wonderfully made: what's in a name?

Thursday, December 3, 2015

what's in a name?

I find it a little humorous that there was so much hype and mystery to "baby B's" name reveal but after he was born, no one has really said much about it. I've gotten a lot of "I love it!" and a few "oh..." but overall the anticipation just kind of fizzled out. See, y'all, it wasn't that hard to wait! 

Since we weren't public with our name choices, I thought I'd share a little bit about Beau's name now that he is here to speak for himself!

Beau wasn't on our boy list for the first 10 weeks of pregnancy. We had lots of other names, but it just wasn't on there! 

Our criteria for a name was this:

-it had to be easy to say if someone was reading it for the first time
-it had to be easy to spell (ok, Beau isn't super easy because some spell it Bo, but it's not an uncommon spelling)
-it couldn't be too super trendy
-it had to be able to grow with him
-it couldn't be super popular (I don't want him to be Beau B. out of 4 Beaus in his classroom)
-it needed to sound good with our last name
-it couldn't have any obvious nicknames
-it couldn't be shortened (or if it could, it had to be equally good sounding)
-it couldn't end in 'en' or 'an' or any 'n' sounds because we have enough n's in our last name.

I also thought a one syllable name sounded good with our last name, but that wasn't a make-or-break rule. 

So with all of those rules, you can imagine we didn't have many names on our list. Then those names were narrowed down based on our individual opinions. Mark slashed quite a few of my names! I would love to tell you all the names we considered but I deleted my ongoing list. I did like some crazy names like Bodhi but that one doesn't really meet our criteria and most people think it's a silly name. I tend to agree, but it's silly in a cool kind of way, haha!

Anyway, after we found out he was a HE, the pressure was on to choose a name. We already had a girl name chosen but no boy name simply because we couldn't agree on something. I cried the night of our gender reveal (hi, hormones) because the reality of raising a boy was hitting me AND I felt guilty and like a horrible mom because I didn't have a name for my son. Weird, right? I'm very quick to make decisions and I wanted to know right then what his name would be, but Mark wanted to think it over. He would have waited until the day he was born to pick a name if I had let him! 

We decided that we would consider some names and decide in a week. The days went by as we sent each other name choices and started putting them together with middle names. One day I heard the name Beau (I don't remember where!) and I texted him and asked him if he liked it. He said he did, but he wasn't sold immediately. It was kept on the table though. 

We had kind of wanted to use Andrew as a middle name because we really like the name and it happens to be my dad's name. I think it's just a solid name in general. However, I liked the way Beau sounded with longer middle names so (full disclosure) I suggested we do Beau Alexander or Beau Anderson, but Mark didn't like it. 

We narrowed down our choices to 3 and I wrote them on a paper and put them on the fridge for Mark to think about (he would put it off if it wasn't right in front of him). We lasted about 2 more days and that's when Mark said "let's name him Beau." Yay!

Of course I then googled Beau Buchanan a little and didn't find anything. I knew the name was French for handsome or beautiful, which I think is nice, but we weren't just trying to insinuate our kid is the most gorgeous of them all or anything. I found an online forum in the UK asking for opinions of the name Beau and apparently Brits (and Scots and others) think Beau is a HORRID name and they can't imagine anyone ever choosing that for their son! The consensus was that it is 'poncey' or pretentious for someone to call their child a name that means beautiful or handsome in the case that the child ends up being really ugly. I think that's kind of funny and if you use that logic for the name Beau, wouldn't you use it for everyone? What about the people named Precious or Belle or Bella or Grace, etc? Those Brits are pretty funny, though.

Reading that forum made me dig in a little more and I came to the realization that it's obviously more of a southern name. Beau was Melanie Wilkes' son in Gone With the Wind and someone pointed out that many people named their children after the General their fathers served under in the civil war. Apparently General Beauregard had a lot of troops under him so "Beau" was more common after the war. There are a few other famous Beau's like the late Beau Biden, Beau Bennett (a hockey player) and there are a few girl Beau's as well. 

A few days after Beau was born, we heard that "Bo" Buchanan was a character in a soap opera. We figured it was an old show and most people wouldn't know about it, but we overheard our nurses at the pediatrician talking about the character's name and it's been the most common thing we've heard about his name since! I think it's kind of hilarious...

Anyway, we chose Beau Andrew because we like the name and we think it will suit our little guy for the next 80, 90, or more years. :)

And...as far as pronunciation goes, that's been kind of hit or miss. I've gotten a couple "Byew" mispronunciations and it's hard to wrap my head around, but I guess some people just haven't heard the name. I was even asked how to pronounce "her" name on the phone once...I just have to laugh! 

At the end of the day, we love our boy and we love the name we chose for him, and I guess that's all that matters. And for the record, I think our plan if we have any more babies would be the same - to keep the name a secret until birth. Isn't it more fun that way? ;)

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