How Charlie Got Her Name

It is not unusual for couples to waste a vast amount of time finding the perfect baby name. My husband and I were one of those couples. Frequently, I am asked questions about Charlie’s name. Is Charlie short for Charlotte? How did I decide to name a girl Charlie? This is the tale of how Charlie’s name came to be.

I approached finding the right baby name as if it were a research project. Countless baby name websites were perused, friends were used as sounding boards, books were searched for inspiration, and important naming considerations were noted from various articles.

My husband and I made an agreement. If the baby were a boy, he could name the baby while I possessed veto power. If it were a girl, vice versa. We were tipped off at our fourteen week ultrasound that we were having a girl. That hint was the starting gun for our great baby search.

Our favorite name (at the time) had been used for our sweet dog, Kaia. We needed another name.

One afternoon, I drew up a list of baby names that I liked from my research. I liked Piper (it had the bonus of being a Phish song), Kasey, Kali, Adrianne, and Ryan.

As quickly as I rattled my list off to my husband, he vetoed them. That was our routine for a few weeks. I would get excited over a new name idea and my husband would shoot it down. We were deadlocked.

One night, I started listing the names of people I knew. I recalled all the Charles that I have known. I have crossed paths with a number of Charles who have positively impacted my life. I sighed and thought to myself, “If only it were a boy, we could name him Charles.”

A light went off as I let out the last of the sigh. Charlie. A girl could be named Charlie!

Franticly, I scribbled down spellings… Charli, Charleigh, Charlea, and Charlee. Afterwards, I hesitantly presented the list to my husband. I suspected that he was going to hate it. A quick veto could extinguish my excitement and send me back to the drawing board. I had grown weary of the whole process.

He was silent while he scanned the list and considered my offering. I held my breath as he started to speak. When he said no, I turned to walk away. My back was to him when he continued, “But, I do like C-H-A-R-L-I-E”.

This was a surprise. I had not included “Charlie” on the list because I was confident it would have been vetoed.

We had done it! We had agreed on a name that we both liked. While it was easy to pronounce and spell, the name had meaning and honored some very dear people.

Now that it has been in use for over a year, we are finding that the name is quite memorable. However, I do not know if I can really attribute that to the name or the remarkable baby who bears it.

preemie library adventure

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About Rebecca Wood

In May 2012, my pregnancy ended three and a half months early due to severe early onset preeclampsia. This is my collection of thoughts and media. It is an attempt to document and discuss our experience of navigating the post NICU world. View all posts by Rebecca Wood

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