What were you almost named?

I just had this conversation with my parents, always an interesting topic.

Their top alternatives for me were [name_f]Eleanor[/name_f] [name_f]Rose[/name_f] and [name_f]Cerys[/name_f] [name_f]Grace[/name_f]. They also really liked [name_f]Ottilie[/name_f]. They knew I would be a girl so never really looked at boys names but I know from asking about my brother’s name that my Dad liked also [name_m]Wilbur[/name_m] and [name_m]Basil[/name_m] and my mum liked [name_m]Alfred[/name_m].

What were you almost called, berries?

I was very, very nearly [name_f]Eleanor[/name_f] but there was another baby [name_f]Eleanor[/name_f] and a baby [name_f]Ellie[/name_f] on the maternity ward when my mum had me, so she looked at me and decided i was a [name_f]Grace[/name_f].

She also considered [name_f]Holly[/name_f], [name_f]Zoe[/name_f] and [name_m]Ewan[/name_m]

My mom’s favorites were [name_f]Olivia[/name_f] and [name_f]Salome[/name_f]. Dad loved [name_f]Angelica[/name_f].
Guess mom won because [name_f]Celia[/name_f] kind of sounds like a combination of [name_f]Salome[/name_f] and [name_f]Olivia[/name_f]!

Well I’m the only boring one here… My parents when they learnt that I was a girl they decided to name me [name_f]Eirini[/name_f] [name_f]Eleni[/name_f] (my grandmothers’ names)

Not just you—I’m named after two of my great-grandmothers; there weren’t any alternatives on the table as far as I’m aware. But had they named me after the other two great-grandmothers, I would have been Eutalla [name_f]Lurline[/name_f]…

I’m [name_u]Hillary[/name_u], but I know that the other top two names my parents were considering for me were [name_f]Alison[/name_f] and [name_f]Heather[/name_f]. When I’ve asked why, they basically just say “I dunno, we just liked those and didn’t know anyone with those names.” Thank goodness they didn’t go with [name_f]Alison[/name_f]. Not only do I dislike the name, I also know a million of them! [name_f]Heather[/name_f] is okay, although I don’t think it would fit me at all.

Oddly though, a lot of people forget my name and end up calling me [name_f]Heather[/name_f], despite it sounding nothing like [name_u]Hillary[/name_u] and only sharing the same first letter. Never [name_f]Holly[/name_f] or [name_f]Hallie[/name_f] or [name_f]Hailey[/name_f] or anything, just [name_f]Heather[/name_f] every time. Go figure.

My dad has this running joke that he almost named me [name_f]Celeste[/name_f] or a variant. It’s only running because as a child I was extremely fun to troll and I already hated my name so it was easy to stoke me up by mentioning it. The reason it’s so terrible and I know this is just a joke is because our surname is a variant of it. They couldn’t decide whether or not to name me after my maternal grandmother (with [name_f]Teresa[/name_f] and [name_f]Tessa[/name_f] variants) or after my dad and his sister (who were [name_u]Laurence[/name_u] and [name_f]Lorraine[/name_f] respectively). They had several picks. In the end they went with [name_f]Laura[/name_f], for my dad, and [name_f]Mae[/name_f], after my mom’s nickname.

(They gave up honoring anyone with my sister’s name and went with [name_f]Lily[/name_f] [name_f]Anne[/name_f]. I almost named myself [name_m]Daniel[/name_m] as a six-year-old, which is strange considering my dad has a cousin of that name several years older than me and that by that point I hadn’t met him yet.)

If I’d been born a boy I could’ve been [name_m]Sanjiv[/name_m] (?? still dunno the deal about that) or [name_m]Miguel[/name_m]–and what’s weird about the last option is that my dad has a colleague and friend who is also my godfather. [name_m]Said[/name_m] godfather has four kids, three boys and one girl. The girl is his second child and born two months after me, in the same year, and his third child and second son is named [name_m]Miguel[/name_m]. To think that if [name_f]Ella[/name_f] and I had been born boys, we might’ve had the same name is [name_m]WILD[/name_m].

There weren’t too many ideas thrown around before they came up with [name_f]Carlene[/name_f], but my dad has said that he really liked [name_f]Charity[/name_f], and my mom hated it. And my mom liked [name_f]Bridget[/name_f], and my dad hated it. My dad heard the name [name_f]Carlene[/name_f] on the radio, and thought it was cool. And I think it was my mom who realized that it could be a combination of my dad’s dad, [name_m]Carl[/name_m], and my mom’s mom, [name_f]Arlene[/name_f].

If I were a boy, I would’ve been [name_m]Daniel[/name_m]. They were basically decided on that from the beginning. My dad wanted [name_m]Daniel[/name_m] [name_m]Joshua[/name_m], but they never decided on a middle name for that.

My mom picked [name_f]Stephanie[/name_f] before my parents were married - but other names thrown around or really liked by my parents were [name_f]Rachel[/name_f], [name_f]Hannah[/name_f], [name_f]Amber[/name_f] (mom), [name_f]Julia[/name_f] (mom), [name_f]Priscilla[/name_f] (dad). My dad also really liked [name_f]Frances[/name_f]/[name_u]Francis[/name_u]. He pitched it as a middle name both for me and for my brother (to no result).

My middle name was more of a close call; I was due near my grandmother’s birthday, so my parents agreed that if I was born on her actual birthday, my middle name would be her first name ([name_f]Barbara[/name_f]), and if not, I would share my mom’s middle name. I was born 4 days after she turned 50 and became [name_f]Stephanie[/name_f] [name_u]Rae[/name_u].

I was almost [name_f]Johanne[/name_f] after a grandmother of a sorts (the one we took our last name from), but the midwife said i looked “too cheeky” for the name when I arrived, and so I ended up with [name_f]Johanne[/name_f] as my middle name instead and a 20-years-running top 10 name instead… If nothing else I have to agree my actual name has a lot more bite than [name_f]Johanne[/name_f] even if I’ve always felt very disconnected from it.

If I was a boy I would have been a [name_m]Victor[/name_m]. Really happy that didn’t happen as I’ve never met a likeable [name_m]Victor[/name_m] so far. One of my mom’s best friends ended up using [name_m]Victor[/name_m] a few months before my brother was born, so my parents couldn’t even use it then, though I don’t think it was on the table second time around.

[name_u]Brynn[/name_u] is a chosen name. I ultimately named myself after a person I admired with the last name [name_m]Brenner[/name_m] and because of my personal phoenix motif (in [name_m]German[/name_m], words that include “brenn” have to do with fire).

[name_u]Sage[/name_u] and [name_u]Jasper[/name_u] were top contenders at one point, though, as were more unorthodox choices like [name_u]Zephyr[/name_u] and [name_u]Phoenix[/name_u]. But since my last name is already a bird - think “[name_u]Brynn[/name_u] Cardinal” - I decided most if not all word names were going to be too literal and sound silly.

Three years later, I’m glad I went with [name_u]Brynn[/name_u]! I still love the names [name_u]Sage[/name_u] and [name_u]Jasper[/name_u] on any gender, but neither one of them would have suited me. [name_u]Zephyr[/name_u] and [name_u]Phoenix[/name_u] are cool when other people choose them, but I wouldn’t have been able to take myself seriously named [name_u]Zephyr[/name_u] Cardinal or [name_u]Phoenix[/name_u] Cardinal.

I was almost named [name_f]Violet[/name_f], and my sister was almost named [name_f]Lily[/name_f].

My mum loved [name_f]Eliza[/name_f], [name_f]Kate[/name_f] and [name_f]Helena[/name_f]. My dad loved [name_f]Henrietta[/name_f] and [name_f]Roberta[/name_f]. They compromised on [name_f]Emma[/name_f] (and I know about a hundred others!) I do like my name, though.

DH was almost [name_m]Thaddeus[/name_m] or [name_m]Dmitri[/name_m], or [name_f]Electra[/name_f] if he’d been a girl (his half-sister now has this as a middle). His actual name is just as magnificent, although a little more mainstream!

I was born in the mid to late 90’s. Had I been a boy my dad wanted to name me [name_u]Dillon[/name_u] with that spelling. My mom wasn’t crazy about it but would have used it. For girls names my mom wanted [name_u]Reese[/name_u], but got talked out of it. I think it would have been cool to be called [name_u]Reese[/name_u] but I don’t mind my name. My mom also liked [name_f]Christina[/name_f] which I loved when I was little but am now glad my dad vetoed it (it’s a pretty name, just dated to me).

My mom wanted to name one of her three girls [name_f]Frances[/name_f] and my dad never got on board with it. When we were little my sisters and I used to laugh and thank god we weren’t named [name_f]Frances[/name_f], and now I adore this name lol.

Also, my own name is just one letter shy of one of my favorite girl’s names, I do wish my parents chose that variation. Oh well!

If I had been a boy, I would have been [name_u]Michael[/name_u] [name_u]James[/name_u]. My mom was later pissed to find out that I would have essentially been named for my cousin, [name_u]James[/name_u] [name_u]Michael[/name_u], whose middle name she hadn’t heard before I was born. Thankfully, a week before I was born, the doctor looked at my parents and told him they were probably not getting the little boy they were expecting (ultrasounds were a new technology at the time).

As it stands, if my grandma had gotten her way (thankfully she didn’t speak up before I was born & my mom was prepared to put her foot down in opposition) I would have been [name_u]Kimberly[/name_u] [name_f]Ann[/name_f] (yep, doesn’t fit me at all).

Oh boy have I got a doozy. I was almost bestowed with the name [name_f]Hannah[/name_f] Rhododendron. I’m not even joking, I can’t make this stuff up. My father is an artist and nature lover and Rhododendron was his favorite flower. Luckily they opted for [name_f]Rose[/name_f] instead. :slight_smile:

I was almost name [name_f]Brandi[/name_f] or [name_f]Tara[/name_f]. My mom liked [name_f]Raquel[/name_f] after [name_f]Raquel[/name_f] [name_m]Welch[/name_m], but she knew I’d be too Scandi for a name like that.

I am so grateful she didn’t name me [name_f]Brandi[/name_f] [name_u]Lynn[/name_u]. And [name_f]Tara[/name_f] is kinda of dated, but not too bad. Both names are just really Southern.

Instead my parents chose a classier, soft, uncommon name for me. It fits way better.

I would have been called [name_m]Andrew[/name_m] [name_m]Alexander[/name_m], “[name_u]Andy[/name_u]” if I were a boy.

[name_f]Isabella[/name_f]. I wish they had gone for that!

They knew I would be a girl, and my mum really wanted to call me [name_f]Honey[/name_f] - thank god she didn’t. Wouldn’t fit me as a person at all. Went with more of a popular 90s name that also was acceptable as a Muslim name. She also wanted to call my brother “[name_m]Zebedee[/name_m]”. We talked her out of that one. Shockingly, me and my siblings all have normal names, considering what she was into (and my dad was very indifferent about the names).