What’s in a name?

When we first found out we were having a baby, most of our early conversations around names degenerated very quickly into silliness, choosing the most ridiculous names we could think of, or the most inappropriate people we could name our child after. However, when we found out we were having a girl it focused our minds somewhat, and we started to take the process a bit more seriously.

The main dilemma was whether to name her after someone, or just choose a name that we liked. There was definitely something appealing about naming her after a strong, inspirational woman, and as it happens an (unusually?) high proportion of the musicians I love are women. Hole were my favourite band as a teenager, but even I have to admit that naming a child after Courtney Love might not be setting her off on the best path in life. Bjork has been a favourite for over twenty years, but would only be tempting to use as a name to see people’s reactions when we told them. Looking through the first names of other female artists I love, Sleater-Kinney, The Raincoats, The Slits, PJ Harvey, Cate Le Bon etc, didn’t yield any names that we really liked, so we had to turn to non-musical sources of inspiration.

in the end we chose Frida, for a number of reasons. My wife’s Swedish best friend has Frida as a first name, although spelt Frieda, and she actually goes by her middle name. This friendship, and various visits to Sweden have given us a fondness for Scandinavian names, and there were others we considered. There is also the Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, an inspirational figure. But in the end, we mainly just loved the name. As the due date drew nearer, there was Frida and one other name we couldn’t decide between. During the labour and birth though, we became very sure she was a Frida and now it’s had to imagine her as anything else. 

There were a couple of middle names taken from musicians which we did consider, but I won’t mention which in case we have another girl and decide to use them after all, but for Frida’s middle name we chose Josephine after my wife’s grandma who passed away last year. 


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