Saturday, October 20, 2012

What's in a Name: Caedmon

Sometimes people choose the weirdest names for their kids.  We all have distinct opinions on what names we do or do not like.  I know there are names I would never use because I associate the name with someone I did not particularly like.  Sometimes we hear names that are like ?!?!  really?  And yet, it's odd how kids grow into their names and we wonder how they could ever have been any other name.  I love that!  I figured with an odd name like Caedmon, people might wonder why we chose the name.  Well, here's an explanation! 
 The Playground Test
Justin and I are both also very adamant that a name must pass "The Playground Test."  Kids are mean.  If there is a way to distort the name into something unfavorable they will.  While I'm sure this is possible with almost any name, as a parent I feel responsible to at least make it difficult for this to happen.  For instance, our last name is Ubel.  Naming our son "Frank" would be giving him the initials "FU."  This would not pass the playground test.  Also, kids make up rhymes.  While I really think the name Tucker is cute, it does not (inmho) pass the playground test because of the cute little name-rhyming game I play with my girls.  Now, like I said, it will be possible to find something wrong with his name.  It kind of sounds like "caveman."  We're taking the risk on that one.  Things could be much worse.  Life is hard for kids, so at least the name ought to pass The Playground Test.

Agreeing on a Name
 This is hard.  Before Bee was born, Justin and I first agreed on the name Andrew for a boy.  Had either of our girls been a boy, Andrew was our go-to name.  We still like it.  Even though we both like the name Andrew, though, I like the shortened version "Andy" while he prefers "Drew."  Ah, tough decisions.  When we found out we were having a boy, we through out tons of ideas for names, but none popped out at me that I loved.  We agreed on Josiah and Coen.  In the end, Coen was our second choice.  
It seems like people gravitate toward certain sounds--in fact, both of our girls have "B" names.  Possibly because they sounded good with our last name because of the "B" in it?!  I liked the "C" or "K" sounds, so one night I found some obscure baby name website and began reading the "C" names.  When I read "Caedmon," Justin perked up.  He really liked it and so did I.  For the first time in the baby naming process, I felt like the fireworks were going off.  This was it!!! 

Caedmon--meaning and history
It was when we read the history of Caedmon that we felt this was the right name for our little man.  Caedmon means "Wise Warrior."  Not a bad meaning at all!  Then we read about Saint Caedmon, who was a 7th Century poet/monk.  He was the first English Poet and is known as the father of modern liturgical music.  Justin is such a "words guy."  He loves poetry and songwriting, so it seemed like this was a fit for our son. 

On a side note, the pronunciation is technically KAD mon.  But we are pronouncing it like KADE-mon.  Oh yeah, we can do that.  Parents prerogative.  And by the way, I think I was nervous about naming him something people might have negative reactions to.  But after we named him, I loved it even more.  It really does fit him!