A Child Called “Baby”

Today, Emilia of My Inner MishMash asks us about our name. How do you feel about it? Do you know where yours came from or why your parents picked it?

I probably shared this before. In fact, I did indeed write about this topic in 2019. I didn’t bother to actually look up the post until finishing this one though, so well, here’s the story again through a 2023 lens.

When I was born, my parents didn’t have a name picked for me yet. The reason is the fact that I was born three months prematurely. As a result, for a few hours, the name plate on my incubator read “Baby Van Woerkom”. According to my mother, my father was so displeased with this that he quickly came up with a name (or picked one from the names they’d been discussing among each other). And thus I was named Astrid.

Of course, my parents do have a story of why they named me Astrid. Apparently, I am named after Swedish author Astrid Lindgren. Similarly, my sister was named after Sigrid Undset.

I do like my name, sort of. I like its relative uniqueness. I don’t like the fact that it’s hard to pronounce in English, but I do like the fact that in English-language literature for this reason I hardly come across characters named Astrid. I avoid books when I know they have a character named Astrid in them.

I don’t have a middle name and yet, I always wanted one. As a teen, I’d pick random middle names that bore neither an etymological nor a linguistic similarity to “Astrid”, such as “Elena”. Now if I had to choose a middle name, I’d go with something that also has its origin in northern Europe but is relatively easy to spell and pronounce in Dutch and English, such as “Kirsten”. I liked that one back as a teen too but didn’t use it as often. The name “Kirsten” is Christian in nature though, while “Astrid” has Pagan connotations. However, I don’t really care. The combination might actually signify the importance of the Christ, as the name “Astrid” means something like “beautiful God”.

9 thoughts on “A Child Called “Baby”

  1. Haha I totally understand your father’s displeasure at the name “Baby”. Our Sofi was born one month premature, and while my parents were originally pretty sure that they wanted to name her Helena, my Mum changed her mind shortly before birth and didn’t have enough time to set it on something different, so Sofi was nameless for quite some time, but at least she was formally known as “Daughter of [parents’ names]” and not Baby. 😀
    Astrid is a really cool name and I like Astrid and Sigrid as a sibset, especially that both Astrid Lindgren and Sigrid Undset are some of my favourite writers. Kind of funny though that your atheist parents would name your sister after Sigrid Undset who was quite a strongly Christian writer, but then I guess in a way it just goes to show what a great writer she was that it’s not just Christians who like her. I don’t think I’ve ever come across anyone saying that Astrid is difficult to pronounce in English actually.
    I really like Astrid Elena as a combo, and how Kirsten makes Astrid more Christian.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for your comment. I haven’t read anything by Sigrid Undset and honestly had no idea she was a Christian writer. I don’t know whether my parents even actually read anything by her truthfully, as my mother reads mostly Dutch literature (and children’s books when we were young) and my father, according to my mother, just reads book reviews.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, that’s interesting that you don’t have a middle name either. I never asked my sister, who is just called Sigrid, about whether she would’ve wanted a middle name. That being said, both my nieces do have a middle name.


  2. Ah, names! My family has a most hilarious history of names – too long to go into here but I’ve written about it more than once on my blog. Shortest story – I was named after my maternal grandmother who went by the name Frances. My name is Grace.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s so intriguing! I know some people have very different legal names from what they are actually called in everyday life. My aunt’s legal name is Marianne, but she goes by the name Miriam. Then again, at least those names are somewhat similar-sounding.

      Liked by 1 person

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