As I write this, I’ve just come home from a new gym. A man training a small group of us shouted personalized encouragement throughout in an effort to spur us along. “Well done, Karen!” “Two more reps, Jaz!” “Knees up, Ellen!” “Bum out, Phhhh … bum out!”
I know that when someone mumbles “Phhh” under their breath, it means me. This happens with relative frequency; if I had to guess I’d say bi-weekly. I decided to tell the trainer how to pronounce my name, because the longer this kind of thing goes on, the more awkward it gets for everyone involved. “Phhhh” isn’t fooling anyone, mate. I have a few variations on the theme of correcting pronunciation, but on this particular day I went with “It’s like the name Lisa, but with ‘fuh’ in front of it.” Earlier, when I picked up a prescription from a pharmacist I’ve seen several times over the past year, I let “fuh-lissa” slide. It’s a pharmacist — we’re not that invested in each other. I’m used to making these judgement calls. Keep reading »
We might be a bit biased, but we think hyphenated last names are awesome. They’re more unique and egalitarian than a single last name, and trust us, they’re great conversation starters. The only problem? Some of the conversations they start are not particularly enjoyable. Yes, it is “a lot of letters.” Yes, our moms were feminists, WHAT OF IT?! And oh lord, don’t even get us started on trying to spell them out for people over the phone. Here are 14 signs your hyphenated last name — no matter how much you love it — is giving you a headache. Keep reading »
The Bounty Parenting Club, which I had no idea existed until just now, released its annual list of the most popular and “extraordinary” baby names of 2013, if by “extraordinary” they mean “destined to get your kid weird looks for the rest of their life.” For example, Tea, Sorel, Pinky, Ream, and Pepsi were popular names for girls this year, while a number of parents thought it a great idea to name their sons Tiger, Lohan, Dior, Denley and Boden. In all seriousness, while my own baby name tastes tend towards the old fashioned and vaguely country music-inspired, I do think parents should name their kids after whatever they want, even inferior carbonated cola beverages and flailing former It Girls. [Bounty]
Relationships and experiences are a big part of what defines who we are. For many, names become guideposts or signifiers of those relationships or experiences. For a long time, I couldn’t accept my dad and so the allure of casting of the McDonell name felt like it might relieve me of some burden. Of having him in my life, of dealing with the ways I am like him, of seeing him for the fully complex person that he was. I understand the desire to change one’s last name as a marker of starting over, especially when there’s something in your past you want to close the door on.
For a while, my plan was to drop the McDonell from my name, and just be Amelia Parry. It would stay that way when I got married and then, when I had kids, my husband and I could … well, we’d cross that bridge when we came to it. Ideally, we would hyphenate our kid’s name just as my parents had done with my name, until our child grew up and made their own decision about what to do.
But so much has not gone as planned. Keep reading »
Choosing a baby name may be one of the hardest things a parent has to do. I’d say it’s harder than potty training — which has become my nemesis right now. Giving your kid a name, whatever name it is, is the one single word your kid is going to hear for the rest of their life. It’s a BIG deal. It also says a whole lot about you as a parent. It even reveals your political leanings.
Conservatives tend to choose a certain kind of name, and liberals prefer names with a certain kind of sound. Before I reveal, let’s take guesses. Let’s think about the kid names Leo and Kevin. If you had to choose who belongs to the liberal parent and who belongs to the conservative parent, what would you guess? Read more on The Stir…
The fine folks at Nick Mom put together a helpful map detailing the most popular boy and girl baby names across the country. You may be surprised to learn that Liam has taken over a huge swath of the Midwest! And Washington, Maine, Pennsylvania and Ohio — among others — are mad for Mason. When it comes to girl’s names, Sophia and Emma are tops. Take a look at the whole state-by-state comparison above — and consider Noah for your next baby boy. [Nick Mom]