What’s in a name?

So I figured I should write a post about our girl’s name and its origin. I love seeing her name because I’m absolutely in love with it.

I’ve loved the name Vivian ever since I started watching I Love Lucy as a kid and saw Vivian Vance in the credits (although, as a child, for years I thought Fred and Ethel were William Vivian and Frawley Vance because of how they appeared in the credits lol). When choosing a name for Vivienne, we had four favorites: Sophia, Vivian, Olivia and Lily. We narrowed it to the first two and then when I saw how popular Sophia was, I decided I wanted Vivian. I just didn’t want her to be one of five Sophias in her class. (Keep in mind this whole time Leighton was still undecided. He wasn’t sure because he really wanted to see her first.)

So, at this point I was set on Vivian but, as you can see, we did not end up spelling it V-i-v-i-a-n. I came across the alternate spelling in an email I got about the best celebrity kid names. Angelina Jolie named one of her children Vivienne. When I saw the spelling, I loved it! It just looks so elegant to me. When I researched it, I discovered that it is the French spelling and not just some weird made up variation. You all know how I feel about that. I told Leighton about it and he was skeptical. I think he was concerned that it may pronounce different. I’m really not sure! Either way, he still wanted to wait until she was born. As soon as she was born, I knew I wanted her to be a Vivienne. Leighton still just couldn’t seem to nail down the decision. He didn’t like anything else better, necessarily, he just wanted to make the right choice. I understand the dilemma. I mean, she’s going to have to live with it for the rest of her life! That’s a big decision. After talking it over for an hour or so, we decided she was definitely a Vivienne.

Leighton wanted some part of her name to be meaningful or have a family history behind it. I didn’t really care about family names seeing as I come from a family named after tv characters or actors! Haha! But I understood where he was coming from. We tried for months to find a name that we really liked that came from a family member without much luck. It’s not that we didn’t like the names. It was more that they didn’t flow with the first names we had picked out. Finally, I asked my grandmother what her mom’s and grandma’s first and middle names were and she listed lots of names from her family and my Papa’s family. Her grandmother’s name was Emma. I love the name Emma! So I asked Leighton if he liked it and he did. The he told me it was his grandmother’s first name. Ugh! Why did you not tell me this months ago?! We could have had this decided already! Haha! He just hadn’t thought about the fact that Emma was her first name! So we decided then that Emma would be some part of her name for sure. At the time we weren’t sure if it would be a first or middle.

While thinking of names, people kept saying we should make Lee part of her name because of my name. I wasn’t fond of Lee as a middle or first name, however, we were talking one day and Leighton said, “Well, if we spell it L-e-i-g-h, it’s part of both our names!” I did kind of like that idea but I still didn’t care for Leigh as a middle name or a first name.

We knew we wanted Emma but I still loved the idea of her having part of our names as a part of hers so I asked Leighton what he thought about Emma Leigh as her middle name and she would just have two middle names. He wasn’t fond of the idea of two middle names and, after thinking about it, neither was I. Paperwork would be a nightmare and two middle names is just downright confusing. After some thought, I suggested either making it one word with a capital (EmmaLeigh) or hyphenating it (Emma-Leigh). After much discussion, we thought that EmmaLeigh looked and sounded too much like we were trying for an alternate spelling of “Emily,” which we were not. At the time we still kind of left it in the air. We knew her middle name would be Emma or Emma-Leigh but we just hadn’t decided. While deciding on her first name at the birthing center, we decided that we liked the hyphenated name better.

So became Vivienne Emma-Leigh.

So far, I have not regretted our choices in naming her. Her name is elegant and absolutely beautiful…just like her. She may hate me down the road for giving her a hyphenated middle name and spelling her first name the French way instead of the American way but, oh well! She can change it later if she feels so inclined!

2 thoughts on “What’s in a name?

  1. She can marry J-Man and have a hyphenated last name, too! I love her name. I think y’all made a fabulous choice. 🙂

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