It’s official. Hubby, SweetPea, and I will be joined by a little Ladybug sometime in mid to end of April. Now the race is on to find the perfect name for her. I am hoping for some great suggestions from you all. I have been pestering family and friends for a couple of months and now it’s your turn!
A few requirements:
1) It has to be an Iranian name.
2) Easy to pronounce in English.
3) Nice meaning.
This might sound easy but it’s not. Take requirement number 3 for example. Hubby and I have been madly googling lists of Iranian baby girl names and some of them have the strangest meaning, at least according to the authors of those lists. Like Meshia, which is supposed to mean butter made from sheep’s milk. Excuse me? Or Masstaneh, which supposedly means drunken. Mmmm, I don’t think so. Kimya was so cute but it translates as “alchemy” the ancient legend of turning metal into gold. Errrr, I have no plans to name my daughter after bad science. What’s next? Miss Intelligent design? Miss Eugenics? I have always loved the name Sheyda but was sad to discover it means lovesick. I don’t want to put a self-fulfilling prophecy on my little girl!
The second requirement is even more difficult. I know, I know. You can never protect your kids from schoolyard bullying and if a kid is bent on it, he or she can make even the most simple names into an insult. That is a joy of kids that age. We are supposed to give our kids the skills to deal with that kind of bullying no matter what names they have. But I mean, we are planning to live and raise our kids in a predominantly Anglophone part of the world so really, giving her a name that both reflects her heritage but won’t be butchered every day of her life is kind of important. If I were living in Iran, I would have no qualms about naming her Shaghayegh or Khatereh. In my book, those are the two most beautiful and romantic names for Iranian girls EVER. One is a beautiful flower and reminds me of that Dariush song. The other is so evocative. But in English, she would probably end up being called Shaggy or Kkkhhhh….? So no Kh or Gh sound please. I love Nazanin too, what a sweet name, but I can just picture her being called a “Nazi” at some point. Hubby has always loved the name and meaning of “Assal.” Which immediately made me think someone is going to end up calling her “asshole.” Nuff said.
In her hilarious book Funny in Farsi, Firouzeh Dumas speaks of her battle to recognize her name in a crowded waiting room, with everyone turning to look at her as some impatient nurse or receptionist struggles with everything from Fritzy to Froozie to “I can’t pronounce this F-word.” For a while she took on an American moniker, Julie. This led to some strange cloak and dagger lifestyle where she would be constantly under stress that her friends who knew her as Julie and her friends who knew her as Firoozeh would one day meet and unmask her like some sort of evil twin from a soap opera. She finally gave up Julie and returned to the F-word, for better or worse. I really don’t want to have my children go by one set of names at home and one set of names at school. That might work for some people and that is great. But I think it would be too confusing for us.
We just got back from a trip where we visited my mom’s side of the familty, and three of my younger cousins have two sets of names, plus a couple of invented nicknames that just developed over the years as terms of endearment. And our whole extended family of about twenty five people use all those monikers interchangeably often in the course of one conversation. Which would often result in my husband’s head exploding from confusion.
“Me: Hubby, can you call Arezoo and make sure she is ready to be picked up.
Then five minutes later:
Me: So did you call Amy, was she ready?
Hubby: Who the heck is Amy?
Me (as if it is so obvious): Khob Arezoo digeh!
Five minutes later:
Me: Hurry up and get ready, we don’t want to be late for Zoo-Zoo.
Hubby: What the hell is a Zoo-Zoo?
Me: Hamoon Amy.
Hubby: I thought her name was Arezoo.
Me: It is!!!”
You get the picture.