Time for another update in three points each. In posts like these, you get an update on each child (or family member) in three bullet points per person. I like to write them about once per month and to share something new about each of my kids! This month, I was inspired by the Mom Hour Podcast episode in which they talked about their kids’ names.
In our tradition, we give our kids both English and Hebrew names. Some people only have one name which is both their English and their Hebrew name, because the name they are called is a Hebrew name already. Some people have totally different English and Hebrew names. Our kids have English names that have a close Hebrew translation, and their middle names are the same in both language. All of their names are known, but aren’t super overused.
1. Gabbie is our only child who goes by a nickname. Her full name is Gabriella. I considered calling her Bri or Ella, but Gabbie just seemed to fit. I didn’t want to spell it Gabby since that is also a word, and we knew a boy who spelled it Gabi, so I chose Gabbie, which is how a girl I went to school with spelled it. Gabbie doesn’t mind being called Gabriella but she doesn’t like being called Gabrielle. Recently Simon has been calling her Goobery Goober. She has also been called Gabs and Gaba. When she was a baby, she called herself Bobbie.
2. Gabbie’s Hebrew name is Gavriella. She is named after my grandfather, whose Hebrew name was Berel. I made up this connection by saying that both names have the b, r, and l in them. Another name I considered for her was Maya, and if she was a boy I wanted to name her Jacob Gavriel.
3. Her middle name is Devorah, after Dave’s grandmother, whose Hebrew name was Devorah. Her English name was Dorothy.
1. Zachary doesn’t like to be called Zach and if you call him that he will usually say “my name is Zachary.” When he was little I wanted to call him Zachy or Z but neither stuck. Dave used to call him Bob sometimes, but I couldn’t tell you why! I also joked about calling him Waldo since I was always saying “where’s Zachary?” and then I could say “where’s Waldo?”
2. His Hebrew name is Zachariah. His first name isn’t named after anyone but his middle name, Elan, is after Dave’s uncle whose name was Allen. I thought about naming him Elan as a first name, or Oren, but I think they would be too confusing to pronounce. Another name I liked was Caleb. If he was a girl I thought about naming him Liana and calling him Lily. I had written a list of boys’ names I liked on a paper by my desk, and one day I saw Dave had added Elmo.
3. Dave had suggested the name Simon for Zachary, but at the time, I didn’t like it!
1. When Simon was little, I called him Smooshy and Slimey.
2. His Hebrew name is Shimon. He is named after my grandmother, whose name was Selma (Hebrew name Sara). Shimon was also a name used in my mother-in-law’s family, most recently by a cousin. Zachary sometimes calls him Shimon and he has been called Shimmy before. I thought about naming him Jacob, Jonah, or Joshua. If he was a girl, I liked Sabrina Yael.
3. His middle name is Yonah, after my uncle Jack whose Hebrew name was Yankel. Yankel is a Yiddish version of Yaakov, but our rabbi’s son was named Shimon Yaakov! I also thought about Jack as a first name, but even though Zachary doesn’t go by Zach, everyone would have said Zach and Jack!
Do you like discussing names? How did you choose your children’s names?