Sunday, March 1, 2009

My Two Cents on Names

After reading Jon's post and some of the comments, I want to clarify a few things. 

First, I am fully aware that Morgan is more often used for girls than boys. To me it is not feminine because I grew up with a dad and grandfather and brother and male cousin and etc... all men with the name and all of them are the opposite of feminine. However I realize the name has sort of been taken over by girls. Still, with this child being our fifth child and having 4 older sisters, just like my dad; and after hearing my grandmother say SOOOO many times "FOUR girls!!! FOUR girls!!! Then I got my boy" that I can still hear her say it in my head every time I think of my four girls, I really wanted to use the name Morgan.

I didn't want to call him this because there are too many Morgans in our family. So I wanted a very strong male name that no one would mistake for a girl to be the name by which he was called. Other than wanting a veto power for any totally objectionable name Jon might jokingly come up with, I was pretty open about what to choose.

Jon really really wanted to use a family name. Now we only have so many Waite family names that pass the "not totally objectionable" threshold. Pretty much John, Noble, William and Jesse are it. I like all those names but I didn't want to do Jesse with Morgan because then both names are gender neutral. John is a great name but Jon didn't want two John or Jon's in our little family. I agree with him on that. I really like the name William, but with Waite? Will Waite? Hmm. No. That left us to Noble or picking a non Waite family name. 

Jon's grandfather who went by Noble was an incredible man and the family recently put out a biography on him. There are great stories in the book about him. He died young and while Jon never got to meet him, we have recordings of his voice and him bearing his testimony. I personally, LOVE the name Noble and have always wanted to use it. 

So I just wanted to give my side of the Jesse debate since Jon's post made him out to be such the martyr. 

Now as for some of the comments -- people really. If I wanted an opinion poll of this name, I would have put one up. I don't really care what anyone thinks of the name we have chosen, but in the comments why don't we try to be polite and not write anonymously what we wouldn't say to a person to their face. Thanks.

47 comments:

April said...

I have never commented on your blog. But I do love to read it. I find your family very inspiring and there have been often times that I turn to it in my own time of need.

As for names, I agree with you. Name him whatever you want. I love all the Waite family names. I love the name Noble and all the Jesse's I know are boys. My grandpa's name was William, but he went by Bill. I never knew him really, but I know that he was an incredible man. I think you will know what to name him when you see him. Maybe he won't fit as a Noble or a William or a Jesse even though they are all family names. But whatever you choose to name him, I am sure that in years to come people will say wonderful things about him. After all he has an amazing family. The name doesn't make the person, the person makes the name.

And that is my two cents worth. I am excited to learn about your new little one and want to thank you for alway sharing and being so inspirational.

I really appreciate your posts.

Sarah Hull said...

I am such a lover of family and church names. Each of our children have a family name and it is so special to share with them the meaning of their name.
When we learned our oldest daughter would be born with some challenges we knew we wanted to give her a strong name. Her first name is a family name that is dear to my heart and her middle name is "Eliza" after Eliza R. Snow. She is now old enough to understand the meaning of her name and she loves it when we tell her why we named her what we did.

I must thank you again for your endless example. I think of your family often and have learned a great deal from you.

Alisha said...

I should have read this post before I commented the other one. If I may....while it's true, no one's opinion matters (especially stranger's, for heaven's sake) on what you name your child. You have put this out on a public forum and have asked for opinions in the past. Anyway, I think that's why people felt free to say something. I hope I didn't sound rude in saying that. Anyway, Congrats on finding a name...I know that's a tough one. Our daughter was Riley my whole pregnancy and we changed it to Natalie the day she was born....she just didn't 'look' like a Riley whatever that means. =) Take Care and Good Luck

Anonymous said...

So sorry! I was under the impression that when you asked for opinions via a poll on 'Jesse', questioning anyone and everyone on the www, and then stated the name that you were seriously considering, that you wanted an opinion on that as well. Duh!

Taffi Pratt said...

I know you dont know me, I have been following your blog for some time.. through a friend i was guided towards your blog.. but on names.. my first born is WillIam Morgan Pratt.. let me get to why we named hi that.. Parley Parker Pratt has a brother named William Dickenson Pratt, that is my husbands straight lie.. its why we have all the Williams.. so your first born son on his side is always a William.. Bill's grandfather was Ralph Morgan.. yes broken tradition.. my husband is William Ralph.. I didnt want ralph,, and I wanted a family name.. so we went with William Morgan, but I didnt want another Billy, or Will or Willy, so I agreed to the name if we could call him Morgan.. and he is good with it, I grew up with a best friend named Morgan.. (who was a boy) and just loved the name so we went with that.. to keep it in the fammily for my second born son we went with Kirtland Parker Pratt... with Parker after Parleys middles name.. and Kirtland after the the temple.. then we went on to have another boy Brandon Michael.. middle name after my dad.. then cameron jacob came around.. and we had ran out of good family names.. LOL if our last was a boy or girl, it would have been Cameron.. so yes I have 4 sons.. love every minute.. all of them were birth control babies, and in between the first 2 and the second two i had a miscarriage that was a girl. and we called her lemonade.. funny inside family joke.. but thats how we came to MORGAN being our first born son... :)

Anonymous said...

You could always go with two middle names. not really that unusual. You could pick a new boy name to become a new family tradition, while honoring both sides of the family with Jesse & Morgan as middle names. But in the end, no matter how strange a name seems to an outsider, it will seem perfectly normal and fitting to those who know and love your family.

Tracey said...

I am not currently a mother however I have always felt using names that belong to our parents, grandparents,and other family names is a wonderful/honorable thing to do. So those names continue on through generations. Continue on in what you feel is right in your hearts.

Morgan said...

My name is Morgan...I am girl. I think it is a great boy name though. I knew more boys with it growing up than girls.

And a person totally makes a name! My husband is Corky....and in spite of his name, I think he is totally awesome!!!

Anonymous said...

I don't think anyone intended to be critical of the name you chose. You sort of put the name out there for a vote when you asked us to vote on whether the name Jesse sounded feminine or not. I didn't think the comments were mean or in anyway unsupportive. Nonoe was actually voting anyway - they were more just offering their opinions. You guys opened the subject up for those opinions anyway. It really isn't anyone else's business what you name your baby so if you only wanted positive responses you should have said so. I don't think anyone was being negative. Everyone is always very kind and supportive to you so I thought it was a little harsh of you to scold us. And yes people do submit anonymously for that very reason.

Ben and Taryn said...

Morgan has always been a boy name to me and I love it with Noble. My husband's grandpa always used to tell us that no matter what you are named you can "make it your own" and become your own version of that name. Plus he always used to tell us to "Remember whose you are" especially with the family name you carry.

Anonymous said...

You can tell your pregnant hormones took over! Don't ask for opinions one minute then get mad when they're given the next and if you don't like anonymous comments...then block em from this blog!

Noorda Notebook said...

amen to that sistah. tell it.

Jonathan Waite said...

Dear anons,
When Stephanie put up her poll, she didn't ask "do you think we should name our child Jesse?" she wanted to know the gender perception, that's all. So I don't think at any time was she asking for opinions about whether or not we should use name x or name y. Most of the anon comments (except for one I deleted) really weren't terrible or mean, just kinda off subject. I don't mean to offend anyone by saying thanks but no thanks to the public opinion on the name. But bear in mind that the two names mentioned come from people we love and adore so they are special to us.

Noorda Notebook said...

steph - that was for you, not for the anonymous poster :)

Anonymous said...

I for some time now have been reading your blog, and by doing so have found so much about myself that I did not realize, but felt. I am a mother of two adorable children who came to me from a birth mother unable to care for them, and as we finalized our family, we quickly took the next step in giving our children famiy names. We felt that this would be one way they could feel connected, and grounded to our family. Our daughters' middle name comes after a niece who has seen many trials, and has rose to be amazing in her testimony and faith (something we hope for a girl whom has seen much in her young life) and our son who's middle name is also my husbands but also comes from a great uncle who faced many trials during pioneer times. Our families however have made several stabs at giving such middle names to these children. Commetns we have heard have been as bold as- why take such measurements to have a family and then give them a name so emberassing, to giggles and laughs behind and infront of us. But as a husband and wife who try to rely on the promptings of a loving Father in Heaven, and believe that the names we have given our children were the names they were to have. I say name your child the name you feel he should carry with him upon this life and the life hereafter. You will not lead him astray, you love him and want what is best for him. Send the naysayers off to name their own babies, and enjoy the right you posses of being this babies parent and having the authority to choose the name/names of your own liking. And on another note, my great great grandfather was Dudley Leavitt from Bunkerville, and I find myself wondering if we are related somehow, and if so I marvel the small world we live in where family can help one another without even a knowledge of it. Thank you so much for your willingness to let strangers read your story, and learn from your trials how to better deal with our own.

Jonathan Waite said...

here's another two cents -- I think anonymous comments should be blocked as well. However, my wife thinks otherwise because she and many readers of this site have had the opportunity to help out others in need that want to stay anonymous.

HOWEVER, my feeling is that part of the Internet culture has devolved into a subhuman culture of mean, insensitive comments (witness the case of the woman who made a teenager commit suicide by posing as a teenage suitor) by people who thrive in anonymity. Many devolve to name calling, playground talk and just plain meanness. Arguments are typically made by emotion. Logic is thrown out the door and words are thrown about that WOULD NOT BE SAID IN FACE TO FACE CONVERSATION. Perhaps people take out their frustrations on websites because they feel inhibited in real life (no clue--just my conjecture). That being said, not all anonymous comments are given in that vein and I suspect my wife will continue to accept them anyway.

Jonathan Waite said...

to nice anonymous (I think I will have to resort to nicknames for you) :) ,
I come through Dudley Leavitt and Mariah Huntsman. Their daughter, Medora married Jesse Waite.

Katie Price said...

Maybe it's because I'm pregnant, but I have a really hard time when people blame things on "pregnant hormones". As a woman who tries very hard to be herself, and be happy even when she feels miserable (as in when I'm pregnant) I find it very offensive that someone who may have no idea how I feel would say something that insensitive. Pregnancy is very hard for me, and I don't like it when I don't feel like myself and feel like I have no control over it. People are allowed to be upset about something and not have it be blames on irrationality or "hormones". How I wish I could blame all my bad moods just on my hormones, and not on genuine happenings.

I think you are a wonderful, tolerant family who is very hard to offend. Those are very positive character traits in my eyes.

Darleen said...

Whoa...that was some serious reading about the names. I think I learned a thing or two about my ancestors. Glad you picked out a name. I love the name Noble...but what ever happened to Daniel?

Stephanie said...

We both really like Daniel. And we both liked Daniel Morgan Waite. But Jon really wanted a Waite family name. So Morgan Noble it is.

As a side note, we are not still deciding. Maybe we should have waited till the baby was born to announce his name. People seem to take the motherly advice of "if you can't say anything nice, then don't say anything at all" after the baby is born and the name is on the birth certificate.

We have been throwing Morgan Noble around for a while now and have both prayed about it and felt really good about the name. That pretty much seals the deal for us.

Loves to all,
steph

Jonathan Waite said...

Darleen, Really liked Daniel Morgan -- except that 1) it is basically one of the top five names in the U.S. so didn't want him to be just another Daniel and 2) I really liked the story of Daniel Morgan the revolutionary war hero. Brilliant tactician and successful war hero. Only problem is that he was a hard drinking party man -- not quite the legacy I was looking for. Plus like Steph said, was looking more for a family name.

Tara said...

We have a two-year old boy Morgan. I got sad reading some of these comments. Not only did some commenters not consider the feelings of the Waites, they also didn't consider how many readers that this blog has and that somewhere on the Internet is a mom who loves her baby boy Morgan and is wondering how many of her acquaintances have these very thoughts about our little one's name. I love this blog for the inspirational thoughts. Of all places to say less than kind things, why in someone's blog who has shown nothing but grace, compassion for others in their time of need, and a pure Christian love through trials most can't begin to comprehend the pain of? Call it cliche but my Mom taught me soemthing that goes like this, "if you can't say soemthing nice, don't say anything at all." That was before the age of computers where people could hide behind their screens. Best wishes Waite family on your baby boy and may he bring peace and happiness that will fill your home!

Bacardi Mama said...

Amen, Jon and Steph! I think your choice of name is very masculine and a good strong name. I think I said this before. I am amazed at the number of people who think they have any voice in this one way or the other. This is your child and your choice. End of story. Don't let people who are to cowardly to say who they are upset you.

Lacie said...

I found your blog through a friend of a friend, and i agree with you, everyone needs to keep their comments to themselves, i personally like morgan for a boy. it is a common name where im from, a small country town. anyway, i love your writing, it's so deep and personal, keep it coming!

Eric and Jenny said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eric and Jenny said...

I think you are a wondeful family, and I hope others have not swayed your decision in going with the name you love, (though I am pretty sure, you will probably just let it roll off your back). For what it is worth I love both Jesse and Morgan I know men with both of those names and they are in no way feminine. Your son will be very blessed to have such wonderful ancestors that share his name that he can look up to. And Noble is so beautiful, it almost gives me goosebumps, he can't help to grow up and be just that a noble man...

Fun Times With The Chidesters said...

I have been reading your blog for a couple months now, and I really appreciate all that you have to say. I really feel the spirit when I read your writings. :)

Regarding the name for your son, I LOVE it. I have always thought Morgan as a boy's name. I'm from Vermont, and that's the birthplace of Justin Morgan, the man who bred the Morgan Horse. So I associate the name with him, and I like it.

Family names are so special. It's so good to see you putting so much thought and consideration into your little ones, rather than just choosing a "flavor of the year" like so many people do. I named my son (born 2/12) after a man who saved my husband's life, as well as my husband's late grandfather who passed away when my husband's mother was in high school. I always do a second middle name after an archangel. So his name is Simon Russell Uriel Chidester, which just happens to literally mean "he has heard, little red one, who is like God?" I love it, and it suits him so well!

Noble is such a great name. I am sure he'll live up to it too! :D

DEANNA said...

GOTTA SAY, I LOVE THE NAME NOBLE. I LOVE DIFFERENT NAMES. OUR CHILDREN ARE NAMED JAX, BRINKLEY AND JUSTICE AND I ALWAYS GET COMPLIMENTS ON THE NAMES. THEY ARE NOT FAMILY NAMES, LIKE YOU GUYS LIKE TO USE BUT I LOVE THEM JUST THE SAME.

THE NAME MORGAN IS ALSO WONDERFUL. I HAVE KNOWN BOTH... MALE AND FEMALE MORGANS AND IT JUST FITS CERTAIN PEOPLE!

DON'T EVER WORRY WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK... AND AS FAR AS ANNON. COMMENTS.... SOME PEOPLE JUST ARE GUTLESS!!

HAVE A WONDERFUL MARCH! I AM FEELING JUST LIKE YOU... CLEAR IT OUT, CLEAN IT UP AND DUST IT OFF! GOOD BYE FEBRUARY!!!

Kate said...

Wow. Some crazy comments here. I love the name you've chosen!

kathryn_m said...

Hi Stephanie:

As you no doubt have read by now, I love your son's name and the process through which he gained it.

I am so pleased that you & Jon have shared it with us. Knowing his name makes him so real to me.

I just wanted to share a little chuckle with you. Some people, albeit very few, feel the need to comment negatively even AFTER the child is born. When our 2nd son's great aunt came to visit him at about 2 weeks old, she outright asked me: "What kind of a name is Mitchell"? She went on to say that he would hold it against me for choosing that name. Her sister,(my mother-in-law), quickled answered her question with a question: "What kind of a name is Googs?"

It was all I could do to keep from laughing. While she Christened her son Gordon, she quickly nick-named him Googs as a baby but it stuck with him throughout his life. Very few people knew his real name.

In my birthplace, it was very common for boys to be called by both their Christian names. We all have heard of Ann Marie's, Laura Ann's and Mary Lyn's but the trend was usually limited to girls.

My husband's cousin had 4 sons and they were called (full out) "Charles Edward", "David Glen", Brian Albert" -- the other boy, who was named "John Keith Leroy" was simply called "Keithie". (They also tended to add "ie" to single sylabelled names -- Clyde became Clydie.. etc.) There was also a very strong trend to call sons named after their father "Little John" as example. There are some 90 year olds still be refered to as "Little Bob".

Funnily enough, it was these boys grandmother who took exception to Mitchell's name. I still haven't a clue why.

It bothered me that I was not named after anyone even though my older sisters & younger brothers were - maybe that's why I cherish the fact that each of our children carries the name of a relative who was very special to us.

Another quick chuckle: Our older daughter's name is "Laurel" and my uncle was absolutely serious that we should name Shane "Hardy". He went on about it for months after he was born. We finally had to put an end to it when he started yelling "Here comes Laurel & Hardy" at every family gathering.

Hope you're feeling well & happy, Steph.

love 'n hugs,
kathryn_m

Tara L. said...

I love that you are using family names. Both of my children are named after family members. You have a special little boy coming to join your family and that is a special name you have chosen. I love the name Morgan Noble Waite.

Jan S said...

Wow...Now I know why my sister wouldn't tell anyone her kids' names before they were born! And for the record, I know a wonderful, sweet man/husband/soon-to-be father who is named Morgan!

Becca said...

I think you guys picked awesome names. I've never heard a baby called Noble but I just love it. And Morgan Noble Waite sounds very dignified but also sweet.

I am pregnant with a little boy too, and though we haven't 100% decided on a name yet (we want to see his face to be REALLY sure), we haven't told many people the names we're thinking of because I see so much of the negative name feedback when others announce. I don't know why people can get so catty about baby names - only the opinions of the parents truly matter anyway.

Tonya & Tom's House said...

I have been reading your blog for a while now but this is the first time I have commented. I think that a person's name is part of what molds them into who they become. It is how we identify ourselves for the rest of our lives. I think that you will know the "right" name when you hear it. It will just feel right when you say it. My mom used to say that when you thought you liked a name, just say it about a thousand times, and if you still liked it, then it was a good name. Good luck and God bless.

Mindy said...

Yay! How wonderful to have his name picked out! Now only if it were May and he was closer to being here! :)

Mel said...

I like Morgan. It is gender neutral, it's true, but not in a ridiculous way (my next-door neighbor growing up was a boy named Ashley). I think no matter what his name is, though, he will be (when he is old enough to appreciate it) happy that you named him after family - it always means more that way, I think.

Anonymous said...

Lindsey, Whitney and Ashley all used to be masculine names (remember Scarlett's big crush in Gone With the Wind? I've seen girls named Michael and Christopher (which I toatlly disagree with!). I've known a man named Loren (sounds like Lauren).

When it comes down to it, it is the person, not the name, that will determine how we think of that name: good or bad, nice or ugly, masculine or feminine.

chanel said...

whoa, missed the drama. stephanie! i like you pregnant! tell it how it is girl!! people have said some pretty aweful things to you on this blog (I thought) and you never reacted like I thought you might, but watch out mama when people tell you about your peanut's name! GOOD FOR YOU!

and just a tid bit of info- there are TWO males in just my ward that are named Morgan. The whole name sounds great!

Bingham Bunch said...

Hah! I find all this discussion quite entertaining. I guess I think a little backwards....the person makes the name great or lousy for me, not the name itself making me think of the person a certain way. So whatever you and Jon decide, it will be perfect with the handsome new face it's attached to! AND truth be told--I have just quit associating names with gender--I know some men named Tracy, Stacey, Courtney, Bailey, and have a BROTHER-in-law named Lorin. I also know girls named Joey, Riley, Ryan (yes spelled just like this), and Dillan. Meet the person, then decide what to think of the name!

Anonymous said...

I am flabbergasted to read some of the comments left by anonymous readers. It feels to me like someone has been welcomed into your home, and then came in to yell at you. I just want you to know that I am so thankful to you for letting me, as well as all the other strangers be a part of your journey. I have anonymously asked questions of you, and am so grateful that you have been willing to answer. You have brought a lot of clarity about spirituality to me. I am the one who just asked about what prayers can do. I have not thanked you yet, because I am still trying to wrap my mind around it all. But, I do thank you. My question, as well as so many other questions that have been asked of you, have not had quick or easy answers. As a stranger, I am very appreciative, that you would take all the time that you do to give such thoughtful and heartfelt answers. I certainly hope that you will not rethink your decision to have a public blog. I think that many people, including myself, would greatly miss out if you ever made the decision to go private. Thank you so much for allowing people you don't know to learn from you.

Marie said...

I love the name Noble. I wasn't brave enough to use it because it wasn't a family name and I knew people would give me grief. We went with Walter, which is a family name...and I still get grief over it. But I love his name!

I met an older man bike riding who's name was Noble. I really do love it! I'm so glad you picked it!

Sandra said...

I have also never commented on your blog but have become an every day reader over the past few months and am so glad that I found your blog. It was helpful to me in knowing how to respond when my brother and his wife lost their baby just 2 days before his scheduled birth.

I wanted to let you know that I am also expecting and William was one of the names that we were thinking of (after my grandpa) but we didn't want a Will or Willy or Bill so we were going to name him Liam as a shortened version. I know you already have a name but I just thought I would pass that along, it wouldn't have to be "Will Waite" it could be "Liam Waite" instead.

Julie said...

I love the name Morgan for a boy or girl. My husband's brother's name is Morgan and I can't think of a name that would suit him any better. I have only been around him a few times and the only time I ever saw someone confuse his name to be a girl's name was once when we went skiing/snowboarding in Colorado. We all listed our names down and the rental place and then a teenage girl came around to us one by one to get our rentals. She came over to me towards the end and said, "Morgan? My name is Morgan, too!" I just kindly said, "No, I'm Julie, but that is Morgan over there," and pointed to my brother-in-law. He took it in stride and didn't seem embarrassed at all. I think a name is a name and if you are proud of your name and what it either means to your family or yourself, it doesn't matter what others think about it. We named our daughter Sierra because we were married in the Sierra Nevadas and somebody once said to one of my friends (it got back to me, of course), "That sounds like something somebody from Tooele would name their kid. What a hick name." (We lived in Tooele, UT at the time) It really hurt my feelings and I was madder than I have been in a long time. It was like, say what you want about me, but don't attack an innocent baby's name. It was just heartless. I have tried to have thicker skin since then and I hope you guys will be happy with the name you have chosen regardless of what other people might say. Thanks so much for your blog, it brings a lot of good to my life and I appreciate you guys. :)

The Howick Family said...

I have known 2 Morgan's in my life and they BOTH are males...

baby names list said...

Every parents have their rights to give name to their little angels. And it is one of their task for the baby.

Anonymous said...

Jonathon, so you come from the second wife I believe, and I come from the line of Dudlely and Therza. Many years ago we had t-shirts made for a Leavitt family reunion that read (Born of Noble Birthright) I think your son knows how lucky he is to be born into your family, and how blessed he will be to have any name you and your sweet wife choose. It is not the name that makes the child, but the child that makes the name. Thank you for sharing your life with all of us through this blog.

Laura said...

I love the name too. To me it sounds very strong.
We named our baby Gabriella and at the time NOBODY had anything nice to say about it. I'm glad we stuck to our guns though..I love her name.
However, if we ever venture into the wonderful world of 4 kids...we will not tell the name until after the birth. I'm sure it will save some hurt feelings.