Names

On Tuesday, I got a phone call from the doctor’s office confirming an appointment for Ella.

“Is this the parent or guardian?” they asked.

I confirmed that I indeed was and the nice man on the other end said:

“I’m just calling to confirm his appointment tomorrow at 11:15.”

Oh, little Ella, welcome to a world where half the inhabitants think your (I think very feminine) name is a boy name. It’s a world I’ve lived in a for a long time.

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26 Comments

  1. My daughter Reeve has the same problem. I would think that after I tell them I need an appointment for my daughter they would stop referring to her as a him. They haven't caught on yet.

  2. I know you're not divulging the real name on your blog, but if possible, I think you should write a little about the naming process. Who first proposed the name? Did one of you have to really convince the other? Did you have the name picked out before she was born?

  3. This is why you name your daughter "Bella" this year! There is no gender confusion if there are 8 of you in the class.

    Signed,
    Lisa H.

  4. Too funny – my sister has dealt with this her whole life too (her name is Dale), but I think it just makes you more unique and is therefore worth the confusion! I'm also curious about Enna's name, but am sure it's lovely (as is her pen name). And have I mentioned how stinking cute she is?

    Also, I hope things go well with your move – my husband and I just moved last week (albeit one town over), and it's definitely not an easy process! I'm sure you guys will manage though, and be so happy once you get settled into your new apartment. I'm still working on that, but thanks to some of your past entries, have been motivated to really go through all my belongings and live more simply. It's been wonderful!

  5. So annoying!

    It's hard to go through life with a hard name – no one can spell or pronounce mine, even though it's not terrifically uncommon. (I mean, a very famous actress/fitness advocate shares it with me!)

    I am with Melanie – I'd love to hear about the naming process. Why you chose it. What it means to you. Any names that you or your husband discarded. Naming is such a fun topic!

  6. Oh, I keep meaning to tell you, I was talking to someone about baby names the other day and mentioned Enna's and she said her friend just named her boy the same thing. So apparently for some people it is a boy name.

  7. And now I am dying to know what the name is. I do love her "online" personality though. 😉 I second Melanie's suggestion.

  8. This happens to us all the time. But not because my boys names are feminine. It's because our last name is also a girl's first name, and their first names are also last names. And at doctor's offices they always write the last name first. I'm sure it happens often, and those doctor offices should really have the gender be highlighted and huge on their files! I think Enna's name is beautiful, by the way!

  9. There is something to be thankful for. I can always tell when it's a telemarketer.

    "Is Mr. Ralphie at home?"

    At which point I belch into the phone and growl "You crackin' wise!?"

    NieNie gets this too. A lot. It's very weird. I thought her name was 100% feminine. I can never win.

  10. yes I have also dealt with that my whole life as well! I even graduated from high school with 3 boys with my same name. And what did I do to both of my girls? Yep I named them with what I believe are very feminine names but are also boy names as well. 🙂

  11. I think her name is feminine!

    No name is safe anymore. I happen to think that Ty's name is quite masculine, but just heard that my friend's niece's name is Tyler. So you never know. 🙂

    Which is exactly why "they" should be accepted as a singular neuter pronoun. 🙂

  12. Today I was reading a book where there was a male character named Janssen. First time I've ever thought it could be anything but a girl's name, but you know, whatever. I still think your baby's name is beautiful.

  13. My DD has a traditionally masculine name but we love it (and have gotten many compliments on it too). In our little town there are at least 3 girls with her name … and only one boy. Like you I don't give out my kids' real names on my blog so my daughter goes by "Missy Moo" on the blog.

    I, personally, love a few traditionally masculine names for girls (Avery, Camryn …). If you and your husband love the name then I'm sure Enna will and that's all that matters. She's totally adorable!

  14. So is this like Rumpelstiltskin? If we accidentally guess her name you'll write a mysterious code word in your next post that only we will know? Klondike? Reggie? Wink? Amalgamated? Glocester? Benzolene?

  15. I don't think her name is a boy name at all! But some people are so interesting… my daughter would be wearing pink and a bow … and people would think she was a boy only because she didn't actually grow hair until she was 3. Lets be observant people. Come on!

  16. I think that people just default to "boy" with babies quite often! I remember very clearly someone asking me how old my cute little boy was—you know, the baby dressed in pink, with a big floppy bow on her head and a delicate pastel afghan wrapped around her.

    Sometimes…everyone is just clueless!

  17. There is no way I would ever think Enna's name was a boy name! Good grief.

    Oh and I agree with Melanie. I'd like to hear how you picked her name. 🙂

  18. Oh, that is always lovely. I'm sure you've seen the name of my second daughter on my blog. Despite being pretty feminine, in my opinion, and spelled as much, I still sometimes get people pronouncing it as the male equivalent. Good times.

    I love your baby's name and think it is completely feminine and perfect.

  19. It's a world I've lived in a for a long time.

    I had to smile at that because all of my life people have spelled my name wrong (it's Alison with one L), and it didn't even occur to me until a few months after she was born that I'd sentenced my first-born to the same fate by naming her Elisabeth (with an S).

    Congratulations, by the way! I haven't visited here since before Enna was born, and I've been enjoying reading all about her arrival. She really is beautiful!

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