Sunday, January 29, 2012

Name Obsessions: Vincent and Audrey

So this might going to be a new "series" of posts that I may do from time to time (because pregnancy is not that interesting). It's an idea I'm stealing from my good friend, Allie (Allie, feel free to send me a cease-and-desist notice. And be prepared for it to be ignored).

Basically, I really love baby names. So I'll focus posts on my name-of-the-week. Or past names of the week. Since I'm not sharing names with friends and family until the birth, I figure it will be a good way to give them an idea of my "style"--and hell, I won't even promise that the baby's name won't show up here some time between now an April.

So here we go. I'll start with....

GENDER: Masculine
PRONOUNCED: VIN-sənt (English), ven-SAWN (French)   [key]
Meaning & History
From the Roman name Vincentius, which was from Latin vincere "to conquer". This name was popular among early Christians, and it was borne by many saints. As an English name, Vincent has been in use since the Middle Ages, though it did not become common until the 19th century. Famous bearers include the French priest Saint Vincent de Paul (1581-1660) and the post-impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890).

Vincent was first suggested by Josh, long before we got pregnant. It's a saint's name; used often throughout the early Christian church. It is also, of course, the name of everyone's favorite insane artist, VanGogh. It was probably one of Josh's first contributions to our name list, though he wasn't inspired by the many early church leaders or the world-famous artist...but by this guy:
Fake superstar-actor, Vincent Chase
Josh went through a major Entourage phase in college. Vincent Chase isn't exactly the kind of person you want to name a child "after". But hell, the name Vincent has a great legacy behind it. It has a wonderful meaning, it's easy to spell and pronounce and it's distinctly masculine. I also like the easy nickname options (Vince, Vin, Vinny) I fell in love with the name pretty quickly, and it has been at the top of our list for a long time. It was probably the first name that we ever mutually agreed was great, and it holds a special place in my heart for that reason.

And on the girl end of our list we have..... 
GENDER: Feminine
USAGE: English
PRONOUNCED: AWD-ree   [key]
Meaning & History
Medieval diminutive of ÆÐELÞRYÐ. This was the name of a 7th-century saint, a princess of East Anglia who founded a monastery at Ely. It was also borne by a character in Shakespeare's comedy 'As You Like It' (1599). At the end of the Middle Ages the name became rare due to association with the word tawdry (which was derived from St. Audrey, the name of a fair where cheap lace was sold), but it was revived in the 19th century.

Another wonderful contribution from my wonderful husband. Audrey was the name of Josh's grandmother, who passed away when he was very young. He's always pictured having a daughter named Audrey. He told me so when we very first started dating. At first, I was honestly hesitant to consider it. Using family names can be tricky. Additionally, I felt a little odd about our daughter carrying the exact same name as someone else in our family tree (as Grandma Audrey shared our last name). I also just...didn't love the name anyway. Most of the Audrey's I have known in person have been of the Plain-Jane variety. The name just didn't feel very pretty to me.

Except of course, for the lovely Audrey Hepburn. Josh and I love classic movies so I decided to make an effort to watch more Audrey Hepburn movies in order to fall in love with the name. I also did some research on Audrey and her life. And to my surprise, it actually worked! I fell completely in love with the name, and have never looked back. Audrey Hepburn was gorgeous. And a really amazing woman at that. And now, the fact that it honors someone important in our family is just a great bonus to an already wonderful name. 

It has it's drawbacks--of all the names on our list, it is by far the most popular (it's been steadily gaining in popularity for the past ten years). I am still hesitant to use it on a firstborn, for fear of setting the unwanted precedent of using family names for all our kids. But overall, I would be proud to have a daughter named Audrey. A lot of Old-Hollywood names are back in style: the name is definitely on-trend. It has been on our "top five" list for girls for a long time and has definite potential to crawl to the top of the list. 

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