Friday, October 09, 2009

What's my name?

A few weeks ago someone suggested I post a Baby FAQ to answer the question of how we came up with Trillian's name.

The short answer is a kickass female character in Douglas Adams' "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" series. But though we both like the books (I confess I haven't read all of them yet, only the first 2), we aren't major obsessive fans or anything.

The long answer is that it took us nearly 9 months to decide on a name for sure. TJ and I had wildly different opinions on what sorts of names we liked. And of course, one of the more fun things to do to get ready for a baby is to go through the name possibilities. So we started early with a spreadsheet. of course. We'd each add names to it when we came across something we liked. There was a column for each of us to make comments.

Oddly enough, we had 2 boys' names we liked pretty quickly though we each had a different one as our top pick. Actually, my top pick was relegated to #3 but I liked my #2 enough to give up #3. I suppose we will never have a child named Xavier. Then he really would be BabyX, right??

In all honesty, after last night's awake-fest by Trillian at 3am, I am not at all inclined to consider having any more babies. Heh.

Once we found out we were having a girl, we got a little more serious about the names, though being a planner, I was glad we had backup boys' names as well. One of my fears was that the ultrasounds were wrong and she really was a boy.

There are a zillion baby naming websites, and my mother brought me a hefty book of Indian names so we had plenty of resources.

But of course, it wasn't that easy. Everything I liked, TJ hated. He didn't care for names with "too many vowels" or that sounded too "girly". That rules out quite a lot. (Never mind we were trying to name a GIRL.) We also both agreed on not wanting to choose a name that had obvious nicknames.

I had some notion of trying to find a name that was both an Indian and American name, or at least easily/obviously pronounceable from the spelling, but all of the Indian "crossover" names were just way too popular, in my opinion, and several of those names belong to people (or dogs!) I know, so that would have just been weird.

So we were kind of stuck for a while with some choices that we both felt "bleh" about and nothing that really felt right. I was waiting for that "hell yeah, that's it!!" moment when we came across a name. And in my ideal world, it would have some sort of meaning that resonated with us, or some kind of relevance to our lives. A tall order for a name, and for two opinionated people to agree on.

So a few months went by, and I spent hours poring over lists of names. I added some to the spreadsheet. One day, TJ suggested a name that nearly knocked me off my chair. I had always liked it but somehow hadn't thought of it, or come across it in my search. That ended up being our #2 choice though I waffled for a long time between that one and Trillian.

Trillian came up because TJ was rereading "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy", which had been on his bedside table for months. One day he just said "What do you think about Trillian?" And that was IT - the name I had been waiting for.

I liked the names Lillian and Jillian, neither of which he particularly liked, so Trillian was perfect, because it is also much less common than those two, which are rapidly climbing the lists of popular names. It also doesn't have an automatic nickname like the other two, so bonus points for that. And no, you can't call her Trilly. Really, I mean it.

The other thing that's cool is that there's a cut of diamond called "trillian", kind of a cool triangle shape. Technically I think it's supposed to be "trilliant" but a lot of places refer to it as "trillian". Since I am a jewelry-making addict, this was another layer of coolness to this name.

Also, the general geekiness of it as a sci-fi reference was kind of neat to me, but also concerned me a little. We're not the kind of people that go to Star Trek conventions or quote movie lines from Star Wars so I didn't want to inflict that on my kid. But I think the reference is obscure enough that not everyone will know where it comes from - judging from the number of people that ask me how we came up with it, I think that's pretty accurate.

Oh, and another layer of complexity - there's an Instant Messenger client called Trillian. Which wouldn't matter, except that TJ works on IM technology. So we thought some people might think that was odd. So far no one has said anything about that, so I think we're in the clear.

Her middle name was a little easier to narrow down once we got the first names down to just 2. We had to eliminate any names where the initials would spell something odd, and eliminated anything that was too "rhymy" or just sounded awkward with Trillian on one end and Creath on the other. I had a bunch of 2 syllable Indian girls' names from my mom and some websites, but my favorite for a long time has been Mira. Most Indians spell it with 2 e's (Meera) but I like it better with an I, because I'm contrary like that.

Also, I think in some European languages (including Russian), the root word is "mir" which means peace. And I dig that too. Plus it meets the criteria of easy to pronounce and not confusing when you see how it's spelled. And as it turns out, there's a science geeky angle to Mira as well, though that was not a consideration for us.

My friend Jasmine pointed out another really neat thing about her name, one that neither TJ nor I picked up on. Within "Trillian Mira" are the letters for Raman, my maiden name. Pretty cool, huh?

So there you have it. More than you ever wanted to know about how we named Baby Raptor. Oh, and in case you're wondering about the nickname, it's because she makes some crazy noises that sound just like the baby raptors in the Jurassic Park movie - squeaking and honking. I had no idea babies were that noisy. (Apart from the crying, of course.)

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