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What if she hates her name?

My wife and I are expecting twins. Can I name my daughter Constantine?

Our elder shares the stories behind her own children’s names to reassure him.

Dear EWC

My wife and I are expecting twins in about a month, one a boy and one a girl. We’ve decided to name our son Bellamy Adrien (first name Bellamy, middle name Adrien) after a mutual friend who died about five years ago, so we are set on the name for him. We were thinking of naming our daughter Constantine Rose (first name Constantine, middle name Rose) but it’s not a very common name and we’re worried about her being bullied. My family has a tradition of passing the middle name Rose through all of the first born daughters, and we both really like the name Constantine. We were thinking that if she grew up and wanted to shorten it she could always go by Connie, Anne, Tina, Rose, etc. but we’re still worried that she’ll grow up to resent us for her name. Constantine isn’t a family name and isn’t symbolic like Bellamy Adrien, so we could change it, but I’m not sure what the right call here is. It’s a traditionally masculine name as well. I just don’t want her to grow up hating her name because we were selfish parents and liked it.

Granny-Nora replies

Congratulations! What a special time for you and your wife! I wish you all the best.
I love the name Constantine Rose. I admit that I am a lover of unusual names. My children are Molly Amanda, Hannah Delora, Ezra Colin, and Kaylonnie Silver. While their names are not the common John and Mary, they have learned to love their names because there is a story behind each of them. Bear with me a minute while I tell you their stories.

My mother wanted to name me either Molly Sue or Peggy Sue, but my dad wasn’t thrilled. So, we named our first born Molly for my mom. Amanda means “worthy to be loved,” and we wanted her to know that she is loved.

My husband and I had a favorite little old lady friend whose name was Hannah. She passed away shortly before I found out I was pregnant with our Hannah, so that’s where we got her name. Delora was my mother-in-law’s middle name, and it means “by the sea shore.” My husband and I both love the ocean, and we told her we named her after one of our favorite of God’s creations.

After our first two children were born, I had a miscarriage. We don’t know whether that child was male or female. We had not picked out a girl’s name yet, but we had decided that if a boy, he would be James Colin, and we would call him J.C. for short. James was my maternal grandfather’s name. Colin was my husband’s best friend who was killed in Vietnam. My paternal grandfather’s name was Joseph Clarence, but he was always known as J.C.

A year after the miscarriage, our Ezra was born. Because of the miscarriage, we didn’t have the heart to name him James Colin. To us, James Colin had died, even though we were not even sure that baby was male. However, we did still want to honor Danny’s friend, Colin. Ezra is a biblical name, but Ezra was also the name of the president of our church at that time, and he was a wonderful man. Thus, our son was named Ezra Colin.

By the time our last child was born, our older three children had opinions about the name of their new sibling. This made the process even more complicated. I grew up in Reno, Nevada. The American Civil War was won basically because of the silver that was mined out of Nevada. As a teenager, I had always wanted to name a child Nevada Silver. However, since I married my husband in California, that didn’t seem right. California is known for the gold rush of 1849. However, California Gold sounded like a marijuana cigarette, so that was not going to work for us. Silver is also the last name of one of my ancestors on my mother’s side. I really wanted to use Silver as the middle name. My father-in-law’s name was Alonzo, but he always was known as Lon. My husband and I wanted our child to be Lon if male, and Lonnie if female. Hannah, however, was dead set that the baby’s name should be Kay, and she convinced Molly and Ezra that Kay was the best name to use. As a mom, I wanted to please everyone, but did not have a clue how to do that. One day, while sitting in the car waiting for my one of my kids to get out of school, Ezra said, “Kay Lonnie. Kay Lonnie. Kaylonnie, Kaylonnie, Kaylonnie.” Thus, our daughter was named Kaylonnie Silver.

So, each one of our children has loved their names because they know there is a good story, or a good reason, or good people behind their names.

Let’s look at the name Constantine. Constantine is a male or female name. The name means constant and steadfast. I think those are very honorable traits. A variation of the name Constantine is Constance, and as you mentioned, Connie could be used as a nickname.

My advice is to give your children names that you like and that have meaning behind them, whether that be Constantine or some other name. Your son’s name Bellamy has a good story, and I’m sure he will grow to appreciate it. If you choose the name Constantine for your daughter, you will just need to teach her the meaning and story behind her name so that she appreciates and loves who she is as a person.

By the way, while I go by the pen name “Granny-Nora” here, I write articles for an online magazine under the pen name “Tudie Rose.” I obviously love the name “Rose.” That’s a keeper!

Best of luck with these precious little ones. No matter what you decide, I’m sure they will love their names because they will love the parents who chose those names for them.

Letter #: 450221
Category: Children

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