” A few weeks later, with hundreds of people praying, I not only reversed from fetal demise, but had grown multiple weeks worth! One doctor was so baffled by my situation that he dropped my case. They had never seen anything like it! They cautioned my parents that if I made it to birth, I would be severely handicapped and would probably only live a short time, and never be able to do normal things if I managed to survive more than a few days. Obviously, I survived birth, and a couple decades, with only some minor health issues to show for it! And now I get to tell people the incredible story of why my name means “God’s grace in the house of sorrow.”

    Also: My husband & I already have one boy name & one girl name picked out, so we’re hoping for one of each when the time comes to have kids (:
    Congrats on expecting!

  17. My name is Amber. My parents thought I was going to be a boy, so they didn’t really have a girl name picked out. My mom has an antique string of amber beads from the Baltic Sea that our ancestors brought with them to North America when they migrated. I’m not sure if that’s where the name came from but I’ve always liked that connection.

    My middle name is Miriam. It was my Grandma’s name. I really like Miriam and think it would be an adorable name for a little girl!

  18. I’m a jessica. My mom named me after her uncle jack, and was going to name me Jaclyn but was too afraid people would call me jack-o-lantern, so she picked a different J name . She went through every option of how we could get made fun of!

  19. My newest little is named Laurel Anne. I came across her first name online somewhere and added it to my ever growing list. Later that night watching HTGAWM, I realized one of the main characters was Laurel. I was online shopping during the show, and after I added a dress to my cart, I saw it was named the Wild Laurel dress. Thought that was all a lovely coincidence and went to bed. The next day driving my oldest to school and sitting in the car line, I noticed the name of an intersecting street I had never paid attention to before. It was Laurel Meadows. Took that as the final sign that she was supposed to be Laurel.

  20. My mother (Lynn) was 9 when my cousin was born & my aunt decided to name her after my mother (Michelle Lynn). So, 16 years later my mother got to do the same with her first child!
    My sister is Meredith Joy. They fell in love with her first name & didn’t pick a middle name for her until after she was born. At the hospital they let her disposition speak for itself!

  21. My parents named me Reba after the mail lady in Pee Wee’s Playhouse…. can’t make this stuff up! They were toying with a few other names and waited to choose until they saw me. When I came out with flaming red hair, Reba was the easy decision. Legally my name is Rebecca because they were worried Reba would be too weird. I love the baby name game! So many fun stories.

  22. I love the name game! Mostly because there’s nothing cool about mine haha. For our little miss we narrowed it down to five names then picked out of a hat. It worked out perfectly and it’s a funny story for her later :)

    My biggest piece of advise- don’t tell anyone her name until she’s already here

  23. My mom and grandma named my brother and me. My grandma really loved the name Christopher. My mom, I assume, was also a fan. My brother’s middle name is our father’s first name, so Christopher Robert… I called him Christopher Robin growing up. When I came along, I was the only girl to be born out of all my cousins. My grandma adored the name Elizabeth and my parents thought it to be a solid name. My grandma died three months before I was born so my mom gave me my grandma’s first name as a middle name. Elizabeth Frances.

    1. Oh! And my husband! He is the youngest of three and an accident. His mom was ahead of her time with the names; his siblings are Caleb and Alexis (born in the early 80s). My husband’s name is Maxwell. His mom wanted to name him Maxamillion, but both grandmas demanded Maxwell. Max’s brother actually picked out Max’s middle name… Peter. From “Ghostbusters.”

  24. I am Miranda Lea. Miranda from The Tempest (so literary of my parents!) and Lea after one of my mom’s good friends (who went a little crazy, left her husband to run off with a cowboy when I was in middle school.)

    We named our first son Milo after a ski shop in Salt Lake where my husband and I grew up. It started as a joke, then we realized we loved the name and stuck with it.
    The second, Eliot started as Eli in my head, but then my little brother got an Elliott Smith lyric tattooed on his arm and I remembered I loved the name Eliot–without the superfluous letters. 😉
    Our daughter is Plum, which my husband read in an article when I was early pregnant, and as soon as he threw it into the ring it felt like the right girl’s name. She came out red headed and all smiles and has been the most perfect, sweet Plum we could ask for. (Had she been a boy, she would have bee Simon, after Paul.)
    The End.

  25. My name is Shathar Nicole. Shathar rhymes with “lather” and, for some reason, that seems to make it a little easier for people to remember!
    I wish I had an exciting story about where it came from (because every single person asks me about it) but, my mom has only given me a “I don’t know, I just thought of it and liked it!” 😂

  26. I was actually going to be an Ashley as well! (And my mum’s legal name is Elizabeth, but she informally changed it to Colette in her 20s!). Other front runners for me were Astral (!) and Simone. It is hotly contested to this day whose idea this was, but they ended up naming me Rochelle as a combination of my grandmothers name’s, Rose and Rachel!

  27. My middle name is Diane, which is my mother’s first name. We have a tradition in my family, going back 5 generations, where the daughter’s get their mother’s first name as their middle name. So my mother is Diane Florence, and her mother was Florence June, and so on… I told my husband about it and he is dead set on naming our daughter *something* Claire. It’s funny though because every generation has just had 1 daughter, so I don’t know what we would do if we had a second daughter… suggestions?

  28. My mom always tells me that the second after she decided on the name jessica, it was #1 on the charts. 😂 I absolutely love my middle name (Sumner) because it is actually my moms maiden name. Both my sister and I have Sumner as our middle name and I plan on continuing the tradition when I have kiddos!

  29. If you need help or inspiration for baby names, check out the Reddit sub r/namenerds!

    My name is Kate – just Kate – because my mom was very anti-nicknames when naming us. Now, after growing up around so many variations and nicknames of my name, I’m proud that I am just strong and simple Kate. It feels unique even though it’s a common name.

  30. I was named after Shawn Young’s character from Bladerunner according to my dad. My mom vehemently denies this, that they both just liked the name. My dad says he suggested the name after seeing the movie, so I believe him. My middle name is Anne after my dad’s grandma. I named my kids Harlee Quinn after the Batman character, Ash after the Evil Dead character and Dinah after the Black Canary. So I carried on the tradition of naming my kids after characters.

    1. Oh, and I also wanted to give my kids unique but not outlandish names after being Rachel Y all my life. There were times when there were 3 Rachels in my class.

  31. So, I am number four. My parents ran out of names and I was kind of a “surprise”. My parents didn’t have names but my mom was due to be checked out of the hospital which she couldn’t be unless I was named. So she chose Emily out of think air and I have her middle name, Jane. Emily Jane!

  32. I almost ended up Jane Do, my parents had a terrible time deciding. At the last minute my parents asked my grandparents, teachers at an elementary school, to ask their co-workers which of two names they liked. They unanimously chose Veronica (after an Archie Comics character).

    Years later, when I ended up going to that school all my teachers loved to tell me they helped to name me ;)

  33. I love name stories. I was going to be a Kristin or a Lauren (typical 90’s!) but a few weeks before I was born, my mom woke up and told my dad “nope, she’s going to be an Allison” He agreed to it, but only if he was able to choose the spelling! So I’m Allyson now!

  34. I’m Dawn Elizabeth! My first name because I was born at 5:10 am and my middle name is my great-grandmother’s!

    1. Oh, and I forgot to mention how we named our boys…I’m Dawn and my husband is Jason so we wanted names that would be J names (my husband’s sister is a J name and she named her daughter a J name) and sound similar to ours, so we have my oldest, Jawan, and his brother Jaden. If he would have been a girl (which I really wanted and everyone said he would have been) it would have been Jada. Yeah, like Jada Pinkett-Smith…coincidentally, because my last name is also Smith. ;)

  35. Another 80’s Ashley here! My parent’s actually named me after Ashley Wilkes in Gone with the Wind. It’s my mom’s favorite movie and they thought about naming me Scarlett (thank God they didn’t) so they went with Ashley, her love, instead.

    It kind of gets an eye-roll from me b/c I can’t stand his character. Still, love my name. :)

  36. I was going to be Mallory. However, my mom heard the song “Sarah” but Jefferson Starship on the radio in the hospital and decided that was a better name. Thank God for small favors, though apparently every third pregnant woman in 1986 felt the same; I graduated high school with 3 other Sarah’s in a class of only 116.

    For our son, we wanted to do a little different, since our last name is Brown, but not too out there. I recall reading a study that mentioned boys with unusual names tend to do worse in school while girls seem to do just fine. (I can’t find the exact one, but I put two articles below that discuss unusual names in case you’re interested.) Our Matthias is hopefully just the right balance of unusual and normal. ^_^