Thursday, March 12, 2009

Hello kettle? It’s me, pot.

All we do, all day long, is think about baby names. Here at Admiral Road we really see it all. We see traditional baby names, avant garde baby names, and everything in between.

Sometimes we see traditional names with deliberately unusual spellings and, admittedly, I have been known to wonder why a parent would give a child a name that he/she will surely need to spell/pronounce for everybody else for the rest of time.

When I was expecting my second daughter, we wanted to honour my late grandfather (whose Hebrew name was ‘Ya’akov’). We happily stumbled upon the Hebrew name ‘Yakira’ which means ‘precious.’ It was the perfect Hebrew name: unusual but pretty and a tribute to my grandfather.

It also helped to inspire our daughter’s English name, the name which she goes by: Kyra. We loved it.

I dutifully researched her name-to-be in the baby books and found that there were multiple spellings of Kyra (Kira, Keira, Kiera, Keera). Here is the reason we chose the K-Y-R-A spelling: At the time she was born, it was the most popular spelling! I wasn’t trying to be weird. I wasn’t trying to be unusual. I wasn’t trying to present my unborn daughter with a lifelong challenge. In fact, it was quite the opposite. I actually thought that I was doing the kid a favour!

Then Keira Knightly showed up on the scene. After a few hit movies, not only did the name Kyra increase in popularity, so too did the K-E-I-R-A spelling.

To make things worse, I’d show up with my infant daughter at her doctor’s appointments, and the receptionist would call for “KY-ruh” when it was her turn (rhymes with pie/sky/rye). People couldn’t pronounce her name! I had inadvertently given my daughter a name that was routinely mispronounced!

We have sewn thousands of baby names on to thousands of blankets. After all these years, surely you would think that of all people, I would have been able to choose a simple, straightforward name!

Admiral Road has been making personalized blankets since 2002.

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