Sunday, July 1, 2012

Naming Margot

There were so many nights during my pregnancy that I wanted to get on here and blog about our baby's name, but I was worried we'd change our mind at the last minute.  Now that she's here and she's properly named, I can write all about my favorite thing in the world - picking baby names!  I'm going to try not to reveal any of our other choices, though, because we're saving those for potential future children....or pets.  After a week and a half with a newborn I'm thinking I'm pretty darn happy with two girls.  Who could ask for anything more wonderful than that, right?  Anyway, on with the story of How Margot Got Her Name!

This child was much more difficult, but much more fun, to name than Sylvia.  Sylvia's name was picked out loooooong before we were even married, as is our first boy name, although I had a major case of cold feet about that one before we found out Margot was a girl.  During the first half of my pregnancy, we tossed around all kinds of names.  We only had one important requirement: we had to be able to pronounce the name in French.  Sylvia is still Sylvia in French, it just flows a little differently.  Rachael, however, is not possible in French, because they don't have the "ch" sound, so my name comes out sounding like "Rah-shell."  This helped us rule out a BUNCH of names from the get go.

I like "old lady" names, which means I went directly to our family trees to find cute names that would match Sylvia.  Sylvain's grandmother's full first name is (get ready.......) Marie-Louise!  Hyphenated!  It's the most beautiful sounding name I've ever heard in my LIFE and it's just as beautiful in French as it is in English.  My grandfather's name is Louis, too, so it would cover both sides of the family. Perfect, right?  I wanted to name her Marie Louise (no hyphen) and call it a day.  Sylvain, however, wasn't ever SOLD on the name Marie.  Darn!

A few weeks before we found out she was a girl, we had settled on another beautiful name that I will not disclose because you'll probably steal it for your own baby someday.  You can have Marie, I've let that one go, but you can't have this one.  Anyway, this name happens to be a very minor character in a very popular book series at the moment, so when I mentioned it to people, about half of the folks I talked to said, "Oh, like the girl in __________!"  Then they'd give me their opinion of the character and it usually went something like this, "She's a total b____."  Hmm.  I wasn't going to let that bother me, because I had never read the book, no one my age or older really likes the book AT ALL, and I assumed that no one would be naming their baby this name.  I'm a HUGE fan of the Social Security Baby Name Database and the stats they post each year, so I was waiting to see where this particular name fell for the 2011 year.  Sylvia was in the 500's, so I knew her name was "safe."  However, this name appeared to be climbing pretty fast, so I was worried it would shoot up to the top ten or something crazy.  We decided to wait it out, and if the name was any higher than Sylvia's ranking for 2010, we'd scrap it.  Then, somewhere around February, Sylvain mentioned the name to one of his high school classes.  Their INSANE reaction to the book character sent him home with a sad face.  "We can't use that name," he said.  "That stupid book keeps getting in the way."  Alas, we were back to the drawing board.

One morning, I was eating breakfast and reading Swistle, and I found the name Margot.  With a t.  It immediately struck me as interesting.  It looked like Margaret, my grandmother's name, which we briefly considered but quickly turned down.  It sounded amazing to me every time I said it out loud.  I sent Sylvain a text, along with my friend Emily who shares a passion for baby names.  "What about Margot?"  Emily immediately called me and said, "Did you read that post from Swistle?  I thought that name would be great for you!"  Then Sylvain sent me a text: "I suggested that name when we found out you were pregnant.  You said we couldn't use it because it rhymes with Fasciotto."  Hmm.  I did not remember that, but I thought about it for a second.  Margot Fasciotto.  Nope.  I loved it.  It does share an ending sound, but it's not too rhyme-y, like Margot Fargo.  In fact, the more I said Margot Fasciotto, the more I fell in love with it.  Sold.  Done.  Baby is officially named.

Our family's reaction was anywhere from "I love it!" to "It's weird," to....well, I won't tell you what my mother said about it.  I think she's come around, but I've learned from reading Swistle that most parents don't like the names their children give to their children.  It's just the way these things usually work.  I had to remind myself that if we had chosen to keep the name a secret we never would have changed our minds on it, so I stood my ground. 

Oh!  And in May, the Social Security website came out with the data for 2011.  Our previous name did NOT climb much higher than it was in 2010!  Phew!  So, there was a short time where we re-opened the discussion on baby name #1, but we were already using Margot around the house, Sylvia was already calling her Baby Margot, and I had already doodled Margot Louise Fasciotto on every scrap piece of paper in the house.  So we decided to shelf that name for now and maybe use it some other time.  For a kid or maybe a fish?  Who knows!  And for the record, Margot has not been in the top 1000 baby names in the US for over 50 years, BUT it's in the top 50 for baby names in France!  How 'bout that?  Funny how these things work out.

So, that's how we found and fell in love with The Name.  A very subtle nod to my maternal grandparents, Margaret and Louis, and Sylvain's paternal grandmother, Marie-Louise.  It looks really pretty when I write it in my neatest cursive handwriting, and it looks marvelous next to the name Sylvia Joyce.  It's an adorable name for a child, but a sophisticated name for a grown up.  It's the perfect name for our little one and I'm so glad we finally have our sweet Margot Louise!


Meredith said...

You're killing me! Now I am dying to know the name that you couldn't use. I am fresh out of girl names - if we were to have another girl, I'd have to work really hard to find one we love. There's one I love, but like your previous name, it is the name of a literary character who EVERYONE knows and has an opinion about, except this is a timeless piece of literature that will never go "out". I will have to share it with you and get your opinion.

Meredith said...

And I LOVE Margot Louise! My grandmother's middle name was Louise, so it's always been on our short list, but always as a middle name. I am sure your mom loves the name Margot now that there is a sweet little baby to go with it. ;)

Anonymous said...

We called our baby girl Margot in Octember 2012. We love it, though we often get "is that a family name?" which I think is code for people not loving it.
Beautiful choice.