What's In A Name

 How did you choose the names of your children?
Do you know the story behind your own name?

I S A A C   L E E

Recently, I was reading this blog post about choosing names, and thought I'd write something similar.
Because, in retrospect, it's kind of a funny story.
It begins in the streets of D.C., when a homeless man touched my stomach and told me I would name my kid Jeremiah. I smiled politely and then immediately (most emphatically) decided that Jeremiah would not be my child's name, since I was, in fact, planning on having a girl, and as a rule, I dislike strangers who touch pregnant women's bellies.

Then I found out I was having a boy.  

So I did what any other self-respecting mama (who had only chosen girl names) would. I bought one of those run-of-the-mill baby name books and started flipping through the pages. All the way to Y.

... Which was how I discovered that Yehudi is actually an honest-to-goodness, bona fide name. Naturally I considered printing birth announcements welcoming YEHUDI HOLGATE into the world (with a big, bold, blue font).  

(I never had any intention of naming my kid Yehudi. I just love practical jokes. Now that I've admitted this, I'm positive no less than thirty Yehudi's will start reading my blog. In which case, I apologize from the bottom of my heart. It's not your fault, after all.)

I made a list. A short list. Yehudi, Jeremiah, Landon, and Liam. (I'm partial to 'L's. She says, so modestly.) I can't honestly say why I picked Liam, but I'll admit that Landon was a by-product of having watched A Walk to Remember (I don't recommend it), and deciding, in what I can only assume was Pregnancy-Induced Insanity, that Shane West (who plays Landon), was incredibly attractive and therefore his name should go on the list. Yes, that was how that went down.

Tim said (and I quote), "I hate it; Landon is a mama's-boy name."

So I pulled The Labor Card and we compromised. We'd name the child Landon if he turned out blond; Liam if brunette. As you can well imagine, with such logical reasoning as that, our child, the offspring of blond-and-brunette parents, had to be a redhead. Flaming orange, actually.

It was just as well. During the course of my twelve hour labor, I had decided (implicitly and without reason), that I absolutely hated both the names I'd chosen. (Disclaimer: I don't actually hate either of these names; I hated being in labor.) My decision was confirmed after his arrival.

Somehow, in that moment, I just knew. His name should be Isaac.

Isaac, for laughter.
Lee, after my mother's middle name.

... But we still occasionally tell people his name is Yehudi.


  1. geez now I'm scared to name my kid Landon!!

    1. Lauren: I actually really like both Landon and Liam (not Yehudi), and Jeremiah as well. ;) So go for it, if you're having a boy.

  2. Replies
    1. Yes I am so relieved to be rid of Disqus. It was driving me crazy.

  3. because I know you missed my comments.

  4. Great story!! Oh I wish I had known about Yehudi! I wanted a boy, but thought I would have a girl, so I had Hannah chosen. I had no idea what to name a boy. I decided to watch Mission Impossible 3 one weekend, because I love Keri Russell, and Tom Cruise's character's name is Ethan Hunt. I thought, hmmmm.... Tom Cruise is crazy, but I like the name Ethan. That is how I chose :-) Cheezy, I know.

  5. isaac is one of my favorite names. so lovely. he has the best red hair!!

    1. Thank you! I'll admit choosing that name made me think he'd be creative ... some kind of artist.

  6. Thanks for sharing! I love little stories like these.


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