Choosing baby names – would you call your child Jeremy?

I received an email this week from a chap called Simon Wright. It began thus…

“Hi Jo,

Umm… I have no idea whether you deal with messages like this on a regular basis, but I have a blog based around the subject of choosing baby names, and I was wondering if you’d like to take it? I’d like it to have a home somewhere.”

Well no Simon, I can’t say I do deal with messages like this on a regular basis. I read the piece, and it actually wasn’t bad. I asked what the catch was, but apparently there wasn’t one. Curiouser and Curiouser.

So, always keen to save myself a bit of time and effort where possible, I decided to give it a home. You can’t leave anyone out in the cold at Christmas after all can you?

“There’s no way!” I exclaimed, “Absolutely no way I’d ever call my child Jeremy! I want him to open the batting for England with a crisp cover drive for four. Call him Jeremy and he’ll grow up to be a car salesman or investment banker.”

I wasn’t entirely sure how I’d arrived at discussing children’s names with my future mother-in-law, but there I was. It was happening. It wasn’t awkward, as my fiancée and I have had the ‘name chat’ on a number of occasions, but it was an eye opener. For a lady who named her kids Simon and Laura – two perfectly good names – she was coming up with some right stinkers, while poo pooing what Laura and I had agreed on.

It got me thinking – should couples discuss the names of future children, without even having placed dough in the oven? And, that being the case, should one learn not to discuss too much with the other half’s mum? It’s a ‘yes’ in both instances.

I’m not sure it’s a particularly blokey thing to do, but I’ve enjoyed talking names with Laura. It’s interesting to get an impression on the types she likes, even if a lot of them are instantly vetoed. And it’s good to gauge her response to some of my suggestions. Jackson and Brodie, for example, were snubbed out quicker than the singing career of an X Factor finalist.

And yet, in the end, we settled on a couple – one for a boy and one for a girl. I look at it as an investment of sorts, as I’m assuming there’ll no longer be any need to buy baby-name books.

I shouldn’t, however, have fallen into the trap of discussing the subject with Laura’s mum, Ann. She’s lovely n’ all, but she has a very definitive point of view on almost everything. She can also talk for queen and country. By the end of the natter, it was clear Ann wasn’t a fan of one chosen name. She said we shouldn’t care what she thinks, but you want a future grandparent to like what you choose, right?

Funnily enough, Ann suggested our chosen boy’s name, Toby, was rather ‘rah’. She seemed to think it sounded smarmy and snobby. I reminded her of Jeremy. And then refrained from telling her we’ll be naming any daughter India. That would have opened up a can of worms far bigger than I could’ve handled alone…



  1. 15 December, 2011 / 12:08 pm

    I think that Simon should get out and blog a bit more! Toby is a Good name : remember the song from the film Juno that goes ” I never met a Toby that I didn’t like”

    • 16 December, 2011 / 12:16 pm

      He should shouldn’t he? I’ve said he’s very welcome if he ever needs a home for anything else!

      • Simon
        16 December, 2011 / 1:07 pm

        Well if ever I have some homeless writing that I think might fit in here, I’ll be sure to zap it over. Smiley face thingy.

  2. 15 December, 2011 / 1:37 pm

    I like the name Toby but wouldn’t use it as my daughter has 2 friends called Toby.

    We really struggled with names for our 3rd child, especially as we needed a boy’s name. We had enough trouble with our second (who was a boy).

    I really liked Bobby but hubby would only let me have Bobby if the middle name would be Robson (huge footy fan, if you couldn’t guess!)

    Bobby Robson ***** had a certain ring to it and I liked the sound of it but I just couldn’t give my child that name with everyone assuming he would be a football fan later in life.

  3. 15 December, 2011 / 1:56 pm

    Ha ha, my brother is called Jeremy and he’s no investment banker! I find it so interesting on people’s opinions and judgement of a name. And yes it is a complicated process finding a name. Toby is lovely though x

  4. 16 December, 2011 / 12:36 am

    I learned a long time ago not to tell anyone the names you were considering. If you present it as a done deal, that’s a different thing as people don’t challenge you quite as much. But god, if you’re just musing – everyone has a reason not to name that child that name.
    I remember telling my mother the name of my first, (if the sex turned out to be fact) and she said “Oh, well, yes, I would have to get used to that”. (Protecting the Queenager’s privacy here) – the name wasn’t that unusual really, and certainly not made up.
    Ironically, the name I chose for my 2nd (a son) was so unusual that people asked me where it came from. 7 years later it started its annual appearance on the most popular names list. Argh!

  5. 16 December, 2011 / 7:12 pm

    I didn’t tell anyone, didn’t even give it any thought untill I laid eyes on my tow soon after the births, a name just popped into my head and that was that!

    All I did check b4 sealing the deal was what the initials would read, as my ex’s initials ended up being A S S lol, as it turns out rather appropriate ( maybe his mother is psychic! lol)

  6. 18 December, 2011 / 10:16 pm

    See, I skim read this on my phone from work and got all confused thinking I’d missed your engagement and decision to have another baby called India and wow what would your two think about that, and oh how I hoped it was all working out well and gosh that seemed like a big step etc etc.

    Then I came back and read it properly, and enjoyed it – nice post Simon! :)

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