What’s in a name?

One of the things I loved doing when I was pregnant with my children was curling up with my collection of baby name books and searching for inspiration.

I know some people are certain before they even fall pregnant what their children’s names will be, but I really had no idea.

And there are so many things to consider when you choose a name.

  • Does it sound ‘right’ with your surname?
  • Do the initials spell out anything dodgy?!
  • Is it the name of someone you love, that you want to name your child after?
  • Does it have a particular meaning that you love?

That last point was quite a big one for me.

Quite a few names were ruled out because the meaning wasn’t right.

In the end with our first child we narrowed it down to three choices by the time he was born – Morgan, Benjamin and Rhys.

As soon as I saw him I knew his name wasn’t Morgan.  So we were left with two options.  Benjamin, which is a family name on my husband’s side, and Rhys.

It took about a week of getting to know him, and of trying out the two names before we finally settled on Rhys.  It felt right.

And now 5 years later I’m certain we made the right choice as his name suits him perfectly, right down to its meaning – enthusiasm and ardour.


Those two words describe our son perfectly.

In fact, his reception class teacher used the word ‘enthusiastic’ to describe him again and again last year!

He is full of life, passionate about so many things, and has almost boundless energy.

I wonder, would he be the same child had we named him Morgan?!

When I was pregnant the second time round we thought things might be a bit easier.

We knew we were having a girl, and having given Rhys a Welsh name we knew we wanted to do the same for our daughter.

And a lot of names were ruled out because pronunciation would be an issue, for both me and my family – Blodeuwedd anyone?!

Then quite early on in the pregnancy I saw the name Bethan in one of the baby name books and fell in love with it.  It sounded good with our surname, and it went well with Rhys.

As the weeks went on though, I think I said it to myself too much, and that combined with a meaning that didn’t quite ‘speak’ to me (the name is derived from Elizabeth, meaning pledged to God), meant that by the end of the pregnancy I really felt that Bethan wasn’t her name.

So, we were left a bit stumped.  Until I went into the hospital to have her, and the midwife came in and said, “Hi, my name’s Nerys”


We just hadn’t considered that name at all.  But by the time baby girl was a few hours old I was certain she was a Nerys.  And, like her brother, the older she gets the more she suits her name.

It’s derived from the Welsh word for lady, and while she isn’t a delicate little thing (bless her!), she is already so much more of a girly girl than I expected!  She is drawn to shoes, and handbags, jewellery and sparkly things, and she loves having her hair put up in hairbands and clips.


My little lady.

I really do love how well our children’s names suit them, and how they seem to fit them more and more as they get older.  I hope they like them as they grow up too, we really did take care making sure we picked the right names!

Did you factor in the meaning of your child’s name when you chose it?  Did you always know what name you would pick, or did it take a while for the right name to come to you?

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday
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