Friday, August 14, 2009

The High Court Judge test

Now, I'm aware that this post will tell you all a bit too much about my upbringing and expectations, but there it is. I have utterly no desire for the Noodle to be a lawyer but somehow this whole lawyer thing is in there, and I can't quite manage to expel it. Despite the fact that we have no lawyers in our family, not one, never, ever, ever and quite possibly never will.

When we were expecting the baby, as yet nameless, we thought of many names. We thought of names from our families, names from literary theorists and philosophers and favourite books. We thought of names off the telly and names we remembered fondly from primary school. A lot of the names we thought of became redundant after the ultra sound when we discovered that Rosie or Raphaela would not be appropriate. The Noodle is pleased he was not a girl, because he would have preferred Lily or Lucy for himself (herself, I mean, I suppose - not that he's alone there, thousands of parents have picked Lily and Lucy in recent years, that's for sure. Pretty names, too, but not ones we thought of).

So we got to a point where we had a handful of names. Some of which we look back at and think 'heavens to betsy, we didn't have sleep deprivation at the time, what freakish anomaly could explain us even considering that name'? But most of them were OK. And we subjected all the names to the High Court Judge test, which is what you have to think about if your kid might grow up to want to be a High Court Judge, and how would he or she feel about being called Justice Whatever. So Justice Fifi Trixiebelle is a tough one, perhaps lacking in the necessary gravitas. It's not to be conservative, some pretty wild names sound damn fine after 'Justice' but some just sound a little uncomfortable together.

The other professions we road tested were author and foreign correspondent, which also probably tells you a bit too much about our general attitudes to the world. A lot of unpleasant stuff was going on in the US at the time, so we had to try out all the names followed by 'Washington' in an ABC sort of voice. It's a good test. The ABC website should promote it. Plus it makes you say the name lots of times in a row, so you can see if you get used to it. And sometimes your mouth saying the name makes your mind just boggle.

All of which is to say, it's very exciting that people are having babies, and I can't wait to meet them and find out their names.


cristy said...

That's fascinating. We had no list, no process. I just liked the name Lily and so that's what we used. Perhaps we did not give the matter enough thought...

Shayne Parkinson said...

Lily, Lucy and Rose are all favourites of mine, and all ones I've bestowed on children - literary children in my case.

Our Chief Justice is called Sian, which sounds rather nice, I think.

I've noticed when looking through programmes at the ballet what wonderfully ballerina-ish names the ballerinas have. Like Miranda, Chloe, Clytie, Cassandra... I wonder if their names drew them towards performance, or if being raised by parents who'd choose such names inclined them that way.

Or if they were just popular names when they were born. Probably.

Penthe said...

Well, funnily enough Cristy, after all that process and pretension the name just popped into the husband's head unbidden, and that was that.

Don't know how to pronounce Sian, though. Ignorance is a terrible thing.

ThirdCat said...

My goodness you make me laugh (did I already tell you that - sorry if I'm repeating myself). We have completely failed our children on the High Court Judge test. But you're right. Noodle is an awesome name for a judge.

Penni said...

By the time they finish saying Frederique Double barrelled surname Washington the war will be won and lost.

I think names are terribly forgiving things in the long term.

One of my favourite characters from my own books is called Trout and now I love that name for a boy, but I guess it would fail the High Court Judge test. And Trout Double-Barrelled Surname Washington. But it's handbuilt for writers, artists, actors and strange person you don't want to sit next to on the tram and where would the world be without them?

Penni said...

(p.s. Just out of interest I went and looked at the high court judge names. There is one called Garfield.)

kazari said...

We are definitely doing the lawyer test, although I hadn't thought about foreign correspondents! That's much more fun.

Ryan and I are having a HUGE amount of difficulty agreeing on names. But we've finally got one girl's name, and one boy's.

I secretly think the baby will come, and meet us, and I will think oh no, you could only be a ...
and the baby will name itself.

Anonymous said...

We have our names all locked in, first girl, first boy, second girl, second boy. They all pass your test but we went mainly by the backyard test - does it sound bogan when you shouted really loud out the back door. I had my heart set on Mungo for a while but ManO'Sand's conservative side came out again and I was howled down. It hasn't even qualifed for a middle name which is disappointing. One of the names on our list is shared by new client of mine, so am really hoping she doesn't become annoying in the next 6 months.
ps Noodle's name is awesome, manly, yet not at all run of the mill.

Penthe said...

Yep, the backyard test is important too. You guys are well organised on the name front!

Man O'Sand said...

Well you never know if there will be twins. Must have all the options covered. Well actually we will know as of ULTRASOUND WEDNESDAY. That's in 36 hours time. Very excited.

And as for the name Garfield, I am sure the Noodle will be able to tell you that Sir Garfield Sobers was one of the finest men ever in flannels but Sir Garfield Barwick on the other hand was a member of the Establishment conspiracy that toppled the great man, E.G. Whitlam.
We shall never forget nor forgive.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I had no idea Lily was so popular, as I know no one called by that name. But I had a dream that I had a daughter called Lily, so it was an intended name (for an unintended event) except itsounds good with my 'L' initialed surname, unless I want to go all Superman on the thing.

My current preference is for girls names sounding with 'F'. Like Fern, Francesca, Felicity, Phoebe. Since I'm not having a daughter any time soon, and the biological gates are almost closed, I'm trying to inspire the three mums-to-be in my life, namely my sister, best friend in NZ, and cousin.

Boys' names are harder - there's very few that I approve of.


Anonymous said...

Er, that should read 'sounds odd with my 'L' initialed surname'.


Jacqui said...

I think we passed the high court judge with boys numbered three and four. One, not so much. Two - maybe. We have always gone for incredibly traditional middle names.

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