Naming the Baby

When we first found out we were pregnant, we were running potential names by everyone we talked to. “What do you think of these three boy names?” We’d ask. We’d get all sorts of responses. Some people would say, “I like your girl names better.” or “So, how are the cats?” And my favorite type of response was, “Well, I always thought David was nice name.” You wouldn’t believe how many people out there will silently (or not so silently) judge you about the future name of your baby. Over time we realized that it was going to be impossible to please everyone so we started to become tighter lipped about our brainstorms. That decision was further solidified after having dinner with Darren and Kathy.

At the time we had dinner (about three weeks ago), Darren and Kathy were five days away from giving birth to their first baby. They decided very early on in their pregnancy that they had had enough of the weird responses. They decided that they would tell no one what his name was going to be, not even their closest friends or their family members. Kathy had said, “We’re not telling anyone until his name is on that birth certificate and it’s too late!”

Tobyjoe and I have had our list narrowed down to about 4 or 5 names for a while now. (Although, only 3 of them are real contenders at this point.) That list hasn’t wavered one bit, which leads us both to believe that our son will eventually end up with one of the names currently on that list. We just don’t share it with anyone anymore. And it’s easier that way. The next time a person hears our son’s name – whatever name it may be – they will either be next to him or staring at an actual photograph, a photograph of a perfect little baby boy.

Besides, the name Ndugu Cleatus Boudreaux doesn’t need anyone’s approval anyway.


  1. I think that is the best way to go. It is your kid.

    Although I don’t recommend naming your kid after some junkie singer. The questions really get tiresome after 30 years. Don’t name him Iggy Pop Boudreaux, as cute as that actually is.

    Darren and Kathy’s son’s name is excellent, by the way.


  2. I would definitely keep the names private unless you are absolutely sure. You will start to doubt yourself:) We told people Simone and Shep’s names before they were born. People either loved them or they hated them. No one flat out said they didn’t like them but you knew. “Oh what an usual name.” Of course, when we told them that they were both named after great-grandparents that seems to some how make it more acceptable. We never had a doubt on either so we didn’t care what anyone thought.

    Just to warn you, people will still give comments even after the baby is named. I was mailing a package around Christmas and was waiting in this long line with the kids. This really old man in front of me heard me say Shep’s name. He asked me if I named him after a dog. Seriously. I told him it was short for Shepard which was my grandfather’s name and tried to believe that he was just senile.


  3. Why would someone say something like that? I don’t understand people sometimes. gh.fd,52\\201111111111111111111111111111111111111111111///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////


    wow, Murray typed out that last bit. I’m not sure what he was trying to say.


  4. Murray typed 666? watch out.


  5. The funny thing is I had an uncle on the other side of my family that did have a dog named Shep when I was a kid! No one on that side of the family thought to ask me if I named him after Uncle Carl’s dog. He was a great dog. He would ride on the tractor with my uncle when he farmed. He wouldn’t be a bad namesake either I guess:)


  6. My brother called me after his wife was in labor with their third child for like 10 hours… and he was like: His name is Max. In my utter wisdom, I was like, ‘Hey… you named your kid after my cat?‘

    Ha ha ha. Not a good idea. :)

    Here’s to Ndugu Cleatus Boudreaux!

    P.S. How is Ndugu pronounced? :D


  7. My mom told me when my daughter , Lucie, was about five years old she didnt like the name. Lucie was my beloved Granny’s name. Anyway talk about OUCH!!

    I just looked at her and said I could have followed in my sis ter’s tradition of naming her kids in the ethnicity of white trash.

    Ah well, names are hard.

    An aside. My younger sister named her daughter Violet who my daughter calls Violet beauregard ( Charlie Chocolate Factory). When she had her son she called to announce they named him Augustus. Lucie immediately started singing Augustus Gloop, Augustus Gloop, Great big greedy nincompoop.

    The baby is now Addicus.


  8. Nico: He sent Tobyjoe an email as well. Seriously, people.

    I think I have a cure for depression: kittens and puppies. I haven’t laughed this hard in so, so long. What an awesome creature.

    I’m sure having a baby will feel very much the same.

    Mel, during one of my really sad moments a few weeks ago, I suggested we give the boy a middle name of “Smith” so I could call him Schmitty if I wanted to. Now, I realize that was insanity talking. I was so sad back then. (A Web site seemed more realistic). But the words were actually spoken and Tobyjoe, knowing how fragile I was, let me down easy.

    “Honey, in college, in between bong hits, our son will be telling people, ‘I was named after a cat, man. a cat’ We can’t do that to our son since he won’t even get to know Schmitty.”


  9. Merry: En-Doo-Goo.

    Meghan, give me some white trash names!


  10. DieselBlaze and Tanqueray

    Just Kidding


  11. man, the title of this post is such a cock tease.


  12. We found this out the hard way too. After initially thinking it’d be good to get feedback we encouraged people to tell us what they REALLY thought. While a few people we trusted really liked a few of our proposed names (and others not so much—fair enough, we asked for their honest opinions), my in-laws have become all-out obsessed, sending us daily emails with suggestions, discussing it constantly, and not hesitating to say, “THAT’S TERRIBLE!” or “I REALLY like … ” whatever name THEY have come up with. It’s driving us insane. We have now vowed not to tell that side of the family what the kid’s name will be until she arrives.

    As far as naming a child for a beloved pet? I SERIOUSLY considered naming a kid Simon after my wonder dog (this was before I was actually pregnant). But I ran that by a few people who were like, “Um…” and quickly abandoned it.


  13. My $.02: don’t tell anyone your names before the baby is born, because then you won’t fly into a rage when your friend/cousin/whatever STEALS YOUR NAMES FOR THEIR OWN KID.


  14. my grans name was cletus.
    everybody called her cletus or ‘the barracuda.’


  15. oh, yeah and i think that clears up any questions about MY white trash pedigree, thankyouverymuch.


  16. we told everyone our baby names too. i remember being so discouraged. next time, we’re keeping it to ourselves!


  17. Surprises are fun! Hooray for you. Just a little idea: I know that you’ve seen the wee-wee on the ultrasound, but until that kid comes charging out, you might want a back-up girl name. An acquaintance (that word can’t possibly be that long and ugly) recently delivered what she thought would be a lovely little girl. Um, not so much. There was lots of scrambling for a name and suitable blue blankets and clothes (gag). Just a thought. Probably it’s more likely to predict a girl wrong than a boy.


  18. Yeah, we thought about that as well and I think you’re right about that last bit. Easy to NOT see a wang and assume girl than to see a wang and assume boy. Or something.

    If it’s a girl, she’s gonna be well hung! I kid. We shall see! But the ultrasound tech was 99% sure. I hope it’s a boy, my sister-in-law sent me a buttload of free boy clothing!


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