The Name Game – Part I

I have to say that one of the funnest things about expecting a baby is choosing a name. There are so many great names out there, all with their own special nuance, that I can understand why some people just keep having child after child.

For Franck and I, we have always searched for names that sound good in both English and French.

With our first child, who we were both convinced was a boy due to seeing what must have been a stray bit of umbilical cord on the ultrasound, we had picked out the names “Hugo” (for Victor Hugo, and also Franck’s favorite author Hugo Pratt who wrote the “Corto Maltese” series of books that he devoured when he was a boy) and “Jack” (my grandfather’s name). So, we were all geared up to have a Hugo Jack Germain.

Luckily for Charlotte, we had also picked out a girl’s name just in case. “Charlotte” not only sounds nice in English and French, but it also honoured Franck’s two summers spent as a fishing guide up in the Queen Charlotte Islands, a place that will remain sacred in his heart until the end of his days. For a second name I had always loved the name “Adèle” – not sure why, I just always loved it. I also really liked the idea of my children having an accent somewhere in their names to remind them of their french half.

So when she came out feet first (C-section, thank GOD) and they said “It’s a girl!”, and once I recovered from my shock and Franck from his belief that the doctors were just playing a joke on the poor french guy, Charlotte Adèle Germain had arrived, albeit upside down.

We were also sure baby #2 was a boy, due to that darn umbilical cord on the ultrasound again. So we were all geared up to use our “Hugo Jack” boy name, and still hadn’t agreed on a girl’s name when they were wheeling me into the operating room. We had several contenders, among them “Juliette”, “Capucine” (french for “Nasturtium“), and “Camille”. Even though I really thought baby#2 was a boy too, on the off chance it was a girl I was set on having the second name being “Agnès” like my grandmother, except pronounced the french way with a soft “g”.

At the last minute, just as they were helping me hoist myself onto the operating table and Franck was being led away to change into his scrubs we decided to stick with the initials C.A.G. and went with “Camille Agnès Germain”. Lucky we decided, as Camille (pronounced the french way “Cam-eeee” rather than the English “Cam-eel” which never fails to evoke a horsey image of Camilla Parker Bowles in my mind’s eye for some reason) was born minutes later.

And now six years later we have been reflecting and debating on the perfect name for the glow-worm for the past nine months, and I must say we’ve gone back to the drawing board completely.

To be continued…