Odd topic, but I’m just wondering what contexts people put prospective names in when they’re taking it out for a test drive. [name]Do[/name] you imagine it announced at a high school graduation ceremony? Picture it scribbled in crayon on a drawing hanging on the refrigerator? On a [name]Christmas[/name] stocking hanging on the mantle? A resume? A wedding invitation? A Presidential swearing in? Etc…
I usually picture it being called out in a playground, read for roll call at school, being said when a friend calls to speak to your child, in block letters for a University application and on wedding invitations. Never thought about crayon drawings or stockings–those are good ones to consider!
I do this a few different ways. First I imagine myself saying something to the child at home. For example, “[name]June[/name], could you set the table please?” sounds much more natural and realistic to me than “[name]Olympia[/name], have you done your homework yet?”. If there’s no one else home I say it out loud and see if that helps. I actually used to [name]LOVE[/name] the name [name]Olympia[/name], but when I realized I couldn’t picture myself saying it every day, I crossed it off the list.
Then I try imagining myself introducing my family. “[name]Hi[/name], I’m [name]Kaitlin[/name], and this is my son [name]Jack[/name].” versus “[name]Hi[/name], I’m [name]Kaitlin[/name], and this is my son [name]Odysseus[/name].” (Disclaimer: I don’t actually like the name [name]Odysseus[/name]. [name]Don[/name]'t kill me :lol: )
I also try imagining calling the name in a crowded area; like at a park, playground, or grocery store. When I was a toddler, my mom took me to the grocery store and heard a woman calling for her son, who had wandered away… “[name]Echo[/name]! Where are you? [name]Echo[/name]!” She still remembers it to this day. Is the name something that makes everybody turn their head and give you a weird look, or do five other kids of the same name come running? It’s much easier for me to picture myself yelling “[name]Susannah[/name], it’s time to go home!” than it is for me to picture myself yelling across the same playground, “[name]Clarabelle[/name], don’t throw the mulch!” I also try to think of ways other kids could tease the child with that name. I had a friend named [name]Kelli[/name] growing up… you wouldn’t think it would have much teasing potential, but she was a little bit overweight and the other kids called her “[name]Kelli[/name] Belly, [name]Kelli[/name] Jelly, Jelly Belly, Jelly Bean, [name]Kelli[/name] Bean”, et c. They got that from the “[name]Hannah[/name] [name]Hannah[/name] [name]Bo[/name] Bannah” song… if you’re really having trouble, sing that to yourself! It helps a lot!
Personally, I don’t put too much stock into the whole, “You can’t be president/a doctor/a lawyer if you’re named [name]Daisy[/name] or [name]Zeus[/name]” mentality. I had a [name]MALE[/name] ob/gyn once whose name was Boo, and there’s a very well-respected doctor in my area named Sweetie. Names like those might raise eyebrows, but it doesn’t mean that if the child is driven enough they can’t be in those professions anyway.
I have a few scenarios I imagine: #1 is always calling it out at the park. #2 is usually walking across the stage at university graduation. Then I think about regular talking around the house, scolding, at the alter on their wedding day, and teaching them to spell and say their name.
The first test is calling it out, like I’m calling the kiddo to dinner or something. That’s always the quickest to rule out contenders. One of my favorite names since [name]FOREVER[/name] ([name]Penelope[/name] nn [name]Penny[/name]) made me cringe when I called out “[name]Penny[/name], it’s time for dinner!” - I was so surprised! Then I picture the big events, like being called at graduation, said at a wedding ceremony, called out for an award, but those rarely make any difference - in fact, I still love [name]Penny[/name]/[name]Pen[/name] in those contexts. It’s calling it out for dinner that makes the biggest dent in my list…
I make my lists on my computer, so picturing it written (resume, wedding invitation, etc.) doesn’t really help - I’ve already seen it typed out.