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The Double Name

I did it. I gave my daughter a double name. And honestly, I didn't think anything of it. My husband and I like the way her first name and middle name sound together, we live in the South where double names are more common, and basically it just wasn't a big deal. Except that it was.

When we started telling people that her name was going to be Katherine Cobb, everyone "just loved Katherine." "No, Katherine Cobb," we'd reply. "Oh. Both names?" Yes...

But, what about when she learns how to write? That's a lot of letters. And? It's a very short period of time in the grand scheme of thing. Plus, her first name is Katherine. And Cobb has two B's. So really we're only adding three extra letters.

But, Katherine Cobb is such a mouthful! It's three syllables. Three. Like Jessica, Rebecca, Zachary, Eleanor, Erica, Hilary, Jennifer, Victoria, Alexander, Amanda, etc. And that's nothing compared to names like Elizabeth or Calliope with four syllables! The nerve of those parents!

Well, can we call her KC? No. What about Katie? No. Just Katherine? No! Look, her name is Katherine Cobb. Just use the extra syllable already!


Katherine Cobb is my third child. Cooper is my first. His name, though not common, isn't odd either. Semmes (pronounced like "Sims") is a family name and there are enough Semmes' in my life that this wasn't an odd choice. (My sister commented one time that if you call out "Semmes" at Christmas, several heads will turn.)

So to have something as basic as what I named my child constantly questioned and judged came as a surprise. At the end of the day, she's my daughter. Barring something truly tragic, I get to choose what she is called. That's how it works. And it's hurtful to me to have her name under the microscope.

Look, the next time someone tells you their child's name, and you think it's terrible, you know what you should say? "That's so cute! I love it!" That is one opinion you should just keep to yourself. 


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