Choosing a name for a baby is choosing a name for an adult too

When we decided to have a child it was a huge decision, I was already 33 and my hubby is 20 years my senior, so you can imagine all the things we considered and worried about and of course the biggest decision was

What shall we call the baby!

We have an Italian surname and so Hubby wanted to give our child an Italian name. I am a huge fan of ‘real’ names, no Apples, Chardonnays, or Nevaehs here,, I also have a bit of a thing about giving someone a name that is a shortened form of a real name, so no Jacks, Jennies, Charlies, Sams, etc etc

I think that a name should be for an adult too, you are not naming a baby or a toddler, you are naming a person. So while Princess is cute at 3 it’s going to be embarrassing at 39 (IMO). And of course there was the Dr test and the stripper test.

You try the name in the following sentences

“Paging Dr ………….. to A&E immediately”

“ and now introducing, with her/his own snake, all the way from Vegas …………”

So for me, no Sugars, no Cherrys, no Juniors, no Tarzans. (yes I'm a snob, shhh)

Finally we knew what we didn’t want. We also wanted a middle name to honour a grandparent, we decided on my parent’s name for a boy and his for a girl. (Both would be ‘Italianised’)

But a first name? Boys names we disagreed on, I wanted Luciano, he wanted Alberto..”like the shampoo?!” I asked incredulously, he had never heard of it and rejected my complaints. Luciano would be shortened to Lucky” he said “like the gangster, I won’t give a son of mine a gangster name” “ah” says I “because there was never a gangster called Al?” Stalemate… luckily we didn’t have a boy.

Soon into the pregnancy we knew we were having a girl and searched for names. We liked Isabella but it was so popular I feared she would be one of several in her class – did I mention I also dislike popular! Ha!

The suddenly one day hubby read an article in the Sunday times supplement…and there was the name right there, as soon as he said it we fell in love with it and that is why we chose it, as soon as we saw it we loved it and it suits her to a tee, it is beautiful but can be shortened to something quirky and cute and tomboyish yet the full name is glamorous and unusual (in the UK at least) and so she became Rafaela, Raffy or Raff for short. And I still love it.

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