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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Baby Boy Peppers

Ashley writes:
I find myself in a situation that is likely not terribly unique, but difficult nonetheless. I was due three days ago with our first child, a little boy. He has yet to grace us with his presence, but know the moment is right around the corner. We are truly excited and ready to meet our little man, with the exception of one minor detail: his name. My husband and I have a last name that I find slightly difficult to work with. Peppers. We had decided on the name Everett back in February when we learned I was carrying a son, but met instant disapproval from my mother. In hindsight, we wish we would have kept our decision a secret, but at the time couldn't really imagine the announcement being greeted by anything other than excitement. We have been sorely mistaken. She has repeatedly campaigned against it from the first moment of sharing. I thought that putting my foot down and telling her the decision was final would stop the remarks, but it didn't work. It's as if there was one most terrible, wretched name possible and we have chosen it. I sought wisdom and spoke at length with my husband and we decided that we had the power to change the situation by changing our choice in name. We worked on a short list which included: Owen, Harrison, William, Augustine, Christian, Zachary, Hudson, and Hunter. None of these names just completely grabs us. And we're now very conflicted about Everett. I really thought I liked it but there are a lot of hurt feelings mixed up with it at this point, and to make matters worse, my family seems to like to pronounce it like "Ev-ritt" with a hill-billy accent. There are clearly some family dynamics that far exceed the scope of our son's name, but he is due at any moment and we are at a huge loss as far as what direction to go next. I wish I could be really tough and let all of it roll off my back, but I know myself and it will drive me crazy for a LONG time if this is an ongoing source of strife. I'd like the issue to be finished. Other things to consider: My maiden name is Taylor and we would like to use it in either the first or middle name. If we were having a girl, we really liked the names Emma, Grace, Abigail, and Caroline. My husband tends to like biblical names: Joshua, Zachary, Gabriel, Benjamin. I'm really interested in a name that has a nice flow from First to middle to last, and when it's just first and last and if the first can be shortened to a nickname then nickname and last. We would love suggestions on a strong masculine name First Middle Peppers that might work well for us and our son. Thank you for your help! (and the help of any readers who offer suggestions- wisdom is greatly needed!!)

This is a very hard situation. You know and I know that your mother should not be behaving this way. An initial negative reaction would have been bad enough, but to continue to campaign against the name even after you told her it was final is beyond unacceptable.

Nevertheless, she is doing it. While I would like to leap up onto a crate and exhort you that it's your choice! she named her babies and now you get to name yours! it's a great name and she will come around to it! stand your ground!---it's not something I'm planning to do. It's easy for someone ELSE to say that you should get to use the name you want to use---but such a stance denies the reality of the situation. If I picture my own mother carrying on about a name the way yours is, I think I too would be choosing not to die on this hill. We DON'T really know that she'll come around to it, and "You should choose the name you love no matter what other people think!" is the kind of advice people give easily only when they're not the ones living with the consequences. Not to mention that I WANT my mother to love my baby's name---not at the expense of all my own opinions, but it's something I'm willing to work at a bit.

One possibility at this point is to involve your mother EVEN MORE: if she's going to kick up an unending stink if you don't choose a name she likes, have her tell you which names she likes from your list of finalists. (I don't recommend asking her for suggestions: you might find that, just as when my mother-in-law delivered a list of her own unasked-for suggestions, they were all from the days when she was naming her own babies.) This could, of course, BACKFIRE LIKE NOBODY'S BUSINESS---but if you want to avoid a name that causes your mother to behave this way, it could also help keep you from jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire.

Another possibility is to choose another name, not reveal it until after the baby is born, and do preliminary work: tell her you've changed the name ONLY because she didn't like it, but that now you're not telling the name because you don't want her to spoil it for you, and that whether she likes the name or not it IS THE BABY'S NAME and if she doesn't like it, you ARE sorry, but she's had her turn to name babies, and now you and your husband are having your turn and she should be very happy she's had a veto.

Everett IS a great name. There is a little group of names I think of as being "similar to Everett"---such things are totally subjective, of course, but I wondered if you might like any of them, as I do: Elliot, Emmett, Evan. I like Elliot Taylor Peppers and Evan Taylor Peppers best; Emmett Peppers is a little harder for me to say, and I think the repeating eh sounds might be too much.

Evan makes me think of Ethan. Ethan Taylor Peppers.

For biblical names, I like your husband's choices (especially Zachary and Joshua) and also:

Adam Taylor Peppers
Jeremy Taylor Peppers
Joel Taylor Peppers
Jonathan Taylor Peppers
Nathan Taylor Peppers
Samuel Taylor Peppers

I also like Henry Taylor Peppers. I think Henry Peppers is adorable. But I have a feeling that a woman who dislikes Everett won't feel any happier about Henry. I think my own favorite would be Jonathan Peppers, with the nickname Jon.

Name update! Ashley writes:
Thank you so much for responding to my email. Your response couldn't have come at a better time. My husband and I were resting in my hospital room after just meeting our little boy, still scratching our heads about his name. We thought we'd check to see if there was a response posted on your blog. There was!! Not only that, but there were many helpful responses from kind and thoughtful readers. I am so grateful for how well thought out your words were. I think my husband and I were beginning to notice after reading that we were falling into two different camps as far as the name Everett. He was willing to die on that hill, I was not. This understanding was empowering as we considered our motives and options. For the next few days- while in the hospital holding him, looking at his sweet little face we tried on a few names. We really like your suggestion of Jonathan. He called him that for a day. It just never took. We tried Everett and Owen and neither truly felt right. A dark horse entered the race and moments before being discharged from the hospital we decided to try the name Truman. It worked. It fits our son perfectly. His full name is Truman Taylor Peppers. We use that or Tru or even sometimes Mr. T when addressing him. I think we both felt satisfied finding a name that had little emotional association and that we didn't already have a slew of opinions about. Truman fits the bill! Thanks, again! We are truly blessed by this precious gift and love our son's name!!

Thank you, again!

What a great name! Thank you so much for letting us know! And, what did your MOM think of it??

Thank you! We are very happy with it. I think it's a good sign that we have no lingering regret or hurt feelings about the previous situation. It had been my fear that we would compromise and hold some sort of resentment. I don't think either of us feel we did. And for my mother... as far as I know she loves it. She may be so glad we didn't choose the other name that anything else would seem brilliant, but she did seem truly delighted. What a great way to for an unwelcome issue to come together. Oh, and I noticed someone mentioned pictures, so I thought I'd include one of our handsome little boy. Thank you, again!


Miranda said...

Oh my heart goes out to you! For the record I simply ADORE the name Everett and it is among my top three choices for our little boy due in August. The two other top names names on my list are Walker and Evan-- perhaps one of those might work for you?

Superjules said...

Evan Taylor Peppers is adorable!

But I'm sad that your mom made such a stink about the name Everett. It's a great name.

It makes me think of how my family reacted when my sister told us that she was going to name her baby (something like) Abigail. NONE of us liked it and we all made little comments like "ABIGAIL? Really?" and "Don't name your baby that, it isn't pretty enough!" And, well, Abigail is here and she's ADORABLE and her name fits her perfectly and I feel like a huge jerk for saying that. Because where the hell did I get off? It was seven years ago and I still feel bad.

Betsy said...

I wanted to keep our son's name private until he was born, but my husband blabbed to our families. In response to hearing that her 7th grandchild would be named Henry, my mother gave dramatic pause and then said, "It's kind of old-fashioned, isn't it?". Sigh.

I kind of want you to go ahead and use Everett just to spite your family. What they are doing is not cool.

But I also like the names Swistle suggested. I will offer up Eli as well. You could go with Eli itself or name him Elias Taylor Peppers and call him Eli.

Good luck!

Karen L said...

Reading with my DH. He points out that while you _could_ choose a new name, there is a very good chance that you will get the exact same response from your mother. He says go with Everett.

But I really really feel for you. I got a little bit of criticism for my DD's name from an aunt and she only persisted for a week or so but, still, it was awful. That said, I'm with Swistle in that I would not choose to die on this hill. And yet I'd be harboring all kinds of revenge fantasies: Choose a family name from your husband's side, not yours. Publicly shame her by sharing this ling with everyone she knows.

Which makes me think ... is there anyone you know who might be able to talk some sense into your mother and convince her that not only should she desist from the criticism but she should retract it and apologize, too. I know I would not be able to go ahead with Everett without a complete about-face from her. Even a half-hearted retreat and Everett would be ruined for me.

All that said, now I'll go think about some other suggestions for you.

Mrs. Haid said...

Oh no for you! How miserable.

(Oh no for me! I say EV-ritt naturally, too.)

I went to college with a person who has your same last name: James. It might be that I already know him so that I think it flows well.

Maybe Jesse?

Lena Phillips said...

Name him Everett! Your mom will come to adore the name as she will associate it with her adorable, charming grandson.

Everett is a top contender for my husband and I as well. Other names we are also considering: Solomon, Evan, Simon, Abraham, Gabe - maybe those aren't up your alley, but maybe they are!


Karen L said...

How about?

Ezra: biblical but stylish, like Everett
Noah: similar sounds to Owen, but biblical

I don't love all of these with your last name but YMMV.

A friend of mine loved Everett (or was it Emmett?) but her DH's tastes were more biblical/traditional. I think they were closest to agreeing on Joshua but then they had girls. The rest of their boy list was:
Anderson (Andy)

vanessa steck said...

Well. That rather sucks.

I cannot imagine being in this situation with my mother, who would likely love any name because she wants grandkids (i'm 25, and she wants me to hurry up!) but also because if she didn't like a name I'd tell her it was none of her business. But I'm not *in* that situation, and if I were, I agree it might not be the fight to have.

So. The other thing to consider is, would she LIKE any of the names you like or are your tastes just too different? But perhaps a new name, even if she didnt like it, wouldn't have the baggage Everett does. (it's a great name, btw, and as a sidebar I once knew a man by that name who went by Ratski. It was perfect for him).

ANYWAY. Names that feel like Everett, too me:

Bennett (and I like Bennett Peppers! and then Ben/Benny Peppers! so cute!)
Beckett (I like this a lot too)
For some reason I am thinking of Aidric, although it's nothing like Everett.
Some of my favorite surname-y names (which Everett isn't but it feels to me like it is:)

oh, and Jasper is great. Or Ewan! Such a fabulous name and Ewan Peppers is nice.

Claire Wessel said...

Go with Everett, but I've never heard it pronounced other than EV-ritt so it might be an uphill battle with the pronounciation unless you nickname him Ever. My mother was MORTIFIED about the name Crimson until she finally laid eyes on the adorable baby, then all the comments about blood and hookers miraculously stopped. Though, a father of a different Crimson did haul his mother across a department store upon hearing that we both had children named Crimson so she could meet my Crimson and say "See, it's a real name!" to his mother. lol. So, perhaps some mothers don't give up after the birth!

I know that pronounciation can catch a person off guard. I thought most people pronounced Cassandra like Cassondra until I used the name. Turns out my in-laws all say it with the word "sand" in there. I hate it so much my daughter has gone by Rejeanne ever since...but they just call her Reggie, which I hate only slightly less and a name with "sand" in it.

I guess what I'm saying is, you just can't win with the family, so choose a name you love!

I think Everett Taylor Peppers is lovely. Taylor Everett Peppers is good too!

Elisabeth said...

I love Everett, and I am so sorry that your mother has been so difficult. I would still keep Everett in strong consideration...hopefully she will stop campaigning after your beautiful little boy is born!

I also love the previous suggestions of Bennett, Isaac, and Oliver.

My friend has a little boy named Everett, and she was considering naming him might like that.

Other names you might like:

The Mrs. said...

I am so sorry for your extra struggles. Being overdue is enough without the added name drama. Yeesh! Rough times for you and your husband!

Okay, *rolling up sleeves* I'm looking at biblical names that have multiple syllables, a good nickname, and goes well with Peppers.

Ezra Taylor Peppers (nn Ez)

Elias Taylor Peppers (nn Eli)

Elijah Taylor Peppers (nn Eli or EJ)

Augustus Taylor Peppers (nn Gus or Aughie)

Darius Taylor Peppers (nn Russ or D)

Cyrus Taylor Peppers (nn Cy or Russ)

Barnabus Taylor Peppers (nn Barnaby)

Isaiah Taylor Peppers (nn Ike)

Jairus Taylor Peppers (nn JT or Russ)

Marcus Taylor Peppers (nn Marc)

Micah Taylor Peppers (nn Mike)

Titus Taylor Peppers (nn Ty)

Non-biblical/biblical names that have only one syllable but still sound masculine:

Ford Taylor Peppers

Joel Taylor Peppers

Ross Taylor Peppers

Dean Taylor Peppers

Frank Taylor Peppers

My heart goes out to you as you go through this nuttiness. Hopefully, you'll find a name that says, "YES! This is perfect!"

All the best to you, your husband, and your wonderful little son!

Mairzy said...

Everett is a great name. The family response is not. Swistle suggested possibly involving your mother in the choice, but I'm not sure that's a good solution. It's not her choice, and there's no reason why she should be given any power just because she's made herself unpleasant.

You know your mom better than we do, but it does seem likely that she'll shoot down other names you love. Best to choose and inform her after the fact.

I love many of the other name suggestions. I look forward to hearing about your little boy.

-- Mairzy

Steph said...

I have to second Mairzy's post. Seems best probably just to let her know after the fact (or even after she's met your son). This way the name is your choice, and then too it doesn't start a pattern for naming of any future children. I would probably choose another name than Everett just because of the situation- or put that in the middle name position if you still really love it.

changelivlife said...

I have to cast my lot with Mairzy this time around.

Your mother's behavior is appalling. If she didn't care for the name, she has every right to say THAT, but to carry on and campaign against it? Uh-uh.

I actually would "choose to die on this hill". It is not your mother's choice. She absolutely deserves no say in the name. After your little buddy is born, name him what YOU want (Everett Taylor Peppers, FTW!) and then announce it. If she can't deal, then she can call him by a nickname. Buddy, Peanut, whatever.

I can't believe that after he is born and named she (or anyone) would still have the cojones to blatantly express disapproval.

Your baby, your name. She should get on board or get out of the way.

And Everett is truly fantastic. The right sound...just love it. The other suggestions are fine, but this one has the ring of rightness to it.

Go for it!

Anonymous said...

Oi! What a disappointing trouble to have, especially since it centers around such a handsome name as Everett!

I think with a name like Peppers, it is easiest to find names that are strong, obvious first names. Your husband's Zachary, Joshua, and Gabriel I love with Peppers. You seem to gravitate toward surname-y first names, though, and I think Everett is a lovely compromise between the two styles. If it were ME, I would stick with it and tell my mom to shove it! I'm sure it feels like the name is a bit trodden on now, though, so I understand if it feels ruined and you're unsure now. I want you to imagine holding your little baby boy, and think about whether or not calling him "Everett" as he's cradled in your arms would feel ruined. If it feels ruined, then that's okay, and you'll have a conclusive answer-- you need a new name! If it feels right, though, and the thought of NOT being able to call him Everett once he (finally!) arrives makes you sad, then there you go-- use it! Your mother WILL get over it, or she will, at the very least, shut her mouth.

LiciaLee said...

I absolutely LOVE the name Everett, and if we have a son his name will be Everett Clark. I am so sorry to hear about your mother. THey can be a pain. My daughter's name is Clara, and from the first time I mentioned it before we even knew the gender my mother argued it was a horrible name, a cow name. I went on and named my daughter Clara, and my mother has since gotten over it. I think you should stick with Everett and she can deal with it. And if it helps any, if we ever have TWO boys, the second will be Simon Alexander.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Swistle that it's probably best to move on to another name. Hopefully it will be one that your Mom will feel positive about, but if not, you could let her make the decision: "Mom, we decided to name him X X Peppers because you so dislike Everett. But now it seems you don't like this name either. It's come down to one of these two names -- which one do you prefer?" Hopefully she'll like the new name you've chosen, but if not, surely she'll feel some commitment to the name she picks at that point.

I think Everett may sound like an old man's name to your mom's generation. Elliot or Emmett might strike her the same way -- no improvement at all. I'm a grandparent too, and the names I find especially appealing on your list are: Owen, William (Liam Peppers, not Will Peppers) and Zachary.(Harrison "Harry" Peppers and Hunter Peppers could be problematic.); from the names Swistle mentioned I find Evan, Ethan, Adam, Jonathan and Samuel very good with your surname.

Evan Taylor Peppers or
Ethan Taylor Peppers or
Easton Taylor Peppers

would each be a fine name and not that dissimilar to Everett.

I wonder if your mom REALLY would come around to liking the name Everett if you do go with that, as some have suggested. There are some names currently fairly popular that I personally would never like -- although I'd love the child just as much. You too may find that years from now when you're about to have a new grandchild and hear the name that has been chosen, that it's a name that for whatever reason, you will never love (although most likely you won't tell your son/daughter and spouse that). There are so many great names; I'm sure you can find another name that you love and that Grandma will feel very positive and happy about too.

Anonymous said...

I think you have to drop Everett b/c who knows if your mom will make a stink after he is born. Shame on her!
I am not a hick (I'm a Yankee) and I would definitely pronounce Everett "ev-ritt". You would probably spend 1/2 of his childhood correcting people.
I like Evan the best. What do you think about Thomas? Thomas Taylor peppers?

Hillary said...

I have no name suggestions because I fall firmly in the "name him Everett!" camp (while acknowledging that I wouldn't have to live with the consequences so it's an easy position for me to have.) I just wanted to say that I really enjoyed this post, Swistle. Your response is well thought out and much more mature than I could ever hope to be :) Good job, lady!

Lynnette said...

I fail to see what anybody could find objectionable about the name Everett. Your mother is baffling to me. If it were me, (and it is most certainly not), I would use it anyway. And yet, I understand your impulse to find another name. Would she like it with a nickname? Perhaps Rhett?

d e v a n said...

Man, that stinks that your mother has ruined the name for you but I agree that it would be hard to use the name at this point. Still POSSIBLE, but less enjoyable, certainly.

Of the other suggestions, I really LOVE Emmett. What a nice name!
Emmett Taylor Peppers
I like beckett a lot too and
I also think Taylor would make a great first name.

Elle said...

A friend once reminded me that when a toddler throws a tantrum, you do not give the toddler what it wants, because then it will throw a tantrum every time it wants something. This wise friend then said, "I apply this rule to my mother-in-law." It seems to me that you ought to apply this rule to your mother in this instance.

Everett is the name you love and YOU are the ones who get to name this baby.

I understand your hesitance, but I have a feeling it will fade away and feel much less hurtful once you have a lovely little baby to snuggle and breathe in and whisper into his sweet-smelling baby hair that his name is Everett and that you have loved him and his name since long before he was born.

Good luck.

Diane said...

I think you should name him Everett (assuming when he is born and you look at him you want to call him Everett, of course) and here is why.

I see two possible results here.

1. Your mom adores the new name (which she probably will, because it will be attached to an actual human and not something that is Up For Discussion) and repeatedly tells you, "Gosh, now aren't you glad I talked you out of Everett? This name is so much better!"

2. Your mom dislikes the new name as much as she dislikes Everett and you end up with a name you like less that still doesn't even please her.

Obviously you know your own mother, but I went ahead and named my firstborn a name my mother laughed at and actively tried to talk me out of, and she fell in love with the name the first moment she laid eyes on her granddaughter. Even after that happening, she is AGAIN not in love with the name we're most likely going to use for our third (due next month) and it is very nearly ruining the name for me. But when it comes down to it, I know it's going to turn out okay. She's still going to love him, she's still going to love me, and it's not a made up or embarrassing or otherwise BAD name choice that would make me later regret not changing my mind.

If that little boy is Everett to you, please try not to let her ruin that feeling.

kayemgi said...

Just wanted to share a story that my future MIL told me. She said when she told her mother that she wanted to name her son (my boyfriend) his unusual Irish name, she said, "That's a terrible name, I'm going to call him John." And my future MIL said, simply, "Then you will never see him." And that was the end of it. I thought that was so amazing. I'm not suggesting you take such a hard line, especially since this seems to have escalated far beyond the initial conversation, but staying strong seems to be worth some consideration! Everett is a beautiful name and it works perfectly with Taylor Peppers. I hope everything works out for you!

Bethtastic said...

Yeesh. I do not envy you. And I'm sorry for this mess.

I like the suggestion of Bennett. And I also like Everett. We have friends with a little boy named Everett, but they spelled it Everhett - and call him Rhett almost exclusively.

Name him what you want. Grandma doesn't get her say on this one, she already named her babies.

Again. Yeesh.

beyond said...

OH dear, I'm sorry you're in this difficult situation.
My instinct is to tell you to use Everett anyway. Great name. But I can't tell if she has totally ruined the name for you? Maybe your mother would object to each and every name? (control issues?) What I can tell is that you have a good relationship with her, because otherwise you wouldn't care what she thinks.
From your list I really like William. Will Peppers. William Taylor Peppers. Nice. There's a good flow to that name.
(I'm pregnant and this is exactly why I don't discuss names with anyone but my husband. Ugh. I really feel for you.)
Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I feel for you. My grandmother disliked my name and she mentioned it for as long as I remember. It was hard on me as a child, but now I laugh and I understand it was just her personality. Plus, now my name has been in the top ten for several years! I would never want another name!
-Abby :)

Anonymous said...

Go with Everett. It's a gorgeous name, and none of your family's business. Your mom can nickname him if she hates it that much.

I think I understand on the hick-ish EV-ritt pronunciation. While I think EV-ritt is a common variant pronunciation to it the accent with which it's said that makes it sound kind of redneck? My husband's family is COUNTRY, and we had to throw out some names because of how they would pronounced them (my bro-in-law Stewart is "Stort" in their Southern accent). All I can say is this: not everyone he meets will pronounce his name that way, and you'll only spend SO MUCH time with your family, you know?

kimma said...

First off – BOO to your mother! Her behavior is deplorable. I can understand that Everett is now tarnished for you and you need to move on not fight the situation however unfair it may be. I would follow Swistle’s advice though and let her know she’s lucky to have had one veto and the name you announce after the birth will not be open to negotiation.

I personally perceive Everett as part of the growing trend towards surname-names. Swistle’s suggestion of Elliot might bridge the gap between her preferences and yours. It is very similar in sound to Everett and depending on your association with the name could be a surname-name or a more traditional first-name name too.

Harrison from your shortlist also fits this category, but I am reluctant to support it due to the nickname Harry with your surname Peppers.

Others in this vein could include…

I think my personal favourites are Lincoln and Calvin. Lincoln Taylor Peppers. Calvin Taylor Peppers.

If you like the nickname Rhett that has been suggested here it might be worth asking your mother if she likes Rhett before completely discarding your favourite name, but again it depends how tarnished the name is to you now and how much more input you want to allow her.

Best wishes to you and hubby making this difficult decision.

StephLove said...

My mother didn't like our name choice for my daughter and kept slipping suggestions of alternatives into conversation when I was pregnant. She wasn't as aggressive as it seems your mother has been, but it was a pain. Anyway, we stuck to our choice and now my mom loves the name and says it fits my daughter perfectly.

So...if you think it might turn out that way, there might be hope for Everett. I hate to see you turned away from your first choice. I do love a lot of the names on your new list, though. Joshua and Zachary were on my list for my daughter before we found out she was a girl. And we were intending to use the middle name Taylor (for us this ruled out Zachary because of the President). Our short list ended up being Joshua Taylor, William Taylor and Ian Taylor. I also really like Benjamin and Owen.

Here are some other names that might work for you:


Siobhan said...

Oh sweetie I can so relate. My mother-in-law hates our youngest son's name. She thinks it's weird and he'll have all these issues as he gets older. It's Callum which isn't that out there and is very common in the UK. We didn't decide until right before he was born and it took a lot to get us to that name. I actually got a lot of great feedback here when Swistle posted our question. So we didn't tell her until a few days before his birth and while we knew she didn't like it we just couldn't change it at that point. I can imagine how hard it would be with your own mom. I love a lot of Swistle's suggestions. Elliot is a great name that can be shortened to Eli which is cute. I think Jonathon Peppers sounds great together as well. It's so hard naming your first baby and I know it's sounds cheesy but when you see him you'll know.

Patricia said...

I'm wondering if it would help for you to have a heart to heart talk with your mom about your baby's name, sharing with her why you like the name Everett so much and some things about the name in general. For example, she may not realize that Everett is an "ever-present" name, being in the US/SSA Top 1000 names every year since 1880 or that Everett is being increasingly used for little boys today, with 1163 baby boys named Everett last year. (2010 SSA rank - 287; since 2000 the name has gone from #585 to 287.)

It may be that your mom might be persuaded to _start_ being more positive about the name (her grandson will do the rest...) if she knows what baby name experts say about the name:

Baby Name Bible/Nameberry:
Origin of Everett: English variation of the German Eberhard, "brave as a wild boar". Everett is a statesmanlike, wintry New England name chosen by hundreds of parents each year. In 2009, Everett shot up 62 spots to number 320, a fashion leap that can be credited to its similarity to trendy girls' names such as Eva and Ava. Its high point was about a century ago, when Everett was a Top 100 name -- and it could get there again. Author John Irving named his youngest son Everett.

Baby Name Wizard:
Everett - Many of the stately gentleman names seems a big sluggish. This one snaps to attention. Everett is courtly but crisp and full of live, an unbeatable combination.

Nameberry: Vintage Names 2011:
What’s old is new again in another popular category, with new old names being rediscovered and enjoying new appreciation. Among the hottest vintage names now are:
Boys: Arthur, *Everett*, Hugo, Jasper, Thaddeus

If you google images of "baby Everett", you'll see numerous photos of darling babies and little boys named Everett. Perhaps if you showed some of these to your mom, she would be able to imagine another little boy, her grandson, with this handsome name.

Two examples:

I hope your mom can see that you and your husband have given your son's name a lot of thought and are hurt by her adamant rejecting of the name you chose for your son.
I hope she will realize that while Everett may not be a name she would choose, it really is a very fine name.

Best wishes!

Leah said...

I love Swistle's reasoning for involving the offending mother, but I think Mairzy is right. I wouldn't be able to get past it easily. Every time I said the name I'd get a twinge of bitterness. I LOVE Patricia's suggestion if she seems like she could be even remotely reasonable about it. If not, I'd switch it to a different name you love and not tell her what it is until after she meets the baby.

I love Everett though I do say it Evritt. And I'm in Chicago! :)

Best of luck. This is so hurtful :(

Anonymous said...

A concern about the name Everett with your last name. I've seen that "Rett" or "Rhett" is sometimes a nickname for the name. If that were the case for your son's name (whether or not you chose that nn), he would be Rett Peppers -- which sounds like Red Peppers, not the best first - last name combo.

Maybe one of the other names you mentioned would work better with your surname for that reason alone (and nothing to do with your mother's feelings about the name Everett).

I wonder if classic names like your husband likes -- Zachary, Gabriel, Benjamin, Joshua -- might be a good balance with your somewhat 'quirky' surname. I would suggest James, Ethan, Owen (from your list), David, Andrew, with Taylor as the middle name.

Leeann said...

What is your opinion of the name Wyatt? It has a similar sound to Everett and I think it sounds nice with Peppers.

Wyatt Taylor Peppers.

Anonymous said...

Does your hubby have a good relationship with your mother? Perhaps this is an evil idea, but I'm all for guilt-tripping your mother into a better attitude. Perhaps your hubby could call your mother, play up the preggers-ness, and mention how upset you've been about considering not using the name because of her. He might also want to throw in there how he has whispered that name to your belly so much that it didn't seem right to use another name. He's going to be disappointed, too, and he doesn't have bonkers hormones to deal with, etc.

I find that mothers can say all sorts of crazy/hurtful things to their daughters, but they start to think twice when the hubby stands up and says something.

Perhaps this isn't an upstanding way to handle this, but neigher is your mother's way of expressing her displeasure with the name.

Rebecca said...

I can relate - both my boys have unique names and there are people who didn't - and still don't - like each of them. My youngest son's name has been purposely mispronounced by a few people (continuously) out of nastiness, but fortunately he doesn't know this and I? Don't care. My boys' names are nobody's business and they like them as well as I do. So who cares what other people think? They're my kids, not theirs.

If you want to name your child Everett, then name him Everett. You, your husband, and your child are the only ones whose opinions really matter. Everyone else needs to get over it and keep their mouths shut. And eventually they DO get over it. The name generally ends up fitting the child and your mom is going to love your child and will accept his name as part of him. And in that way she will grow to love it too.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry! When he is born if he feels and looks like an Everett to you and your husband, I say go for it. I realize the name feels "ruined" but I'm also not convinced your mom will be pleased with another name. Personally, I would also feel bitter about changing the name.

If it doesn't feel have an incredible list of names to choose from!

Susan said...

I'm sorry your mother is being so difficult about this issue. It must be incredibly stressful and hurtful. I think I'm on the "choose this hill to die on" side, and here's why: If your mother is this bossy and domineering about his name, how is she going to react to all of your other parenting decisions over the years? If you choose to do something differently than she would have done it, is it going to be another endless battle, complete with unkindness and guilt-tripping? Now, if I'm reading her wrong and you think this is really a one-time only issue, my answer might change. But I worry that by caving to her on something so important (finding the right name is HARD and I hate to see you give up a name you love for something you don't like nearly as well), you'll be setting a precedent for "Grandma always gets the final say".

I realize you have are stuck with the consequences, not me. But I still say, use the name you love. If she complains, suggest she come up with a private nickname that's just for her to use, then tell her that the form has been filled out and you aren't going to talk about it anymore. Just change the subject whenever it comes up and eventually, she'll have to deal with the fact that she didn't get her way.

AirLand said...

On the pronunciation issue... I had the feeling that Ashley was saying that her family pronounces it with a Yosemite Sam-like accent ... not simply pronouncing it "Ev-ritt."

There's no good answer, is there? I'm so tempted to tell you just to stick with Everett and tell your mom that if she wants to spend time with him, she should act like a grownup and get over it.

If you change the name, isn't there a chance that she won't like that either? And if you get her input, she'll just be getting what she wants by acting so immaturely.

I don't have any other suggestions because I like Everett. I think it's super handsome.

Ugh. Please let us know what happens!

Kit said...

Boo. If it were just the mother thing, I would push you to use Everett. It's a great name and you love it.

I am more concerned about your pronunciation issue. He will be called Ev-Ritt all his life by some people, even if you do manage to train your own family. If it bothers you that much, you might want to reconsider.

If you do reconsider, I like:


Good luck!

Pipsylou said...

I am due in 3 weeks and was told by my best friend NOT to let my parents name our child.

Don't let your mother name your child. I LOVE Everett.

This is why we don't tell people what we are naming...I dont' care what they think, honestly! And usually the names they like are names I think are atrocious!

Anonymous said...

"This is why we don't tell people what we are naming...I dont' care what they think, honestly!"

The baby's grandparent aren't just "people". They are the child's closest adult family members after his parents and usually will play an important role in his life. While I don't think grandparents should have veto power over a name, I see no reason not to let them know ahead of time what their grandchild will be called and to listen to any reasonable concerns, if any, that they may have about the name. (Such as not spelling the name a non-standard way or using a name that doesn't sound like a boy or like a girl or perhaps a name that has a less than positive connotation for them or a name that conflicts with the surname...)

Hopefully we all will be grandparents some day, and while it may seem now that WE would NEVER voice our concerns about a proposed name that we have strong concerns about, that day may come.

The birth of a baby is an important event in not only his parents' lives, but in his grandparents' lives too. In this situation it sounds like the maternal grandmother has gone too far in voicing her dislike for the name the parents chose. If the parents still want to name the baby Everett, hopefully a heart to heart talk with her, as suggested above, will bring about a better understanding between her and the parents-to-be, as they await this most blessed event in the life of a family (nuclear and extended).

Anonymous said...

Correction above: such as not spelling the name a STANDARD way

Anonymous said...

I think we have similar taste in names, since several of your names were on my list: Owen, Hudson, and Hunter. Sometimes it's good to have lots to choose from, because then the ones you REALLY like stand out. Here's a few more:
Henry-like with Peppers lots

JCF said...

Oof. I am sorry you have to deal with this. If I were in your shoes, here is what I would do, given my personality and the personality of MY mother.
1. Imagine myself choosing the name Everett despite my mother's objections and living with whatever the consequences may be. Now imagine myself choosing a different name and think about whether or not I'd always wish I'd just gone with Everett. Try to decide which situation will be better.

2. If I decided to keep the name Everett, I'd drive to my mother's house while thinking about every sad story I've ever heard and work myself up to the verge of tears. I'd sit down with my mother and tearfully explain that despite how hurtful her behavior has been, we've decided to keep the name, and that we desperately want her to love and accept her grandson for who he is and that includes the name. I'd firmly say that it is no longer a topic for discussion that I hope she'll respect that.

3. If I decided to change the name, I'd still have the tearful conversation, but tell her that it is only because she ruined a name we LOVED, which is extremely hurtful to me. I'd tell her I'm afraid she won't respect my parenting decisions in the future, or the names of future children, etc.

I have no idea if that would work for you, but my mother would feel horrible for having made me cry, especially if I flat out told her she was being hurtful and mean.

Side note: my grandmother made a huge deal (though it sounds like your mother is being a bit worse) about my daughter's name (Eleanor, if you're curious). She didn't even know the name until after the baby was born, and she STILL campaigned for nicknames and asked us why we didn't name her various other names. Finally my mom sat her down and told her to drop it. When I was pregnant with the next baby, she told us a whole list of her least favorite names (several of which were on our short list) that we should avoid as well as a few of her favorites, should we decide to consider them. My husband and I pretty much rolled with laughter during the whole conversation, as did my parents and sisters, who were there. Her suggestions were AWFUL and made me realize that we'd never pick a name that she'd like, which makes me disinclined to believe that you can involve your mom in the naming process in a way that will make everyone happy.

Finally, I hope that everything resolves smoothly and that your baby's birth isn't surrounded by too much naming drama! Please update Swistle with whatever you decide!

Slim said...

I have three kids, and my mother objected to the names of two of them.

Both times, I announced cheerfully, "Well, you have time to get used to it!"

Sarah said...

Oh man, the disapproving campaigning of a future-grandmother is so hard to deal with and deplorable behavior on her part! I like the suggestion above of engaging your husband to guilt-trip her. My mother and I have a contentious relationship at times and when I want her compliance with a decision, I sic my husband on her. She never ever argues with him. It's lovely!

As for names, I love Everett with your last name and with Taylor as a middle name. Just a note, though, when we named our son what we thought was a respectable and stately combination of family surnames given a difficult to work with last name, I would have been LIVID with the nicknames we now almost exclusively call him if I had heard them before he was born.

We named him Elliott Bowman Bell and, wouldn't you know, he now gets called Elbow, El, and Elbow Bell all the time. And I LOVE IT. Those goofy-sounding nicknames totally fit him, though I would have cringed at them while I was still pregnant with him and possibly would have balked at naming him what we did.

All that to say, Ev-ritt may grow on you, or the family may call him E.T. and it might just be totally okay with you after he gets here! Stay strong, mama!

Lisa said...

I actually would probably choose this hill to die on, because once your mother gets her way on this, how many other of your parenting choices will she expect you to bow down to her on? (Says a woman who refused intense family pressure to name her first born son Michele.)

Personally, I'd probably pick a new name and not tell her what it is. I'd sit down with her before baby is born, say "because of your behavior, you've ruined the name that we love, and you've really hurt our feelings with with your decision to disrespect our feelings about the name Everitt. We have a new name, you will not be a part of picking it, and we will no longer listen to any of your complaints about it." Stop any and all conversations with her if she complains about the new name.

I like the previous poster's "then you'll never see him" comment.

Christina said...

If this were me in this situation I would vote for this suggestion:
"Another possibility is to choose another name, not reveal it until after the baby is born, and do preliminary work: tell her you've changed the name ONLY because she didn't like it, but that now you're not telling the name because you don't want her to spoil it for you, and that whether she likes the name or not it IS THE BABY'S NAME and if she doesn't like it, you ARE sorry, but she's had her turn to name babies, and now you and your husband are having your turn and she should be very happy she's had a veto."

Also, I would veto Swistle's suggestion of Jonathan Taylor Peppers, just b/c children of the 80s/early 90s will remember Jonathan Taylor Thomas and it's just too easy of a flow to break away from.

St said...

Everett is a great name! If it sits well with the two of you, I vote you stick with it, mom WILL get over it. You can't let other people's negativity effect your decisions! We made the mistake of sharing our -very different- baby name for our first baby. Everyone hated it, it became a joke. We decided that we loved the name and wanted to use it. My mom came in the day we put it on the birth record and made the common joke ("sounds like a stripper name!") and I said, very sternly, "now that it's her name the joke is over." That was that.

Natalie said...

I am of the "name him Everett" camp. I probably have a much different dynamic with my mom than you do with yours, but I would have no problem telling my mom (nicely) to butt out. Besides, I would be concerned that letting her win this battle sends the message that she may have more to say when it comes to raising YOUR baby and you might find yourself in this kind of situation more and more as he grows. She needs to understand that this is not her baby and be respectful of your choices. It is never easy disagreeing with a parent, but respect is a two-way street and I think she is being extremely disrespectful of you.

Mattie said...

I would probably name him Everett, because I like the name and because I wouldn't want to give it up for such negative reasons. That's why we kept our daughters' names a secret until after they were born. I'm more of a "Just don't care" kind of person. But if that doesn't work for your situation, or if I was feeling really pregnant/postpartum and vulnerable I would also choose this suggestion:
"Another possibility is to choose another name, not reveal it until after the baby is born, and do preliminary work: tell her you've changed the name ONLY because she didn't like it, but that now you're not telling the name because you don't want her to spoil it for you, and that whether she likes the name or not it IS THE BABY'S NAME and if she doesn't like it, you ARE sorry, but she's had her turn to name babies, and now you and your husband are having your turn and she should be very happy she's had a veto."
Sorry you're going through this and please let us know what you decide!

liz said...

I know the OP's mom can't be my Grandma Irene, but she could be her twin. Irene, when told of my cousin's name said, "But there are so many pretty girl's names". And she fought hard against my male cousin's names.

She's the reason we told NO-ONE about our son's name before he was born.

So...that said...I like Jonathan Taylor Peppers best of that list.

Sabrina said...

Well, I hope Baby Peppers is here. (Carrying past due date was SO awful, and I can't even recall why, but I recall crying over NEEDING that baby out.)

But, I am sad to have read this discussion too late. In case there IS still any issue, or if any future person has the same issue, I will thrown in my $0.02.

I love many of the suggestions, and maybe one of them will help you, depending on your mother's personality and your relationship with her. The only *possible* tactic that I haven't seen mentioned would be to reverse-psychology torture her. Announce that the new name, since she disliked Everett so much, is [most awful name you can think of.] (Oh, gosh, I am going to throw out some names that I think would cause my family members to recoil, but GAH if it is someone's chosen name, I am soooo sorry!) But it would have to be believable. I don't think a mother would buy it if you said, "Okay, fine, we'll name him Marmaduke." But maybe, I don't know, "Okay, Mom, we came up with something else we REALLY love. We'll name him Ishmael." (Wow, the wikipedia article has all of Ishmael's descendants' names, and there are some real winners, like Nebaioth.) Is it possible that you could find anything that would make her say, "Oh, no, Everett is just fine! Beautiful!"

But also, I can relate to the feeling that Everett has been ruined, and you just don't even want it anymore. It's a shame that she bullied you and essentially won the battle, but I might also choose to not die on that hill.

I wish you the best. Once you have your baby in your arms, hopefully it just won't matter so much what you call him. Congratulations!

Mattie said...

Truman! That is a fabulous name. Love it with the middle and last too :) Truman Taylor Peppers. Congratulations!

vanessa steck said...

Truman Taylor Peppers is SO GREAT. And i love the idea of you reading the blog while at the hospital. and what great nickname options--TTP! Tru! Mr. T! so great.
COngrats! (p.s. where's the picture?)

Slim said...

Truman! Love that -- and "Mr T" makes me giggle

Anonymous said...

I love it! I have a Truman and we loved how it was familiar but not overused. We get a lot of compliments on it from all ages. Congrats on your baby Truman!

Leslie said...

Congratulations on the birth of your son, and on his WONDERFUL new name! Truman Taylor Peppers sounds very handsome, and I'm so glad you found a solution that worked for you and your family!

Leslie said...

Congratulations on the birth of your son, and on his WONDERFUL new name! Truman Taylor Peppers sounds very handsome, and I'm so glad you found a solution that worked for you and your family!

Megan said...

Truman Taylor is adorable! Great choice, and sounds like you guys really made the best of a rough situation.

Leah said...

I love this resolution! And little Truman is so gorgeous.

vanessa steck said...

haha i think everyone should be required to send SECOND updates...

he is really beautiful!

kimma said...

What a handsome little man! Congratulations. I love Tru as a nickname.

Mattie said...

And that is one handsome Mr. T!

Patricia said...

So glad to hear that you found a name you love and that your mom seems happy with too. Off to a good start for your darling boy. Thanks for letting us know and for sharing a photo -- he's a doll!

Elayne said...

Well, my suggestion is moot now that Truman's with us, but for what it's worth: I would have sat her down, shrink-style, and had a lengthy discussion about WHY she had such a negative reaction to Everett.

You might find that if she could be convinced to pronounce it a different way, it might not grate on her so much. After a long-enough serious discussion, she might realize she's being silly and overbearing. Or you might uncover something that could be considered a valid reason.

A friend had settled on her Absolute Favorite Baby Boy name ever, and when she mentioned it to her mother, the mother nearly passed out. Seems that when the mother was 16, she had been raped and otherwise assaulted over a period of four days by a close family friend with those exact same first and middle names. He threatened retaliation against her family if she ever told, and she believed him, so she was forced to be sociable with this man at holiday and weekend gatherings for two years until she turned 18 and fled town.

The thought of having her precious grandson bear that name was nightmarish to her, and the daughter (who'd never heard anything about this event) immediately dropped the name, even though they'd already bought some personalized toys and such. (They donated those, IIRC.)

The odds of a situation like that are so very slim, I know, but still - sitting down and talking and finding out exactly what the objections are isn't going to do any damage, and it might serve as a good reminder for the grandmother-to-be that she's overstepping - odds are good that no one ever had to have a heart to heart with HER about what SHE was naming her baby.

(My first choice for name, had my son been a girl, turned out to be the name that my then-15-year-old aunt used for the daughter she was forced to give up for adoption. She blanched and excused herself from the room a few moments after I mentioned the name, but she never officially objected - my mom had to tell me what was up. I think it would have caused her pain even if she'd never mentioned it, so that name was taken off the list.)

d e v a n said...

oh! He's so cute and he looks just like a Truman!!