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The Name Game

With Emory, we knew his name within the first week that Hadley was pregnant. We were calling him by name while he was still in the belly.

With #2 we're still up in the air and it's driving us mental.

Keep in mind the last name that we have to grapple with: Fierlinger (Fear'lin'ger).

Jasper was an early choice, when we knew it was a boy. It's gone in and out favor over time (actually quite like the name Emory did).

If it's born today, it's Jasper. Our other choices were...

Philip's picks...


Hadley's picks...


Other possibilities we've considered...


August 28, 2003 in family | Permalink


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You certainly have some interesting names in that list. Could it be that either or both of you went to an arts school?

One thing I would say: if you plan to raise him in NZ, then maybe you should pick a name that fits with NZ. Which would help him be less of an outsider with those loud American parents with many opinions. For example, I understand that "Wayne" is not a common name in the UK -to the point people think it is a joke, but I've heard that in AU it is sometimes used.

Here are my opinons:

Baxter- Dog
Otis - Dead black man
Sebastian - Punching bag
Tasman - Huh?
Clive - 70s gigolo (not a bad thing!)
Grover - Jazz man or blue creature
Tucker - Did you see Talented Mr Ripley. Philip Hoffmann "Dickkkky". Tucker is that kind of name.
Cascius - How about Cassiel from Wings of Desire?
Xavier - Cabbage Patch Doll

Hadley's picks...

Leo - Not bad, but Leonard? or Leonard-o?
Lucas - Dog
Simon - Punching bag
Miles - Dead black man
Austin - Not bad
Oren - Hatch? Sounds like a brand name of lard.
Soren - name of capt'n in sci fi movie
Satchel - Same as Tucker. Will he emerge from the womb wearing seersucker?

Other possibilities we've considered...

Alistair - Punching bag
Baz - What about Maz? Paz? (Spaz)
Duncan - Punching bag
Griffen - What about Griffin? You give him a yuppie name like this and want to make it hard by adding the "e"?
Ashton - Put down the US Weekly.
Felix - Not bad!
Ellis - Not bad!
Lucien - Serial killer
Oscar - Not bad!
Oliver - Dog
Otto - Dog or obese cartoon character
Chester - Hamster
Harper - Dog
Noah - Not bad!
Aiden - Once again, isn't the spelling of this with an "a"?

Since you have to grapple with the last name at least give him an easy to pronounce/spell first name. Starting it with an E would be good. Ellis, for example. Elvin! Elwood! Of the other dead black men names, Otis is a good one. (If you really went to arts school you would break down and call him "Pops").

Good luck! We are all rooting for Hadley to have a safe and joyful birth...!

Posted by: wayne at Aug 28, 2003 5:50:35 PM

I agree with almost all of Wayne's comments.

Most of the names that are on the list have already been "pre screened" in New Zealand. Keep in mind the Kiwi pronounciation of "e" as "E" as opposed to "eh" in US. So some people call Emory "EEmory" which is deeply unfortunate.

My top names are Jasper (not common in NZ and quite liked), Leo (not too common and quite acceptable), Oscar (one in every school), Owen (not many), Nelson (my favorite city in NZ so far), Lucas (always liked it).

Let's take a minute to talk about the most common names for kids Emory's age here in NZ. Hamish and Hayden and biggies if you can believe it - as well as Thomas, Henery, Oliver, William, Jack, Alex.

Wish the lil guy luck!

Posted by: Hadley at Aug 28, 2003 9:37:05 PM

I do not agree with Wayne's comments. (I do not agree with telling people you don't like the names they've picked out.) Names are so subjective, it's silly to try to convince someone that Lucas is a dog's name, etc. (My friend just named her son Lucas, by the way, so I believe it to be a baby's name, not a dog's name.) I am a fan of Lucas. Plus, then Phillip gets to say "Luke, I am your father."

I like Emory and I like the idea of naming #2 something NZ-inspired, especially if you don't live there forever. However, I hate myself for suggesting that you turn your family into some sort of place-related "theme".

Just two more thoughts:

A friend has two boys named Oliver and August. Very cute, I think.

I am not wild about an -er ending when your last name has it also. (My children will also have an -er ending which I feel eliminates Tucker, Grover, Taylor, Oscar, etc)

Best wishes on the new babe!

Whitney (W & H's friend)

Posted by: Whitney at Aug 29, 2003 10:38:23 AM

Whitney, it might be against your sense of manners to tell people what you think about their baby names, but the theme of the post was in fact "we are having a tough time picking one out" and it is on a blog with comments.

Certainly my reference to dog names was all in good humor.

Posted by: wayne at Aug 29, 2003 10:44:21 AM

Ok you two...break it up....all comments are welcome becuase in the end, we have to shout the name across the playground.

Now, I do have to say I have reservations about the -er ending last name with Fierlinger. But we are so desperate that we are considering all options.

So what about JASPER?

Philips dad just gave the thumbs up to Oliver and Roland...?

I like Emory and Jasper, Emory and Oliver, Emory and Lucas, Emory and Leo, Emory and Tremory (Emory's suggestion).

In the end, it will be the boy we love not his name but while there is choosing to be done it is hard to decide on someones fate in this way.

Posted by: hadley at Aug 29, 2003 11:08:37 AM

I think we discussed this before (maybe on the phone?) - but maybe you should pick a good regular middle name, just so there's something to 'fall back on'....

Posted by: wayne at Aug 29, 2003 11:14:39 AM

Hmmm. My mom had the "regular" middle name idea, even though my wild and crazy first name, Whitney, turned out to be just the right amount of uncommon, yet unremarkable. The middle name I got, Elizabeth, turned out to be the middle name of half the girls in my class. It's practically Jennifer.

Hadley, I like Jasper, even though it breaks the rule. Agree that Oliver and Lucas also sound good with Emory. However, my husband, he who brings me the three syllable -er name, would say that Oliver being three syllables is more of an offender than Jasper. It sounds more like it rhymes with Fierlinger.

Posted by: Whitney at Aug 29, 2003 11:20:38 AM

I like the idea of the 'place theme'. That's why Hadley is keen on Nelson. But it's so 50's white uptight conservative.

Tasman is the other name we came up with that's got local flahvah. But there's another American kid here with that name so Hadley ain't into it. I like it a lot. Taz. Anything else is too Maori, aka ethnic, and we're about as ethnic as a slice of Wonderbread.

I like Jasper. Jaz.

I want something that works as a cute kid name and a sofistikated adult name. Quirky. Fun. Uncommon, as Whitney (a GREAT name, btw) says.

I think Jasper is 'normal' enough not be freakie and try hard. But it's still relatively uncommon and lyrical and a bit quirky and fun.

Oliver and Emory is a great combo. But Oliver is way way too common and trendy right now.

It's too bad nobody digs Baxter. I love it. Fuck this dog shit. Where did you people come up with this dog thing?!?

We'll keep kicking it around. And please send in some of your suggestions.

Posted by: Philip Fierlinger at Aug 29, 2003 9:01:10 PM

"Fuck this dog shit"?

Emory to Philip: Watch the mouth, dad! Don't want to teach the baby bad words!

Where did we come up with Baxter as a dog name? Probably from hearing people yell "Baxter" at dogs in the park enough times that it stuck in the back of our minds...

Another example; Oliver as dog: http://www.textism.com/oliver/daily/?d=575 (I didn't just google that btw, I've read that blog before)

Posted by: wayne at Aug 31, 2003 6:31:59 AM

Ok, I agree with the no -er name comment Whitney made. I am just going to throw a few things out there....I just spent about 20 minutes on those baby name sites, I couldn't find a damn thing. So,

I'm partial to the X names (except Baxter).
I like Felix Fierlinger.
I like Max.
I like Jackson. No X but sounds like it might.

I like Theo. I had a friend who was a Theo, but pronounced 'tay-o'

I like Otto, I like Oliver, except for the -er problem.

Posted by: Heidi at Aug 31, 2003 1:58:52 PM

Thayo? Is this guy a "reggae friend"?

On P Diddy's "making the band" you will recall one of the brats is named "Dylan." Pronounced Dye-lon. Of course this wayward yut flies off the handle when people say it the regular way.

Posted by: wayne at Aug 31, 2003 2:08:42 PM

Yes, now I remember why I dropped off all the mailing lists you are a part of.

Posted by: Heidi at Aug 31, 2003 2:10:40 PM

Because I'm not a reggae lover?

Posted by: wayne at Aug 31, 2003 2:13:07 PM

Doesn't Wayne's friendster bio claim "I have a good attitude."???

Posted by: Philip Fierlinger at Aug 31, 2003 6:49:06 PM

I have a great attitude. That's why I was the first one to respond to this thread with my feedback. Because I want your kid to have a good name.

If I had a bad attitude I would have said nothing and snickered behind your backs everytime I heard reference to "baby Alistair."

Posted by: wayne at Sep 1, 2003 4:00:25 AM

Too funny! I totally appreciate everyone's comments about the name - all suggestions are welcome except anyone that supports naming a human being Baxter - there are some really good names out there and what seems to have happend is that when 2 people try to name their child (and one of them is Philip) you have to compromise. I will state right now that I NEVER considered Tasman for a second and Philip... we can get a dog someday and name it Baxter Otis Felix or whatever the hell you want. Get over it!

The kid will be Jasper - it works for us and there ain't nothing better. I'm not a fan of common names which eliminates a lot and then Philip doesn't like any name I ever came up with so Jasper is it. And for the reggae fans you can alwyas call him "JA!" It is accepted in NZ and US and Kiwi's can't fuck up the pronounciation too badly.

Any day now folks...!

Posted by: at Sep 3, 2003 9:46:52 PM