on naming a baby
a sweet little tag that came with a recent scarf purchase
When teaching pregnant women it’s expected that the topic of baby names will arise. Lucky for me it’s one of my favourite topics! I’m always delighted when my students start the discussion and even more honoured when they ask my opinion.
During Antonia’s photo shoot last week we chatted about their preferred names. Pregnant with a boy after two girls, they only had a few names on their list*. They agreed with most people – boys names are hard!
We took a week to name Che. When I was pregnant we had a name chosen (I won’t divulge) and as soon as we looked at his face we knew; he really wasn’t that name. And so we ummed and ahhed for a few days, trying out a few different options. “Che” had been floating around on our list since early in the pregnancy and six weeks before he was born I bought Daniel a book called Loving Che. We had talked about a wanting a name that meant growth and life but we ended up choosing Che because it means “friend” in Argentinian, it has a beautiful sound and because it was the name of the cat in my favourite film. But then, when Che was about 18months old, I was reading a book about South America and within its pages was the meaning of “Che” in the ancient Mayan language. “Che” means “tree”. We had it right all along.
We pronounce Che with a hard ch. Most people presume it’s pronounced shay so when he was younger I would always say: “It’s Che like Cha,” hence he got his nickname, Che Che. It’s definitely stuck, so much so that he often introduces himself by saying: “Hi, my name is Che Che.”
As for “Poet”, well, we just always loved the sound of it and the fact that it was a ‘word’ name. We expected much more criticism than we’ve ever received; most people adore it! We call her Poe for short and Poet Winter (she was born on the full moon in mid-winter) when she’s in trouble. And since she’s arrived, I’ve met or come across both boys and girls named Poe, Poet and Poetry.
I think the more children you have the harder the name game becomes. You kind of have to match the name to the baby’s siblings and that can get tricky. Tell me, do you love talking about names? What are your children’s names and why did you choose them? Do you have a secret list tucked away in case another baby comes along?
*little Archer (beautiful, strong name) arrived late last night. Photos to come!