Saturday, 5 April 2008

and I dub thee

When I was a teenager, dreaming about the man I would marry and the life we'd have, I had certain names picked out for my children.Strong names. Odd names. Names that were different enough to stand out.

These obviously changed over the years. If they hadn't, Rosey would have been London Magdalena Chardonnay - a pretty name, but perhaps more suited for poodles, and Cass would have been...well, something unintelligible.

I've only had a few planned out rules. Nothing too freaky-deaky, (although I'm guessing I blew that with Chardonnay) and no obtuse spellings. Nothing that my child would have to keep explaining year after year.

Naming Cass was (in hindsight) easy. After some pondering and the sad realization that my father's name was very close to the sound of my husband's last name (put together, it sounded like a stutter) the rest of his name was cemented quickly.

Rosey was different. I'd long wanted to name any girl-child I had after my grandmother (who is still one of the best people I know) but the derivative 'Rosie' or 'Rose' just didn't sit right. Rose was too grown up, and choppy. 'Rosie' was just wrong. But (and I refer back to my obscure child naming-rules here) no odd spellings, right? Rosemary seemed too heavy a mantle for a small girl to wear - when she grew older, it would be beautiful - but until she grew up? Rosey would be fine.

Help came from the oddest source. I was at one of my thousands of many doctor visits throughout my pregnancy, and the nurse (who had a Southern accent. A Southern accent*. In northeastern Canada. Turns out she was doing a work-study program and would soon go home.) asked about baby names and we chatted. I mentioned the Rosemary problem and she shrugged. 'But if you're naming her Rosemary, the contraction of that IS Rosey. Her name would have to be Rosemarie for it to be Rosie. E-Y is also the traditional spelling for Rosey.'

Ta-da! We had a winner!

I was reminded of this tonight when Rosey and I were reading her book before bed. Her latest choices from the library include a Franklin book, a book about cats, and a book about a small girl teaching her dog tricks called 'Roll Over, Rosie.'

Rosey stirred next to me in the bed and pointed at the letter R. 'R is for Rosey!' she exclaimed. 'And here's O, and S....her voice trailed off.

'This name sounds like yours, doesn't it?' I said, rallying myself to talk about words that wounded the same but were spelled differently, and how this didn't mean she was a dog, and...

Rosey cut me off. 'Her name is spelled WRONG, Mama. It's WRONG. That's NOT MY NAME.'

Right on, baby girl.

*As does my grandmother Rosemary, as she lives in Kentucky.


Stomper Girl said...

I relate to this post a lot. Climber has a name that is a shortened version of another name because I don't like the long version and Cherub's name is something that is sometimes spelled differently. But as all my aunts informed me, I have spelled it the RIGHT way.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

I too imagined names for children yet unborn and came up with Robin, Amber and Hazel. That would be a bird, a rock and a nut.

meggie said...

Nice to hear the story of Rosey's name. I have a story a little like that about my daughter's name.

Sarah Louise said...


I actually got to help name my sister. I was all gung-ho for Laura, Melissa, Caroline (it was my Little House in the Prairie phase). The name we settled on had the most nickname possibilities...and wouldn't you know, the Dutch diminutive that my dad dubbed her with about three months in has stuck for twenty six years. The odd name that no one can spell and most people mispronounce, has stuck.

I love the name Rosemary. You chose well.

My float said...

Clearly you should send the book back to the publisher and advise of the error.

(Rosemary is a beautiful name. It was one of my choices when I was little!)

Joke said...

I'm lucky to live in a place where everyone thinks it the height of civilization to name their children "Kaylen" or similar.

My rules were simple: NOS would be named after me (as is the family tradition, making NOS really NOS IV, about which he isn't just proud, but smug) and everyobody else would have a name that was identical in both English and Spanish.

TFBIM's always been scarred by a lifetime of "how do you spell that?" or "excuse me?"


jeneflower said...

I had similar odd names chosen. But they were all girl names and I had boys. Even then I came up with some pretty cool boy names at the last minute, but my husband was too traditional with names and I didn't even get to choose Pineapple's real name in the end.

Suzanne said...

I love how your kids have easy, but uncommon names.

The names I'd imagined and the names my kids ended up with? Two VERY different things!

Anonymous said...

I LOVE having a different spelling from every other "Crystell". I'm sure there are other "Crystells", but I would bet you wouldn't find another Crystell Wefer!