And I name you…


Names, they’re a funny old thing aren’t they? Whether we like it or not, I think people make certain assumptions about you on hearing your name and I often wonder if we become the person we’re pre-destined to be, partly depending on the name we’re given: I’ll hazard a guess that there aren’t many bank managers called Lola, nor rock-stars called Colin…

I’ve always been happy with my own name (Bianca), apart from a brief period where it felt dangerously close to being a bit trashy when a certain character from EastEnders came on the scene. I had to endure a fair bit of “Rickaaaaaaaay” being screamed at me when I’d introduce myself to people around that time. Rude. But anyway, those days are mostly behind me now and so I can enjoy my name largely without being associated with a cockney-ginger-puffa jacket wearing fictional character whose morals and dress-sense were both loose and questionable respectively.

Choosing names for my two daughters felt like a huge responsibility. For both of them I wanted something unusual or at least out of the ordinary, but not whacky, and more than anything, my main criteria was that both names would be or at least sound Italian. Being half-Italian myself and being a bit devastated at losing my Italian surname on getting married, it was really important to me to make sure that part of my daughters’ heritage wasn’t lost. Building it into their name choices felt like a good way of doing that, but I did also have to ensure that the names weren’t TOO Italian to go with our very English surname (Cox).

Allegra was top of our shortlist first time around from the start. I’d always liked it as a girl’s name for being unusual but not weird, not a name you come across often, but not completely unknown. We toyed with other names like Alexa (felt like too many Xs when combined with our surname) and Sophia/Sofia (much liked but didn’t feel entirely “us”, although was still on the shortlist for baby number two), but Allegra was a name we kept coming back to and quite early on, baby was established in our hearts and minds with that name so it felt odd to consider her as anything else. We then chose Christina as a middle name, because it is my much-loved little sister’s name as well as being pretty and going with the choice of first name and our surname rather nicely. Job done.

When I was pregnant second time around, before we found out we were having another baby girl, we started pondering names and while I found there were quite a few girls names we liked and could more or less agree on, boys names were a nightmare! Again I would have liked an Italian name, but they just didn’t seem to sit right with our surname – Paolo Cox anyone?! – but then to opt for a non-Italian name didn’t feel quite right and also I was determined that it should go well with big sister Allegra’s name too. I rather liked the name Ralph for a while, but Richmond Daddy remained unconvinced…

It was quite a relief when we found out we were having another girl in many ways, I’m really not sure what we would have agreed on if we had of had a baby boy! The name Claudia had cropped up a few times, it was also a name we’d considered first time around, and when we had the 20-week scan and they confirmed we were expecting a baby girl, the first thought that popped into my head was “hello baby Claudia!” and then it was difficult to think of her as anything else from that moment onwards!

We did struggle a bit on a middle name for Claudia, but eventually settled on Rose, for no other reasons than it is pretty and goes nicely with both the first name and our surname. Claudia does feel like quite a grown-up name, so sometimes it seems odd calling a little tiny baby Claudia, but I think with both our girls we were keen not to give them names that are ‘cutesy’ now when their little but that could seem a bit childish when they’re all grown up and interviewing for those high-flying international lawyer and life-saving surgeon jobs in the future (ahem…).

I’m really happy with the names we’ve chosen and I hope both girls love their names as they grow up, I’d like to think they will, but if not, then they should at least be thankful that we didn’t opt for something more creative: Buzz-Bee anyone?! On reflection, Buzz-Bee Cox does have a certain ring to it, maybe next time….

Baby Names Infographic from Bounty

Infographic created and supplied by Bounty.

Voting for the BiBs 2013 has opened and this time, I’m putting aside my pride and going for some straight-out asking: if this blog has ever entertained you, touched you, made you smile (not in an inappropriate way obvs…), then I would love it if you would vote for me in the BiBs – if it makes any difference, I’m willing to trade cake/wine (depending on your preference) in exchange for votes… possibly.

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