no todd, no torsten — finding the right baby name

Picking a name for your baby is an art and a negotiation at best. But in a multicultural relationship, the guidelines get stricter. And finding four names (first and middle for a boy and girl) that we like both in Swedish and English has proven to be … ummm … a challenge.

It doesn’t seem hard on the surface, as so many Swedish names have entered the American mainstream or have close English equivalents.

But, I’m sorry, I am not naming my son Oscar. I see only a Grouch, especially now that NK and I watch Sesame Street.

Lovely name for a Swede. Not for a Hegedus.

Lots of American names don’t make the cut, of course. We have toyed with some older, less popular Swedish names, like Torsten, but fear that the kid would be odd in two languages. And, as I wrote a couple days ago, Hegedus is exotic enough in Sweden.

I have almost memorized the top 100 baby names list for Sweden, and all my favorites don’t work because of E’s family or friends or they don’t work with Norah (you just can’t go with Norah and Noah). I have scanned newspaper birth announcements, wedding announcement, obituaries. The other day, I ended up walking NK to sleep in one of Stockholm’s biggest cemeteries. I checked out the names.

Tove? No. Gunnar? No. Tekla? No. Conny? No, no, no.

I hope we find a yes.


4 thoughts on “no todd, no torsten — finding the right baby name

  1. What about Kevin for a boy? I think it would work well both in English and Swedes. But it might be to ordinary and I suppose its gaing more popular in Sweden these says too.
    For a girl I don’t know there seems to be many good choises I guess.

  2. You might find this site of popular baby names from around the world useful. It will let you compare ones from Sweden with other countries.

  3. Kevin could work. I will throw it into the mix. And girl names are easier. We are just looking for something a bit different. A lot of them can sound the same – Emma, Ebba, Alva, etc.

    And, Guy, I will definitely check that site out. All suggestions welcome!

  4. Hi, hope I’m not intruding, total stranger, but I think that Annika might work for a girl. I know it’s a diminutive, but it sounds like a full name, I think. I don’t know about its popularity in Sweden, though. Also, Behind the Name has a list of Swedish names:

    I thought it might help. I can’t vouch for the accuracy of the list though, besides knowing that they’re usually pretty accurate on English names.

    Good luck!

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