Naming the Royal Baby

Naming the Royal Baby

The Prince of Cambridge is here, and we now know his birthday (July 22), time of birth (4:24 p.m., London time), birth weight (8 lbs., 6 oz.), place of birth (the Lindo Wing at St. Mary’s Hospital).  Prince William and his wife Kate have not chosen a name for their new baby yet.  This confuses many Americans.  Baby names seem to be assigned and fixed forever, almost immediately upon deliver in the United States. Often parents have a definite name weeks or months prior to the big day.  When my kids were born in Los Angeles, the hospital insisted on a name in order to send information to the county for the birth record.

Kate William Baby 2013_7

Not so in India. Or in royal England :).

My parents had a temporary nickname for me until I was three. When it was time to go to pre-kindergarten my parents gave me a choice of three names. And I like Gunjan for some reason that no one has ever explained to me. My elementary school teachers thought it was appropriate because I would talk in class  (a sin in the strict Christian/Methodist school that I attended).  Gunjan can mean noise or echo, or sometime the sound that a bumblebee makes (which sound Indians find very endearing, don’t ask me why, I don’t). In any case it turns out that a famous contemporary poet in India had also written a poem entitled “Gunjan”. So when my brother was born, one of the family friends suggested names of other poems by the same rhymer. The name ” Pallava” was agreed upon, which can mean leaf. When Pallava attended college, we should not have been surprised that he chose Botany for his major and went on to marry a Botanist.

A name can mean a lot, good that some people don’t rush it :).



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