Monday, February 25, 2008

The name game

I realized that I never reposted about that whole name discussion. (read back a few posts)

Olwen vs. Barbara

So this all came about as we were discussing the possibility of using a family name as a middle name if this child happens to be a girl. I have always liked the name Olwen (pronounced "all-wen, and you can add the british accent on for good measure!)-it was my paternal grandmother's middle name. It's not a common name (obviously), which made me like it even more. Aaron brought up the name Barbara, which happens to be his mother's name. I love his mother dearly-even when she does things that we don't like! : ) But honestly, he name just isn't one that I would put on a list of names to use. The thing that struck me the most was that it's never even come up before. We've looked at his gma's names, but his mom's never came up. So I was a bit surprised when he mentioned it. I (half-reluctantly) shared my feelings on the name itself-trying to be careful to point out that it was the name, not his mother, that I didn't like so much. He responded with "I bet if you asked 100 people, the vote would be overwhelmingly in favor of Barbara over Olwen." Being one who enjoys a little sporting challenge, I told him he was on. The catch was being able to ask 100 people. I figured that more of the readers of this blog would be willing to add a comment, but since they weren't, I fortunately had another place to ask. Like here, I did not mention who had which preference, or how the names were tied to our families, only that they were both family names.

So although no one that comments on this blog was brave enough to really say anything, here is a sampling of the comments from my other source:

-I've gotta go with Olwen, but I really like more unique names. Good luck with your debate!

-Olwen is beautiful!!! I'd have to go with that one!! :) I was really surprised with how different my husband's taste was than mine as far as names! Good luck with your decision!

-I guess I would have to know the first name to be able to let you know which middle name I liked!


-LOVING Olwen. Beautiful, and O makes a nice middle initial and monogram! Has a more familial ring too.

-Just on name I pick olwin, then when you add the meanings, I still really like Olwen 

-I really like Olwen also. Don't know that I have ever heard before, but I like it! Just saw the edit. The meaning wasn't what swayed my decision. I just like the name.

-I have to agree with the girls Olwen is my fav too... and meaning had nothing to do with it.. its all in how it sounds. Im very into unique names... and its very cute!

-Olwen, It's a unique name. I love that!

-I just think Streisand when I hear Barbara (does that make me old??).  Olwen is a lovely old-fashioned name.
I am ALWAYS swayed by a meaning.  But we're going with family names for middle names, that aren't necessarily great names, but after special people... so that makes the choice easier.  Like Doreen (ugh!), my grandmother's middle name!!!!

-got to admit, olwen grabbed and kept my attention! me likey likey.

-I'd have to say Olwen

-Olwen for sure!!

-Yep Olwen for sure. I've never liked Barbara!

-I like Olwen.... but I'm not really fond of Barbara.  So for me it's an unfair comparison! (this is without the meanings just from personal experience!... In my past there was a Barbara I wasn't very fond of  )

-When you add the meanings I really like Olwen.... It's lovely!And I agree with another post that "O" is a really nice middle initial. What are you considering for first names?

-Olwen vs. Barbara... OLWEN.
Personal experience... my maternal grandmother's name is Barbara and my parents were going to name me Melissa Barbara in her honor. But my grandmother hated her first name so much that she told them, "If you want to honor me, then let me pick out her middle name." And she chose Star. I have to admit that although Star is a little bit... ummmm... silly... that I do like it quite a bit more than I like Barbara. So, thanks, Grandma!

-I have to vote for Olwen .... it is a nice different name ... and because The name Barbara bugs me ... My good friend in the world for over 10 years has Barbara as a middle name (Jennifer Barbara) and out of ever one we have known sence school days i am the only one that knows you middle name she hates it! Her and her boy friend have been together for a long time and he just found out her middle name a few months ago! (it was a fluk he saw it on some of her mail!) lol I just think of some one old when i hear Barbara...

-I also like Olwen and I dont even remember the meanings.

-My husband and I discussed your dilemma, and we had differing opinions. I really like Olwen, he prefers Barbara.

-I say Barbara. Olwen soinds like a boys name.

-I think I chose Barbara. what would it be going with though?

-I like Olwen too.  it's very pretty

I did find it interesting that the one male opinion that is mentioned here was different from nearly every female opinion, and the same as Aaron's! Also, I have to say, that after the comment about Barbara Streisand (who is one of my least favorite people), I would be even less likely to use it as every time I heard it I'd think of that reference!

The comments about meanings are in reference to me asking if the meaning of the names swayed anyone's opinion. Some of them very much weigh name meanings when they have made choices for their own children's names, so I was curious to know if it would sway their opinion on this or if they would just take the names at face value. From, Barbara means: '"foreign". According to legend Saint Barbara was a young woman killed by her father Dioscorus, who was then killed by a bolt of lightning. She is the patron of architects, geologists, stonemasons and artillerymen.' and Olwen: Means "white footprint" from Welsh ol "footprint, track" and gwen "white, fair, blessed". In Welsh legend Olwen was a beautiful maiden, the lover of Culhwch and the daughter of the giant Yspaddaden. Her father insisted that Culhwch complete several seemingly impossible tasks before he would allow them to marry, and Culhwch was successful with all of them. (other sites list the meaning as "white flower" or "pure", that the legend mentioned above also notes that white flowers grew in her footprints).

So, even with the difference in meanings not considered, it looks like.......I won! : )

Where does that put things then? Is there a name in the works? Um, no. Not even remotely close. We've pretty much just shelved the conversation until we know if it's a boy or girl, just for sanity's sake, but we are so far apart on our opinions that if this child is female, we will be lucky if we can agree on a name by it's birth! He has always liked the name Sydney, which is a fine name, but just doesn't strike me as fitting for our family (don't know why), and he reluctantly agreed to use the name Olwen as a middle name if I would agree to Sydney as a first name. Ok-first, no thanks, really just feel like it doesn't fit. And second, S.O.B.. Say the initials out loud. Hello! NOT doing that! He doesn't seem to think it's a big problem. I disagree. Which puts us....back behind square one. Thus the reason the discussion has been shelved. Stay tuned for news as to which direction this discussion will take in just 8 days!!

Oh, And in honor of what I knew would be my victory in this little discussion, I asked Aaron to take this picture for me when we were in Cali.

This is in the "O" of "California" outside Disney's California Adventure. And I do have to add the highlight of this picture. My father, bless his heart, tends to be very much on the prudish/proper side of things. Growing up it caused him to leave the room if a feminine product (i.e. "tampon", "pad" or even the word "period") was mentioned. So as we were waiting in line to get in to the park and I made the request that Aaron take my picture in the O, Aaron knowing why I was asking, we all hear my dad say "So, it's all about the big O, huh?" ACK! The adults there all dissolved into giggles, and even my mother turned in shock and squeaked out "WHAT?!?" Honestly, he had no clue. Ahhh, the innocence of middle age! ; )


justdawn said...

ROFL at your Dad's comment!!!

I can't actually recall if I vited, or not...but I LOVE the name Olwen. It fits MUCH better with the rest of your kiddos names than Barbara;)

zoinatt said...

LOL at what your dad said.

I doubt I voted due to not being able to at that point. However I don't think I would've helped. I at first would've said Barbara cause I'm familiar with the name since that's my aunt's name. But since reading your post and the meaning of the names. I would have to go with Olwen. I will say stand strong on the Sydney Olwen NOT being an option you can't have a child with SOB for initials.

Kelsey said...

Oh, that was classic! If he only knew why we were peeing our pants :)
Barb= vomit!!!!