What’s in a Name?

I’ve always had a weird obsession with names. If ever anyone told me they were expecting, one of the first questions I’d always find myself asking was, “do you have any names yet?”. Similarly, if I hear of new babies, my first question tends to be, “what have they called him / her?”. I can’t put my finger on exactly why this is, but when Mr Lighty and I found out we were expecting Baby Lighty, choosing a name was something that I was really excited about.

It turned out that we had actually had Baby Lighty’s name for years. It was inspired by the leading man in a novel by Emily Giffin – later turned into a film – that I’d read years ago (long before the TV series of the same name came about – Mrs Lighty didn’t even realise there was a TV series by the same name, let alone the fact that it was about a serial killer!), and his middle names are those of two of our late Grandads. Perfect!

Or so we thought…

We knew that the choice for our first name wouldn’t go down well with everyone. So we simply didn’t tell anyone our name choices, and also decided on a few alternatives (you know, just in case he didn’t look like the name we’d chosen). We also had to think up some girl names, as despite Mrs Lighty’s gut instinct telling her that Baby Lighty was a boy, we were very much Team Yellow and looking forward to our surprise at the end of all of that pushing!

We thought that by not naming names, as it were, we would get away with not having comments and opinions forced on us, and that people would just learn to love the name as they fell in love with Baby Lighty.   

Oh how wrong we were! It turns out, even if you don’t name names, people will still comment – often derogatively – and force their opinions on you. To the point whereby at about day 4 of his life, Mrs Lighty questioned Mr Lighty as to whether they should change Baby Lighty’s name. A name that, as it turned out, even after picking possible alternatives, we had gone back to as our favourite and had therefore had for years.

To give you an example of why we started questioning our choice, these are just a few of the comments we have received, and are still receiving, 5 months after Baby Lighty’s birth:

  • “At least you’ve chosen middle names that we like.”
  • “I’m going to call him by his middle name as it’s much nicer.”
  • “Was your sister [Mrs Lighty] on something when she chose that name?!”
  • “What made you pick that?!”
  • “These funny names you young people come up with nowadays!”
  • “And I thought [Baby Lighty’s name] was a bad name, but I’ve recently heard worse…”

And my all time favourite:

  • “What is this breed of dog you’ve had?!”

So you can see why, had Mr and Mrs Lighty not already announced the name to the world, or at least Facebook, we would have considered changing it. It got to the point where when old women would coo over him in his pram when out and about and would ask his name, I almost wouldn’t want to tell them for fear of the comments I might receive.


Baby Lighty in his personalised blanket at approximately 6 weeks old.

Yet it was a name that ticked all of our boxes: we wanted something just a little unusual (as I’ve always maintained that having a slightly unusual names helps you to go further in life) but not so unusual that Baby Lighty would hate it. We also wanted a name that could be shortened. And the other criteria, that was stipulated by Mr Lighty, unsurprisingly, was that if Baby Lighty was a boy, he wasn’t to be named the same as any of the members of the Arsenal squad (which ruled out one of Mrs Lighty’s favourite names, Theodore)!

And do you know what? After five months I think I’ve made peace with the fact that some people won’t like his name. You can’t please everyone, and we knew that, or otherwise we would’ve shared our name ideas when Mrs Lighty was pregnant, wouldn’t we? And I can’t imagine Baby Lighty being called anything other than what he’s called now.

So what was this crazy name that we picked?! 


Dexter Albert George.

Not too crazy after all, eh?!

Proud to be linking up with:


You Baby Me Mummy

0 thoughts on “What’s in a Name?”

  1. Dexter is a great name! We (well, I) wanted a slightly unusual but not wacky name also, and we quite quickly settled on Samson for various reasons. Mostly people react well and say it suits him and is completely appropriate for him, but we’ve had a couple of people look at us like we’re totally bonkers. But who cares, we love it and it’s meaningful so tough!

  2. Dexter is a lovely name! I’m sorry everyone had such a bad reaction to it. I just wrote a blog post similar to this because I have kids named Shade and Atlas. ? Out there names, I know! Haha.

  3. I love love love that name! It’s such a cool name. He is immediately a superstar in my opinion! I just cannot believe that people would be so rude about it? *Tuts and pulls ‘cat’s bum face’ at their rudeness*. Shame on them. Dexter (and his cool parents) are awesome! Xxx

  4. You had those awful comments about a gorgeous name like Dexter?! I love it! It’s absolutely gorgeous, so sweet as a young boy but it will follow him and really suit him as he grows up! People will always be rude about names – people commenting on a baby’s name negatively is my biggest pet peeve! Our daughter is Celyn, pronounced “kell-in” – a slightly unusual Welsh name, that every Welsh person knows how to pronounce because it’s also the Welsh word for “holly” – but I can’t count the amount of people who took one look at her name and said “You called your daughter Ceiling?”. It’s just rude!
    Great post, and gorgeous gorgeous name! #coolmumclub

    1. Ah thank you! I’m glad you said that about the name growing with him, as that’s what we wanted! I love your daughter’s name! I would’ve pronounced it ‘Celine’ though so thanks for the correction! The actual pronunciation and meaning is lovely 🙂 Thanks for taking the time to read my post! #coolmumclub

  5. Firstly, I LOVE the name Dexter. Secondly – people are so rude and your baby’s name is none of their business. If they don’t like it they should just smile sweetly and keep comments to themselves. We don’t go round telling adults we don’t like their names do we??! Rant over. Thanks for linking up to #coolmumclub lovely x

    1. Ha!! Very true about people not batting an eyelid about adult names, I hadn’t thought of that! Only another 17.5 years until the comments stop then!! 😉 Thanks for reading and hosting #coolmumclub

  6. If you had chosen a more common name people would have said you should chose a more unusual name. Naming you baby is your choice. My friend’s little boy is called Dexter, it’s a great name ?.

    1. Thank you, and that’s very true. That’s why we kept quiet about it when I was pregnant, you just can’t please everyone!! Thanks for taking the time to read my post 🙂

  7. Dexter is a cracking name! I must admit, years ago before having children was ever on my radar I thought nothing of telling pregnant friends and relatives my true opinion of their name choices which is terrible and really makes me cringe now! I certainly wouldn’t have voiced anything after the baby had been born though, that’s shocking! Anyway, karma came back for me- Small Stuff’s real name is a nature name and I’m always getting told it’s “too hippy-ish!”

    1. I’m always being told that Dexter is “too American” but actually it’s originally Ancient Greek!! Intrigued to know what Small Stuff’s real name is now!! 😉 Thanks for taking the time to read my post 🙂

  8. The struggle is real! You’re right, you can’t please everyone. My story is nearly opposite, with my oldest I mentioned liking the name Michael just after finding out it would be a boy, and suddenly family started sending me monogrammed things with that name!! I named him that out of guilt and around 6 months later I really wanted to legally change it and my family threw such a fit over, “we love the name Michael. who would do something like that to a baby!?” Like he would ever remember. :/ It wasn’t a bad name, it just wasn’t what I wanted to name him. Michael is 12 now and I’m still bitter about it, although of course the name fits him now as he’s grown with it. So with our last baby we not only didn’t tell anyone the name, but we ourselves refused to even chose one before he was born. We took a list to the hospital and named him on the second day. 🙂 And by the way I LOVE the name Dexter. Not sure how it’s “too American”, as I’m American and have never met anyone with the name ever. 😉 You did good. #coolmumclub

    1. Ha!! Oh noooo! How annoying to have been trapped by the name! Great story though, I’ve never heard of it being that way round before!! Thank you, we love his name 🙂 #coolmumclub

  9. I guessed Dexter when you said serial killer! I think, aside maybe from names that are so bizarre the child may be teased (Rolan Bolan & Zowie Bowie!), it just needs to be something you are happy with. I find boys names hard – there are very few I really like & there seems less choice than for girls so they often feel a bit overused, so I think if you find something a bit different that you like, go for it! I was actually kind of leaning towards Luka had my second been a boy, which I was worried was a bit too unusual, but was what I liked. #coolmumclub

    1. I honestly didn’t know there was a TV series called Dexter, and definitely didn’t know it was about a serial killer!! We’d had the name for years, so it seemed a shame not to use it. Boys’ names are definitely harder, we had a couple of girls’ names which we would’ve been more than happy to use and I think other people would’ve been happy with us choosing too. Thanks for taking the time to read my post 🙂 #coolmumclub

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