Friday, February 23, 2007

Hi, my name is...

We've been trying to think of a girl's name. The boy's name was easy. We agreed on a name quickly and without much effort: Steven Conrad. The girl's name, however...well, we haven't been able to think of anything that we both really liked, so last night while I was at a Relief Society dinner, I was making a list of girl's names, trying to remember all the ones that Andrew and I discussed. We both like Rachel, but Kristi and Ryan named their baby Rachel and...they're in our ward, so that could be weird, even though Rachel will be almost 2 when our baby is born.

So, last night I came up with the name Annalyse. That's one of the names that Andrew and I had discussed and we both liked. It happened like this: I liked Lisa and he liked Anna and so we just said, "How about Annalyse?" Last night I was thinking of middle names and I thought that Annalyse Pearl would sound alright (I know, both Conrad and Pearl are family names on my side--we'll work on Andrew's side with the next one).

I decided that I really liked that. But then I started thinking...if we did happen to relocate to the Middle East sometime, things could get really confusing. See, Anna is very similar to the Arabic word for "I." Most people that I met in the Middle East were extremely interested in children. The instant anyone found out we were married, they wanted to know how many kids we had. We didn't have any, so they would then ask if I was expecting. We weren't, so they would ask when we were planning on having children and how many. That might be considered a little nosy here, but over there it is perfectly normal.

If we happened to be out with the Slades or Palmers, everyone would croon over their blond children, kiss their cheeks, ask to hold them, and take their pictures.

So, naturally, if we moved back to the Middle East, I'd have to do quite a few introductions. I kept playing the scenario over in my head and it always went something like this:

Stranger: Oh, how cute! What's her name?
Me: Annalyse.
Stranger: Nice to meet you, Lisa...but your baby. What's her name?
Me: Annalyse.
Stranger (mumbling to a counterpart): This lady doesn't speak Arabic well at all.
Stranger (slowly, to me): What's her name?
Me: Her name is Annalyse.
Stranger (chuckling to a counterpart): She just said, "Her Lisa." That doesn't make any sense.
Me (clarifying): No, my name is Nancy, like Nancy Ajram. The baby's name is Annalyse.
Stranger: So, is your name Nancy or Lisa?
Me: I'm Nancy. The baby is...Lisa.
Stranger (cooing): Hello, Lisa...
Me (rolling my eyes and thinking to myself): Probably shouldn't have named her Annalyse.

And thus we see that it should just be a boy because Annalyse is the only name we've agreed on for a girl thus far and it could prove to be problematic down the road.


  1. okay, so I looked up Annalyse and didn't get anything, so then I looked up Analiese and it means
    Graciously Consecrated to God

    So... Ana is actually Spanish and Lise or Liese is old english!

  2. I feel your pain. We went through the same kinds of dilemmas when choosing a name for Miriam. There were a few names we liked that would just never work in Arabic (or, names we loved in Arabic that would never work with dumb American pronunciation. See "Rania" and "Hala"). You never really think about these things until it's "too late" - how will my husband's job field affect our children's names?? :)

    Miriam turned out to be an excellent choice, as we figured it would. But sometimes Arabs are so puzzled by it - the number one response we got in Jordan when we told people her name was, "So are you Muslim?"

    Good luck!

    ps - I love Annalyse. And Steven.

  3. Nancy I'm a little surprised with Pearl. I think it's cute but I thought you had some issues there. As far as names are concerned you just do what you have to do. Remember how everyone though Ezra was a girl name...unless they were Christian and then they really freaked because they knew it was a jewish name. Plus no one could say Rachel. With any luck you will end up in Washington where a name can just be a name.

  4. Annalyse sounds wonderful. There is a little girl named Annalyse in our ward and it is a great name. I also like Pearl. What are some of the names in Andrew's family?

  5. I must say that I like the spelling "Analiese" much better.

    And, my cousin Michelle pointed out that Annalyse is a lot like how Canadians spell analyse...which could also be confusing....

  6. I was mistaken. My friend spells her name "Annelise" and pronounces it "Annalisa" which would be the German pronounciation of Annelise...which kinda works since our last name is Heiss.