Duana Names: Kary & Caledonia
(The response to Duana’s name nerdy-ness has been so great, and there have been so many emails asking for her opinion on potential baby names, we’re turning it into regular feature. Click here to send your submission.)
I have a baby naming question I'm hoping you can pass on to Duana. I'm currently one week overdue and the extra time of waiting for labour to start has me worrying about our name choices. I always enjoy Duana's name articles and I'm hoping she can give some feedback on the names. I realize it may hurt.... :)
... I'd really appreciate an opinion and I've promised my husband not to tell anyone about our picks...
I've written this email with a long description of why we made these choices but I've decided to just send the names themselves. The names mean a lot to us but when you introduce yourself you don't also give a description of what the name means to your parents.
So here they are:
Boy: Kary Edward
Girl: Caledonia Grace
Okay. So here's the thing - you are almost certainly having this baby any second now and you're right, you're going extra crazy with the extra time. Because I'm not sure if you've thought this through all the way. Kary Edward...is going to seem like a girl who got her mother's maiden name or maybe her grandpa's name as her middle. I don't dislike Kary on a man, but I'm not sure this is the right spelling. At all.
Spell it “Kerry”, and you have a nice lad of Celtic extraction. Spell it Cary, and you make my heart flutter because I think of Matt Czuchry smirking at me from his lawyer's desk on The Good Wife. But Kary is neither of these, and even if you're like “Oh but it's Cary but the K stands for someone”, all your child's JK teacher is going to think is that you can't spell your daughter's name right. I know. I know! But this is how people think. Choose one of the accepted spellings. He'll be much happier about it.
As for Caledonia Grace, while it wouldn't have occurred to me, I can totally get behind unusual name choices, especially if there's a cool story behind it. (Exception: "That's where, nine months ago..." NO, obviously.) However, I have two things. One, you know Grace is becoming the “Ann” or "Lynn" of this generation's middle names, right? Every third girl has that middle? You do? Okay, cool.
Two, “Caledonia” is pretty unusual and not necessarily overtly feminine. So if you're hoping to have only one child, you're set. But if you hope someday that Caledonia will have a brother or a sister, you have to name them in the same vein, and that is a damn tall order. "Unusual but recognizable/pronounceable, lots of syllables, somehow gender natural and also kind of a place name." Yeah, I know. “Caledonia and Patrick” isn't going to cut it. Your task to “match” her in style is going to be a challenge, and if you hope her someday-brother's name is Kary, I would like....you to reconsider.
I hope this isn't too harsh, given that you are likely in labour as we speak, you may freely curse my name. I also know that not everyone saves their “The Gender Not Chosen” name for the next round, so maybe Kary and Caledonia were never meant to meet.
Let me know what you decide! (Yes, I'm cringing as I type this.)