Or You’re Going to Call Your Baby What? (Part 2)
I don’t recall exactly how we were drawn to Beatrix. Part of it was because it’s an older name. According to the Social Security Administration’s Popular Baby Names database, Beatrice (and variations thereof) had decreased in popularity from the top 40’s in the first decades of the 20th century to #546 in the 1990’s. And as such, it seemed like a good name that has simply been out of fashion for about seven decades.
The only problem was everyone’s reaction to the name: “You know [pause], it sounds like a Vegas hooker,” “You know, uhhh, it sounds like an aging truck-stop waitress” and “I knew a tranny named Trixie.” We desperately tried to find out if there were any positive associations out there. Doesn’t anyone name their daughter Beatrix? Isn’t Trixie a cute name for a spunky, little girl skipping around? Won’t Bea make a cool nickname in high school? A google search wasn’t very helpful. There were plenty of pet ferrets, lizards and a sheep dog named Trixie, but no cute little babies only wrinkly, raspy-voiced, little babies that reeked of stale cigarette smoke and diesel fumes.
We turned to the parent message forums next. We had to find out if we were condemning our daughter to years of ribbing. Now, nothing against these message boards, but they can be pretty predictable and repetitive as each new wave of soon-to-be parents logs on and posts something along the lines of:
Then tons of people write in about how both variations are truly beautiful and it’s a great name – a beautiful name – and congratulations!
And so, searching for validation, we took our turn at the wheel and declared our intention to use the name Beatrix. The reaction was less than encouraging. We got a lot of those Vegas/waitress reactions listed above as well as “it sounds like an old fat lady.” I was really surprised at such a cold reaction. I was like, what the hell, it’s a perfectly nice name, it’s just a little less popular. I needed to see if there was a baseline for determining truly bad baby names. I posted that we were considering a few unorthodox ones for our new daughter. The reaction was furious:
“Pleeeeease!! do not call your daughter Deimos!”
“Think of your daughter!! Oxide is not a nice name for a little girl!”
“I understand that Hera might be a family name, but PLEASE use it as the middle name!!”
“Phosphor?!!!??? Are you kidding”
Yes, I was kidding, but I had to see what would spark true outrage over a baby name. It didn’t really solve anything, but it made us realize that we should just find a name that works for us and not everybody else. (But, to be totally honest, I really do like the name Deimos. And Jennifer is still a fan of Phosphor.)
In the end, Beatrix won us over. I like it from a typographical perspective and we decided that Trixie wouldn’t be that out of place. Old-fashioned names are definitely making a comeback. Plus, people will start to remap their associations. Pretty soon, the message boards will be buzzing with “Trixie? That’s an adorable name! My drag queen friend just named his kid that!”