Friday, February 28, 2014

What's in a Name?

Names fascinate me.
I love hearing the stories behind names
and the process parents go through to select them.

My parents tried to give each of their seven children unique, uncommon names.
Some of their attempts were more successful than others--
'Kaitlyn' certainly isn't a very uncommon name anymore!

I'm sure this played a role in the fact that when Sam and I began discussing names for our first little baby,
I was only interested in unusual names.
I quickly vetoed his suggestions of common names in pursuit of something
that was not on the Social Security Administration's
One day, about 6 months into my pregnancy, Sam was reading
This particular edition had the title and then simply "Talmage" underneath it on the front cover.
As he looked at the cover he questioned, "What about Talmage?"
And the more I thought about it, the more I liked it.
We tried it out from time to time, but we never settled on it for sure until
the moments immediately following our son's birth when we determined that it was the name for him.
Talmage Samuel.

When I became pregnant with Wesley, we didn't even begin discussing names much
until after the 20 week ultrasound and we knew it was a boy.
At least then our options would be narrowed down!
I outlawed any names beginning with 'T,' as I didn't want to start
a precedent that we would feel obligated to maintain
(which Sam thought was very silly).
One day as I looked through the hymnal at Church,
I noticed that the author of a hymn was Charles Wesley.
Seeing this reminded me of how much I loved the name Wesley.
I even had a teddy bear named Wesley in high school that my best friend gave me when I moved away!
I asked Sam about it and he loved it.
The only issue (to me) was how common it was.
But in the end, we determined that although the name Wesley was not at all unheard of,
neither of us actually knew a Wesley personally, so it was probably not all that common.
My dad's name is Scott, so that was an obvious choice for a middle name.
Wesley Scott.

By the time I became pregnant with Lincoln, we both knew what style we agreed on.
We liked names that were distinguished, yet masculine.
We wanted them to sound smart, accomplished, and dignified.
We also knew that we liked names that were typically last names.
Sam proposed the name Lincoln early on in my pregnancy,
and by this point the name being unusual mattered a lot less to me.
I had loved the name for a long time,
and it was especially meaningful because a man who had a really big influence in Sam's life
was named Lincoln.
Since Sam's dad is named Mark, we knew that would be the middle name.
We toyed around with other names a bit, but we never went far from Lincoln because it always felt just right.
Then one day, we were driving to Church and we saw this on the road in front of us:
Somehow, seeing 'Lincoln Mark' on the back of a luxury pick-up truck
was the perfect objectification of what we wanted in a name.
It was both distinguished and masculine.
And that kind of sealed the deal in my eyes.
Bonus: Talmage thinks it is so cool to see trucks with the same name as his baby brother.
Lincoln Mark.

What is the story behind your name?

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