Revisiting the Topic of Ezra's Name

Thursday, December 1, 2011

When Isaac was named, Tony and I did not anticipate any issues with our choice. To most it was a familiar name, even if not quite a popular choice. We never realized however, just how frequently it would be misspelled. Additionally, while extreme uniqueness wasn't something that we desired, I was disappointed when I searched back to find that it was the 25th most popular name in Minnesota in 2009, the year Isaac was born.

As I detailed in this post, What's in a Name, we knew that there might be some issues with saddling our newest little one with Ezra, but I didn't realize it would be so quick off the bat! Our very first doctor's appointment when I called to make it they butchered the spelling and name. I laughed it off when we were called back with a very questioning "Czerah?" They were quick to change it, but still when they call to confirm an appointment they always say "Your son."

I've gotten very adept at changing the subject when asked his name, because if I hear one more "OooooOh?" I might throw something. And while I thought I had developed a thick skin, I can't lie that sometimes I consciously choose to say "My baby" to acquaintances instead of opening the can of worms that is inevitable by divulging his name. I love his name and I doubt Tony has ever reconsidered it, but I hate that I feel this way!

I also dislike that I immediately feel judged as being "super religious," which isn't something that I would ever like to hear about myself. [My old standby is that you can be religious about brushing your teeth consistently, but it doesn't make you a better Christian.] Sometimes I feel like I'm compartmentalized straight off the bat when I share that my boys are Isaac and Ezra and I just don't like it. They're real names! Not even the made-up,mangled mess that constitutes way too many popular names these days, and yet we're the ones being side-eyed.  

With just as much certainty that I possessed in naming him so quickly after being born, this boy is my Ezra. I just wish others didn't judge so much for something so simple as his name.
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33 comments:

Little Miss Southern said...

I LOVE both of your sweet boy's names! :)

Erin said...

So weird. How the heck else do you spell Isaac?! Ezra is SO not a weird name. Maybe it's because I "know" another blogger who has an Ezra (and an Isaac too) so it's not strange to me at all...

Sarah (Mrs. Ruffled Flats) said...

I would feel the same way if people gave me any kind of grief about my kid's names. I know San and I will be naming our kids old-fashioned names that are not popular anymore. After having Sarah for a name my whole life, I have never felt that it is "mine" because so many other people have it. I don't want my kids to feel that way. I want their names to have a tremendous amount of meaning to us and to them and to be truly their own name. I have told a few close friends and parents what our favorite names are and I rarely receive good feedback, but we can't please everyone. I know it will hurt when I tell people the names and they don't like them, but I sure as heck don't like most of the names people give their kids these days. I think people not liking the name is a sign that you picked a good, wholesome, correctly-spelled name!

Plus, he just looks like an Ezra :P

Andrea said...

That's just downright ridiculous...you could name your kid "box" and no one has a right to say a thing! People are so quick to share their unwanted opinion.

I personally love the name Ezra and you should too, mama. Say it with pride.

Jen said...

People are so weird about names! My daughter's name is Rowan and I think the name is beautiful and fits her perfectly, but people make the weirdest comments about it and its hurtful! Random people tell me that Rowan is a boy's name and I get that "oooh" when someone asks what her name is. Nope, she doesn't have a super girly name and I'm pretty ok with that!

The Edberg's said...

For what it's worth, I love your boys' names too. Stinks some people have to make you feel bad about it.

Kate said...

I've never commented on your blog but am a huge fan! My husband's name is Tyge (pronounced like "tiger" with the "r") and he has to correct people every.single.time he says his name. In fact, he often introduces himself as Ty to those he knows he may not see again. His parents named hsi younger brother Brian because even two years of explaining Tyge got to be too much. :) Anyway, I love the name Ezra and the meaning behind it - great choice!

Molly said...

Well, I happen to love both names! I found Landon from a book and at that time I knew of no one who had it. But now, it's on the top 100 list of boy names! Hmph.

That's why the second time around we chose a name that we knew no one would have but still sounded classic.

Brigham . . . you wouldn't BELIEVE the mess ups I get. People can't spell it or say it right! Plus, I get asked if I'm Morman all the time. There's nothing wrong with being Morman but I'm not and it gets annoying :/

Sky said...

I love the name Ezra! It's on our list for possible baby boy names :-)

Katie said...

Girl, I know all too well what you are talking about. I get strange looks and comments for both Juan and Joaquin. It doesn't help that both boys have blonde hair and blue eyes. I can tell you that while it hurt to hear the comments at first, it does get easier. Especially when you come to expect it. Now I just smile and walk away. :)

The Slacker Mom said...

I was just going to comment that I read another blogger with an Isaac and an Ezra but I think that's been hashed out.

I actually love Ezra, John's not so down with it. We get our fair share of comments with Judah and I think he's a little gun shy to add to that if we were to ever have another boy! Seriously though- Judah. Not Jonah. Not Noah (you'd be surprised!). And certainly not Judas.

Who knew Ezra would be so popular?

kari said...

I love your sweet boys' names. :)

Jen said...

I like both of your boys names. They have character. People seem to always have opinions with whatever names are chosen. My boys are Carter and Jackson. You wouldn't believe how many presidental jokes we get with that or asking what we'll do for the next one.

Erin said...

I know it must be hard, but hopefully you'll soon be able to let it go and say his name with pride. It's beautiful and unique and I love it. Wayyyy better than so many of the "popular" (made-up) names that so many people go with these days. If people don't "get it," you should let yourself feel smug and proud rather than embarrassed!

melissamevans said...

First off I love their names. I see you write Ezra's name....I know how to spell it and say it...and it's kind of CRAZy that people don't see and know this name.

...to each their own I guess....It's jsut strange really.

What a strange/semi-horrible world we live in that you hesitate to say your sons name, for the fear of judgement that people could place on you.

You are 100% right: they are names! You chose them...and it doesn't matter what your reasoning is: these are their names.

: )

joy110 said...

Galations 1:10

Personally, I love your choice of names and think they fit your boys perfectly! In the end though, don't worry about what anyone thinks!

Shelly said...

That does stink that people are sooooo rude....Ezra is a way cute name! :)

Krista said...

My son is a couple days older than yours and we have the same issue. We named him Roman and get mixed reviews, people either love it or hate. I also do the "my son" or "the baby" thing to avoid comments. Sometimes it hurts my feelings when people make funny comments, but we love it and that's all that matters :)

Roxanne said...

I have learned to just let it go sadly. Everyone calls Mckinley Mackenzie. I don't even correct them anymore. I adore your boys names don't let anyone make you feel bad about that.

Megan said...

I know that look you're talking about, because I get it when I tell people Cohen's name as well. To this day, my aunt pronounces it Co-HAN, and my husbands cousin calls him Co-NAN.

People are crazy. C'mon girl, you love the name. Tony loves the name. What else matters. :)

adventuremamablog said...

I can certainly relate to the experience of feeling compelled to explain my choices, even when the issue is personal and no explanation is due. For what it's worth, Ezra is totally awesome. It was in my list both times I've been pregnant. I'm kind of surprised people mispronounce it; it seems phonetic to me!

Sarah Louise said...

I love the names you have chosen for you sons...and I too, under different circumstances, have at times disliked being labeled as "super religious." But now that I have dove pretty deeply into studying the book of Acts, I am beginning to have a change of heart. Think of it this way, at least people know what you stand for. Sure, some people are going to be put off at first but you might be planting a seed...and who knows, if there comes a time in their life when they do begin to seek God then they know who they can turn to :)

As for people not spelling names right...I think that is going to happen no matter what you call your child. People are constantly asking me if I spell my name with, or without an "h," they can never understand what my last name is over the phone (as simple as it is), and the CD with all my professional engagement pictures says "Sarah and Jacob" not "Sarah and Jared" LOL! C'est la vie!

Bekah said...

I love the names of both of your sons. I never thought of them as super 'religious' any more than I would if you had named them James and John. As to the name Ezra specifically, I think it is beautiful AND masculine, it's a great name!

Bekah said...

As a follow up - people just flat out cant spell, it has nothing to do with your boys names! People write "jake" for Jack all the time. Drives me crazy.

Rose said...

I think it is perfect. :o) That is weird that people make comments about it...who does that!?

I just met a young man whose name was "A cylcies" and pronounced it like "Achilles"....now THAT makes little sense to me (I thought it was just at typo on my paper).

Kelly Bartlett said...

Ezra is a beautiful name. You made a perfect choice for your perfect little man. A name doesn't make a person, a person makes a name.

I went through this feeling of name regret for a while with Carter also. It's a trendy name and I normally don't go that route. I was regretting not naming him Oliver (his middle name) instead of Carter. But, we named him Carter for a reason ~ we loved the name and it fit him perfectly just as Ezra fits your little man.

Julia said...

Oh, people will ALWAYS have their opinions even if you named your child John or Michael. People just love to give their opinions, don't let it bother you! He is an Ezra for sure.

Sam said...

It seems to me that if you make the choice to go the biblical name route while simultaneously making a point to be unique about it, there is a possibility for the “super religious” feedback you’ve been getting. Unique names like Moses, Abraham, and Ezekiel tend to be specifically associated with religious scripture and have potential to result in some of the responses you’ve received. I don't think these reactions are a personal attack on you, but rather a societal reaction to what the names are usually associated with.

No matter the name, biblical or not, we all make assumptions about them. Personally I find it fascinating to learn why people choose certain names over others. I also love how a name can sound so odd when we first hear it, but after time allows, it can grow into this rich accessory that accentuates the person who bears it. When I learned that you chose the name Ezra for your son, all I could think of was the 6’ 4”, 250 pound guy I went to high school with. But after reading about him and the little life he is just beginning to embark on, I now associate the name with the youth and innocence he possesses.

What I’m curious about is your reaction to “the made-up, mangled mess that constitutes way too many popular names these days”. What names fit into this category? And what assumptions are made about the parents who choose these names?

Leah said...

Good question Sam: Obviously I think less of people with made up names, I kid. I kid. I usually just disagree with the name and that's about it, because then the child becomes the name and there's no not liking the child because of their name . . . although I might hate the name more if I really come to dislike the child.

Two of my close mama friends have chosen names I would never even considered, but it's no bearing on them as people.

Leslie G said...

I think it's weird that people mispronounce the name Ezra. I don't think it's "you-nique" in the sense that people would stumble over it! I do associate it with being religious though, just as I do with most Biblical names that are more uncommon.
My sister named her newest daughter Selah (from the book of Psalms, pronounced "Say-luh). The name suits her so well, but I know she's up for a lifetime of correcting people over the pronunciation and spelling of her name. Heck, in the Bible I always thought it was pronounced "See-luh" before she was born.
Personally, I love the name Ezra. :)

Jenifer said...

Leah, your boys are beautiful and so are their names.

Jennifer said...

naming is such a personal thing ... I have plenty of opinions on the topic (the made-up names of late KILL ME) but, now that I have named a baby myself, I keep them to myself (except for that last part ...). who am I to judge, my daughter's name is Elliot! we LOVE her name, but, poor thing, it is confusing already for some folks.

Krystle said...

My Ezra (Ezra James) turned five a few months ago. My husband and I got a lot of grief about him name when he was a baby, but it passed. Now when someone comments on his name it is usually positive. We named our 2nd (born 3 weeks ago) Griffin Asher and people have already made comments about his middle name... oh well, we love it!

 

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