Picking a name is a delicate negotiation full of conflicting emotions and motivations. Traditional family names, personal preferences and current trends all factor into what can easily turn into a very passionate conversation. And don’t even start me on “Oh no, we can’t name them Kerry. I once knew a Kerry who was a horrible person”.

So who actually gets to name them? Most women will insist they have the final say using the flimsy excuse of having carried the baby around for nine months. But it’s both legal and accepted practice that whomever makes a new discovery or sighting gets to name the mass. It’s not our fault if you’re unconscious because of drugs you asked for. We see the baby first, we get naming rights.

I am of course joking. No man gets to make decisions once that ring is on the finger. But how we get to the names is always a fascinating story. For example I always wanted a daughter named Winter. I think it’s a strong but beautiful name invoking visions of tranquil snowfall mixed with a powerful unstoppable force of nature. My wife thinks “it’s stupid”. Vetoed. She wanted Hollywood. I had to point out to her that one of the local theme parks has the tagline “Hollywood on the Gold Coast” before she withdrew that one. In fact, for every one of my beautiful, considered and thoughtful names she would counter with names like “Mercedes”, “Diamond” and “Serendipity”. Seriously I was starting to wonder whether she’d actually been bought up in a strip club.

In the end we came up with a shortlist and I did receive my maritime law naming rights (as long as it came from the approved list) and that’s how we ended up with Rhapsody and Gypsy: beautiful names for beautiful girls. But the road for other friends has been rocky. One friend who is having twin boys is still devastated his wife vetoed Chuck and Norris.

Or the friends who ‘tested’ names by yelling them out in a drunken, slurred fashion.

“We cancelled Ashley for the girl by putting on the most bogan drunken accent we could and yelling ‘Asssshhlllaaaaaaayyyeee’. Oh how we cringed.”

As impressed as I am by this bogan test, as a film buff I can’t understand how they didn’t end up with an ‘Aaaadrieeeeene’ ala Rocky or “Stellaaaaaaaa”.

I really feel for my friend Rob O’Connor. Both he and his wife are teachers so for nearly every name that came up the other would play the “Oh I knew a once. No way” shudder. It took months.

Or the fact that his wife always wanted a son named Conner but then married someone with the surname O’Connor.

The point is that it’s not an easy process. It will be give and take, back and forth. You will need to compromise and think about the different angles. Failing that, fall back on maritime law.



haven is all about family, life and style in Brisbane's inner city suburbs, the Gold Coast, south to Byron Bay. We have been keeping parents in the know for over eight years, with fun, fresh and helpful stories that they can take tips from or treasure in their own library.