My second grandchild is due to be born any moment – last Friday was the actual due date – and as far as I know, s/he still doesn’t have a name ready for his or her arrival. My granddaughter, Eva, is 7 years old, and when she was born the name field was wide open. But since then my daughter’s many friends and cousins have had many babies and she doesn’t want to duplicate any of those names. And some of the names she likes, she doesn’t like the probable nicknames. Patricia is pretty, but not Patty. Joseph sounds respectable, but not Joey. Some of the names Dad put on the Name Board were from anime shows – Mom doesn’t want to tell the baby that his/her name came from a cartoon.
If the baby is a girl (they didn’t want to be told, so that part is still going to be a surprise), they have chosen the middle name Ruth, shared by both of the baby’s maternal great-grandmothers. But as far as I know, that’s as far as they’ve gotten. When my daughter and I talked about family names, we quickly discarded most of the ones from my side of the family – Etta Olivie, Dorcas, Dortha, Edna, Alta Mae, Geraldine, and also Elvis, Tillman, Mott, Jefferson, Terrell, and Augustus.
Then we talked about my grandmother’s name – Ina. Ina Ruth has a nice ring, doesn’t it? None of my daughter’s friends have used that name, and my cousin named after our grandmother is over 60 and lives in California, so there’s not too much room for confusion there, either.
And then I heard the playground talk in the back of my mind. Not something my cousin had to worry about 60-ish years ago as it was not a word in common schoolyard usage at that time, but I could clearly hear small, munchkin voices making the rhyme “Ina Vagina” and I knew that if I had thought of it, there would surely be at least one 7-year-old, and probably more, who would think of it, too. *Sigh*
Maybe Etta Ruth wouldn’t be such a bad choice, after all.