Matt and I had our boy and girl names picked out almost immediately, and we’ll most likely stick to them. (Stay tuned—we’re taking the Intelligender test on July 4!) Occasionally, however, other names flit through my mind before I realize they don’t make the best combinations with our last name.
Luke Kelley (Lou Kelley?)
Jake Kelley (Jay Kelley?)
Micah Kelley (Mike Kakelley?)
Melanie Kelley (Mellie Kelley?)
Stephen Kelley (Steve & Kelly?)
Grace Kelley (nice, but kind of a bad omen for our little princess)
Scarlett Kelley (is she red or green?)
Declan Kelley (even uber-Irish hubby thought that was going a bit too far. “Sounds like an IRA bomber,” he said.)
Plus, it’s very important we avoid gender-neutral names. I get called Kelley (or worse, Kelly) at least once a week. So does my sister-in-law. We find it very annoying. This is bound to happen for our daughters, assuming Kelly is still a popular girls name in the 2020s. I’d like to avoid that happening to our sons, however, and it seems that clearly-male names keep that from happening (so my husband and brother-in-law’s experience would tell me).
Same thing goes for surname-sounding first names. I remember poor Carson Lilly in my 6th grade class. Substitute teachers somehow just assumed there was a mistake on the roll and called him Lilly Carson. I wouldn’t want that to happen to poor Sullivan Kelley.
So, it’s a good thing our original names sound pretty good (in our opinion). I think they both sound like TV news correspondents, personally, but I promise we won’t send them to Future Broadcasters of America camp or anything…unless they show an aptitude for it…we do watch a lot of CNN in our house…