An entry from the past:
I’ll never understand technology. Last summer I started an entry about our twins’ names and why we chose them. I kept getting interupted while I was writing the post, so I just left it open on my computer and added to it as I could. Unfortunately at one point, my computer crashed, and I lost everything.
I swear I checked this website 1,000 times, and just about every possible section and link for a draft of this entry, but I was never able to find it. I figured I would rewrite it eventually, but it’s been 11 months, and I haven’t gotten around to it yet.
For whatever reason, tonight as I was going through the wordpress site, here it is: my original draft of the name story. I didn’t quite finish it, and I have no idea where I was going with it where it cuts off at the end. But I would like to post it, as I wrote it almost a year ago. So without further ado, here is the story of our girls’ names.
From June 16, 2011
I’ve had a lot of people ask me for the story behind our baby name choices. There isn’t really much of a “story.” I’ve known for a long time that I wanted to give my babies names that are unique, but not necessarily so far out there that the names will be bizarre. No “Audio Science.”
I’m not sure if Will would have chosen unique names if he had the decision to make on his own, but he never expressed a desire for more common names. At one point during my pregnancy, someone asked us if we’d be naming our children after anyone in the family. We both emphatically said, “No!” right away, so that made me feel like he really did like the idea of using unique names, and I wasn’t just bullying him into. Growing up as Jessica and Will, I think we both felt like we wanted our children to have names more individual than those.
For a long time, I thought I would name any future female children Tecla (pronounced Teck-La) and Chiara. Tecla is the name of a woman I met in college when we were both training to become volunteer advocates for the Student Assault Recovery Center on campus. I really liked her, and I really liked her name. Chiara is the Italian word for light, or at least that’s what a voice teacher in college told me. I’m not sure when exactly I gave up on these names. I began to see Chiara appear a lot more as a name, although it was usually spelled Kiara. And I still like the name Tecla, but for some reason I didn’t want to use it anymore.
Before I was pregnant, I had hoped that eventually we would have a boy and a girl. And at some point, I found a boy name that I really liked and wanted to use. I don’t want to reveal it here in case I ever do lose my mind, decide I want to try and have another child, and we do end up with a boy. But I will say that the name is from Greek mythology. I ran it by Will not long after I decided I liked it, and he liked it too. Then, I wanted to find a girl name that was also from Greek mythology and would go well with the boy name. This was harder, because many of the female names from Greek mythology are fairly common, like Helen and even Athena. While others are definitely uncommon, but just aren’t “pretty” like Clytemnestra or Iphigenia. One time while I was running, using Siren as a name occured to me. I liked it, but I wasn’t sure if it should really be a girl’s name. The mythology behind the Sirens is not exactly positive.
While Sirens were beautiful and had beautiful singing voices:
they would sing to attract men sailing on ships. Their songs would cause the men to crash their ships on the rocks, and then the Sirens would devour them. In current fiction, the term Siren often has the connotation of being a temptress with evil motives. Despite this, though, I still really liked the name and the strength behind it.
Not long after thinking of it, I started blogging on the Runner’s World website, and I used the name Siren Song. The longer I used it and thought about it, the more I really liked it, and I felt fairly confident I would want to use it for a future child’s name.
So years before we even started trying to have a baby, I had a boy and a girl name chosen, and Will liked them too. When I found out we were having twins, I liked the fact that both names were from Greek mythology and that they kind of went together. However, it wasn’t a given that we would be having a boy and a girl. We continued looking for another boy and another girl name so that we would be prepared no matter what the genders turned out to be.
Will is the one who first suggested Imogen as a girl name. We first heard of it because there is a musician named Imogen Heap. It’s not like we’re giant fans, but we both really like one of her songs “Hide and Seek,” which I only know because it was on a mix CD that my younger sister made for me a few years ago. I’m not sure if Will thought of Imogen as a potential name and then looked it up in our name book, or if he saw it in the name book and that’s what made him consider it. Either way, he suggested it one night, before we knew the genders of the babies, and he showed it to me in the name book. The meaning isn’t anything special: a maiden, one who is innocent and pure. But it’s from the Shakespeare play Cymbeline, which we thought was neat.
So with these names in mind, we had the ultrasound appointment in December that determined we were having two girls. At this point, I wasn’t 100% certain that these were the names we would use, but they were our favorites. Also, at that point, Baby A had been a mover. She was always the more active baby at the ultrasounds. Baby B was less active, a little smaller, and she was much more cooperative when the ultrasound tech was determining the gender. We decided at this point that if we did use these names, Baby A would be Siren and Baby B would be Imogen.
Up until they were born, I was not 100% certain that these were the names we would use. I especially gave a lot of thought about naming a baby Siren. When she gives her name, people are always going to say, “What?” and probably ask her to spell it too. However Siren IS listed in the name book, so that made me feel like it’s at least a legitimate name. I considered the name Sirena and just calling calling her Siren, but I really don’t like Sirena all that much, and the more common spelling is Serena. I also considered Serenity, but even though I’ve never actually met anyone named that, it is an up and coming popular name. It was the 84th most popular girl name in 2010. (I blame Joss Whedon for this.) And we DEFINITELY did not want to use a popular name.
Once they were born,