All Articles Tagged "baby names"
Alicia Keys is to Egypt. Erykah is to Puma. Jill is to Jett. Kelis is to Knight. Ciara is to Future. Lil’ Kim is to Royal Reign. Beyonce is to Blue Ivy, and Kelly Rowland is to Titan Jewell.
With the recent birth of Kelly Rowland’s new addition, Titan Jewell, you can’t deny how unique and unexpected the chosen name is. Admittedly, when I initially learned her son’s name, I was a bit disappointed, and so was everyone else. Being a fan of Kelly’s, I was expecting something more. I don’t know what, just something more. Then after I learned the story behind the name, I decided to give her a pass. Then it dawned on me – I was doing exactly what I’ve known people to do in the past, judge and challenge the chosen name of a child. Kelly and her husband have explained that the name is special to their family. The name, Titan, means powerful, influential being. I should understand significant baby naming, given I too had named my own son an abundantly meaningful name. So who was I to judge?
I had always said when I had children their names would represent great significance and not just “sound good.” I remember as a kid not liking my birth name, self-proclaiming it as “ghetto” with no cool story behind it. “It sounded good,” is what my mother told me. To me, the chosen name was an afterthought since my mother originally had another name in mind, but somewhere between my mother’s pushing and her signing the birth certificate, she changed her mind. Long story short, my aunt proposed a different name and my mother went with it. As a child, I vowed that none of children’s names would be “ethnic,” contrary to my own birth name. As an adult, I learned my birth named meant “born on the 25th day.” Ironically, I was (I doubt my aunt knew this). So I guess I was meant for the name afterall.
Within two months of my own pregnancy I had solidified my son’s name, but chose to keep it a secret until birth, because I wasn’t interested in other people’s thoughts and opinions of the name. My friends hated my silence on the name and couldn’t believe that I was staying mum about something so simple. Even colleagues and strangers pried for the name but I didn’t budge. A month before delivery I told my parents and brother the name. Instantly, they loved the name. My dad was moved by the power of the name. Still, I wasn’t looking for any validation. The name was deemed special to me for personal reasons and that was enough.
The name: Harlem Shiloh
Harlem, because New York will forever hold a special place in my heart. It marked a lot of firsts – my first big girl job, my first big girl apartment. Harlem represented dreams – my dreams, in particular. Living in Harlem was the best time of my life. It represented good times with awesome people. To date, Harlem is my favorite place to be in New York. It’s full of life, and its people move to the beat of their own drum. It has flava like no other (despite what Brooklynites say). And let’s not forget the strength of its history – the Harlem Renaissance. Fittingly, I prayed that my son would be a movement all of his own.
Shiloh, meaning peace; a place of tranquility. I literally prayed this over my unborn son’s life (and my belly) every day of pregnancy. What I want(ed) more than anything was for my son to live in peace (and happiness), stress less, and confident in his own skin.
This was my boy’s unique name. This would be his story. But it’s less about uniqueness, and more about speaking meaning and purpose into your child’s life.
Did you give your child a unique name? Have you constantly had to explain its significance?
I was on the phone the other day with a receptionist at a doctors office. The woman was having me spell my daughter’s name for what had to be the 100th time. I try to be patient when this happens because I know her first name is long–11 letters–and African. It’s like nothing you’ve ever heard before. So when I begin to detect this woman’s tone changing, I make sure to chill. We’ll get there eventually.
And when we do, she lets out an exasperated sigh and says, “Why’d you give that child that name?”
“Excuse me?” I say, not sure if I heard her correctly.
“Why’d you give her a name that she’d be lucky if she can pronounce, let alone spell?”
I put the phone down and start taking off my earrings. Had this woman lost her mind? Of all the rude comments! And to think that she was representing someone’s business. I’m a second away from reaching into the phone to grab her neck when I remind myself that I knew this would happen. In fact, I almost didn’t give my daughter this name because of people like that receptionist.
“You can’t name her that!” said just about everyone when I told them the name I had chosen for my unborn child. Others would just start singing, ‘Mama Say Mama Sa Mama Coosa’ from Michael Jackson’s “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’.” They said it reminded them of that song. At one point, I stopped telling people because I didn’t want to hear it anymore.
What they failed to see was that I loved the name from the moment I first heard it. Ever fall in love with a sound? For some it’s the sweet cackle of a baby’s giggle, for me it was the rhythm of this name. Like music to my ears. The fact that it was African made it even better. Not just because my husband is African, but because I wanted a name that my child could live in to, a name that whenever spoken would create images of gold lit skies, and darkness. Black like the continent itself. And meaning? Yes, it has that too. This name means something.
Yet, it’s funny how I still had doubts.
“Do you have a name?” asked the doctor who delivered my daughter as she placed her on top of me, still wet and slippery like a fish freshly out of the water.
I was tired. Exhausted from a natural birth that had me laboring for 24 hours. Finally, I told her the short version because in that moment, I was no longer sure. Would I dare give her a name with 11 letters and five syllables? Would she be able to get a job? What if she was a gentle soul incapable of handling the teasing and insults that might come her way? Heck, what if she didn’t like it?
“Okay,” said the doctor, letting the name roll off of her tongue. “What’s the long version?” I spit it out. Every. Last. Syllable. There. Say what you want.
“Girl, you betta give that child all that name!”
We both laughed and in that moment I knew that I couldn’t go halfway. Why? To make it easy? To please other people? I’d been doing that my whole life and where had it gotten me? If I couldn’t stand for the name I wanted to give my child when would I ever stand for anything? This name was for both my child and me.
I think about the receptionist on the other end of the phone. Right now she represents all the ignorance and prejudice that will surely be a part of my daughter’s future.
How would I want her or anyone for that matter to respond?
Patience? Tried that.
Maybe I’d meet fire with fire.
I pick up the phone, and this time it is my tone that has changed. “Listen, Ma’am, I’m sorry if this name isn’t convenient for you, but from what I know you’re a receptionist not the name police. Mind your business.”
Check out Erickka Sy Savané’s column, Pop Mom Daily, right here or visit PopMomDaily.com. Before Erickka became a writer/editor, she was a model, actress, and MTV VJ. She lives with her husband and two daughters in Jersey City. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.
Thinking of a meaningful yet unique name for your new baby can be a difficult task. We love being helpful for the moms-to-be who may need help conjuring up some ideas and ways to get creative for a name. Consider naming your child according to the day of the week they were born? There are a lot of baby names with African origins that you can choose from for each day of the week. Did you know that Kofi is an African name usually used for baby boys which means to be born on a Friday? Click continue to learn more.
African Baby Names for Each Day of the Week
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For most moms-to-be the baby-naming-journey can be both exciting yet challenging. Most times, it’s important to select a unique name with meaning and family significance, but it’s not always easy to do so. If you’re looking to be inspired by other mommies or curious about popular baby names in New York, click continue!
17 Popular Baby Names in New York for Boys and Girls
Yes, Mommy, we know the baby naming journey can be challenging. but we are thankful for the many naming guides and resources out there that exist. The Best Baby Names Treasury: Your Ultimate Naming Resource is a popular one and we’ve gleaned 15 names from there that with the meaning ‘wise.’ Click continue to check them out!
15 Baby Names with the Meaning ‘Wise’ for Boys and Girls
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We love unearthing and shining a light on baby names that are a rarity. If you’re an expectant mommy-to-be and you’re embarking on your baby-naming journey, we understand that finding inspiration can be difficult. If you’re like us then you’re big on resources too. We’ve been flipping through a few naming guides and came across so many unique and meaningful African baby names beginning with the letter “Z.” Click continue to check them out (all names and it’s meanings are according to The Best Baby Names Treasury: Your Ultimate Naming Resource.)
20 Meaningful African Baby Names That Begin With “Z”
As an expectant mommy-to-be searching for the perfect baby name could be tricky. But no worries, there are many creative ways to get unique ideas for a baby name. Look around you for inspiration! If you’re like us and you love the spring and summer seasons, perhaps these two popular times of the year could be your number one source for inspiration. We looked to the Baby Names Treasury for seventeen baby names inspired by spring and summer. Click continue to check out these adorable names:
17 Spring and Summer Inspired Baby Names for Boys and Girls
Hey Mamas-to-be, how has your baby naming journey been? Have you decided on a name yet? Are you thinking about opting for a gender-neutral name for your baby? Sheknows.com highlighted the pros and cons of a unisex name.
One of the cons according to SheKnows:
“Even though unisex baby names have become more accepted, you may have to clarify your child’s gender or they may run into issues throughout different scenarios in your child’s life.”
And one of the pros according to SheKnows:
If you are looking for a unique name, choosing a unisex name is a great way to find a name that stands out in the crowd. For instance, actress Rebecca Gayheart and actor Eric Dane named their daughter Billie, a name that is historically more of a “boy’s name.” However, it makes a cute and unique name for a baby girl.
If you’re still deciding, perhaps browse the following list of popular and unique names as well as their meanings gleaned from The Best Baby Names Treasury:Your Ultimate Naming Resource.
15 Unique Unisex Baby Names and Their Meanings
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Hey expectant moms, are you searching for a unique and meaningful name for your baby girl with Latin origin? We’ve been digging around baby name books (The Complete Book of Baby Names by award winning author Lesley Bolton) and we’ve found some uncommon Latin baby names that begin with the letter “T.” We chose the letter “T” because its very rare to find a common name with Latin origins that start with this letter. When you click continue you’ll learn of some very interesting Latin names ( such as Tellus, Terra) as well as their meanings (all according to The Complete Book of Baby Names!
Latin Baby Names for Girls that Begin with “T”
Every parent wants their child to have a powerful name with meaning and motivation. Which explains why so many expectant parents opt for names with origins in Africa. Thanks to the Book of Baby Names, we’ve gleaned several baby names with origins in Africa beginning with the letter “C” for you to consider. Whether you’re keeping up with the traidition of everyone in your family must have a name with the letter “C” or you’re looking for something different–then this list is for you.