What’s in a name?

Sarah and I have four beautiful children and I don’t get to brag about them enough, that’s one of the reasons I enjoy writing here on A Great Big Beautiful.

Sarah and I grew up in the eighties when our names were quite popular, Ryan in the top 10 and Sarah in the top 5 names of the decade! Every school I went to had at least 10 Ryan’s and usually there were at least 2 of us in every one of my classes.

I’m not sure why my parents chose Ryan, I did learn that if I was a girl I would have been Stacey, but I did hear the story behind my middle name: William.
I was named after my mother’s great uncle Bill that had passed away shortly before I was born, however they later found out that was his nickname. His actual name was Omar! Strangely enough getting middle names wrong would be a tradition that I would follow as well.

Sarah’s middle name is Rose after her great grandmother and is a traditional middle name in her family.

When we started talking about children we decided they needed names that weren’t topping the popular charts, wouldn’t be traditional names with alternate spellings, they wouldn’t be ones we invented.

Our first baby was miscarried before we had a chance to name her. Sarah later told me she had a dream of the baby being held by Mother Mary and being told it’s okay, she’s happy here. So our first child is named Mary. Our kiddo’s love when we tell the stories of their siblings in heaven, they get so excited knowing our family is much larger than most people realize.

Next comes Ella Aileen. Ella wasn’t a super popular name when we chose it, but within a year or two it was, who new we were trend setters? Ella wasn’t chosen for any particular reason other than both Sarah and I loved it. Aileen was the name of my grandmother that passed away when I was in high school. Turns out her actual name was Aleen, but at some point in her life she had lost her drivers license and when she went to get a new one they wouldn’t believe her name was Aleen and issued her the name Aileen, hence the spelling of Ella’s middle name.

Our second child is named Agatha Marie. Everyone sees her name and instantly goes “Oh! After Agatha Christie the writer?”

agathahe
Agatha Heterodyne

to which we reply with a smile “No, after Agatha Heterodyne!” Agatha Heterodyne, Girl Genius is one of our favourite webcomics with a brilliant, brave, and independent heroine out to conquer the world with Science! We wanted her to have an old fashioned name with strong modern ties and nothing fits her more!

Her middle name, Marie, is an homage to Sarah’s good friend Marie.

Cordelia Rose, (If she was a boy she would have been Cornelius, named after the main character from Meet the Robinsons) keeping the trend of uncommon traditional names was name after a character from on of Sarah’s favourite Disney movies, The Happiest Millionaire. Lesley Ann Warren plays Cordy and she sings a song called Valentines Candy.
images Oh, Miss Cordelia Drexel Biddle, I thought I knew you well! But now, Miss Cordelia Drexel Biddle, I just can’t tell. Are you Valentine candy, or boxing gloves? Lately you seem very strange…

We loved the idea of Valentine candy and boxing gloves. We started out calling our daughter Cordy (NEVER Delia) but she eventually told us that she preferred Cordelia in full. Currently she is our Li-Li (L-eye, L-eye) which actually came from a game she played with Agatha where she was a lion, but it fit so well as a nick name for Cordelia that it has stuck. Rose, is following Sarah’s family tradition, while we don’t necessarily get along well with our families we try to show the girls family traditions and the idea of family is important.

Lastly, but never least, comes Brom Edward Theodore. We had a lot of fun coming up with his name, we decided we needed to name him after villians!
ichabod-mr-toad-disneyscreencaps_com-5406Brom comes from Brom Bones of Legend of Sleepy Hollow fame, at least the Disney version. It was strongly implied that Brom was the Headless Horseman that chased Ichabod Crane out of town. Edward, is after Edward Teach a.k.a the pirate Black Beard. Known for lighting his beard on fire before going into battle he was a fearsome sight and with three older sisters our Brom needs all the help he can get!blackbeard_1154584c We chose Blackbeard because my nickname when I went back to school was Teach, I had a teaching degree when I went back to get my technical diploma (long story, I’ll save that for another post!) and because I spent most of my lunch hours and evening tutoring my classmates I became “Teach.” It’s the nickname I am most proud of ever holding so I felt it fitting to pass it on in the form of my favourite pirate!
Theodore is after my Grandfather, the first person to learn our baby was going to be a boy. We told him while he was in the hospital, he died suddenly the next day. Everytime I think of Brom’s middle name I can’t help but see the smile on his face when we shared our secret with him.

We love our children and whether the names grew on the children or the children grew into their names, we see a little (or a lot!) of their names sake in their day to day doings. It’s really #unforgettable watching them grow up and see who they become !

Feel free to share the story behind your name or your children’s names, we would love to hear them!

3 Comments Add yours

  1. youmeanme says:

    Great post! I love the stories behind your kids names!

    I have a “unique” name, that I love. It’s a fairly common Irish name spelled the traditional way but as I have never lived near Ireland it often trips people up.
    This hasn’t stopped me from loving it at all. It has given me a distaste for people who change the spelling to make it easier for others.
    I feel that we lose an opportunity to be global citizens when we adjust spelling rather than appreciate other languages. Gaelic in my case.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ryan says:

      We are a big fan of traditional unique as you can see by our kids names. I love the look and sound of Gaelic names changing the spelling to make it easier for others waters down the history of the name. I’m glad you love your unique name!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Lesley Latimer says:

    Great post Ryan!

    Liked by 1 person

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