Monday, February 13, 2012

Ryan the Little King

Something fun today.

I wanted to pen down the process that we went through when choosing a name for our son. Actually, it's a really short story - Ryan was the first name we chose - but we went through the process anyway.

So, yes Ryan was the first name we chose. It had an instant appeal for us, it sounded right. Nevertheless, we wanted to be thorough so, before committing to it, we threw up several other names, but none of them had that "connection" for us. I guess everyone wants a name that sounds nice. But there are many, many names that sound nice. Some people want a meaningful name. But there are many many names that are meaningful. Most people want both a nice-sounding name and a meaningful one but that doesn't narrow the choices by much.

For us, there was a third factor - we had to feel a connection. Some people are inspired by songs, by experiences, by people, and we did discuss some names along those lines. For instance, I toyed with the name Dylan, remembering Bob Dylan, but I decided that I wasn't inspired enough and I wasn't enough of a fan to name my son in his honour - besides, what if it turns out that he hates Bob Dylan?? So, although there had to be a connection, it couldn't be something majorly significant, because it could turn out to be absolutely meaningless to our son or worse, the source of our inspiration might turn out to be a completely turn off for him and be totally inappropriate.

Here, the fact that it started with the letter "R" was good enough. It was a small connection that didn't demand anything from our son. He didn't have to like the song that he was named after, he didn't have to read books by an author that he had no interest in, he didn't have to feel that he needed to live up to a biblical character, etc. Anti-climactic? Haha, it really was that simple for us.

And the meaning? "Ryan" means "Little King". Perfect.

There were other criteria, which was the pretty usual stuff - we didn't want to give our son the same name as a relative/friend/friend's son; we didn't want a name that would look odd on a Chinese boy; it had to be easy to pronounce (especially by the old folks); and we didn't want a name that you couldn't find on a souvenir. We didn't need a unique name or a name with a unique spelling - our son was already special in our eyes - we felt that having a unique name/spelling was more of a burden than a gift for the child. "Ryan" satisfied all that.

There was one more criteria - we didn't want an "old" name, ie. it had to fit into the present era. "Ryan" was definitely not an "old" name so no problem there. This was amply demonstrated yesterday. As I was watching Ryan Giggs play in a football match on TV, I thought it'd be fun to look up some of the well-known people with the name "Ryan" and so I did. I didn't get any people or characters from bygones ago. Instead, these hunks (and one beautiful lady) turned up!

Ryan Giggs. Hmm, I'm not a fan and he's not really my type, but he's apparently quite a ladies' man. Anyhow... he's fit, drives an Audi and is intensely loyal (to his club). Good enough.


Ryan Reynolds. Need I say more?


Ryan Gosling. No words. No words are necessary.


Ryan Seacrest. The most hardworking man around. He probably has twenty jobs going at the same time.


Everybody (from my era) knows this lady. Meg Ryan.


These are fictional characters. Ryan Wolfe - a character on "CSI:Miami" played by Jonathan Togo.


Ryan Atwood - the protagonist on the TV series "The O.C." played by Benjamin Mackenzie.


None of these people was the reason for choosing the name "Ryan" for our son, but it's good to know that he's in good company!

How did you come up with your child's name? 

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