baby name inspiration


When Asa and I began compiling baby names during my pregnancies, it actually took us awhile to decide on names that we liked. I didn’t want our children to have names that began with vowels because both of our names begin with an A. Asa’s three siblings and three of our nieces have vowel first names too, so I just couldn’t do it. Excluding the vowel names narrowed down our list quite a bit, although there were many vowel names that we liked. Maybe I’ll change my mind in the future if we have more kids!

We also didn’t want to use unisex names or these new names that people are coming up with 🙂 We wanted to go against the grain and choose names that had meaning and/or a reference to something in our lives.

Our boy first and middle name choice has been decided since we found out we were pregnant the first time. I put the names together in college and have loved it ever since. I really hope we get the chance to use it someday. I just love it and it is truly unique (and the two names are actual names/references to people so I didn’t make them up!). And I’m not going to share it here in case we do want to use it someday 😉

Onto the girls…

The name Vienna was inspired by a song I was listening to while driving one day. I was listening to The National and I misheard a lyric in their song, “I Should Live in Salt.” I pitched the name to Asa (who loved it right away!) and we began finding other connections: his mother studied in Vienna, Austria while in college and I took German all throughout college, so we thought it was a good fit.

Meaning of Vienna: forest stream

A lot of people really like her name. We’ve never gotten any negative comments about it. People usually think it’s really cute or distinctive or beautiful. And then there are some people who kinda just stare at us blankly or ask how we came up with it and we have to say, “you know, like the city?” I think perhaps some people confuse it with Venice or don’t understand because it’s not really a “name?” I don’t know. Anyway, it has been received well overall.

Her middle name, June, was inspired by a few people. First, my birthday is in June, so in that way she is “named after me.” June is also an amalgam of all four (of mine and Asa’s) grandmothers’ names: Sally Velma Jean W., Joan H., Kathleen Joan K., and Victoria Jean T. We thought June was a great way to honor all of those women.

Meaning of June: from Goddess Juno

The name Harriet was one of two names that we liked. Well, I liked the other name more than Asa did. But Harriet was never really a choice on our list until the very end. I came across it again one day in a name book and I just thought about it some more and began to like it. Asa has three generations of Harry on his father’s side: his grandpa, his uncle, and his cousin. So, while Harriet isn’t named after them specifically, it is a connection. AND, the day Harriet was born Asa called my grandmother to tell her the good news and found out that her sister’s name is Harriet! I had always known my great aunt as Ann, but her real name is actually Harriet Ann! So that was really cool to find out that day and since then we always consider our Harriet to be named after family members.

Meaning of Harriet: feminine of Old High German Henry, “ruler of private property” or “ruler of the household.” Diminished form of Henrietta.

So far, people have liked Harriet’s name. The only strange thing is that some have addressed her as “he” or “him” even after we tell them what her name is. So, not sure if people just think we are saying Harry or if it’s just not popular so people don’t know about it? I don’t know. Strange.

Her middle name, Finch, was suggested to me one day by Asa. We were curious to find a name that wasn’t really a name, but perhaps was an object or word that could be used as a name. When he suggested it to me I just thought it was adorable. We love To Kill A Mockingbird and Atticus Finch, so that is a great reference for that name. And considering that Harriet was born three weeks early (our early bird), it was just meant to be. No direct familial reference for the name Finch, but we love the reference it does have and we love the simplicity and values of Atticus Finch and To Kill A Mockingbird.

Meaning of Finch: a seed-eating songbird that typically has a stout bill and colorful plumage.

[Bonus fun fact: one of our favorite actors is Harrison Ford, so now we have our own HF 🙂 Harrison was actually our number two name choice this time around for a boy. We really like the name, but now that Harriet’s here we won’t be using it — but that’s alright because we have a homage to him anyway! :)]

So there ya have it! How did you come with your child(ren)’s name(s)? What are some of your favorite baby names?