Wednesday, November 14, 2007

What's In a Name?

We are considering affixing to our second child, if it should turn out to be a boy, the designation of "Jr." He'd have the same full name as his father but would go by a different nickname. The first name itself is so common as to consistently rate in the top ten list of baby names according to the Social Security Administration. Though I know I specifically said that we won't consider any common names, we figure the nickname will get us around that.

I've only ever heard of one person with the same nickname. That one person happened to be a sit-com star not too long ago, but the name seems not to have caught on. [Note: if your curiousity is insatiable, I'll give you a bone: this guy was the main character in a show about a certain era characterized by bell bottoms, pet rocks and the Captain & Tennille].

Another positive is that the name begins with the same letter as the Boss's given name. Some people find alliteration absurd and annoying; I thrive on it.

So, there it is. The problem with going the "Jr." route is that my husband already has a big enough head. The idea of reinforcing his lofty opinion of himself by molding another child in his name is disconcerting. It also leaves my side of the family nominally unrepresented. The Boss's middle name was inspired by The Partner's family history. I'd like to use my side as the basis for #2's middle name.

So, tell me: what do you think of the whole Junior phenomenon? Pros and cons? What about the option of using the same first name as the father while going with a different middle name and calling the child by an easily distinguishable nickname?



Mayberry said...

I think the Jr. thing is kind of confusing -- easily avoided if you use a different middle name and nickname though. And then you get to use a family name from your side too. Win win.

(I told you I would always weigh in on name questions ... it's so rare anyone ASKS and I otherwise always have to keep my mouth shut.)

Heather said...

The Jr thing is not for my family, but I don't have any issues with those who choose to go that route.

I like your choice of naming him Jr but calling him by another distict nickname...then he's still his own person AND he honors his father. The best of both worlds.

Lauren said...

You're family couldn't handle two of them.

Heather Mathiau said...

I love the name Topher, perfect with Tolby! Don't make him a Jr, give him a middle name from your family.

Fairly Odd Mother said...

My husband is a IV, and I REFUSED to have a "V"---maybe that was mean of me, but, really, we aren't royalty.

I know that my husband didn't love being a namesake--it did cause some confusion growing up, plus there was that pressure that 'of course' he was going to carry things on with his son.

Wendy said...

This whole Jr thing came up when we found out that we were having a boy. My problem is that I didn't want 2 people with the same name ignoring me. Oh yeah and my husband didn't want our son to be called Jr. The problem with that is my grandfather and father had similar names and it was confusing when my grandmother yelled for either of them. There was even a screw up with their credit reports, since they went by the same name, but my father wasn't a Jr. (My father has a full name, but went by a nickname, whereas, my grandfather's name was his given name. Also, my father has a middle name and my grandfather didn't.)

So, we compromised, we gave our son his father's name as a middle name and let our daughter pick out his first name. Until she said the name (from the book Green Eggs and Ham), I didn't realize it was a name I had liked for a long time. So it was settled, Samuel George a.k.a. Sam, Sammy, Hey you, or Cranky boy.

Good Luck

Motherhood Uncensored said...

I don't love the Junior. I figure you should name the kid what you want to call him.

But it's not my kid :)

Boz said...

I would definitely name my number two Topher. It is a name befitting number two. In fact, later today I think I'll take a Topher. There's nothing like dropping a good Topher after a big meal, you know? So there's my opinion on that one.

As for Junior, I like it. In fact, I'd prefer a III or even a IV. Unlike monikers such as Atticus or Theodore, being a Junior is dignified without being pretentious.

Anyway, since you're not going to find out the gender ahead of time, why not flip a coin: boy C-Jr and girl your family.

Either way you would definitely need to give Junior a different nickname. Despite the allure of alliteration, Jackass Junior might result in some teasing from peers.


Kelly said...

I've never been big on the whole "jr" or "the 3rd" thing... always seemed a bit pompous to me (sorry!). That being said, both my boys are partly named after family - #1's middle name means "son of ___" (hubby's name), #1's middle name is a form of my father's name. I insisted we distribute family heritage equally.

So you're going to name your newest "Sonny"? ;)

Two Shews said...

We kind of went in this direction, and then jacked things all up for giggle's sake so we could aboid a "Junior"... We gave Jake is dad's first name (Jameson) and his great-grandfather's name as a middle name. Then we took the first two letters from each to make: JAKE. So, Jake is *sort of* a Jr, but in an utterly confusing and creative way. Easy to see he was #1 and we had a lot of time on our hands, eh?

Anonymous said...

I don't like Juniors. I think people deserve their own name among their immediate family. I am also not a fan of giving a kid a name, and then calling them something else their entire life. Why not just name them what you want to call them and know it's in honor of the namesake? Finally, I don't see why a mother in law should get to choose the name of your baby, which is what making a junior effectively does. Maybe I just have mother in law issues, though.

Michele said...

My husband is a Jr and would have loved a 3rd, but we had twin boys so he didn't think it was "fair" to give the name to one and not the other. (Yippeee!) In his own family there are already 3 Tom's. Out of 11 people. Enough already.

I think it is fine if you use a different nickname. I think only once or twice have my husband and his father run into an issue of getting each other's mail. Nothing too catastrophic.

Lawyer Mama said...

My husband's name is very unusual. It's a family name and he is the III. We decided long before we had children that we would not saddle a child with a pretentious IV. But Jr. isn't bad at all. Although, Mayberry does have a point about confusing. We still sometimes get mail addressed to T's father (even though his middle name is different) because the postal service can't figure it out.

I like alliteration too!

Boz said...

@Lawyer Mama - I still do not think a Junior, third, fourth, or similar signification sounds pretentious. I think it is more dignified than elitist. But then, it sounds different to everyone based on their experiences. :)

Robyn Jones said...

Love the stories about your little girl...they are hilarious.

iheartchocolate said...

We had a similar dilemma. When my son was due (1 yr ago) my husband wanted a jr. I definately did not. Then he wanted his father's name, I said fine, if my father's name is in there somwhere too. He didn't like that idea. We settled on jr, although I was still uhappy with it. In the hosp, my husband suprised me by wanting to change it to what I had wanted all along. Andrew, we call him Drew. He shares the same middle name as my hus, which is his father's first name. My 2 year old has ended up calling him "doo doo" because I call him "Drew Drew". So, all in all, everyone is happy.