Tuesday, July 31, 2007

What's in a name?

I'd like to solicit some opinions on the matter of my dear second-born son's name.

His full name is Samuel. It took us some time to arrive at this decision three days after he himself had arrived. The actual decision had something to do with a dead fish but I'll spare you the details.

Sam. I liked it from the start, such a strong and solid-sounding name. But the trouble with the name is in the way most Americans pronounce it -- so that it rhymes with Man or Ran. To my dear Swiss German husband it sounds like fingernails on the chalkboard and he exaggerates the worst American twang to get the point across anytime I let go of my vowels.

So here's the thing: Nik has taken to referring to our little strong, solid man as Sami -- complete with the umlaut over the A (which I can't figure out how to do in Blogger), which he hopes will encourage people to use the short A sound. But I am not one who typically goes in for stylizing names with all kinds of extra i's and y's and e's and this is dangerously close.

So what do you think? Does it work? Is it a little too weird? Or is it weird in a cool way? How will it change his life to go through it as a Sami rather than a Sammy or a Sam?

Any thoughts?


  1. Anonymous2:04 PM

    It's really OK to be different. Like you say it's even ultra cool. It will also be a starting a point when he's older for Sam(i) to explain his American-Swiss heritage.

  2. Octoberbabies2:10 PM

    I may be biased but I personally think it's extrasuperspecialcool to have funky things over the vowels in your name :-). If I didn't put the accent over the e, my name would be completely mispronounced in Spanish.

    Plus, I kinda just like how it looks :-D

  3. I am all about the umlaut. I have a relative named Sam from the deep south, and everytime I hear his name turned into a 3 syllable event ...(saaaauumm) I feel nauseated. Sami is unique and simple:)

  4. I agree with the others...Sami is kinca cool. Of course, I'm the one who spelled her Norwegian-American son's name the Greek way! Duh...

  5. I love cool names, unusual names, names that are unmistakably your own. Our son has one of those and I take great pride in being known as ----'s mom. It's simple, yet distinct. Like Sami.

  6. I think the name change is a really cool idea. Having your childs name changed dramatically by an accent would be hard to hear. It reminded me of how we call my son Gabe, but his "real" name is Gabriel. I think Gabe fits him better. Good luck with your decision :o)


  7. Hmmm... as a mom to a Samuel of my own, I like it. But I've always been pretty partial to funky names, accents and all. Are you talking about officially, legally changing the spelling of his name? I think kids do like having a unique name.

  8. I like it! Sami, very cool!!! But I am still a big fan Sam.

  9. zeitlos3:10 PM

    I offer you an ä from my keyboard to copy and paste.

  10. try this:

    hold down the -alt- key and enter 0228 on the numeric keypad.