Naming Colin

Naming ColinWhat’s in a name?

For Fiona, about 15 seconds: that’s about how long it took us to come up with “Fiona”. On 5 February 2010, after an ultrasound confirmed that we were having a girl, we went to Susan’s doctor’s office, in the same building, for the next appointment. In the waiting room, we started discussing possibilities for a name. With an Irish(-ish) last name, and (we think) some Irish heritage, with thought an Irish-inspired name would be in order. The first name that came to mind was Sinead. But not only would we think of Ireland’s most famous counterculture alternative and folk-rock musician every time we said our daughter’s name, we also didn’t think it was a very nice name (perhaps we’re too American). Then Susan suggested, “What about Fiona?”

Yes, Fiona sounded right. And Fiona it was. (Fiona’s middle name, Claire, came up fairly early in our discussions on her name, but it took us a little longer to settle on it.)

Colin’s name, on the other hand, was a different story. We thought Fiona Claire Joyce was such a beautiful, perfect name, so the pressure was high to come up with one that was just as good. As we’ve mentioned, “Lachlan” and “Noah” were the early frontrunners. Lachlan was Irish, like Fiona’s name, but perhaps it was a little too Irish: we would have started a trend, and the names of any future children would have to follow. Noah, it seemed to me, sounded a little too much like Fiona: a long o followed by a schwa a, with an n thrown in there, too. (And, as we learned recently, a little too trendy, too: it was the most popular boy’s name in the United States in 2013, displacing Jacob’s 14-year run in first place.) But they never felt quite right.

“Colin” only came up on the second day at the hospital; it was never on our list. Everett was, however, and paired with Colin it was as close as we were ever going to get to matching the perfection of our first child’s name. It was the perfect name for our perfect little boy.

See our list of possible names for Colin. Some, such as Lachlan, we considered much more seriously than others. (Frost? Seriously? That was on the list?)


This article appeared on page 15 of Issue 13 | January 2014.

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