Conception & Names

We can’t actually know, but we suspect that Ampersands conception occurred on the evening of the Scissor Sisters concert in early February – the same night that Sarah went into labour with Alex.

Lots of things conspired to bring Mark and I together (thanks Richard), and the decision to have a child has had even more twists and turns. We wouldn’t be here if Mark was still teaching, and I’m sure that having a month in Vietnam was also crucial in giving us the time and space to concentrate on our lives together. We’d really like him to have a name that means something to us, and our journey to this point in our lives. Binh means peace in Vietnamese, and if it didn’t mean dumpster in English, we’d have a name by now.

Mark and I are keeping separate lists. Here’s mine.

Algernon – Moustached
Aldous – Old, noble
Aubrey – Ruler of Elves
Casper – treasurer
Archimedes/Archibald (Archy)

Apparently, Peregrine should only be considered by pretentious nerdy gamer types, Aubrey has become more popular as a name for a girl than a boy, Mathesar is the head alien from Galaxy Quest, and someone will object to it. George (after my beloved grandfather) is excruciatingly popular, Mark hates Harvey, Ambrose would surely have his head crammed in a toilet, Archimedes also has a touch of the pretentious twat, Casper is far too twee, Inego requires a dead father to be amusing, and despite the comic joy of Bernard – the name sucks.

Gomez is far too camp, Atticus too wanky, no-one will be able to pronounce Iago, Ford makes us look like tragic mulleted rev-heads (despite nobler aspirations), and Tobin, Floyd, Orlando and Finn wave the wanker flag, and Edward and Edmund and a trifle boring and common. Argos just looks like a skin complaint.

Hare is a Nettle family middle name, and we like it, but it won’t work as a first name. Apologies if your name appears on this list, no offence intended.

Suggestions welcome, but please bear in mind that I’d like something relatively unusual. Having grown up being the only Lara that I had ever heard of, I liked having an unusual name, and I don’t want anything that appears on this list.

20 thoughts on “Conception & Names”

  1. We were going to have Reuben for a boy and Euphemia for a girl. My mother reckons persistent infertility was a blessing in my case. 😉

    Good luck with the names – such a minefield.


  2. Robert isn’t on the top 100 list, and most Bobs are nice people.

    There’s also Jem, if Atticus is out of the question.

    Of course Ford is fine, after all, there’s Mercedes and Porche for girls (ok, they spell it Portia but it’s the same thing).


  3. Oh, names are so hard!! My Girls’ names: Vundy, Tori, Harki and Peri, but then they’re furry and the most important thing it that their names have an ‘eee’ sound on the end to make them good for calling. I have no other advice really: must be OK for calling out, and not too weirdly spelled. (Samone, eg, whom I thought was Sam One till I heard her mum call her ‘Simone’!!!)


  4. Well, I love Finn and that’s what I wanted for our boy but our last name is one syllable and ends with ‘enn’ so you can have Finn ‘enn. I also love Aubrey.

    It is such a huge responsibility! Perhaps you could take a leaf out of the Irish book and wait to see what sort of name your tiny boy should have!


  5. Iago and Aldous are my two favourites (as I have often said).

    The lovely thing about Iago it is pretty much phonetic, I think people will get the pronouciation just phine, so no worries there (and it means “grasp by the heel”).

    Aldous – what can I say, it sounds fabulous, the meaning is beautiful, and it looks magnificent hand-written in copperplate script.

    Hare is a family name and must be used.

    Iago Aldous Hare Nettle… I just checked, and the whole name looks fabulous written in cooper-plate script.


  6. Best advice, don’t tell people the chosen name until the baby is born and being called that name by you, Mark and the nurses/midwives at the hospital. Someone will always hate the name you have chosen, and have the bad manners to tell you so.


  7. I have to say that I dont think having a common name is that bad. I have found my unique one to be a mixed blessing. I don’t think Lara is as unusual as mst of the ones on your list. Mind you, there are so many ‘unusual’ names in this new generation that yours will probably fit right in.

    My rule was to give my kids reasonably complex names so that they could shorten them any way they liked, or not. I think this is easier with girls – Elizabeth can be Liz, Liza, Beth; Margaret can be Meg, Peg, Marg, etc. But my older son is Matt (with two ts) and the other one has stuck with Daniel. My daughter is Liz.

    It’s a hard decision – you want to get it right!


  8. I had this massive crush on this guy when I was in primary school called Binh. But yeah, the teasing would be rather merciless.
    I like Harvey!! On the Atticus and Jem theme, I like Boo.


  9. Just looked at the list – more boys were named Brayden than Peter. I dont know whether to be scared.
    I’ve always like Brandine for a girl (tehehe). What about Cletus?

    Seriously, I’ve always liked Jasper and Adair. What about Gray? Balthazar? Fabian? Lennox (from Macbeth)? Lysander? Ardan? Conan? ok its just getting silly now…


  10. Good luck with the name selection. The other names we liked but didn’t end up using for various reasons are Isaac, Jacob and Zachary and they are all on the top 100 list for 2006. Not that we knew that at the time. You know, with so many parents opting for unusual names this generation, you may find that Ampersand (even if you were to name him Ampersand Nettle) may be one of 3 Ampersands in his class!


  11. Hmmm… I like
    Vincent (after Vincent Price, of course!!)

    I also had a great grandfather who went by Que (not sure if it was actually an initial Q or that was his name) that I always thought was kinda cool.

    And as for too nerdy, no one can out do Nicolas Cage naming his son Kal-El. Guh.


  12. saw the Reuben – my dear friends has a Lara and a Ruben (she is a painter) if my girls were boys they would have been Jed, Lawrence and Blaise(after Blaise Pascall) (cos it goes both ways)
    I like Finn
    if you call it Jason Josh Timbaland I will disown you
    hmm, what about Ned?


  13. I love all of those names. Fergus named himself…. every time I saw the name (usually as part of Ferguson) is seemed to glow in neon. I hated it. But I gave in to it. And you’ve got to admit it really suits him!
    Ampersand will name himself my darling. After all… he’s YOUR baby!!!


  14. After adding up all the babies whose names are in the top 100 for 2006, these children represented 46% of all the babies born in that year. So though people may think they are choosing unusual names – they aren’t.


  15. I love Euphemia! Jem is good, Boo is better (but people can be unkind…).

    Robert is OK, but it might be a bit creepy to name the kid after our counsellor 🙂

    Iago Aldous Hare Nettle does have rather a ring to it, but it doesn’t include George, and that might make it a touch long.

    Someone is going to hate whatever we choose, sooner or later, so being open about it won’t make a difference, we’d just be postponing the inevitable.

    37 years ago, Lara was a very unusual name in suburban Sydney – now it’s number 30 in popularity, but back then it was unheard of, and apparently impossible to pronounce, and harder to spell.

    I met a kid called Balthazar, he was only about 1 at the time – I’ve often wondered how he got on in life. I like Lee, but I already know a little Lee (my friend Karen’s little girl) so we can’t go there. Que is great – I’ll put it on the list.

    Jussi – no chance of a Jason, you can rest easy. I love Blaise!

    At this pint, we will have to wait till we meet him – it’s just not getting any easier!


  16. Great-Grandpa Que has some interesting history. I don’t know much about him, but I have heard he met & married my great grandma Elizabeth Hawk, who was half native American, in a reservation in Texas, where my grandma Roceal was born. Great-Grandma Bessie was interesting because she traveled from Georgia to Texas in a covered wagon with her family & a freed slave. She lived well into her 80’s and watched the moon landing in 1969 with my dad when he was a little boy. I love old names with history 🙂


  17. My brother’s name is Brandon, which turned out to be kind of popular in the US when he was born, but isn’t seen much now. I like it. My mother was going to name him Sebastian, but my father veto’d it.

    Other names that I really like: Benjamin (nickname Benny), Erik, Oliver (a friend of mine just named her baby Oliver Danger… how cute is that?!), and Royal (my grandfather’s name). I also have a friend who has a son named Sterling, which is also nice. I love thinking about baby names!


  18. Hello Lara I wrote you from Spain, as you now Iñigo is a Spanish name (here we wrote ir with a line over the n). I think it is really beatufiful, it comes from the basque name Eneko. Other beautiful basque names for boys are: Ander, Koldo, Gorka, Aitor, Gaizka, Imanol, Kepa, Josu, Unax, Peio, Ortzi, Urko, Patxi,…


  19. Names are a really big responsibility. I agree with the advice given about announcing the name when the child is born. If you are still undecided at the hospital, then many people do feel that they have more of a right to impose their views on your choice. If you already have a name, they may not like it, but it is already settled. It’s a very strange situation.
    Things to consider with names;
    i)How does the first name sound with your surname. We loved our boy name, had a middle name chosen, but only said it out loud with all the names, not as he would be called at school as first name, surname. It sooo didn’t work! Some names are too rhymmey!
    ii)What are the initials? This may rule out some names. Clearly we couldn’t have names starting with ‘V’…VD! OD was not good (although not as bad).
    iii)The name may be cute on a baby, but how will it sound on a child, teenager, man, old man? How would it look or read on a business card.
    iv)Unusual names and spellings of popular names can make your child unique, and they may like this, but it can also be a burden. Always having to correct the spelling and mispronunciation. Being singled out for being different. It is easier for girls to have unusual names. It can be difficult for boys, especially in Australia. We chose the unusual name as a middle name, this way our children could choose which name to go by when they get older. Our son is Liam (and probably on the 100 list), at the time he was the only one, now it’s more popular and there are quite a few around, but the kids are younger. This is totally out of your control.
    v)If your surname is difficult to say, or spell, give your kids an easy first name, they will thank you for it. I kept my maiden name (hyphernated), as it was the only bit that people could spell. When I say my full name on the telephone (first/maiden/married), people have thought that I am a business/company. Hope this helps you to sort through your list, at the end of the day if you both like the name, then it will be the right one for you. Best of luck!


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