A Co Antrim woman who gave her children unusual names to attract attention said it was one of the toughest decisions she and her husband have ever had to make.
Islander Emily Mary McClean and her husband Daniel eschewed the typical popular names and named their two children Goldie and Chip.
Blockbuster movies, popular TV series, current celebrities, and memorable places can all be influencers for parents.
However, some names were chosen at random – such as Emily and Daniel explaining that one of their children’s name came from the credits of a TV show they were watching.
“We kind of wanted to choose names that are names but not common names,” Emily said.
“We didn’t want there to be a lot of the same name in the class when they go to school.
“There were a lot of Emilys in my year, and my husband’s name is Daniel, which is pretty common, so we always thought about having a name that would stand out a bit.”
Emily said the couple had disagreed on a lot of names and that the conversation had been “stressful.”
“It’s difficult, and it’s really a big responsibility, naming a child, so you have to make sure it’s right for both you and your partner,” she said.
When Emily and Daniel finally gave their children, who were both born during the pandemic, a name, they said they “felt it was spot on”.
Goldie, who is now two years old, was originally going to be named Yoli, short for Yolanda.
“Goldie was my other name on our list and when we saw her and saw her beautiful head of blonde hair, we just knew she was a Goldie,” Emily explained.
“I’d say Goldie Hawn gave us the idea, and it’s the reference I use for everyone, but her hair color ultimately decided.”
Their son Chip is just eight weeks old and the couple said the name was decided one evening while watching crime TV show Bloodlands during lockdown.
“It was one of the names in the credits at the end of the show and it really caught our eye,” Emily said.
“Of course I had a few questions about the name, but we just loved it.
“After we saw it for the first time, we saw the name everywhere. My niece was reading a book and one of the characters was named Chip,” she added.
“A lot of people talked about Chip in Beauty and the Beast. In fact, the midwives all thought that was where it came from.”
The couple originally chose the name Chip for Goldie as they didn’t know the gender of their baby.
“We were convinced that Chip would be a different girl, but since Chip was the only boy name we could agree on, it was already decided,” she said.
“We didn’t bother with the gender reveal parties — we just wanted a healthy baby — so it was a nice surprise when they were both born because that’s when the final decision on the names was made.”
Emily said the best advice she can give expectant parents is not to give away name ideas to anyone.
“You’re always going to meet someone who doesn’t like the name,” said the Co Antrim woman.
“Just don’t care what other people think because no matter what [not everyone] will like the name you choose – that’s inevitable – and at the end of the day, it’s your child and nobody else.”
Emily has amassed a following of more than 11,000 on Instagram after starting her blog five years ago while traveling to Morocco in a van she bought.
“I don’t have the van anymore because I came home and settled down and had kids,” she said.
The couple are in the process of renovating a 100-year-old semi-detached house, which they document on the social media platform.
Emily is also working on launching a children’s clothing brand called Mamie Mala, which she plans to launch this summer.
“My middle name is Mary, after my grandma who used the nickname Mamie, and Mala is Goldie’s middle name,” she explained.
“My mother was born in Malawi in Africa, so family has a strong meaning, so Mala is after it.
“I found the names unusual and it works for the brand because it’s something that’s both quite unusual and personal for us.”
https://www.independent.ie/life/family/family-features/we-picked-unusual-names-for-our-children-dont-worry-about-what-other-people-think-its-your-child-41552616.html “We chose unusual names for our kids… don’t worry about what other people think, it’s your kid.”