jfs: (boy with cat)
Some people seem to know what they want to call their kid; I'm paralysed by indecision.

I'm not so worried about matching their name to their personality. At the point we're legally obliged to put something to paper, I'm fully expecting young babba's personality to manifest as either cute, vomiting, burping or pooing. Or all 4. Babba will grow into a name (or names - I'm a big fan of middle names for that reason.)

But names are important. So we're pouring through baby names books, one alphabetical chapter at a time. And each name has to be tried against our surnames to make sure it sounds okay when said aloud. It has to have the 'what do the initials make?' test, and pass the 'what's the worst nickname we can think of?' barrier - which, it has to be said, has lead to some hilarious and somewhat disgusting conversations in the car on the way to visit family. I'm so proud ...

One of the problems I've got at the moment is LRP - specifically, how does one tell a non-geek partner that calling the child 'Elspeth' would just be too weird? William, Benedict, Arthur - all have associations. (I've not suggested Jarane - it wouldn't be appreciated). Can't go for Alexander / Alexandra (my all time favourites), because, well, we're not having a Junior in the family. (Is it still Junior if the daughter is named after the mum?) Alix's male family name is 'John' and we've been roundly forbidden from that (her dad, her uncle, her cousin, her grandad, me. That's a whole lot of Johns for someone who only has 4 living male relatives ...).

So - at the point that a lot of the pregnant couples we know are saying 'We've narrowed it down to our top 5 for each sex' we're able to say 'We have a huge list of names we don't want the child to have, and a whole list of disagreements - she likes Reginald, I'd rather not have a Reggie. I like Mary (for family reasons) - Alix can only think of 'Of Scots' and given her love for Queen Elizabeth (both varieties) I'm not going to win that battle.

So what did you do?
jfs: (Default)
My dad is using Facebook - as he's got older, he's got more interested in keeping in touch with family, and with researching our family history, and Facebook facilitates both. He's already found a branch of our family in the States and been in touch with them, and he's been looking at geneologies using online tools, and he's even got our family tree going back to about 1840 up on some geneology website somewhere.

Last night, as I was cleaning and polishing some armour, he rang for a chat. Partly just to say hello, partly to get some tech support. So there I was, hands covered with oil and rust, phone cradled under one ear as I talked to my dad about image formats and uploading files using Picasa to Facebook. This mix of the ancient and the modern is very much a part of my life that I like.

Anyway, somewhat jokingly, I pointed out that he'd tagged a photo incorrectly; there's a shot on Facebook of some of my Uncles and Auntie Denise, and it says it's a photo of me. "You've mixed me up with Uncle Jack", I said.

"But he was John Scott too", my dad replied.

My Grandfather Scott was John, and one of his sons was named after him. Not at all uncommon, especially with a large family like my dads. But to ease confusion, John was called Jack, and that name stuck with him all his life. I never heard his brothers or sisters call him anything else (well, not in polite company) and to me and to all the children of my generation, he was Uncle Jack. I guess his parents called him John (and I'd love to know if he was Jack when he was good, and John when he was bad, and John Joseph Jack Alouisious Scott when he'd been awful - my dad must have got that from somewhere ...)

I have an Uncle Frank, on my mum's side. Short for Francis, of course, and named after his father. And I'm named for them both too. The names I've carried with me all my life are not just mine, but they're also a connection to the places and the people I am from.

One of my very first posts on and about LiveJournal made the point that this wasn't about technology, but about connections. I'm glad to see that Facebook has the same potential.

January 2017

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