The Baby Naming Game

The Baby Naming Game

As much as I would like to avoid giving away the identities of myself, my baby and the daddy, I could not resist sharing the story of how we came up with our baby’s name. And because I wanted to put an end to the questions as to why we had named our baby such. (I think this last part is just all made up in my head, though.)

I could not remember the exact day when we figured out the name of our child but we did anyway and with no arguments in between. We agreed on the name after just a single exchange – through instant messenger.

About a year before we found out that the partner and I are having a baby, I tried doing what many girls do which was naming inanimate objects. My father gave me a netbook for thesis use that time and I wanted to give it a name.  We had been “getting to know each other” that time and he suggested the name Asha.

Little did we know that the name he had suggested could be used two years later.

Asha was a name for a girl, which my partner discovered after watching a TV series that starred Indians. I could not remember the name. He eventually googled it and found out that it meant hope in Hindi. The name was sentimental for the father because it meant that the baby gave him a new lease of life. Being the carefree (sometimes careless) person that he is, it meant that there was still hope for him.

Let me tell you though that the naming game came way before I had an ultrasound test. I was sure because I remember where I was exactly in the office when I was chatting with him. For some reason, I had been leaning towards the thought that the baby inside my tummy was a girl.

And what if the baby was of the opposite gender? Well, it was obvious what to do and it was always what I wanted way before I met my daddy’s baby. I wanted to give my son his father’s name and append a Junior at the suffix. That simple. It was a plus, too, that my partner had a beautiful and modern name. (I am very much conscious with names because I hate my own. Haha.)

Now, the partner and I both have two first names so it was just right to give our baby two first names, right?

I was – and still am – a big fan of the Harry Potter series and discovered the name Perenelle from the first book. Perenelle Flamel is the wife of Nicolas Flamel, the said maker of the Elixir of Life, at least according to the book. (Until today – because I never thought about Googling him – I have had a long debate on whether he was actually a real person or not. He was. He was a French scrivener and manuscript seller by profession and later had a reputation as an alchemist.) For some reason, Perenelle had a ring to my ears and was immediately on top of my baby girl’s name list as soon as I found out about it.

After much research, I also found out that Asha had a few other meanings, depending on which language it is used. It meant life in African and lively in Arabic. Sometimes, it also meant truth.

Perenelle, on the other hand, was a derivation of the Latin (or Greek or German) name Petronilla which meant little rock or everlasting. In Harry Potter context, it meant eternal for me, because both Nicolas and Perenelle Flamel were said to live almost immortal lives because of the Elixir of Life.

It was beautiful.

And it was totally unique. It doesn’t even rank top 1000 among American baby names. More so in the Philippines. My baby’s name is going to be as unique as she is.

Eternal hope. Asha Perenelle.

Or Raphael Niño Junior, from the father’s name.

Beautiful indeed.


(This entry was previously posted in my other blog.)

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