With 10 weeks left, we have a name ... we think

Friday, December 28, 2007 | 11:21 a.m. CST; updated 3:25 p.m. CDT, Sunday, September 7, 2008

Editor’s note: Jake Sherlock and his wife Jenny are expecting their first child in March, and they’ve chosen to share their challenges and experiences in this column. Look for it periodically here at

Tuesday not only marks a new year, but it also marks week 30 in the pregnancy.

Sometime in the next 10 weeks, we’re going to have a baby girl. And that means we’re going to have to give her a name.

The search for a baby name began almost immediately. Like a lot of couples, we talked about boys and girls names until we got confirmation on the baby’s sex. We later came to a tentative agreement, tried it out for a while, and then went back to the drawing board.

The first name we tried out was Addison, which Jenny liked partly because it’s the name of one of the characters on “Grey’s Anatomy.” That name was so good, they gave the Addison character her own show, you know.

I was OK with Addison when Jenny first mentioned it, but the more I thought about it the more I liked it. Even though we’re trying to keep the baby name a secret, I would still call her Addison whenever we talked about the baby. That soon got shortened to Addy, and that’s when Jenny fell out of love with the name.

For one, Jenny may dig the name Addison, but she just doesn’t associate the name Addy with a baby. And the more she hears it, the more she dislikes Addy.

For two, Jenny started to realize that Addison wasn’t just a popular TV character, it was a popular name all around. She met Addisons everywhere she went. You might even say all those Addisons really added up for her.

And for three, Jenny decided that Addison was too close to Madison, and Addy is too close to Maddie. And it just so happens that Madison is an even more popular baby name in Columbia than Addy, at least in the last calendar year (see for yourself over at our births databank).

So with Addison out, we went back to the drawing board. I said it was important to me that she be given a good Italian name, to honor my family heritage. I also said I was a fan of the middle name we had chosen, so I hoped we could find a first name that would match well.

Jenny wanted a name that had a classic, old-school feel to it, to reflect her love of all things vintage. She also wanted something classy and sophisticated, and she liked the idea of giving her a name that, much like Jennifer and Jacob, can be shortened.

A Google search later and we had it. But we’re still not telling. Or should I say, we’re trying — both of our moms know, as do two or three friends. And it gets harder and harder to hold it in the more excited we get for her arrival.

But we decided a long time ago that holding it back was best. Telling people early ruins the mystery, plus it opens up a whole lot of unsolicited suggestions as to why your chosen name is no good.

Most of the time it’s for reasons personal to the suggestion-maker and not the person who will actually pay to put the kid through college. I’m very sorry if a girl named Maddie once broke your heart, but that doesn’t make all Maddies baddies, does it?

Jake Sherlock is a news editor at the Columbia Missourian. E-mail him at

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Tom Warhover December 29, 2007 | 6:01 a.m.

We named our first-born in the days before Google. (It's hard to imagine there was a time like that. I believe it was around the same time they invented the automobile.) Still, it was a similar method. I would throw out a name, and my wife would howl it down. I don't know why -- after all, who can argue with a name like Alouisius Mergatroid Warhover? The issue was finally settled at a neutral site, over beer and pizza at a favorite pizzeria. After 17 years, it still works for us, and for the young man who wears it.

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