Our Baby Name Stories

This month I’ve watched a few videos where mums have shared the story behind their children’s names, and I thought it’d be fun to tell you about ours too.

I’ll leave a link to some of the videos at the end, by the way.


Our approach to naming

The first thing that made naming our kids (relatively) easy was that we’re mostly on the same page. There’s no clash between modern and traditional, likes and dislikes. Sure, there were names that we individually voted no on but we vowed to disregard any that we didn’t both like.

Style wise we both like something that’s unusual or not too popular. This didn’t work out too well with Oscar as it’s incredibly popular, but at the time it was one we didn’t hear out and about very often. We went a bit more ‘out there’ with our second, which doesn’t appear in the Top 100 at all.


The biggest

Back in 2013 just a few weeks before Christmas our beautiful boy arrived. We were massively unprepared and names were the last thing on our minds. Still, we couldn’t let him go nameless right?

We borrowed a baby names book from the hospital and looked at every page. Maybe we even did it twice. I’ve always found boys names harder to choose and I’m one of those people who has to truly love a name before considering it.

In the end we narrowed it down to two contenders: Harry or Oscar. I think Oscar was the frontrunner anyway but after asking a few people on the ward they all said the same, and just like that he was named. We chose Robert as a middle name, which is a family name.  

Looking back it seems to obvious, as our boy just isn’t a Harry at all. I know we made the right choice and his name suits him perfectly. I mean, it even has the word car in it. How more aligned can you get?


The newbie

We had a whole lot more time to prepare for baby number two, but it still took until ten days after she was born to finalise a name.

We went through several rounds of shortlisting. Then adding more names. Then taking some off again. I’ve lost count of how many ‘baby names’ websites we looked at this year.

By the time she was born we had pretty much narrowed it down to three contenders: Matilda, Amber and Ottilie. Matilda was a firm favourite right from the start but I had reservations about how popular it was and wasn’t sure on the shortened Tilly (which is ironic, because that’s pretty much what she gets called 100% of the time now.)

I found Ottilie on a list of names online when I was searching for names similar to Matilda. And I just fell in love with it. I liked the way it sounded when spoken, the way it looks written down. The way it’s unusual yet pretty. We were a bit hesitant about giving both kids names starting with the same letter but then I realised that it doesn’t matter at all. Go with what you love.

Despite it being my favourite for the final few months, we didn’t actually name her Ottilie until a week or two into her life. I found the finality of choosing her name difficult and wanted to be sure it wouldn’t be too awkward a name to carry off. I don’t worry now though – she’s a strong, loud little thing who I’m sure will be plenty confident.

For Ottilie we picked out two middle names – Amber Millie. Amber was my second favourite name, and Millie is another family name.


The reactions

Unsurprisingly everyone loved Oscar’s name. We got, and still get, compliments on how much it suits him and his character.

Ottilie however was met with either raised eyebrows or lashings of love. It seems to be a real ‘marmite’ name for people, although seems more familiar amongst people our age rather than older generations.  


What else was on the list?

For Oscar we only really had one alternative, Harry. Ottilie could have ended up as Amber, Lara, Lily, Chloe or any of the other ‘pretty’ names on our list. If she was a boy on arrival there was a bit of a running tale that she’d be Rupert, although whether we’d have committed to that we’ll never know.

More baby name stories

I was inspired to write this by a few videos I’d seen including these by Mummy Daddy Me and This Mama Life.

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