So, DH and I had settled on a name: [name_m]Dresden[/name_m]. We think it’s a beautiful name, meaning “from the riverside forest”. We initially thought of it as it’s the name of the main character in the [name_m]Dresden[/name_m] Files, an [name_u]Urban[/name_u] [name_f]Fantasy[/name_f] book series that both DH and I have really enjoyed for years. (Seriously, it’s like 14 books at this point). It’s set in Chicago, IL.
Aside from the book/TV series, we knew that [name_m]Dresden[/name_m] was also a [name_m]German[/name_m] capitol, and based on what our more-traveled friends had relayed, it’s a beautiful city of art, architecture, history, and a gorgeous countryside. We’ve tested it on about a dozen people, and have gotten almost universal positive response. One person of an older generation, though (late 50s, early 60s, a near stranger in my dance class), had a major negative response, as it is also the name of a town that was bombed during world war II, and her parents lived in the next town over.
I looked it up, and she’s right, it was fire bombed in WW2, there was great loss of life, and it’s still debated if it was a necessary action. Having learned more about its history, I now see it as a city of resilience and triumph over tragedy. It is a center of learning, architecture, and art today. But it’s still given me some pause.
Any location with a long history is sure to have chapters both wonderful and terrible. And [name_m]Dresden[/name_m] has a long, deep history. I’ve had the opportunity to chat with a couple current or recent residents of [name_m]Dresden[/name_m], and their opinion is that they like where they live, and though the city had more than its share of tragedy in WW2, the city of today is so much more.
However, I would like to avoid giving our child a name that makes a lot of people he meets feel like we named him “Devastation”. So, that’s where we are.
Looking around the web, I’ve seen reactions range from “What an awesome name!” to “[name_m]How[/name_m] could anyone even consider that?” I’m interested in other’s thoughts.
If you’d like to suggest alternate names, there’s an additional challenge: It can’t be on the current top 100 names in the US. My first name is a variation of the #1 name of my generation, and I’d like my child to avoid that experience.